My son as a cube.  How can you not enjoy yourself using this medium??

I have totally enjoyed trying the photo sharing site Flickr and all the different things you can do with pictures.   This is nothing short of addicting!  I got my Yahoo! email a few days ago had tried to download a few pictures (which I’ve already attached to my blog) but this was the first time I was going to check out all the details of Flickr. 

 

Right away I didn’t like loading one picture at a time but I saw on the site that there was a solution to this so I easily downloaded the Flickr Uploader 3.0.5 from the Flickr Tools link.  This allowed me to drag the photos from my computer that I wanted downloaded rather that just downloading one at a time which is way too slow for me. 

 

Then I went through a period of confusion and wasn’t sure what to do with my pictures.  Somehow I ended up downloading Windows Live Photo Gallery which allows you to organize the photos currently existing on your computer, download pictures from your cell phone (rats, I don’t have one of those fancy kind that allows me to take pictures), edit your pictures and then upload them to Flickr to share with whomever you choose.  I was really impressed with the Photo Gallery and the ease with which I could tag my pictures and group them together.  It’s fully searchable which is great and one of the best features of it is that it tells you in what month and year your pictures were taken.  Amazing.  Mind you, I currently have over 900 pictures on my computer so it may take me some time to get organized with this tool.

 

Then I went back to try and create a slide show with some of my pictures that I had downloaded to Flickr.  I remembered how easy this was with Picasa and I must say that Picasa has Flickr beat on this one.  It took me awhile to figure out that all the little fun things you can do with your pictures on Flickr are mostly creating by tools that are linked to Flickr.  So I checked out The Great Flickr Tools Collection mentioned by Richardson in his book, Blog, Wikis and Podcasts (p. 109).  I found most of these tools way over my head from a technical standpoint so then I returned to my del.icio.us site where I knew I had tagged a site that listed ideas of what do do with pictures called Webtools4u2use.

 

This is when I really started to have fun with pictures and I can see how students would love to work with some of these tools in the classroom and at home.  I can also see applications to the classroom such as creating an annotated slideshow of a field trip or class event, adding creative artwork to assignments and projects, creating a crossword puzzle to introduce vocabulary on a specific topic, use pictures found on Flickr as a way to activate prior knowledge of a specific subject and stimulate discussion. 

 

Some of the photo sharing tools/sites I checked out were:

 

Bubblr

Add bubbles to flickr pictures

Couldn’t get it to work

 

101 Gadgets for Flickr addicts

Leads you to other sites to do cool things with Flickr pictures.  This is never ending but fun!

 

 

Spell with Flickr

Cool letters

Couldn’t get it to work

 

Flickr Toys

Lots of cool things you can do with pictures.  Some examples follow:

 

Captioner

Add captions to your picture

Easy

 

This is a picture of my son reading a story to his cousin.

 

Create a Slide Show

Easy but be sure to save your URL right away

My slide show on the Indus Valley (I could use this in grade 8 Social Studies) can be seen at: 

http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/slideshow.php?id=55119

 

 

 

Dumpr

Very easy.

Lets you do weird things to pictures. One example was the cube you saw earlier and this museum piece of my nephew at his grad:

 

 

 

When I compare Flickr and Picasa they are very similar photo sharing sites.  They both allow the user to easily download pictures pictures from a camera or phone and organize them in albums or photostreams;  they allow you to publish for a specific audience (private or public access) and/or email to whomever you want; you can add annotations, tags and RSS feeds; they are free; they allow pictures to be edited before being shared; and they can be sent to blogs.  Picasa is a google app so it is directly linked to Facebook (I’ve used this feature and it’s simple). 

 

However, the major differences between the two are that you can search for photos on Flickr and you can comment on others’ photos in Flickr and engage in discussion groups.  So even though I prefer the multimedia applications on Picasa, I think for educational purposes, Flickr might be the better choice because it is much more collaborative and interactive in nature.  What do you other educators think is a better site to use in schools?

 

 

Before I leave photo sharing sites and move to video sharing sites in Blog #2 for our course, I hope I have time to check out a few other photo sharing sites like Bubbleshare, Photobucket and Webshots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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