The new Flickr
n an earlier article about student
portfolios, I mentioned the photosharing site Flickr (flickr.com)
as a good option for showcasing
artwork. However, I was only able to
scratch the surface of why this is my
top choice for both photo and image
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post
about my "Five Favorite Functions of
Flickr." Since then, there have been
major changes to the site and given its
recent redesign and update, it seems
like a good time to revisit both the site
and the impressive functions it features.
Of greatest significance, Flickr now
allows all users a free terabyte of information. That means if your students
are documenting their work with a tenmegapixel camera, they can each share
350,000 of their best pieces. Of course,
that's assuming that each student gets
his or her own account. If they're sharing a class account, of course they'll
have to be more conservative with how
much work they put online.
Flickr is a great way to open up an
online conversation about art. The
notes function allows you and your
students to comment on a selected
feature or section of your image. For
example, Dr. Beth Harris of Smarthistory (smarthistory.khanacademy.org)
uses Flickr to organize a discussion
about an artwork through annotations
and comments. You can see the various comments about specific elements
of the Merode Altarpiece (flickr.com/
photos/ha112/901660) as you hover
your mouse over the image, while more
in-depth comments about the piece are
contributed at the bottom. You can add
these notes by clicking the "add note"
icon above the image.
At the top of the page, you'll see a tab
for "Communities," under which you'll
find a link for "Groups." Groups allow
you to collaborate in the creation of a
themed photo set. This could be used
within the classroom for students to
post images for a particular project, or
used to create a collaborative space for
images collected from school and others. Our school photo club, for example,
has a group pool of photos at flickr.com/
groups/sasphotographyclub where our
students and teachers alike can show
off their favorite work.
One of my favorite functions of Flickr
is the ability to create slide shows.
Once you've organized your content
into sets, you can click the slide show
button in the top right corner of the
screen and watch your pictures fade in
and out in all their full-screen glory.
Even better, if you keep a blog or a
website, you can embed your slide
show using the "share" button that
appears in the upper right-hand corner
of the active slide show.
Although this technically isn't a feature of Flickr, I would be remiss to
leave it out. Flickr Stackr (ipont.jubilo.
ca/ip/flickstackr) is an excellent iPad
app that allows you to organize and
view your Flickr collection quickly
and elegantly. It is also my go-to app
for bringing my photos from my collection for further editing with my
favorite iPad editing apps.
These are just a few of Flickr's features. There are many ways to share
and store photos online, but with all
its various ways to display and share,
Flickr rises above the rest.
David Gran teaches high school art and
film classes at the Shanghai American
School in China and is the author of The
Carrot Revolution, a blog about twentyfirst-century art education (carrot revolution.blogspot.com. firstname.lastname@example.org