How to use Apple’s Shared Photo Stream: A Teacher’s Perspective

Apple introduced Shared Photo Streams in the iOS6 update. It is a neat way for people to share photos with one another. Since so many people we know own iOS devices, all it takes is having iOS6 installed, and sharing photos will work without a hitch.

Set up:

  1. Select some photos you would like to share by going into your Photos folder and tapping “Edit” and then tapping each photo individually.
  2. Tap Share, then Photo stream,
  3. Select New Photo Stream
  4. Enter the email addresse(s) (official Apple IDs) of the person/people you would like to share with.
  5. Name the folder anything you'd like
  6. Allow or disallow it to be a Public Website (disallow if you don't want strangers to happen upon it on the web.)
  7. You can, as an option, leave a general comment on the Photo Stream explaining what the contents are.

Here is a view of my photos on my iPad. I am showing you how to add photos to an shared Photo Stream already set up and shared.

I select the four photos that I want to add:

Within a minute, the photos are added (previously 9 photos, now 13):

When the people you have invited join the subscription, you will be notified. They will have the ability to comment on individual photos, but not the ability to add photos to it. Hopefully Apple can update this in the future where everyone within the subscription can add photos.

People without iOS devices are also able to view your shared photos. Under “Edit” (The forward button), you can tap “Share Link”, and send it over via email or Text message for people to watch on their computers or non-Apple devices. Everyone that you share photos with will have the ability to save the photos.

Here is a list of my current Photo Streams.
Most are made by me, with the exception of “Pics from SF”,
a photo album shared by my cousin:
Here is an example of the notification you will receive when someone accepts your subscription to join:

You can also create Shared Photo Streams using your Mac, or PC (installed with iCloud control panel 2.0 or 2.1)

Photos shared through this method do not count towards your iCloud storage. However, if you decide to delete a shared photo from the stream, it will be deleted from all of your devices and all subscrubers' devices.

Applying Shared Photo Stream to teaching and other uses:

As a part-time private guitar teacher, I found a useful way for using Shared Photo Streams. Most of my students own either an iPad or iPod touch. As I teach new chord fingerings, I use Skitch to label them, and, instead of emailing them one by one like I used to, I just add them to the shared Photo stream folder. It takes only a minute to set up, and you just have to do it once. Now, whenever I teach new chords each week, I can easily add them to the shared Photo Streams within seconds. Students will be able to access the photos at home when they need to remember how to play certain chords.


This is a great way to share photos with family members, specifically grandparents. Grandparents love to see new photos of their grandchildren. This is a hassle-free way to keep them updated with new photos of your children. Especially if you are away on vacation, shared Photo Streams will be a welcome way for them to view your photos.


If a class is going on a field trip, the teacher can gather any interesting photos and share it with the class. Students who do not own an iOS device can view online. Students can then add comments to each photo, adding to the experience.

Buddy classes / Penpal classes can share photos with each other, even from around the world.

On a class trip, say, to Europe, parents back home can subscribe to a shared stream, while teachers on the trip can manage and organize which photos are be shared with them.

If you are the main school events photographer, you can share your school photos with teachers and administrators for special events during the year. Keep a stream open all year so that you use them for the yearbook or any other year-end presentations.


Though it may take a while to get accustomed to (as opposed to emailing each other photos we want to share), I believe we will see a growth of users of this service. The feature I like best is that you can continually add photos to the stream. Those who are subscribed will receive notifications when new photos are added. Users can leave comments (like on Facebook) on the photos, but it seems to be more “contained”, and not for the world to see. I am looking forward to what Apple is doing to improving Photo Stream. The update from iOS 5 and iOS 6 regarding Photo Stream was a big one. Do you remember when you couldn't delete photos? Many people ended up sharing embarrassing or even inappropriate photos with their family members and anyone else who had access to their devices. Now, deleting them is easy. This feature will become more and more popular with iOS users, especially if Apple allows everyone to share within the same shared stream.

Can you think of any other practical uses of shared Photo Stream? Let us know in the comments!

Further reading: Read more about some tips here.


One Comment Add yours

  1. 新作财布 says:

    [シャネル シール] 新作财布

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