Digital Photography - Teaching Curriculum

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by richyirich, May 4, 2014.

  1. richyirich, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    richyirich macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    I'm a middle school teacher, and am thinking about teaching intro to digital photography as a semester elective course starting in the upcoming fall. I've never taught one and was wondering if there are any teaching materials/curriculum/books available. Are there any specific ones I should look into?
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    A few months back there was a similar thread about teaching photography at a public school, You might want to look back a few pages in this forum for the thread and the resource links it contains.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I teach High School science. I'd like to teach this also but there is little chance of it happening. (only so many hours in a day) The thing to do in photography is to teach it as an art class. Show the effect or "look" and then only as much technique as needed for that look. You have to give VERY specific assignments with cookbook like directions. Even most 9th grade students would need that.

    Not seen any photography books that would work well for grades 6-8

    When I took photo classes (and film making) we used film. But with digital now, I think I would get an SLR with a 50mm f/1.4 lens that could connect to the video projected. I could demo depth of field and just about anything in real time.

    Maybe do this as an after school club the first time. I think you are going to have to make your own materials unless you could limit this to the more advanced 8th graders.
  4. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68010


    Jun 5, 2012
    I would look at something like "Digital Photography for Dummies". I find the entire line of "for Dummies" books and guides to be clear and concise. Most importantly for a group of any age, they're written in a fun and interesting style that would be a good basis for a series of lesson plans.

    ~ Peter
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't know of any curriculum designed for grades 6, 7 and 8 but as others mentioned there are various intro books to digital photography that you can use and select sections for student reading.

    Many years ago, I taught intro darkroom courses to grade 6 and adults (via college extension courses) as well as taught art in a private school (grades 1-8). If you don't find the appropriate teaching materials for these grades, feel free to PM me and I'll try to lend some help.

    One of the challenges in your case is what tools do the students have to work with - do they bring their own cameras or does the school provide cameras? This will make a major difference on how you present some of the lessons. As example, will your classes have students with cameras that allow for manual control or will the cameras be more the point and shoot automatic? As well, are students provided computers and access to photo capable printers?

    Last - I am sure I am preaching to the choir here but there is a huge difference between 6th grade and 8th grade level students in how much they can absorb, handling attention spans and the like. This will definitely require some thought on how to get basic concepts ingrained and remain useful to the students in a fashion that also serves as motivation.
  6. zombiecakes macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2012
    thats a good idea and would help a lot, but no need to waste school budget on a 1.4 when a 1.8 would do just as well for much less money
  7. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I still keep my photography handouts from the classes I took in middle and high school. They are general information, assignments, and such. I'll gladly scan them into Evernote and share the notebook with you.

    Photography is a hands on thing. You learn it by doing, and not by reading a textbook (which are good for referencing, but otherwise easy to make it less interesting). The assignments help to reinforce when to use certain shutter speeds, f-stop, ISO, etc, and will make students get more comfortable with whatever they're using. I myself was never able to get a DSLR, and I'm sure you would end up with students in similar situations (and you should have a couple for them to work with while in class), but ultimately you just want them to have the fundamentals to make portfolio worthy shots.
  8. pharrod macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    Me too!

    I am in the same situation as you. Starting a middle school digital photography class. I found a great curriculum form Apple for video, but not for digital photography. I am curious if you found anything useful that you could share. I haven't looked through all the threads yet, so I suppose I will start there. But if there is anything you found that has not been posted, I would love to see it.


    I did find this to be helpful:
  9. richyirich thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    Hi pharrod.

    This school year, I'm taking a break from teaching. However, when I find a teaching job next year (hopefully) I might offer digital photo as an elective or an after-school activity. I haven't been able to find a decent curriculum. However, a good friend of mine is an experienced art teacher at a Catholic school and is teaching intro to digital photo to a group of HS kids. This is his first year teaching digital photo, so he's using one of his colleagues' materials and revising to make it his own. If I get to teach digi photo, I'm planning to ask him for the curriculum and pointers. Good luck!

  10. tracyvusd macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2018
    --- Post Merged, May 30, 2018 ---
    If you made scanned files for the documents, can you please email them to me? Thank you, Tracy

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