I like to gallery and have used it several times so if that is better perhaps I will install another instance of it.
- I haven't worked out how to make navigation work (the breadcrumb, title, etc...)
- It does not have an upload area. I just use the Files area of the course. When you add a gallery module, you select the directory out of which pictures are to be taken. (just like the resources module does when you want to add a directory resource) Of course this means there is no easy way of letting students publish complete galleries
- It seems terribly slow. Is it because of my connection? Is this because of the comments, captions stored in textfiles?
- Someone has a nice icon?
In my field, many courses in the classroom are entirely built around images, and it is not uncommon for a professor to run through 60 plus slides in a one hour lecture. I do not think Photoframe is suitable for such a large number of images, because they would have to be crowded into a long, narrow sidebar that would scroll forever. It's a poor use of space. It would also take a long time to load. Thus Photoframe is only suitable for a small number of images in a gallery.
The other issue is metadata. It is very important for teaching. A caption is useful, but it would be nice if it were possible to include more fields, such as photographer, date of photograph, copyright statement, perhaps keywords or categories of some kind.. And the way Photoframe is laid out, there would not be much room to even put a caption to let people know what an image is about.
Personally, I like the layout of the Gallery pages. Nine images a page is an appropriate number to load and view clearly. And I really like the fact that you can see captions under the images themselves. What I don't like (and this is actually better handled in Photoframe) is the fact that a new page is opened in the same window to display the individual images, meaning you no longer can see the other images.
An alternative perhaps would be to take the "frame" out of Photoframe and have the larger sized image open up in a pop-up window. This is what we did on our Theban Mapping Project web site. It would be a more effective use of screen real estate and would still allow you to see multiple pictures on the screen at the same time.
I would also like to see a way to manage images and their associated metadata. One can now put images in the course files and select them from the html editor. However, it would be better if the images could be stored in some sort of database (perhaps the DMS?), which could also hold metadata about the images, and that this metadata could be drawn out every time the image was used and displayed alongside the image. What I am thinking of is a centralized repository of images that could be used multiple times in a course(s) without having to do a lot of work every time they were used. For example, our Theban Mapping Project website has a very simple content management tool that allows us to insert an image in an article simply by typing the word "image" plus the image number from the database in brackets, and it inserts the link, and arranges the picture thumbnails nicely on one side of the page.
I've written a lot here, but for me, the lack of an easy to use, information-rich interface(s) for using imagery in teaching is the biggest weakness of Moodle, especially at the level that is required for higher education purposes. Adding such capability would make Moodle a much more attractive tool to not only art historians and archaeologists, but in other fields like architecture and medicine (which actually happens to be a field that relies heavily on visual resources and often is the source of new visual technologies that later are applied in other fields).
During experimenting (mind you, it's no more than that at the moment) with PhotoFrame an error showed up in the left frame. This made me realise that since the scrolling sidebar (I agree it can get too big) is just another frame, one could just as well load a forum / a wiki / a glossary in the big frame on the left. Could this solve at least the metadata problem until the datamodule exists? I made a screenshot of a forum attached to the gallery. The gallery automatically fills the forum with the pictures of the gallery. Clicking on one of the pics in the sidebar takes you to the appropriate discussion topic. You could include metadata in the discussion topic starter...
This is definately an interesting concept you have proposed above. The initial post would probably need some type of GUI so that all of the information deemed important could be placed in the GUI and then displayed a certain way in that first post. Also, the right frame allows a participant to browse the gallery and locate the image for discussion easier..
as long as the left window and the right window can be separately scrolled, I guess wither design could accomplish the same thing. But what about different forum posts or comment displays - Flat, new->old, old->new, threaded, etc. ???
Have you considered using the book module and inserting picure with text below using the html editor. This works nicely for me as it becomes ... a picture book ! and creates a table of contents.