It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That is particularly true for today's youth. Teachers lament that most students don't enjoy reading -- especially non-fiction. Another reality is that many students have difficulty reading textbooks, even where the reading level is at or below grade level. And, thanks to smart phones, online social networking, electronic games, and television, almost all students are visually oriented. Without debating the societal consequences, the day of relying on classroom lecture and textbook reading assignments as the principal way of educating students is probably over. And I say that having co-authored a Georgia Studies textbook -- and someone who strongly believes in the importance of reading and writing.

Social studies textbooks are not only expensive -- their coverage of recent events quickly becomes dated. And, for many students, textbooks are neither effective nor interesting. Given the importance of testing, teachers need all the help they can get. Thus, came the idea of a photo bank for teachers and students tied to the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) for 8th grade Georgia Studies.

Fortunately, I have a large collection of Georgia images from photographing geographical, historical, and political scenes for the past four decades. Additionally, I have created many graphics, maps, and other images for use with The Georgia Studies Book; my web sites -- in particular, GeorgiaInfo; and teacher presentations. Additionally, I have identified hundreds of historical photos in the public domain (i.e., anything created before 1923). Many of my Georgia-related images also come from my extensive collection of photos, postcards, books, maps, artifacts, and other memorabilia.

It is my hope that teachers can use these images when teaching GPS content by projecting images or using smart boards to supplement classroom lecture and discussion. The images have been sized for use with presentation software such as PowerPoint, which means that teachers can produce visual materials for students to use when studying and reviewing standards. Additionally, students can create PowerPoint for classroom presentations in lieu of traditional papers and projects.

Because the 2010-11 school year is already underway, the photo bank began with the SS8H5 standard, which examines the development of Georgia from 1798 to 1840. Images for subsequent standards are being added, returning to the first four historical standards to conclude the project.

Should teachers find that there are needed images for teaching a particular GPS standard not found in the inventory of images for that standard, please contact me, and I'll see if I can locate or create such images. However, there are certain images -- such as portraits of some of Georgia's early governors -- that simply do not exist. Also, there are some standards -- such as the economic standard to describe how profit is an incentive for entrepreneurs -- for which it is difficult to impossible to find suitable images to illustrate that standard.

As a final note, this site includes some historical images that involve negative, inaccurate, or exaggerated stereotypes commonly found in books, newspapers, and other print media in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. These images are presented as part of the cultural history of the United States.

Ed Jackson