Review by Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2012

Flickr

Popular sharing site potentially useful as a classroom photo resource

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity

Subjects
  • Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
5-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)
3

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Many Flickr photos are under Creative Commons licenses, which means you can freely use them in the classroom.

Cons: It's easy to stumble upon inappropriate content.

Bottom Line: Make use of some incredible photographs in your classroom, but don't let students wander astray on the site.

You can browse Flickr for public domain pictures that fit into your lesson plans; there's some incredible choices to be found there, and the Creative Commons license means you can share the images with your classroom. Ask kids to post an old family photo to the Commons and tag it with historical and personal information, or you can choose a photo and ask them to research it. Allowing kids to roam entirely free on the site probably isn't the best idea; even if you have the site's filters on, some questionable material can pop up.

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Flickr provides a place for students to upload, organize, and share their digital photos and videos. A free membership to the site includes a huge amount of storage per month. A pro membership -- with an unlimited amount of storage -- is also available for an annual fee. All memberships come with your own Web page, complete with personalized URL. When kids upload things to their personal accounts, they choose who can see them: family, friends, or the public. Emails with links to their page are sent to family and friends. If users choose the public setting, visitors to Flickr (not necessarily members) can find images and videos by searching tags or member profiles.

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Students can learn from engaging with people and photos. "Geotagging" allows older kids to pin their photos to a location. They can also learn about other cultures this way. The Current Events and Commons (a project that tags historical photos) sections expose kids to science and history with a personal twist. An historical photo may be interesting on its own, but a user comment with a firsthand account gives meaning and context to it.

Kids can create a photostream with simple tools, contribute to Flickr's social experience with comments, or view photostreams from sources such as NASA, the White House, and the Library of Congress. Flickr empowers kids by letting them control what they upload, share, and post. More built-in feedback to help kids with photography or social skills would augment the experience.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Teens will find this a hip place to store, manage, and share digital photos and videos and view other users' photos from around the world. It can be really fun; there's some beautiful photography to see on Flickr.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

As teens decide how to manage photos, what photos to see, and how to mingle with others in the Flickr community, they build digital literacy and social networking skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

The site is easy enough to use that teens won't need much guidance. Users can find most questions answered in the Help Forum and FAQs.


Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Gabriela A. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
5
Awesome photo sharing tool!

Cons: Teachers have to be careful about students searching freely the site because some questionable material pops on. Probably best to use with high school students. Sometimes it takes a long time to load.
Pros: Great source to understand the Creative Common license, finding resources on public domain, and great tool for researching material for different subjects. Photo editor has filters and correction tools, helping you eliminate cosmetic flaws. There is a help forum to post questions and read answers.The FAQ helps you with basic information about how to navigate the site, how to share, organize and view pictures etc. Flickr has an App that facilitates photo uploading and sharing.

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