I'm looking for a single app for posting photos, building slide shows, creating video lessons and social networking in the classroom.
I'm a teaching artist doing short residencies grades 4-12. Examples of my work include: cyanotype print-making in chem lab to teach photo-reactivity; pinhole camera workshops to teach the physics of light; photo-novellas as a story-telling form in English Language Arts.
Currently, I'm writing an 8th grade social studies curriculum exploring the missions of The Preamble using smartphones.
I want to be able to make/present a lesson on photography, then say, 'Go take five pictures and upload one.' Then curate an instant slide show, and share the lessons.
Can you point me to some appropriate classroom apps? Here's my criteria:
app/program needs to be open source (free or dirt cheap)
strong identity and privacy protection
UI needs to be a quick study for busy teachers
UI needs to be interesting enough for kids
easy to up-load photos
ability to build/run slide shows
ability to have link all 8th graders in several schools
able to link to a blog
built-in basic photo editing
ability to add music
ability to create video lessons (like VoiceThread)
file portability (so they can be easily shared)
I'm sure there are trade-offs, other features and issues I haven't considered.
PhotoBucket (Pros: gentle learning curve, good UI, easy uploading, networking, basic photo editing, slide shows. Cons: ads, ads, ads or $$$.)
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest Pros: widely known, free. Cons: accounts are default public. Companies retain usage rights to all materials posted.)
VoiceThread (Pros: NICE creation tool, portability. Cons: $$$ much too expensive for most schools.)
Any help appreciated. Feel free to pass this on.