Sunday, January 9, 2011
One of the benefits of semi-retirement is having a flexible schedule that leaves time for interesting new ventures.
Shannon Miller is an online acquaintance who became a friend when we got to connect in real life at the SLJ Leadership Conference this fall. She and I decided to collaborate on a project: we would become co-advisers for her school photography club - Shannon, from the school library media center in Van Meter, Iowa; and me, from my home in upstate New York.
We Skype at times that fit into her students' schedules, keeping in mind the one hour time difference as we plan. Although an Internet problem forced us to cancel one meeting, Shannon, some Van Meter students (in grades 6 - 12), and I have managed to make a good start on organizing Club Click. School administrators have given their approval, an explanatory letter went home to parents, and we have about 20 enthusiastic members.
The Van Meter students are respectful, creative, and fun to interact with. Some have moved ahead quickly on their own: Kylee (who is old enough to have her own Flickr account) has been building an impressive collection of photographs. Alissa includes lovely photos in her blog postings.
And then there's Emma, who not only has a blog of her own, and a Twitter account (with her parents' knowledge and approval), but also has volunteered to set up and co-administer the official club blog, which will feature students and their photographic work.
Our Club Click Flickr group has more adult than student uploads right now, but that will change as Shannon and I determine the best way to allow younger members to share their photos.
In our Skype sessions, we've discussed some of the possible directions in which the club might move, from choosing themes to constructively critiquing each other's work to community service projects. I talked about the importance of tagging, and displayed some of the tools available on Flickr. Shannon and I have been stashing relevant resources in diigo; we want to offer students as many options as possible to feed their obvious enthusiasm for taking, editing, and sharing photographs.
For most Club Click members, this will be a fun hobby. For some, it may grow to be a lifelong passion. Either way, it's a privilege to be part of the adventure.
"" -Harry Callahan
"What is art but a way of seeing?" -Thomas Berger
"Skyping with Van Meter" by dmcordell
"Some Flickr options" by dmcordell