Discover Ways to Visualize Ideas
Photo sharing websites have been around for a while, but it took a small startup site called Flickr
to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr is known as one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site.
is another photo sharing site that allows users to edit photos in the downloadable application, as well as upload, share and tag photos online. The Picasa application can help you organize, edit, and share images from your computer.
For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a good look at Flickr
(or another photo sharing tool) and discover what the site has to offer. Find out how tags
work, what groups
are, and all the neat things that individuals and institutions
are using photo sharing for. (To learn more about tagging, review the section in TOEP
about Social Bookmarking
Image sharing sites such as Flickr and Picasa provide ways to share images with anyone you choose. Sites like Flikr Commons, a joint project between Flickr and the Library of Congress, provide rich image resources that have been shared by a variety of institutions.
Photo Sharing in Teaching and Learning
"A picture is worth a thousand words." Take advantage of the power of photos and images in your courses. Images can be used to enhance both face-to-face and online courses.
Photo sharing can be an instructor task to help engage students and improve their retention, or it can be assigned to the students through projects where they share photos with the instructor or the whole class. Projects will engage students in the material and, depending on the subject, bring experiential learning elements into the classroom that might not otherwise be there.
Photo sharing can work two ways: 1) collect photos from various third party services or 2) post photos taken specifically for the course. Either the instructor or the students can collect or create photos to share.
Using photo sharing helps bring topics to life for students and, as the instructor, you may find that it increases your engagement in the class as well.
Let’s take a look at "The Commons," a Flicker service that allows institutions to upload images from their collections and provides dynamic tagging and searching.
While you could search for images in a search engine such as Google, searching for images in Flickr's Creative Commons area ensures that you will be able to easily find an image that you can use without worrying (too much) about copyright issues. Once you find an image, click on the "Some RIghts Reserved" link on the right side of the page.
Other Photo Sharing Sites
Other photo sharing sites are also gaining momentum. Chances are your students are already using one of these already to share photos and comments with their peers.
- Pixlr and Sumopaint offer free web-based image editing tools that offer express and advanced versions. There is also a version of Pixlr available for image editing for use on mobile devices.
- Using Picasa you can also make simple modifications to images. The tutorial linked above (In the Picasa section) will help you learn about Picasa's photo editing capabilities.
- Skitch is a great tool to allow you to easily annotate images. You can use existing images or capture a new one from your screen or a web-camera. Then add shapes, write on it, or draw on it. Images are then available anywhere using a computer or a mobile device and can be made public or shared privately through email.
Photo Sharing Etiquette
A word about photo posting etiquette - Never upload pictures that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent). Creative Commons is a copyright licensing system which facilitates sharing and discovery of knowledge and creative works.
To locate freely available images and media licensed under Creative Commons visit these sites:
Always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else. You can use any graphic editing software to add a layer of text to an image. Pixlr Editor is graphic editing software that's free to use right from your browser, which would work well for this purpose. If you use XPERT (Xerte Public E-learning ReposiTory), a really cool search engine for images, it embeds the source right into the image. When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) it is advisable to get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr.
For more information, use this link to go to the Photo Sharing section of the TOEP Resource Library.
In this discovery exercise, you have a few activities…
Upload and share a few images
- Create a free account in Flickr or Picasa. (If you already have a Google account, you automatically have a Picasa account. Just sign into Google to access Picasa under the More Menu.
- Use a digital camera or your phone to capture a few pictures of
something related to your area of expertise.
- Upload these to an album in your Flickr or Picasa account.
Display an image of yourself on your TOEP Community profile
Display an image of yourself, or an image that represents your persona or your personality, on your profile by completing this Discovery Exercise.
- Upload an image of yourself or, if you prefer, you can instead select an image that that represents your persona or your personality.
- Add this image onto your Google+ Community profile. See the info about how to set up your Google+ profile. The profile image you select will automatically be displayed next to your posts in the TOEP Community.
Add an entry to the TOEP Community about your photo sharing discoveries
- For this activity you should embed a photo directly within your post. If you need help, review this video tutorial to learn how to include photos, links, or videos in your Community posts
- In your post to the TOEP Community reflect on what you learned through your exploration of photo sharing.
- Include information in your post about how you could potentially use photos and images in your classroom, or for course assignments or activities.
- Finally, enter the URL for your photo album to your post in the TOEP Community.
go ahead, explore and have some fun with images.
Now, Request Your Badge!
Complete the badge request form to earn your TOEP Photo Sharing Badge. To earn this badge, complete all three of the sections in the Discovery Exercise above. The
form will require the URL to the photo album provided to the TOEP Community in step four of activity three, as outlined above.
What Does the Research Say?
Price, E., Tsui, S., Hart, A., & Saucedo, L. (2011). Don't Erase that Whiteboard! Archiving Student Work on a Photo-Sharing Website. Physics Teacher, 49(7), 426-428.
Waycott, J., Dalgarno, B., Kennedy, G., & Bishop, A. (2012). Making Science Real: Photo-Sharing in Biology and Chemistry. Research In Learning Technology, 20(2).
Additional research information available in