As it turns out, I have heard of Creative Commons before, as well as Flickr. I had not ever realized that they went together or that one could use them so creatively in the classroom to engage student learning. In Chapter 7 of his book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, Will Richardson discusses a variety of projects and ways to have “Fun with Flickr.” As a teacher of literature in both French and English, I love the idea of illustrating important words from poems using images from Flickr, as David Jakes did. As a language teacher, I also like the idea of testing vocabulary with asking students to annotate and label what they see with what they know. This could allow students some measure of autonomy and choice in their assessment as well. With the use of a common sharing space, students could even assess other students if the annotated pictures were saved to that location.
Furthermore, I was also pleased to read that “the copyright issues of using an image already found on the Web fall under the Fair Use Doctrine” provided that the source be referenced (Richardson, 2010). I have always tried to limit myself to Microsoft Clipart Galleries, since I knew that as a Microsoft customer, I had access to those images. Knowing that attribution is all that is needed for my classroom use of other images online makes my planning easier, as I search for images to associate with vocabulary or to spark discussion in my classes.
Teachers in other subjects will be happy to know that searching for content using Creative Commons defaults to Safe Search features, allowing teachers the freedom to ask students to perform searches that allow for creativity while blocking images that are not safe for their viewing.
Lastly, this also makes me more comfortable about sharing what I create online. I have always been a great “harvester” of resources. While I always try to insert a footer giving credit to where I found the material, I do not always succeed. Yet because I also modify the original document to make it fit my classroom and my teaching style, I feel as though the original author and I are joint creators. Additionally, if someone else accesses material that I share online and improves it, then we are co-creators working together for the benefit of other teachers and multitudes of students around the globe.
As before, I leave you with a few questions:
- What are your favorite sharing sites?
- What are some the ways that this week’s reading has inspired you to incorporate Flickr and Creative Commons into your class?
Richardson, W. (2010). Fun With Flickr: Creating, Publishing, and Using Images Online. Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (3rd ed., pp. 101-110). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.