I agree with Mary Burns (2006) in her article: A Thousand Words: Promoting Teachers' Visual Literacy Skills that teachers need to have a “greater general awareness of how visual literacy complements phonemic literacy; and a recognition that being able to create and interpret visual information is not confined to art or computer science classes but is necessary across all subject areas.”
Flickr has considerable potential to transform my teaching across the curriculum. I often use images to get students brainstorming on topics for writing. Accessing images has never been so easy and projecting them onto a screen makes them easy for everyone to see. I would love to explore what could be done by using Flickr with a Smart Board. I am imagining projecting images, writing on them, storing the information and then accessing it later to continue or share. Flickr would also be a great tool to use in teaching Science. In a grade one unit on “Animals in their Environment” for example, the labelling feature would be great for identifying parts of an animal and the selection of photos would be ideal for discussing camouflage, variations and adaptations, habitat and classification. With so many photos, the ways to use them are endless. Imagine the possibilities using Flickr to teach social studies when you combine it with Mappr.
Teacher librarians could easily use Flickr to include photos of library events on their blogs. I was fascinated by the recent story of The Library of Congress launching a new pilot project with Flickr, in hopes of providing better access to their collection and to gain information about photographs in their collection. The 60th anniversary of our school is approaching. Perhaps we could archive our school photos and allow comments to gain information about the photos to share at the celebration. I noticed that Flickr will scan negatives and photos as well as receive them digitally. I know we have many old photos where people aren’t identified. It would be an interesting way to bring the community into this celebration.
Two things I would like to look at more carefully (when I have a little more time) are photo editing with Picnik on Flickr, and a book on libraries and technology called Information Tomorrow.