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Free Collaborative and Private Photo/Video Sites for Teachers and Parents


May29

Those special events where everyone seems to have a camera flashing such as field day, classroom performances, and field trips offer a special opportunity for teachers and parents.  It gives everyone a chance to grab those candid shots and capture great moments on film, but often there is difficulty sharing all those photos and videos in one place.  Email works to a point, but often this is cumbersome and has limitations with file sizes.  Worry no more.  Today’s post will make video and photo sharing easy while keeping those treasures private and safe.

Drop.io is another great site for parents to upload photos quickly for teachers to access.  Like Troovi, the teacher would create the drop.io site, set a password, and send the link to parents.  Parents simply upload their photos, video, and files to the site and the teacher can download them instantly.  Again, images can be uploaded to the site in high resolution, large files, but video might need some condensing.  Another bonus is if parents have a smart phone, they can simply send their camera images to the drop.io site during the event.  Online Tech Tips has a great tutorial on Drop.io.

 

DropShots is another great site that allows for private photo and video sharing, but the limit is 500 photos and 2 minutes of video.  One bonus over many other sites is the images are 1500x1500 pixels when viewed online, but the negative is everyone must register to use. 

Flickr will also allow you to create a group shared photo space, but it is blocked from many school filters, so you’ll need to check your restrictions.  The teacher will need to create the shared space, lock it as private, and set a password before inviting parents into the group.  One benefit is the unlimited file space and the ease of incorporating the many Flickr supported products such as BigHugeLabs, Bookr, and MixBook with the images.  You could assemble an end of the year digital scrapbook quickly by using the images everyone uploads to the Flickr private group.

Shwup is another great site that is probably the best bet yet, as it allows for free photo and video sharing without a registration or limit.  With Shwup, teachers create the account and send invites to parents via email.  Parents have the option of either uploading on the site or simply hitting reply to the email with attaching files.  Talk about easy.  An added bonus is their “muvee” feature.  When all photos and videos are uploaded, Shwup allows the teacher to make slideshow movies at the site.

 

StashSpace is a video hosting site that will allow you to privately share videos for free up to 60 days with parents. It’s a fairly easy interface and will allow users to connect camcorders directly to their website for uploading.  I can guarantee this will be an internet bandwith killer during upload, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a robust connection.

Tonido is a different spin on photo sharing and I really think this is a better tool for teachers who team-teach either in middle school teams or in elementaries where students may rotate among classrooms.  Tonido (Toe-Knee-doe) is an open source (aka free) software that basically creates a small web server on your computer.  It allows you to share files between computers without having to upload any files to a website.  Once one teacher drops a group of photos, videos, music, etc in the Tornido program, files are instantly viewable by the other teachers.  This would also work to link your home computer with your school computer.

 

Troovi is by far my favorite photo sharing site, mostly because of it's ease of use and it's generally not blocked.  It does require some file management on the teacher’s side, but it’s very easy to handle.  With Troovi, parents can upload any file size image without a login.  With no file size limit, images are high quality and high resolution.  The teacher simply emails the sharing link to parents, and everyone is good to go.  Troovi’s free limit is 100 images but there are no ads or searchable features to find questionable material.


posted by
5/29/09

Smoke,

This is another wonderful post full of great resources. The one I want to briefly touch on is drop.io. I really like what they have done with additional features. You can call into drop.io to record podcasts, host conference calls, e-mail information into your drop.io box as well as chat and conduct presentations. I have basically adopted drop.io on a full time basis for all of it's features.

Keep up the great research and resource sharing. You are one of the best!!


posted by
5/29/09

Thanks Dean! You're a pretty awesome tech integrator, yourself. I agree Drop.io is a powerful tool and definitely one to tag.


posted by
7/03/09

drop.io sounds like a great tool to use for getting pictures together for a yearbook or something to that effect as well


posted by
7/05/09

Yes, Drop.io is an awesome tool! I hope you can utilize it as much as possible bosskdawg.


posted by
8/29/10

As far as collaboration is concerned, I am perfectly happy with www.bluemelon.com, there are collections where multiple users can upload to one collection and there is the possibility to create password protected upload for which the visitors do not even need to register.

All things considered, bluemelon is a great photo sharing website.



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