If you are planning a class project where you want student pictures to be shared in a blog-type interface, then you should definitely consider Flickr. Flickr allows uploading of images along with titles, descriptions, tags, and commenting, to create a community and discussion around pictures. (You can also share videos with Flickr, but are limited to a certain number per month with their free account.)
Flickr offers a mobile app (it is also part of the Yahoo! mobile app), but it lacks essential features. For instance, if you want to upload pictures to a Flickr group from your mobile device, you can’t do it with this app. If you want to search for tags, you can’t do that. If you want to upload a picture, it requires sending an email through a specific Flickr email account. If want to view videos, you can’t do this on the Flickr app. And heaven help you if you want to add tags easily to your photos, allowing users to quickly search for content.
However, don’t despair! There is a mobile app that will do all of these functions in Flickr and it’s also free. It’s called Darkslide and is available for iPod and iPhone.
With Darkslide, you connect once with your Flickr account and then work totally in Darkslide, uploading images, sharing them, putting them in groups, tagging them, viewing them, and more.
- Of course, you will need a Flickr account, so start there. If you have a Yahoo! account, then you can use this to sign in to Flickr.
- Try out Flickr first for free (with this you can upload 2 videos and 300 MB of photos every month). If you like it and think you will use it quite a bit, then go for the Flickr Pro account, which costs $25 a year. With this you get the following:
- Unlimited uploads and storage
- Unlimited sets and collections
- Access to your original files (this is a HUGE advantage for storing images online)
- Stats on your account
- Ad-free browsing and sharing
- HD playback for high-def video uploads
- Download the Darkslide app from the iPhone App store, install, and log in with your Flickr account. Allow it to connect and you are ready to use Darkslide!
Using Darkslide With Your iPod or iPhone
The Darkslide interface is very intuitive and will take you a very short time to figure out how to use. But here are some ideas for instructors to use this tool to its full advantage:
- Uploading pictures:
- You can take pictures with your iPod/iPhone camera and upload those directly to your Flickr account or upload images already on your camera roll. I believe you can only upload one at a time, but this is good, since you will want to add a title, description, and of course tags to find common images taken for a class project, for instance.
- When you are using the Upload feature, you can also upload your images to a group at the same time.
- Locating and viewing pictures
- Using the Search feature (click More in the lower right), students can use common tags specified for a class project to easily locate and retrieve all of those photos (or videos).
- Students can also easily view all photos in their group by clicking the Groups link in the More section. As you can see from the image below, there are many ways you can view Flickr images.
- Commenting on pictures
So, if you are searching for that perfect mobile interface for students to use with Flickr, Darkslide might be it. Try out the free version of Darkslide (they offer the same version without ads for $3.99) and see what your students think. And, of course, please let me know what YOU think.