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Appealing Apps for Educators: iPhoneography, Digital Literacy, and Creativity

by Julene Reed

Digital literacy is increasingly important for students today, and a huge part of that is related to experiences with images and photography. Photography is “writing with light,” and developing photographic skills provides students with opportunities for creative expression as well as the strengthening of digital literacy skills, including digital storytelling.

It is often said that the best camera to use is the one you have with you, and today that is often the “one in your pocket.” As the camera quality in mobile phones has improved, our phones are often our cameras of choice. In education, more and more students have mobile phones that can be used for many educational purposes, including photography.

The iPhone is one of the most popular mobile phone devices used today, and photography that utilizes the iPhone has become known as “iPhoneography,” a term coined by Glyn Evans. Marty Yawnick defined it as "the total process of shooting, filtering, and sharing your mobile creations with the world."

Newer iPhones and other mobile phones have high–quality cameras with high resolution, which allows for excellent photo opportunities. Along with this, there is a multitude of photography apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. While there is a large number of these apps from which to choose, consider starting with a basic “library.” The following apps are some of my favorite photography apps that I have used both personally and with students along with a couple of my favorite photos taken with those apps. Whether documenting a field trip, capturing images to illustrate a concept (i.e., angles, texture, etc.), taking photos for publications, or telling a story with photos, help your students express their creativity as they record their photographic journey!

Basic Beginnings: Three Apps to Get Started

Pro HDR ($1.99): Full–resolution HDR images with filters, frames, and the ability to add captions.



DMD Panorama ($1.99): An easy–to–use panorama photo tool.



Frame Magic ($0.99): Turn your photos into a collage with multiple layout options and the ability to add comments.




ProHDR and Frame Magic:















DMD Panorama (with reflection effect created in Keynote):

Additional Recommended Photography Apps:

Dr. Larry Anderson’s “Apps to Focus Upon” include: Camera+, Hipstamatic, True HDRPhotogene²TouchRetouch, and Best Camera.

Photo Editing and Effects Apps: Snapseed, Photogene², and Adobe Photoshop Express.

Panoramas: Pano, Photosynth, AutoStitch Panorama.

Edit with Selective Color: Color Splash.

Additional Resources are available on Julene Reed’s website, “Digital Photography and Media.”