January 16, 2006
Flickr: Teacher Resource for Photos
While reading Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed blog I came across this interesting quote from an assistant superintendent about a recent teacher training session:
Yesterday we had all of our Kindergarten teachers at the Central Office writing assessments. One group was writing an assessment where the students would sort night and day pictures. They were attempting to download clipart to use for this task and were visibly frustrated that they weren't finding what they really needed. I showed them the Flickr site and how they could search using the tag words for pictures. They found exactly what they needed there and were very excited. (Just imagine a room full of Kindergarten teachers discovering a site like this...the possibilities for seasons, holidays, animals, places, etc.) Forget about the assessments, they were searching for bunnies for spring and lake/ ocean/ river pictures for a unit, etc. Compared to using clipart, it was like going from black and white T.V. to color for them.
Now I've been using the Flickr site for a while now as a place to upload and share photos as well as a place to find interesting photos for different projects I'm working on, but it never dawned on me how Flickr could be real time-saving resource for teachers.
The superintendent above was talking specifically about Kindergarten teachers, but there's no reason Flickr couldn't be helpful for the middle and high school math or science teacher on occasion as well.
For instance, suppose you're a physics teacher doing a unit and roller coaster physics (or perhaps a math teacher doing a unit on parabolas) and you want to bring in a photo of a rollercoaster for use on a quiz or handout. Well, all you'd need to do is go to the Flickr site and search on the keyword "rollercoaster" and your results will look like this.
Since the photos on Flickr are meant to be shared and reused, you can just save off anything you want on to your own computer and use the photos anyway you like.
Pretty cool, eh?
Keep it in mind the next time you need a photo for class.