Sharing Digital Kits

As many of you know, Digital Storytelling (or rather, Storytelling with Digital Tools) is one of my passions and is a great way for students to reflect on their learning.  Getting the photos you want in the hands of students can be a challenge.


Don’t send students to Google and tell them to find pictures.


Provide your students with collections of images to use for their project.  These are often referred to as Digital Kits.


Our third grade students took a field trip to the museum.  During the trip, teachers, students, and chaperones took photos.  When the class returned, the photos were collected and the best ones were uploaded to a folder in the teacher’s Dropbox account.

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Here’s where the magic happens.  From Dropbox, you can right-click and get a link to that folder containing all your images.  THEN you can turn that link into a QR Code using a simple tool like  Print that QR Code and let students scan it with their iPads.  They now have access to all the images in that folder.

Students were then told to find and save 6 images that they wanted to use to tell their story about their trip to the museum.  Once those images were saved to the camera roll on the iPad, they could use iMovie, 30 Hands, or other storytelling tools to create their story.


Second grade teachers took photos of a science experiment performed in class.  They captured the setup, the experiment itself, and the end results.  Those photos were put in a Dropbox folder and shared with students using a QR Code.

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Students then scanned the code, saved the pictures to the camera roll, and then used those pictures to create a story of their experiment using the 30 Hands app.   They needed to arrange the photos in sequence and record their voice explaining how they set up the experiment, what happened, and what they learned as a result.  Listening to these “video lab reports” teachers were able to get a clear indication of student understanding.


Don’t use dropbox?  You can use, Google Drive, or another app.  The key is to use something that lets you upload a collection of photos and share them with a link that can be turned into a QR Code.

We also found that many QR Code scanner apps for the iPad use their own built in browsers to open web links.  I found it helpful to go to the settings on these apps and change the default so it automatically opens links in Safari.  This makes it easier for students to save images by just tapping and holding on an image until the “SAVE IMAGE” option pops up.



8 thoughts on “Sharing Digital Kits”

  1. Thank you for this post! About a month ago, every child in my classroom received an iPad. I teach students with Autism , and Intellectual Disabilities. Most of my students are in the Kindergarten to Second Grade reading levels. With that said, I need to modify their assignments. Recently, I did a lesson on Character Education, and I had the students take their iPads out to recess and take photographs of students being kind to one another, playing a game together, jump roping, etc. Then they had to come inside and put a Prezi together.

    Your suggestion gives me more ideas because one of the issues I have had with the iPads are students going on you tube, taking pictures of other students and me in class :/ . I am hoping in the future with digital drop box, ( I will probably use google drive, since I am most familar with that) , I can limit where they go and what content they are putting into their presentations, or reports. Great idea!

  2. This is a great use of digital storage mediums for use in class. I teach middle school and recently my school acquired several carts of Chrome Books for use by students. When we do assignments where students need to use pictures or other digital resources, it is always a nightmare when they simply use Google images to find what they need. Pictures are often either not quite correct or not a very useful application. By supplying digital resources via a DropBox, I can be sure the pictures will be accurate and appropriate for inputting into an assignment. In addition, giving students a per-prepared set of pictures would theoretically also make it so student can spend less time looking for pictures and more time on preparing their presentation. Thank you much, the “Digital Kit” idea seems really useful, especially for relatively younger groups of students with less experience researching online.

  3. As a middle school science teacher. I believe the students will get a more concise learning experience with pictures in which to choose from. I send students to Google but always give a set of guidelines when searching for visuals. This can be a challenge at times. I am going to give this a try in an up coming unit. As students are conducting their lab I will snap pictures with my I-pad and post them on my school website for access. The students will be able to use the pictures in addition to text. I am always looking for ways to enhance learning in the classroom! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for the comment. I remember my middle school science classes and being required to draw what I saw and label it. I must admit I’m a bit jealous of our students and the digital tools they have at their disposal. Not only can they take photos of their work, they can add arrows, circles, labels, highlight parts of the image, or even incorporate video to demonstrate understanding. These are not your father’s lab reports!

  5. I really like your idea of adding images to the Dropbox and having students choose the images they want to use. Definitely considering this for some of my future activities. I have never used Dropbox before, but this is a good way to have young students learn about digital story telling. For older kids, like the high school students, we need to take them a step further. I don’t thinks it really wrong to tell them not to get images from Google. I think if we are going to ask students to use digital media as a way to communicate their learning, we need expand their knowledge and educate them about the appropriate way to access information, including images. Last year I took a major leap into using digital media as a way for students to communicate their learning through online presentation and creating infographics. Students were instructed to use the images that came with the programs they were using or get the images from Google. I teach high schools, so I taught them how to cite their sources and show them how to get images on Google that are noted under “Usage Rights” as free for reuse. I had just learned about the “Usage Rights” on Google myself from one of my professor and taught it to my students on the next project I assigned.

  6. I have never used Dropbox before, but I agree that Google images may be overwhelming for younger students. There are way too many different images that are associated with a given word or topic, much of which only serve as a tremendous distraction. Then there are those images that are entirely inappropriate. I really like the practice of using images to enhance learning. I thought I might use this process of having a pre established folder ready for students to access when learning the more difficult academic vocabulary. Using a folder allow them to select an image from a narrowed selection that the teacher feels will help them understand and retain the meaning. Students can then draw the image into their interactive notebook. Just an idea for 5th grade.

  7. I’m so glad I read this, gaining a broader knowledge of using tech in the classroom. Even through 13 years of teaching, you find yourself using the same worn path you’ve always taken when using research and putting together projects and presentations. I’ve always had students just “Google search” pics, opening them up to too broad of a selection, primarily mostly unrelated to the actual topic they need. I will be using this method in the future. Thanks for sharing!
    The only issue is taking a significant amount of time building a library of screened pictures for students to use.

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