Hi fellow Classmates,

Today I gave the photo sharing site, Bubbleshare, a try.  It’s free and easy to sign up but a valid email is necessary to verify your account (teachers take note).  It features unlimited storage, clip art captions, audio captions and video captions, frames in 20 varying themes (my favorites were the T.V. frame that students could use to produce a slide show “documentary) and the beach frame), tags, a search engine, options for public or private viewings, posting to blogs and MySpace, commenting on other pictures, a gallery of photos from others, and sharing through email or URL.


At first, I thought I was going to like this site because of its clean interface and simple directions.  I thought it might be easier for younger students, in particular. However, I found it frustrating to use because I had to download one picture at a time when I was trying to put together a slide show and the worst part about it was the site kept freezing up.  I had to go in and out of the system at least 10 times when I was trying to complete my slideshow.  When I tried to send my slideshow to my sister, I don’t know if it got sent because it took so long and I might have given up too soon and lost the connection.


Overall, I would not recommend this site because it’s just too slow.  Although I had fun putting in the cute captions in different shapes and sizes (students could add captions to pictures to show their understanding of a concept) and comments can be left on pictures (a tool to which could enhance writing and collaboration), I just found it too frustrating.  If I found it frustrating, I can’t imagine how frustrated my students would get if they were trying to use it in class or at home.


Here’s another strike against using Bubbleshare.  I attached the URL to my blog so you could all see what I created.  However, when I went back to my blog to check if it worked, I was not happy to see my personal email attached to the slideshow.  Even though I have the slideshow listed as private, I could not get rid of my email being broadcast to everyone in cyberspace which I definitely didn’t want so I took the link off.  Who would want their students’ emails shared with everyone if you were to put their work on a blog, for example???  Yikes, good thing we’re trying out these things.  If anyone knows how I can get rid of my email address on my slideshow, please let me know.





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:



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:



Add captions to your picture



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: 






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.














Wow, my video worked.  I didn’t think it would be that easy.  Copy and paste the URL and voila!  After I accomplished this feat, I immediately thought of how teachers can easily get around the fact that YouTube is blocked in most schools.  I was discussing this problem with a colleague of mine a few days ago.  To use YouTube in his class (which is does quite often) he has to convert the YouTube file at home to a format our computers accept, burn it to a CD and then bring it to school.  If this same teacher had a blog, he could embed the video easily and since the blog is web-based, share it with his students.

I’ve been doing some research today about using photo sharing websites in schools.  I needed to take a step back from my initial enthusiasm and think about whether there are any drawbacks to using them in the classroom.  Since this medium is relatively new, there is little research on the topic but it appears from my research that there are differing views on the viability of using photo sharing sites in schools. 


Due to the shear number of photos posted from elementary, middle, and high schools on Flickr (100,000) and school-related topics (700,000), it appears that many schools are embracing this technology Many school divisions such as the Ossining Union Free School District in New York uses and encourages the use of photo sharing sites such as Flickr in all of its schools (statistics from “Photo-Sharing Web Sites”).    Since many photosharing sites such Flickr, Picasa, Photbucket, Bubbleshare and Webshots are free, this has encouraged their use amongst teachers and students.  

However, it appears that other school districts are not as quick to embrace this Web 2.0 tool.  Even if teachers may want to embrace photosharing tools, often these sites as blocked at the district or division level.  In “Photo-Sharing web Sites,” author Odvard Dyrli wonders how teachers can integrate online photo sharing technologies when some school block these sites?


The problem with online sites is not difficult to understand.  Since the sites are open to all, there is a chance that students might have access to inappropriate photos.  And even though one might think this is the same as access to the World Wide Web at schools, remember that many schools block access to inappropriate sites through their filtering systems. 


It seems to me that the appropriate way of addressing the viewing of inappropriate photos by school children is to teach them how to deal with inappropriate photos if they were to arise and for the school division to establish clear policies in regard to viewing inappropriate content by students and staff.  As well, teachers need to monitor their students when using photo sharing sites just like they would when their students have free access to the Internet. 


Despite worries that students will see inappropriate sites when using photo sharing software, ideas about how photo sharing sites can be used in education abound.  In an article I read about photo sharing in education, thirteen ideas around the use of photo sharing in schools are listed as well as numerous examples of educators who are currently using photo sharing in their classrooms.  Among the ideas for photo sharing in education included in this article are:

  • share, comment and add notes to photos or images based on the curriculum
  • embedding photos in class and school websites to keep parents informed
  • inspire writing and creativity
  • create a storybook using shared images
  • create motivational posters, magazine covers, cd covers
  • teach students about creative commons photos and how they can find them for reports and assignments
  • use tags to find photos of areas and events around the world
  • combine geotagged photos with Google Earth to enhance geography lessons
  • create digital portfolios with images and text
  • create a field trip photoblog using shared class photos


So it appears that if we can teach students about the appropriate use of photo sharing sites and/or design assignments that still use photos from these sites that students don’t have to search for themselves, there are endless possibilities for enhanced learning, creativity and sharing in the classroom.

Hi class,

I thought that the video that Joanne put on her trailfire “Photo Sharing in Plain English” was a good place to start to find out what photo sharing is all about.  It would be a good introductory if you were teaching your staff or students about photo sharing.  The Wikipedia decscription about photo sharing  linked to the same trail is also helpful to someone just starting out. 


Something I hadn’t thought much about was its point about having a safe place to store your pictures.  I’ve thought about the importance of having web-based access to pictures, photo sharing being used to organize pictures, but I had never thought of sites like Flickr as safe places to store pictures.  There are other photo sharing sites listed in this video that I’d like to take a look at at a later date: Photobucket and Webshot.  I know that the video is on Joanne’s trailfire but I wanted to see if I could find it on YouTube and attach it to my own blog. This is my first attempt at attaching a video to my blog so I hope it works!  WordPress says that all I have to do is copy the URL from YouTube and it should play on my blog.  Here goes…