IDEA Team Q&A: Photo Sharing

Post date: Jan 23, 2017 3:11:32 PM

google photos share icon

Here's another great question from our thought-provoking faculty: "We would like to have our students choose and submit 3 photographs from our India trip, so that we can choose the final photos.

What would you recommend in order to accomplish this task – dropbox, flickr?

We also need for them to caption the photos, so if there is a system that allows you to do this, that would be great."

IDEA Team Response

Clark: I think there are several good possibilities but the solution depends on you and your students and with what you are most comfortable.

Option 1: Blackboard Discussion Forum

One of the first thoughts is to use the discussion forum tool in Blackboard. This way, students already have an account and you don’t have to mess with them setting up a new account on another system. Although each discussion post can only have 1 attached file/image (not recommended to attach them!), there is an image icon in the toolbar which allows you to upload multiple images in 1 post. Here’s a very short video showing how this works: Using this method, students could upload photos from their computer or device, but they could also just insert the URL to an image that already exists in a photo sharing app, if they already have the photos stored in an online photo storage location such as Flickr or Google Photos. If doing this, I would also recommend mentioning to students that they can click on the little dot next to the corner of the photo to drag and resize the image – in case images show up far too large and they want to size them down somewhat. (They could also "caption" the photos by typing text in at the top or bottom of each photo. We would recommend you simply establish where they should do this in class.) (The images would need to be “public” and not “private” in the photo sharing apps for this to work.)

Option 2: Google Photos: Shared Album

Another of my favorites is Shared Albums in Google Photos. ( – You can click on “create” to make a “shared album” and add a photo and then click the share icon

google photos share icon

to get a URL which you can email out to the class for students to join.

and click the “Get Link” icon

google get link icon (chain link)

Once they have joined, they can add photos, see what others add, and even add comments to them. The hitch is that everyone needs a Google account (but that is easy to get if they don’t have one. They can even sign up using their UMB email address if they want:

This also makes it very easy to add photos directly from a phone using the Google Photos app.

Using this method, you could also even couple it with the discussion forum, by having students post links or comments about certain photos there.

Here’s a short video showing this:

And an appropos music video: