Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
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.Continue reading Show less
Flickr provides a place for students to upload, organize, and share their digital photos and videos. A free membership to the site includes up to 1,000 photos or videos. 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.
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.