I was curious about both Picasa and Flickr. Instead of making my life simpler, I decided to look into both.
I stepped into the world of photosharing earlier this week by setting up an account for Picasa. I chose to start with this site because it was one I had some familiarity with; I had been sent a link to view a photo-album of my brother’s new house (in Texas) about two months ago. It was simple to sign up, and the layout was familiar/similar to my other Google accounts (Blogger and Google Reader… am I building a “Google empire”?) The site was easy to navigate, and I uploaded a small album of 8 photos from my digital camera. I learned how to control the private/public settings, added a slide show to my blog, and also posted the URL link. Not too tricky.
My next challenge was learn about Flickr, of which I knew nothing, but had heard mentioned more often than Picasa. The link provided by Jennifer in the “TL-DL Blog” (http://tldlblog.wordpress.com/) led me to a fantastic tutorial on how to get started using Flickr. The site “School Library Learning 2.0” (http://schoollibrarylearning2.blogspot.com/) gives guidance and tutorials on various Web 2.0 tools. The Mediamazine Flickr Tutorials
(http://www.indezine.com/mediamazine/2006/05/flickr-tutorials-series.html) helped me on my way.
A quick side note: I’m becoming a huge fan of tutorials on web technologies. If you can’t have someone sitting beside you pointing out the intricacies of a new technology, then this is the next best thing. I plan on making a list of the best tutorials I discover during my learning journey.
With the help of the tutorial, I was able to sign up for a Flickr account, upload some photos, learn how to add tags, titles and descriptions (I even added a map of where the pictures were taken!) Since Flickr is meant to be a site for the sharing of images, it is strongly recommended that one include descriptive tags, or keywords, for each picture. Some of the types of tags recommended from Flickr would help describe various aspects of the photo, such as: the medium, genre, subject, name, and location. These tags (keywords) make it easier to find a photo later, once you have many in your collection. Tags can also be used in searching for images that relate to a particular topic. (I'm starting to realize the importance of tags... they work for blogs, too!)
Browsing the images and photos on Flickr is truly amazing and a bit overwhelming. There are so many! Where to begin? I found the “Explore page” under the “Explore” icon at the top of the page was a great place for me to start. There’s even a tutorial showing you how to explore on Flickr! Very helpful.
If one clicks on “Explore” and chooses “Creative Commons” a wealth of photos can be accessed that do not have the same rules as full copyright. Explanations of the various permissible uses of the photos from Flickr members are given on this page. (This is something important to take note of, since using the shared photos for educational purposes is permitted, there are a few “boundaries” that need to be discussed with students who wish to use some of these particular photos.)
Now, with two photosharing sites added to my list of accomplishments, there is much to consider for the implications of these tools for teaching and learning. There are some very exciting possibilites!