Say cheese!

Way back when, about 4 years ago, I was happily using a 35 mm Cannon camera which I thought took pretty good pictures.  Friends around me were going digital and I was digging in my heels.  I even had albums documenting holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations.  I loved finding the best per picture processing deal I could!  Well….the tide came and I’m now a digital camera convert but have hardly printed pictures since.  In fact, I’m doing well to upload pictures from the camera to my computer.  When people ask for photographs, if they don’t have email, odds are not good that they’ll get them.   So getting pictures onto a site such as Flickr, that’s a whole other step, exponentially far away.

I’ve been hesitant to put our family photos “out there” in an online space but for this assignment, I had to set up a Flickr account, which was easy enough to do and decided to upload a photograph to see how the process worked.  Since I’ve got one picture up, I think I’ll upload a few more and share a beautiful part of the world where I’m privileged to spend some time.  (Just have to get them off the camera)

The idea of using an online photo sharing site in the classroom was new to me.  I know that teachers search for images and videos when they are instructing but working with a site like Flickr to create albums of student work, field trips and other topics of relevance to their learning, well, I haven’t heard much about this.  Will Richardson in his book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms states on page 102, “Personally I think Flickr is one of the best sites on the Web.  It’s true social software where the contributors interact and share and learn from each other in creative and interesting ways.   And for that reason, it’s educational potential is huge.”  So, as an educator, I owe it to myself and my students to roll up my sleeves and figure this one out. How will it fit in the classroom?  Well, one brilliant way is to use it like the example on p. 104 in which the contents of a picture can be identified and discussed.  This reminds me of the PWIM model using poster size photographs and markers to give labels to the components of the picture only, you don’t have to be in the classroom!

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