Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Panoramas on smart phones - a novel twist on a classic writing prompt?

I am fairly new to smartphones and 'APPs', but it seems that there is an APP out there for almost anything you can imagine.  I just got moved to a different office, so I wanted to take a picture of my new surroundings.  A standard picture just didn't seem to do the office justice, so I thought it would be nice to create a panorama using my iPhone camera.  I went to the APP store and search for "panorama" and found a free one that was published by MicroSoft, so I thought I would give it a try.

Here is the result of my first attempt...the software will attempt to 'stitch' the photos together as best it can--it might take a bit of practice to get the best 'seamless' panorama, but this gives an idea of the result.  You can save this as an image, or publish to the 'cloud' where it can be viewed interactively.  Of course, you can embed it as well, as I've done below:

So, welcome to my office!

Two ideas came to is that this tool might be something that we could use with students as a prompt for writing or speaking.  They could be asked to produce a panorama of 'my room' or 'my favourite place', etc., then embed it in their blog and write a descriptive essay.  If they were to bring their panorama to class on their smartphones, then they could work with a peer and give a 'guided tour'.

The second idea is to make a panorama of our classrooms.  It is quite difficult to find pictures of 'real' classrooms, and I am curious to see what classroom environments different colleagues in different parts of the world end up teaching in.  If anyone is interested in sharing a view on their classroom environment, join the FaceBook group at to share pictures or panoramas.

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