Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Flickr in the classroom

If I were a teacher in school I would use Flickr a lot. (CB has been doing stuff with his kids - see here.)

At first I might have to make photos accessible only to those who were part of the class - and maybe their parents, to get them 'on side'. In fact I think I would have a Flickr evening to show them how to do it all). That's for starting off when people are scared and go on about weird stuff like having your identity/soul stolen.

For some projects I would invite a teacher from elsewhere to involve her class - and then do a joint project on say - 'places I like to go' or 'interesting angles of everyday life and objects' or 'guess what this is?' type stuff. Or whatever. They could then all be 'friends and family' and see the photos but others may not. (This would be in the run up to going totally public with the photos.) This activity would be great as a way of making tentative online links etc but mainly just fun and would make the kids look more carefully at the images if they were from another class.

Eventually my projects would all be public and we would see if we got comments from everywhere. (But I would tell other teachers to have a look and see if I could get their kids involved in commenting. A bit of off line coercian in other words.)

I would be interested in doing things like:

  1. Getting the kids to produce a narrative with five separate shots.
  2. Asking the kids to look at different pages on Flickr to get ideas for groups and sets. Ask them to set up sets themselves which the whole class could try to contribute to. Talk with them about the affect of bringing together lots of photos with similarities. I would ask them ' What are we learning about people?' 'What can we learn about ourselves?''What choices do people make when they take a photo`?' 'What do we think about the choices people make?' (Cultural stuff; stuff to do with visuals).
  3. Use the notes function to get kids to label stuff in a photo a bit like this. The kids from another class could look at them and could be encouraged to comment (nicely of course.) on the stuff each other is showing. They can ask questions; describe; offer information. Guy did a project where kids brought in stuff from home in shoeboxes. That would be good to get them to photograph a shoebox of their stuff and label it. I can't find his article (where is it Guy?) but this is another similar thing I guess:
    Boxing clever: using shoeboxes to support home-school knowledge exchange by Greenhough, Pamela - Scanlan, Mary - Feiler, Anthony - Johnson, David - Yee, Wan
    Ching - Andrews, Jane - Price, Alison - Smithson, Maggie - Hughes, Martin (from here.)
  4. Get kids to look at titles across the Flickr site and give their own photos titles. Ask pupils to make suggestions through the comments facility for new titles for all the photos. The owner of the photo decides which is the best title and why.
  5. Introduce them to tags. Show them the Flickr tag cloud and how you can search for photos. We could discuss what is popular and what is not. Get them to tag their own photos and to find particular tags. Make cultural comparisons about 'weddings', and even things like 'reading' .
  6. Get kids to be photographers on sports day (yukky) and on trips out etc. They can then comment in captions giving recollections and memories.
  7. Get kids to be photographers showing positive images of the school to show everyday life there.
  8. Sets of photos showing a 'typical day' in their school life. Make comparisons. Get the kids to caption these and to comment on each others.
  9. Gather photos of current events across the world or important places that may be relevant to other classroom work.
  10. Look carefully at composition and framing. In a drama lesson get kids to produce freeze frames. Take photos from a range of angles and think about how the meanings may change.
  11. Get them to look at Flickr toys and produce magazine covers of the magazine they would like to read themselves.
  12. I would get them to look at the 'interestingness' pages and see if they agree that the photos are interesting.
  13. We would have lots of conversations about images and what is missing from them (sound, moveent, words) and what you get 'extra' - opportunity to look again, see in detail, see in greater relief, use of different effects (photoshop).

I see here that Brooks and others have beaten me to a list like this, and I really like this bit on Edu-gadget:

The thing I like about getting images from flickr is the students can see that there are real people behind the images, not some generic, faceless website. Real people, like them, have created the pictures, shared them with everyone else, and usually only asked to be credited. There are all kinds of lessons to be taught in those actions.

Mister teacher has got a lot of excellent ideas here in his technorati stream.


Kate said...

This is brilliant for the first unit of the Module I am writing on Multiliteracies and multimodality.
Can I pinch the lot?
(Whoops you are the course director)

Joolz said...

Gosh you are writing modules and I have not started. (I think I am not allowed yet.)
Please don't pinch otherwise I have nowt to offer.

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Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.