Sunday, June 10, 2007

2. Photos, Image Sharing and

Everybody loves photographs from family, friends, faraway places and fun. In this activity we'll look at a large photo posting and sharing website that millions of people use to save, organize, display and share their photos. You and your students can use it as a source for photos for web pages, reports and teaching materials (we'll learn about caveats later). You don't have to join Flickr to search and view the photos others have shared. You do need a free account to post your own photos. Follow the steps below to begin:

Learning about Flickr and Web 2.0 Photo Sites
  1. Go to the Flickr Home Page. You may create a free account at this time.
  2. Take the Flickr Tour. This will introduce you to the various components of the Flickr experience. You might be surprised how many ways photos can be used on the Web!
  3. Search for photos using a topic of interest to you or to your class. You could search for volcano, Nixon, StatueofLiberty, avacado, lathe, MRI, salamander or any combination of one-word search terms (note StatueofLiberty). Capital letters are not important in the search.
Posting to your Flickr account.
Note that you can only post to your own Flickr account.
  1. If you created a Flickr account, upload an original photo to Flickr. (note: you need to have full rights to -- or ownership of -- any photo you upload.)
  2. Carefully title and tag the photo meaningfully. Include the workshop tag in all posts and uploads. Tagging is the most important step in photo management on Flickr and on the Web. Photos are searched for and organized according to tags. You'll learn a lot about tags in these activities!
  3. Search for photos using the workshop tag to see those your peers have posted.
Other photo websites:
  • SmugMug is similar to Flickr but it emphasizes personal collections more than sharing. There is a part of SmugMug for professional photographers (fee-based), and there are nice options for high-quality photo printing and nice photo albums. Try the SmugMug tour.
  • EveryStockPhoto is a source of over one million photographic images that you can use. Many are taken by professional or semi-professional photographers. They generally require that you give the photographer proper attribution where you use the photo. Most photos use a Creative Commons license that permits unlimited educational use.
How safe are photo websites?
  • Flickr, for example, has over 800 million photos publicly available. Even though less than one-half of one percent may be inappropriate for family viewing, Flickr devised a way to segment their users in order to protect children and schools. When users upload photos, they categorize each one as safe, moderate or restricted. Unregistered users, like most school users, can only view safe photos. In order to view the other categories, you must log on as a registered Flickr user and specify moderate or restricted from the Advanced Search page. This ensures that no one can accidentally view adult content.
  • Here's a Wired article that discusses this issue in depth.

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