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carlaarena 6:09pm, 5 September 2008
Flickr Collage

After having explored Flickr's educational possibilities, read this article and add your opinion to this discussion thread..


Flickr is a wide space of sharing, with millions of photos being posted a day and little control on what is published.

Do you think it is worth using it in the classroom? Provide arguments for your points of view.
Victor.Botelho 9 years ago
Dear all,

I believe democracy comes with its risks. If you want something to be "safe", try dictatorship. What I mean is, it is impossible to assure that our students won't see anything inappropriate for them. However, I believe the advantages of using Flickr in the classroom surpass the disadvantages.

For instance, you want your students to learn about various clothing items. They type all sorts of words related to this topic, like pants, t-shirts, etc. Can you garantee that pictures of naked women won't be displayed on the screen of their computers? Of course you can't! However, do you think this is a reason to abandon such a wonderful learning tool like Flickr? My answer is no! It is impossible to protect your students from humanity. After all, they are humans as well. What needs to be changed is our (teachers and institutions) mentality. Instead of punishing humans for being in contact with the dark side of our humanity, we should start raising students awareness for the possible bumps on the way to heaven (knowledge). I believe we've all had enough of puritanism. Democracy charges its price;however, it is a small price to pay if compared to ignorance.

Written by Victor Botelho
santoselaine 9 years ago
It's really worth a try. As I have mentioned before, we discovered so many different and important tools that it will be necessary some time, at least for me, for the digestion.
When I started reading this article I realized it's not simply a text to be read. It's a source of sources. That's what happens when you start trying to take advantage of tecnology. I feel as if I would ou could never stop searching anymore. Is it like this?!?!
This is a real challenging feeling but scary as well!
kellyssima Posted 9 years ago. Edited by kellyssima (member) 9 years ago
How can I use it?

Flickr is a great tool to let students use their creativity and show off their talent to express life through photos.
It can be used with all level of students. We can design an e-tivity and ask for telling how it would be illustrated.
I will give it a try. I liked the examples from the article. A class project would be a very good starting point.
I also liked Victor`s idea of asking his students to load photos of their vacation and leave some comments about each one.

My experience
After Braz-Tesol One Day Seminar this year, I decided to have a Flickr accont. I attended a presentation about web tools and I liked the site. I loaded some photos. Then, I forgot about it for months. I wasn`t very curious about it.
Now I am back! I didn`t know the possibilities I have with Flickr. I loaded some photos today and started to edit it. After seeing the tutorials I felt more engaged to check the features I have here. Guys, there are creative things we can do here. I have two news posts in my Blogger. Go there and check it. :), I customized a photo using one option among many others from a link Carla gave us in the moddle. I sent it to the group, so you can check it. I enjoyed.

Plans for the future?

I still have a lot to learn. I have been lurking around and trying to edit my profile and coordinated my blogs to Flickr. It is a marathon. I go to one place to another.
It is a new web tool for me. Another great free tool.
almeida.daniele 9 years ago
For sure Flickr is worth a try, I'm sure my students will love it and although I didn't organize my ideas, Many uses can come to my mind. We can encourage students to describe a great variety of pictures, and better than this, pictures that they had chosen.

I just loved Flickr, the only problem is that now I can't stop playing...
ceciliacarneiro55 9 years ago
Another great tool, I guess many things can be done with Flickr. Pictures add colour to a lesson. And lots of them at hand!!
Patricia Faustino 9 years ago
Hello everybody,
This really sounds interesting, but as the artcle states there is nothing to garantee you that among the millions of photos that are uploaded on Flickr everyday, there will not be one that is improper. However, this risk is run by all our students, even at home when they are browsing around.
Adding on to the idea of the vacations, wouldn't it be great to have the maps with indication of where the photograph was taken. That would really be interesting. Or to talk about their families, basic students could have a picture of the place where their parents and brothers and sisters were born identified in the maps as well. Then ask all the students to choose two people in the group and write comments to their pictures.
Scorpio Brazil 9 years ago
I liked a lot Flickr! I guess that's an evolution to the old Fotolog! I used to have a Fotolog account for some of my groups and it was real fun!
I just loved the toys, especially because I'm addicted to pictures and all the crazy fun editing things we can do to them!!

Pictures can add a lot to lessons because you can adapt them to be used in several different activites!
Ana Albi 9 years ago
I've a Flicrk account for a while, and never really used it, because I already had the late Ringo. I had never thought of these sites as pedagogical tools, but after the readings and discussions, I believe it does have classroom potential.
However, I think that we need to have equipped classrooms to use this tool as a group activity, as suggested in the reading. I am not saying we can't or shouldn't give students an assignment and let them do it home. I just also like the idea of bring the technology to the classroom directly, so we can browse and work with the pix together, have students give short presentations of their findings and production, etc.
I really liked the idea of having maps connected to the pix.
As for improper content, I agree it's always a risk, but it's worth running it.
Marina Brazil [deleted] 9 years ago
I totally agree with everybody's opinion. Flickr can increase students motivation.

However, it's true that our students may end up looking at inappropriate pictures. So, we ask ourselves: what should we do about it? Use it? Avoid it? Teachers, we are there to decide which tools should be used!! We can decide what do or when to do things! I don't want to seem tough, but don't children have parents at home? Well, they also have teachers at school!!!!!!!! If we are in doubt about what to do, then we ought to get together and share just like we have been doing.
patscfleury Posted 9 years ago. Edited by patscfleury (member) 9 years ago
What can I add? Flickr is full of possibilities for class use - as a resource for pictures, as sharing points for their own experiences, and like Vinnie, I adore what the toys allow you to do to your pictures.
I also see pictures as a way of generating and maintaining interest in blogging because you can make sure there is always something new to see and discuss ( even if only with another picture or a gif).
I agree with Ana. It would be nicer if we could use this tool as a group activity and that would make what Marina suggests, decide what to use and how to use it, easier to do. But still, not having the necessary infrastructure at school doesn't void Flickr's potential. And, as Victor points out, everything that is worthwhile also has a price and a risk and the possibilities in Flickr outweigh its benefits. Again, as Marina points out, our students have parents to define what goes on at home. I also think we don't help our students by keeping them in an ivory tower, but by teaching them to be selective and critical in what they are exposed to. Isn't that also one of our pedagogical goals, as educators, not merely as language teachers? To make our learners independent thinkers and prepare them for life?
mdelfino 9 years ago
I agree with you all too. Flickr can reduce boundaries as we can use geotagging. It is visual and meaningful for students. I loved the "collaboration and sharing among users,... people can connect with each other and have conversations" in different cities or countries. It is another tool we have to foster communication and interaction. Moreover, we may differentiate instruction and learning strategies.
I also agree that "we should have equipped classrooms to use it as a group activity". We would run smoothly from an activity to a Flickr one, for example. It may be risky, so we have to use tools to block inappropriate picture access. They may be using it already, aren't they?
cleverpena Posted 9 years ago. Edited by cleverpena (member) 9 years ago
I'm delighted with this great tool! I have just started and I became addicted. I still have things to do and discover much more about it. I need more time to evaluate this universe better. Wait for me to post more comments later! Bye!
Maria Claudia Pires Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Maria Claudia Pires (member) 9 years ago
An image is worth a thousand words. I think Flickr is a great tool to give students that little push to make them use those words. As I work with adults, controling the content of the photos they upload is not exactly a concern of mine, but I can relate to Victor's and Marina's.

As I browse through Flickr I can see lots of possibilities for immediate class use: blogging, collaborative writing, vocabulary expansion activities and many others.

I had this idea as I played around. Most of my students have a routine of trips (very often international). I can ask them to take pics that somehow define the place they are visiting. Some of them often travel East. I'd ask them to post their pics and offer their impressions as to what defines those places. They'd probably touch some topics as religion, lifestyle, history, socio-economic activities etc. I think that would work fine for blogging.
Ana Luisa2009 9 years ago
Flickr is a great tool where students can create their own story through photos. They can also make a project about our city, for example, using this tool. It's just wonderful.
Lilian Marchesoni Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Lilian Marchesoni (member) 9 years ago
Flickr is another great tool to be used with students... There are myriad possibilities, and I believe it is really meaningful to students since they post photos, "talk"; and discuss about things that are somehow connected to their reality and interests... Teachers might raise students' intrisic motivation by doing so... I can say that I am really motivated.... I started adding photos and playing around with the toys and also checking other people's photos.... and I couldn't stop; it is simply great!
In relation to improper content and photos, I'll quote Ana: "it's always a risk, but it's worth running it."
sandrinhadmv 9 years ago
Uau! I was really impressed to see how many new things we can do with Flickr. I have been away, or better, my computer has been away for a while, and when coming back I face all these possibilities involved in the use of one more great tool. I think that visual, and in this case, photographs really give life to words. With Flickr we can have students look at riveting scenery ,as the one in Carla's presentation, and making up stories, situations, dialogues, adding some more photos and expanding what they were supposed to do. I believe photos set no limits to imagination. Even when students upload their personal photos or make an album to be shared by the group and add the tag notes they are learning through something meaningful to them. Who doesn't like to look at photos? It takes a while for instructors to start integrating Flickr in their routine, but once done I think the benefitswill be endless.
lueli.ceruti 9 years ago
Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spiderman) once heard from his uncle: "With great power comes great responsibility"… That summons up not only Flickr, but also the whole concept of WEB 2.0. Once you can do it, do it well and sensibly. I still feel a bit funny about posting my students’ photos on the blog… but then again, as someone said in the article, the students loved the sensation of “being published”. So, I’ll not give up on a such a fantastic tool in the name of “what if”… And we go back to the notion of democracy and responsibility.
Daniela Meyer 9 years ago
I agree with most people. Even with the potential risks, it is worth a try... Learners may already have their own Flickr account. Might be more risky with very young learners. But 'young adults' (an euphemism for teenagers nowadays...) and adults should do fine! And one of the readings suggests ways to use Flickr in standard classrooms, with no computer or projector. Cellphones also work! I´m all for it - let´s see what will happen!! Best, daniela
marina_couri 9 years ago
When I opened my flickr account I had no idea of the amount of things we could actually do with it. I first thought it was just sapec were I could share photos with friends and family. After watching some movies on the youtube and reading some articles
( unfortunatly I haven''t had the time to read it all), realized it is a powerful tool to be used in our classes. I must confess that ate first, i thought of it as great tool for me to find real images for my lessons, instead of only relying on google search. Than, I realized much more can be done. It can be truly used to get into our students'world and show them the outside world. Of course as teachers we are always concerned about security, about our students having access to what they shouldn't, but It is unreal to believe that they won't access unwanted content just because we are" controlling the process". In relation to security flickr allows us to choose who can have access to the pictures we post, so we can post class photos, projects and stuff without worrying too much about it. Now, in terms of "undesired" content,students will have access to it anyways if they want! As marina and Patricia pointed out Marina points out, "our students have parents to define what goes on at home"? ! I agree with patricia that it is up to us as educators to orient our students, I totally agree when she says that" we don't help our students by keeping them in an ivory tower" even because it is impossible to do it nowadays. Our job as educators is not to protect our students and hide them from what is going on, but to guide and educate them about what is going on.
For us, EFL Teachers, it is such a rich tool to use with our students and get them engaged using authentic writing, videos and photos that it is really worth a try!
A hora íntima 9 years ago
Of course it is. Flickr is all about sharing. It gives me quite a few sharing options, but maybe the handiest is the embed option, which lets me paste thumbnail previews into forums, blogs, and social networking profiles such as MySpace. For shots that aren’t mine, I can copy and paste the URL from my address bar and put it in an e-mail or instant-messaging conversation.

Sharing photos is neat, but half of the fun of these photo-hosting services is seeing what other people are taking pictures of and interacting with them. The reason it has tagging and notating features is so other people can find and make sense of your photos. The biggest draws to Flickr’s community are groups, which let users create and contribute to themed groups.

Each group has a shared pool of pictures that any of its members can contribute to. There could be a theme, or maybe no theme at all; it’s up to the user. Each group gets its own forum for chatting about topics or individual pictures. It’s almost like book club, but for pictures.
That´s my first time using flickr...and I can say that I fell in love with it! I´m a visual leaner and I think that images help a lot in many situations in the classroom. Despite of the risks and concerns we have as educators, I believe it´s definetely worth using it in the classroom. It can be used to illustrate and get a feeback from students about what they have learned in a fun way! Students can create, analyze their classmates´work, feel the accomplishment to have their work published and be sure people are going to see it and not only their regular teacher. It also brings up their creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, sharing, learning and opinions.The teacher can profit a lot from flickr preparing something to illustrate the topic that is about to begin or to wrap up a topic illustrating important points and making learning more meaninful. Of course there are the risks pointed out in the text from Amy Standen but this is part of our job, we need to look ahead and be willing to take risks not only to improve the qualitity of our classes but also to keep walking with the 21st century learners.
Tula H T 8 years ago
I've never used Flickr in the classroom but I certainly think it is worth a try. I think that commenting on other people's photos and maybe receiving comments from unknown people and sharing experiences with your classmates are very meaningful activities, making learning more effective and fun. However, as you have little control of what images will show up when you search for something, I would select the photos to work with beforehand, or maybe do projects with the students' own photos. Also, I feel more inclined to use Flickr with intermediate levels upward both because of their English level and because from fifteen and up students tend to have a better understanding of the dangers the internet poses. I've also thought that different groups might react differently to projects with Flickr, so we shouldn't be discouraged if it doesn't work so well with a particular group.
mirian2010 8 years ago
Flickr is ideal for language teachers and learners who want to have great pleasure learning and having fun at the same time. Good to read and hear that! Having fun and pleasure in learning especially with tools students are used to using out of a class is just great.
Displaying and commenting on photos, researching and presenting a specific region, using flickrtoys to create a cartoon, a calendar are some of the many great activities teachers and students can use to carry out flickr in the classroom. My first attempt was to use six of my photos taken on my last vacation to make a cube! It was just amazing! How can a simple activity make such a great impact on me? Perhaps the photos displayed and pasted on a new format, or just the fun of playing around with something new? What about students? How much pleasure and learning do students really have in a classroom? What are the difficulties we teachers might encounter? Maybe the idea is to Make it Simple to Make Teachers and Students of all ages use it. These are just a few from many other questions I might have after trying these new tools in a classroom.
Jose Antoniobsb PRO 8 years ago
Hello Carla and Webtoolers,
Of course flickr is worth it. Like they say: "an image is worth a thousand words" and flickr says that everyday and in many ways. I have been a flickr user for quite some time and it is always developing and integrating with new sites.
Photos do have a universal language and a universal appeal. I myself need to be taking more pictures. I confess I am not that big fan of taking pictures, although I love to illustrate my posts with drawings of my students and of my own. In this flickr has been a great help, because I always teach my students to upload pictures to flickr and copy the code to post the pictures in our blogs or wikis. So, for this reason and many others, flickr is worth it.
betodilello 8 years ago
Wow! Flickr is fantastic! I have a Picasaweb account, but am amazed by the resources Flickr provides. As an educational tool, it certainly is very powerful and engaging. I have lots of Flickr lesson plans on my mind for next semester. The students will surely feel empowered by being published, as Lueli pointed out. I have no doubt that Flickr is worth a thousand tries.
Cláudia Farias 8 years ago
As many of you have already said, it's really worth taking advantage of all the facilities flickr gives us, despite the risks. It's great to see that we can improve our lessons and save time by selecting specific images, providing more interaction, guidance and information to our students. Now, it's on us to make Flickr part of our routines!
JollySilvy 8 years ago
I surely think it's worth a try. That's what I intend to do for the next term with my groups. It was important to read the article and the considerations made about Flickr. Like every other web 2.0 tool, we have to be sensible and careful when using it. However, I agree when people say it's got more advantages than disadvantages. Anyway, I have to practice using it a little more before introducing my Ss to this fun web tool.
mariuchadias 8 years ago
I think it is worth a try... the students will be happy and crazy too do activities when we envolve taking pictures and writing something... they really enjoy using the internet and of course, they also enjoy photos..
they can create a project about animals, for example, they can take pictures of them and comment on them...
another project could be about your city, problems you may have and how you could fix it..

I am really excited to try it in my classrooms.. I am sure my students will love it!

Bye Mari
Mediasharing 8 years ago
Flickr is totally worth it!!! I love Flickr!!!
It is a way of expressing oneself with images (besides describing the photos) and having others comment on the ideas that the selections of photos (and the photos themselves) depict. To me, it is a great source for having students express themselves and interact with their classmates, for presenting information they have researched, for telling stories, reporting on events,... a billion possibilities to be discovered with Flickr!
JollySilvy 8 years ago
Yes, it is. As teachers, we have to be open to new tools in order to be able to help our Ss get the best of them as well. Flickr! is a great way to enrich our classes and in a fun way. I'm going for it!
Flickr is just great ! It's my first time using this tool and I simply loved it !
It will help visual learners a lot ! Moreover , students wil be able to have their own vocabulary albuns in a fun way ! I'm excited to try to use it in class .
Andre Netto 8 years ago
Yep! Flickr is definitely worth a try.
Having lots of fun!!!!
danielalyra Posted 8 years ago. Edited by danielalyra (member) 8 years ago
[farm1.static.flickr.com/172/414769740_b7be96101e.jpg]

flickr is a fantastic class tool. It empowers students...

they can choose pictures that talk to them and say why.
They could bring their photos and stories, behind them.
illustrate best part in a book they've read and this could be a starting point for a great writing activity...

So many things besides being wonderful e flashcards. Teens use the internet everyday and digital citizenship is something else teachers need to deal with in class.
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carlaarena 8 years ago
True, Dani. It means that they have choices, they can tap into their own worlds, they can show who they are, what their interests are....Flickr can spark students´ curiosity and sense of design.
carlos ortiz alt Posted 8 years ago. Edited by carlos ortiz alt (member) 8 years ago
Is Flickr worth a try? You can say that again! If a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, how about a tool with zillions of them?
I think that rather than picking the pictures we want or need for their lessons, we should let our students choose their own.. For one thing, this is already part of their world; also, it really seems like an exciting kind of homework after all...
As for control of what they may see on the web, let's just remember that the best way to go is not trying to control what they see or not, but teaching them how to be selective and smart about the issue: consuming all of the good stuff, and letting the trash be where it belongs!
clauschmitz 8 years ago
If adults itch to tell their stories through pictures, let alone kids!
I agree with Dani when she says teachers must promote digital citizenship as well.
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carlaarena 8 years ago
I agree with you, Claudia, that digital citizenship and literacy are essential elements for our educational settings. And certainly with Flickr we have the chance to explore images with our students in very exciting, engaging ways.

@Ortiz I'm so glad to see that you've captured the essence of student-centeredness. Yes! Give them choices. Let them find the images that touch them, that tell a story...Also, you have a very nice point of why we should promote openess instead of blocking digital possibilities.
Rick Monteiro 8 years ago
Flickr is worth a try, definitely. Using images/videos is interesting for most people since it "personalizes" the lesson. It helps in story telling and real life commuication in the classroom
Cleide Nascimento 8 years ago
I have recently started using flickr and it amazes me the idea of having an online album. Fantastic thing. I have already added a few pictures of mine and I´m planning to add many more. Now regarding the classroom, I woudn´t know how to start using it with my students. I mean, letting them have access to those many pictures is kinda strange to me. We never know what we can come across. I´m saying that because I once got quite a shock while googling pictures of cartoon families. (I was teaching members of the family and I was looking for innocent pictures of cartoon characters). After that day, I have had reservations about students searching for pictures online. However, I think that teachers could benefit from a workshop on the topic.
jorgeadm 7 years ago
Hi everyone! I have just created my Flickr account and added my first photos, but I was able to clearly see and understand how this amazing communicative web tool can motivate and engage students in the learning process. It is a meaningful and collaborative way for them to acquire and expand their repertoire of words, and to develop writing and social skills. I am sure I will learn much more about how it is useful in language teaching as I use it and apply it. Definitely it is worth a try.
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