My Flickr photos can be accessed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/arllennium. There is also a link to it from the bottom of the widget that displays 10 photos in my sidebar through an RSS feed.
I was curious about Elizabeth’s discussion of Flickr toys or mashups so I decided to check them out.
As interesting as Mappr looks, I couldn’t actually figure out how to use it! It looks like it only draws upon the public images in Flickr. In contrast, once you subscribe to Trippermap and log in, you can access your Flickr pictures and it emails you when your map is ready. As someone who travels lots, I like the capability of using my own images in the classroom as I am able to share the stories behind them.
I also like the Flickr Postcard Browser. This online application allows you to type in a keyword and public images on Flickr will be posted on your screen on a black background like postcards. Once again I searched Moscow. I also searched Alberta. You can click on one image and then scroll through the images using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
This one reminds me of elementary school when sentences had words in them and you had to identify the word. Or we did word riddles that were all pictures. flickReplacr is saved in your bookmarks. When at a webpage, highlight a word, click on the bookmark and it will replace it with an image. Unfortuantely, my Internet Explorer at home is an older version so the images didn’t show up. I look forward to trying this one at school on FireFox as I’m finding that IE isn’t keeping up with lots of the widgets.
Somewhat related, now that I think of it, I first heard the word widgets at a professional development session in the fall that was sharing some of the new resources available at LearnAlberta.ca and the Online Reference Centre. A consultant mentioned that to be able to use lots of the widgets, we would need to use Firefox. I would think the same would apply to these mashups. Now I know what he was talking about!
Unfortunately, for security reasons, WordPress does not support Flash so the Flickr Badge will not work in my blog. (Neither will the dictionary.com Word of the Day that Rhonda has set up in her sidebar but WordPress does provide some alternatives that use the RSS widget.)
Rhonda’s linked to fd’s Flickr Toys where you can create your own inspirational posters among many other things. Don’t forget to scroll down on this page as I did the first time. This Create a Customized Movie Poster From Your Digital Photos could be a new spin on an old assignment where students create a movie poster for a book they are reading. Or students could Create a Customized Magazine Cover for what they predict will be the new story or most influential person of the year.
These actually reminded me of a Wanted Poster creator that I have used. I make them up for displays of authors of different books or for visiting authors. Kids really enjoy it and could make their own of characters in books or history for example.
There are more ideas at the larger site, GlassGiant.com, where you can put your name on a photo of rocket or customize the letters of the famous Holleywood sign. These images could then be incorporated into blogs or digital storytelling.
Like Elizabeth, I wanted to see if I could bring a photo into my blog from Flickr. Here it is…!
Yes, this is me on a camel. This was our first day on the Trans-Siberian Train in Mongolia. We pulled over on the side of the road where there were men, dressed in traditional Mongolian garb, offering camel rides. The camel was just getting up in this picture and I thought I was going to fly off as it straightens its back legs first. Great fun!
I explored the links in Will Richardson’s Flickr chapter in Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classroom (2006), including 7th Grade Math which looks interesting but is not longer updated.
I visited David Jakes’ Classroom Uses for Flickr which is a part of his blog The Strengh of Weak Ties. He actually has a webpage dedicated to Flickr sites: JakesOnline!: Flickr Sites. He has also linked words in Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago” to pages in Flickr tagged with the same words such as wheat. (Coming from the praires, I’m a bit biased here.) Richardson quotes Jakes description of this as “a 21st Century product . . . that would be the result of 21st Century open source thinking and learning.”
I also visited James Tubbs’ http://misterteacher.blogspot.com/, as recommended by Richardson, and clicked on the Flickr label that linked to so many ideas! Among my favorites was Ciara’s discussion of rational vs. irrational numbers. I never would have thought of pictures being used like this in math. I appreciate that Tubbs explains the reality of getting students started in doing somthing like and how it improved over time.
In Chapter 7 “Fun with Flickr: Creating, Publishing, and Using Images Online” in Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom (2006), Will Richardson provides lots of curricular ideas for integrating Flickr meaningfully into the classroom. Elizabeth mentioned this book in her Intro Blog: What’s a blog?
Richardson opens the chapter by saying “The easiest place for teachers and students to begin experimenting with creating and publishing content other than text is with digital photography, a technology that is becoming more and more accessible every day.” How true this is as Fisher-Price now has a digital camera for the wee ones. I know a four year old that got one for Christmas and is taking some fabulous pictures! This is in stark contrast to Mary Burns (2006) description of the text-based natures of schools in “A Thousand Words: Promoting Teachers’ Visual Literacy Skills” in MultiMedia & Internet@Schools.
Richardson desribes Flicker as “something much more than just a photo publishing space.” He writes that, “One of the most useful tools in Flickr is the annotation feature, which allows you to add notes to parts of the image simply by dragging a box across an area and typing text into a form” such as Jane Goodall’s Camp.
This annotation feature of Flickr reminds me of Pop Up videos like this one of the Dave Matthew’s Band on YouTube. (I tried to embed the video into this blog post to no avail, either by pasting the embed link directly into the draft post or using the upload videos tab. This is the first time that the FAQ didn’t solve my problem. Sometimes you have to pick your battles … or cut your losses and say enough is enough. I will try to insert a video at another time.) As a side bar, I wonder how kids could create their own Pop Up Video?
I love the possibilities of creating these captions for the different parts of the photos, a feature that I have not seen in Snapfish, MSN Space or Facebook. Richardson suggests captioning battlefields or dissections for students to view on their own. Students could also caption photos of their learning or from their fieldtrips in this way. I’m thinking right now of a trip we took to Fort Edmonton Park or students working on a big project captioning their progress in images. Or students could demonstrate their knowledge and understanding about an image’s topic by creating captions.
I played with the Flickr search, of places both near and far. First I searched Moscow and was reminded of why I loved it so much. I then pesimistically searched Edmonton, Alberta, not expecting much, but was surprised by the +40,000 returns. I clicked page 7 to find a great image of Grant McEwan along with somebody’s party photos. Not as high quality as the first page, but not obsene either.
I have often thought of doing a Wonders of Edmonton project like the Wonders of the World lists that there are. As suggested by Valenza in her Manifesto, I planned to loan digital cameras, (removing the digital divide due to access to digital cameras), have students take pictures of the place of their choice and justify why it should be a Wonder of Edmonton. Flickr could replace students having to go to different places in the city, something that I wondered about the logistics of as I don’t know how safe it would be for them to be going to unknown parts of the city by themselves. At the end, we could message the original photographer to have them view our finished collaborative project somewhere online…maybe in a blog? Or a Flickr Group?
Whether it is photos from Moscow or Edmonton, there is the possibility of leaving a comment and engaging in a conversation with the person who took the photo. How fabulous that would be to hear the stories behind the photos.
Thinking about our school’s media class, students could have a class portfolio of their best photos or each student could create their own portfolio of artistic images of objects and places. Students could comment on how they came to the photo they did, identifying their own strenghs or areas for improvement or favorites. In this way, the comments could serve as a reflection, self-assessment tool or peer assessment. This reminds me of the critiques that we would do of each others work in the studio art courses I took in University.
Images in Flickr could be used in discussing the visual elements and principles identified in Lesley S. J. Farmer’s (2007) “I See, I Do: Persuasive Messages and Visual Literacy” in MultiMedia & Internet@Schools or the vocabulary, grammar and rhetorical devices suggested by Mary Burns (2006) in “A Thousand Words: Promoting Teachers’ Visual Literacy Skills” in MultiMedia & Internet@Schools.
Flickr could be a “first source” for news as eyewitnesses post images or video before mainstream media. Students could take on the role as “amateur journalists” do who take pictures with their phone then upload them to Flickr for the world to see. A powerful text example is included in Al Rogers “Global Literacy in a Gutenberg Culture,” which includes a series of messages marking the beginning of the disintegration of the Former U.S.S.R. Rogers identifies that the “message came directly from Moscow to the people of the world…unfiltered, unedited, without the benefit of selection or “commentary,” “interpretation,” or embellishment. (This kind of internetworking transmission is substantially different than radio or television broadcasting, which require expensive transmitters: anyone with access to a personal computer and phone line can accomplish the same thing as our Moscow “correspondent.)” Similarily, digital cameras, cell phone cameras and sites like Flickr or YouTube make it easier for people to be amateur journalists as events, such as the Tsunami or Hurricane Katrina, unfold around the world.
I just went to Flickr’s Creative Commons page to be confronted with six types of permission for use of the photos as granted by their moderators:
I definitely have more to learn in this area!
I am so very excited about the possibilities of Flickr. My students have been telling me about it for a while. What would bring them to tell me about it? Well, I have photos of some of my trips on MSN Spaces and Snapfish that I have shown them to illustrate elements of the curriculum. Snapfish keeps sending me nasty messages saying they will delete my photos if I don’t order anything yet when I have tried to order, they wouldn’t ship to Canada, a similar problem that Jess mentioned with Flickr.
Another problem with Snapfish is that if family members don’t have an account, they can’t see my pictures. And that pretty much cuts everyone out! So, what I’ve come to realize as a very unwise thing to do (particularly after reading Flickr’s Important Security Note) is give my family and friends my login information. Really, how is this any different than a student at school logging in as their friend because they forgot their password! Yet, we share a wiki username and password so that there can be multiple editors. I will have to think some more on this one!
Something else that is beginning to trouble me is the number of usernames and passwords I have. I really don’t know how I’m able to keep track of them all: Canada.com, Edmonton Journal, Bloglines, Angelfire. Yahoo, Snapfish, Hotmail, WordPress, Flickr, MSN Spaces, Edmonton Public Library, U of A…the list goes on. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more. It’s a password world!
After numerous attempts I finally remembered my Yahoo account information. I couldn’t use the helpful reminders as I used bogus info. Mechelle De Braene in “Virtual Supprt via the Blogosphere” in Coming of Age: An Introduction to The NEW Worldwide Web confirms this practice by saying “Our rules include safety guidelines such as not to reveal students’ and/or teachers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, or the name of the school.” But what about all the class webpages and blogs that I have visited? All that school and teacher information can’t be phoney. And if you want to have an authentic conversation with other people in the world don’t you have to present yourself and not a facade? I finally was able to log in to Yahoo to activate Flickr. Katie mentioned in her blog that Flickr was connected to Yahoo so I was glad to know this so that I didn’t needlessly set up another Yahoo account.
After activating my Flickr account I was taken to “Some pointers to get you started…” that had three main links. First was upload your first photo which I did and was easy as pie – choose photo, upload, add title, description, tags). I was half expecting it to tell me my photo was way to big (I shoot digital in 9.0) but it didn’t and was surprisingly quick as compared to Snapfish for my old PC.
Next was the Flickr Community Guidelines which I did read to see what their security and copyright guidelines were all about. The first thing at the top of the page is:
Flickr accounts are intended for personal use, for our members to share photos that they themselves have taken.
What’s unique and different about posting thoughts and reflections into a blog is that I can link directly to the multimedia source that spurred my thinking whether it is an image, visual, podcast or video. The reader can gain more background knowledge or they can see if they agree or disagree with what my interpretation was. Someone else may not agree that the format of WordPress with its blue and white colors are more mature and sophisticated over Blogger’s bold youthful appearance. This may then encourage them to post a comment. It is only natural that, given the theme of this class – information technologies for learning – that we would be reflecting on how we could use the new Web 2.0 technologies for learning with our students in meaningful ways so that the technology is not the focus but a tool. Students could easily set up their own blogs. What could they put in them? They could reflect on the ups and downs of their own inquiry (Valenza), reflect while reading, conduct a literature circle discussion with their reading group, celebrate their learning by posting their work or help the teacher by posting class activities and with a real audience outside the classroom. The classroom extends far beyond the its walls. I would like to further explore some of the blogs set up for education purposes.
For ideas for blogs to “subscribe” to, I looked no further than Valenza’s information fluency wiki and “Blogging and the Media Specialist” by Doug Johnson in the March 2006 issue of Leading & Learning with Technology. When I had explored the Valenza’s wiki while “Getting Started” I wanted to be able to go back and check them out. This way, they will come to me: Joyce Valenza, David Warlick, Will Richardson and Alan November. I also selected the Edtechtalk. What caught my interest at Edtechtalk was this post discussing RSS feeds for kids such as Highlights for Children (that’s still around!) and Discovery Science. I’m sure it is only a matter of time before there are more RSS feeds for students. Although, seeing all the blog posts that are unread in my Bloglines stresses me out a bit, I will have to learn to get over this. I never had any idea what RSS feeds were before or how many there are! School Library Journal has 40 different feeds listed here. I can’t believe the world that this has just opened up for me and I don’t have to go searching for it because it comes to me!