Recently we ran an iPad Photography Competition at our school for the first time. It was a great success and the students took the most amazing photographs. We certainly have some budding photographers! (See the winning photos below). It also showed us what an iPad camera is capable of.
This is how we went about creating the competition and communicating with the students using the Google tools available to us as GAFE school:
- Set up an iPad Photography Competition Google Classroom.
- Create a QR-code for the Class Code to join the Google Classroom if they wish to enter the competition.
- Design a poster to advertise the competition, showing the QR-code and the competition closing date.
- Decide on the categories and number of entries allowed per category (we decided upon one entry in a maximum of three categories). We had a panel of four teachers working on this competition, so it was a collaborative decision. Share this to the Google Classroom in a view-only Google Doc for the entrants to access.
- Create a Google Slides entry template, upload it to the Google Classroom and set it to download one copy per student. By creating a template with a place to insert the photograph and a prepared text box for the student’s name, class, category and photo title, it saved us a lot of time at the end when we saved the presentation as a PDF for judging, and all the important information was already on each slide.
- Draw up a How To Enter document with clear guidelines and upload it to the Google Classroom.
- Find sponsors for the prizes. This year Digicape was very generous in sponsoring six R1000.00 gift vouchers – one for each of the category winners! The school sponsored the runners-up prizes with six iTunes vouchers.
- Launch the competition in style! We are fortunate to have a student teacher at our school who is a very keen photographer. He gave a presentation on how to take photographs, what to look for, what to avoid and other tips and hints, so the students were well prepared. It was clear to see which students had taken his advice with their photographs – and who had not! He also shared some of his own beautiful photographs with the students. The presentation created and air of excitement and as soon as the advertising posters went up, we had scores of students signing up to the Google Classroom.
After the competition closed, we were able to save the individual entry slides into one big Google Slides presentation and then we exported it as a PDF (to prevent any accidental loss of information or images) for judging. It was then easy to scroll through the whole presentation and see each image displayed full screen via a projector. The judging, done by five judges, including one of our Grade 11 Visual Arts students, took many hours and some tough decisions, but finally six winners, six runners-up and a number of highly commended photos were decided upon.
Why Google Classroom?
- It is available to all our students and they are very familiar with how it works, as it is widely used by staff in our school.
- You can create an assignment when sharing the Google Slides entry template and set a due date for the competition closing date.
- All supporting information (categories, how to enter etc.) can be shared in one space, so that the students can easily find all the information they need. They then require no other teacher input (such as class teachers), as they can ask questions publicly or privately within the Google Classroom.
- All the entries are submitted in one place, in the same format.
- Any late submissions are marked as late, so you will know who missed the deadline.
- If there are any additional announcements, they can be posted in the Classroom and each enrolled student will receive an email update.
Was is a success?
You judge for yourself ! Here are the top entries, including the winners and runners-up (click on the image):
Thank you very much to Digicape for the fantastic prize sponsorship and well done and congratulations to the winners! This competition will definitely be repeated in 2017. Watch this space!