Sunday, September 21, 2008

Photo Sharing Online

Stained Glass Roof
Originally uploaded by April Hilland
Again, this is not my first forage into photo sharing online. I have used Picassa in the past due to the fact that I have other friends using Picassa and we are able to share albums that way. Apparently, some time ago, I created an account with Flickr but never posted anything to it. Today was my first experience uploading, tagging, posting notes, and blogging my photos. I have to say that I think that I will convert!

Back in the days when we had to develop our photos to view and share them, I was the person who was always asked to "print doubles" or even triples of pictures so that I could give them away. That got a little bit pricey and if forgotten, I would have multiples of pictures floating around my house for months! I was so excited to make the switch to digital photography. Instead of printing out every photo, I could share photos online and invite specific people to view specific albums in a few simple steps. However, in doing so, I am also making the decision to put pictures of other people online. I am still struggling with the idea of giving my friends access to pictures of themselves but also giving them the option of keeping the pictures just to themselves. I haven't come up with an easy solution to that issue yet............


I am not going to delve into the professional implications of sharing my personal photos online as I trust myself to put in place the necessary precautions and securities to keep my personal photos (the ones that I wish to keep personal) safe. Instead I would like to focus on the professional implications of the use of Flickr and other photo sharing sites. Here are some of my ideas of how Flickr could become an integral part of my Language Arts curriculum:
1. Following Richardson's lead: Flicktion. I would either choose photos for students to write about or have students choose their own photos. There are plenty examples available to show students such as :

2. Choose photos for students to write dialogues for. This would work well in any second language course. Students could also create their own "comic books" by creating a slide show and writing subtitles for each picture.

3. Students could post pictures of poetry and use the "notes" function to label parts of the poem and/or explain personal connections throughout the poem.

4. A Day in the Life Of ________? Not much different from scrapbooking, but students could upload pictures from home and give other students a glimpse into their own lives. Maybe one student's cat is having kittens? Or maybe another student is learning how to ATV? How about A Day in the Life of a student from Africa?

5. Non-fiction writing. If students groan or quake at the idea of writing reports, they may be intrigued enough by the photos on Flickr to search out photos and facts and create an online report.

6. Poetry Slam. Instead of the traditional poetry reading at the end of the yearly poetry unit, have students create presentations including their poem, music and pictures to their writing?

Anyway, my head is swimming with all of the possible ideas and I know that I have only brushed the surface of what I could do with Flickr in my classroom. I can't wait settle in for another afternoon of playing around with this tool. I am still trying to find the best way to search for specific items on Flickr. Does anyone have any search tips that they can pass along to me?


Mikisew said...

I love Mexico! I have asked students to search on Flickr for photos relevant to history and world issues and it is baffling to see some of the images retrieved.
Maybe our role is to teach students how to tag photos better. I think it's a natural thing for a book cataloger to do, but perhaps not for the general public.

Thanks for sharing your pics of the Mayan Riviera April.


Joanne de Groot said...

Hi April,

I agree with Rhonda that part of what as TLs could/should be doing is helping kids (and other teachers) tag their work in a way that makes it more accessible to others....but I digress, thanks for sharing a few ideas for ways to incorporate photo sharing into the classroom. Your own photos are great, too, especially on a cool, rainy day in Edmonton!