Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blog 1 – Photo Sharing Sites (continued)

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.


Joanne said...

I saw the announcement about the Library of Congress using Flickr for a new pilot project--great stuff! I know many of our national museums and even Library and Archives Canada have a lot of neat stuff available for kids and teachers to use, but I haven't seen evidence that they are using these kinds of web 2.0 tools in the same way. The LoC certainly has done some innovative things recently that allow people to virtually
access their resources.

elizabeth said...

I like how the LOC is putting the photos out there for the public to label. It will be an interesting experiment-what do they have to lose? There is certainly alot to gain in the collective knowledge of the general public.

Val Martineau said...

Hi Elizabeth:
Wow great pictures of Hornby using Flickr. I beleive I will re-visit Flickr this week and try to work out the kinks I experienced last week. There are so many possibilities to work with. I love the idea of the LoC is using Flickr. There are so many stories to be told and so many people that can add insight to pictures and events. This will create an even more in-depth look at history. It's great to see such an established institution being so pro-active.

I liked your ideas about SS combining Flickr with Mappr. How exciting is that?

Jennifer said...

LoC was also the first to digitize some really interesting stuff - Thomas Jefferson's papers - and make them available to the general public.

They are an interesting group to watch.

Jennifer said...

Have a watch of the Frontline show on Growing Up Online. There is one chapter on teaching and technology and the teacher is using the smartboard and clickers to engage the students. It is nicely contrast with a more "traditional" approach to teaching - both of which should be working together, in my humble opinion.

I felt so sad to watch the older teacher feel like she is being forced out. I would prefer a balance.

elizabeth said...

I watched the program Growing up Digital last night-it was an excellent insight into how the digital world is changing life as we know it, not always for the best. I agree with you Jennifer, we need to find the balance here. Real-time, in-person relationships forsaken for online relationships, live discussions replaced with online chats, talented teachers replaced with computer based lessons. All of the new technology has a place in our world, I just worry when it is used to replace what is deep and meaningful, the human connection.
Thanks for the link to the program, I plan to pass it on to our parent group at school.

elizabeth said...

I always look forward to the new additions to the LoC blog, very interesting stuff. They are certainly using leading edge technology to meet the needs of their patrons.

Ronda said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Do you know anyone who has used Flickr with a smartboard? What kinds of projects/lessons did they use it for? I still have yet to see how a smartboard works, but I would imagine that I would love having one to access photosharing for lessons!


elizabeth said...

I haven't seen a smart board in action either. Arlene might be the one we want to ask as to how this might work with Flickr.