I have been using flickr for quite some time, but must admit that I don’t take that many pictures. However, with the advent of cell phone cameras and my new iPhone, I don’t have any excuses for not having a camera to take pictures. And, since flickr offers your very own email uploading address that puts pictures in your photostream, you really don’t have any excuses for not taking pictures. (However, please note that flickr has a limit to the number of photos viewable on your free account.)
I showed my class the other day just how easy it is to take a picture and then send it to your own flickr photostream. I suggested they use their cell phone to take pictures of their students at the beginning of the semester, entering their names in the subject line of the email (which automatically posts that as a caption to your photo.) From there, you can view your students and start to learn their names. You could also require all students to view these photos and learn the names of their classmates, maybe even creating a quiz. Yeah, I’m full of ideas to make the classroom more interactive and cohesive!
To get started with flickr you’ll first need to set up an account. Once you do that, if you click your account and then the email tab, you’ll see your own flickr upload email. Enter this email in your cell phone and then after you take the picture, send it to that email. Within seconds the picture you just took will be viewable on your flickr photostream.
Why use an online photo sharing service? Well, the answer to that lies in the word “sharing.” Any of your friends and family can subscribe to your photostream RSS feed and view any new pictures you’ve taken. Along with all of the rest of the tools we all use . . . blogs, wikis, microblogging, social networks, etc., etc., we can also easily share our life in pictures. Plus, by using your cell phone camera and access to email through your phone, you can quickly upload and share pictures. A teacher could quickly and easily take pictures of classroom activities and share it not only with students, but with parents. What a great way to get people interested and involved in what’s happening in class. We need more of that I think.