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Documenting our Adventures in Pictures, Poetry, and Prose

When I traveled or lived abroad, I always sent postcards back home, especially to my grandmother. It was a way to share my experience with her and also remind her I was thinking of her. I still remember talking to her when I returned home and how she would marvel at the beauty of the places I'd visited. We'd talk for hours about the sights, the sounds, and, most importantly, the tastes I'd sampled and what I learned along the way. The postcard was a tool for storytelling and sharing with others.

Whether we're heading out on trips to other cities, states, or countries or having adventures in our neighborhoods, creating and sending postcards to others is a great strategy which will allow us to reflect on what observed. As the Portrait of a Nevada Learner invites us to document our learning beyond the classroom, creating postcards might be a strategy we utilize to engage our storytelling talents while in a traditional setting or while exploring our surroundings.

Postcards are traditionally two sided. One side depicts an image usually inspired by site one is visiting and other has a space for a message, a space for the addressee, and one more for postage. There a number of strategies we might use to construct a postcard. For example, Nevada Humanities invites us to create postcards using a template they've created. Many of the examples are hand drawn and use color pencils, markers, or crayons as their medium. We could create with construction paper or notebook paper. We might even create a postcard using collage techniques with materials we might have available to us.

One strategy we might use is to create digital postcards of our adventures.


As we take our trips, we will might be traveling with a mobile device or a tablet. These devices often have cameras which will allow us to take photographs or videos in order to document what we saw, heard, tasted, or touched while exploring our familiar neighborhoods or new ones. We might take photos while visiting the market, playing on the playground, visiting a museum, or just hanging out in friends or family.

I visited the Springs Preserve and Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas and took images of the exhibits that were interesting to me. I used my mobile device, an iPhone, to take my photos and edited them with the Pixlr app, Snapseed, and the native iOS photos app.

How Might We?

As you travel take images and video with your mobile device. Take as many as you can. It's best to have lots of choices as you consider which images or videos you might consider using for your postcard. Once you've finished, take some time to review what you created. You might want to edit the photos and videos as well. You might have apps or tools that you use already, but if you don't you might explore tools that I mentioned previously. Need ideas for apps to experiment with? You might explore the suggestions here, here, and here.


After we've taken and edited our photos and videos, we can reflect on our adventures. The great thing about the editing process is as we go through each photo or video we took, we might be reminded of a feeling during our trip. We might use journaling to reminisce, for example. In order to guide our processing of our trip, we might also be inspired by the Nevada Portrait of a Learner to help guide our reflections.

How Might We?

You might use a sheet of paper, a notebook, or word processing tools like Google Docs to write down our thoughts. The Portrait of a Nevada Learner is divided into four domains: Empowering, Connecting, Impacting, and Thriving. You can use questions inspired by these in order to focus or reflection.

You might consider using these questions and writing the answers down whenever you're comfortable.

  1. Empowering: Why did you visit this place? How did this place and the experiences you had make you feel?

  2. Connecting: What story do your photos/videos tell? Why might this place be important to you or anybody else?

  3. Impacting: What did learn from this experience that you might tell someone else? Who might you want to share this experience with? Why?

  4. Thriving: What did you learn about yourself while visiting this place and taking photos/videos?

What are other questions you might add?


We've edited our photos or videos and reflected on some questions about our experiences. Now, we can dream about which multimedia we might create with. Using our answers to the questions, we can explore which photos/videos might best express our reflections and our feelings about the trip we took.

How Might We?

Depending on the type of operating system on your mobile device (iOS or Android), you'll have the ability to place your photos/videos into folders so they can be organized. You might add photos/videos you're interested in using in one folder and the photos/videos you might not consider in a separate one.

In addition, the photo app on your mobile device should give you the ability to favorite photos or videos you like. This might also be an effective strategy to organize your photos as well.


We have a folder of possible photos/videos that we might use to express what we've reflected on during our trip. It's now time to begin designing our own postcards. We can get inspiration from artwork and styles we like, postcards we've interacted with in the past, or vintage postcards we find on the internet. There's no "right way" to design a postcard so as long as we have an image/video and a space to write a message/thoughts. We should feel free to experiment with formats.

How Might We?

  1. Pick a tool: You might explore any number of tools to develop your postcard but popular tools to use include Adobe Creative Cloud Express or Canva.

  2. Choose a Template: While you could start from scratch, it's worth exploring the templates we are pre-created. They'll give you some inspiration about how you might design your postcard.

  3. Add Your Photos/Multimedia: Take the image(s)/video(s) you will use for your project and add them to the tool of your choice.

  4. Create a Second page: Postcards involve two sides. You'll need to create a second page.

  5. Add Your Text: On your second page, add the message you'd like to communicate. You can get inspiration for this message from the questions you answered from the Portrait of a Learner.


We've got a postcard created that has our thoughts, but postcards are meant to be sent and enjoyed, right? We can publish our postcards to our digital spaces or email them to the person we'd like to share our experience with.

How Might We?

Regardless of the tool you used, you should have the option to download your project. You might upload your project to your portfolio, your website, or your social media feed. This will allow others to share in your experiences and comment on your story.



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