This is the last project before the winter vacation, and hard to believer that we’re at just about the half-way mark in our SLS Cool Tools program. There have been some great RSS posts over the last two weeks. That was a challenging topic, wasn’t it? Our next topic is something a bit lighter – photos, photo sharing sites, photo editing and other fun things to do with photos. With the holiday season upon us, you’re likely to have some opportunities to take some fun photos to play with in this lesson.
There are so many different types of photo-sharing sites these days. Some are focused on organizing and storing your photos, others are primarily social sharing services and others are special purpose sites, like geolocation sites that place your photos on maps. Some do all of these!
Traditional Tools: These are the tools that emphasize online storage, organizational tools and some social aspects. One of the oldest and most popular photo sharing sites is Flickr which lets you upload a limited number of photos for free, organize the photos into sets and share them with friends or the world. Other similar services include: PicasaWeb, Snapfish and Shutterfly
Social Tools: With the growth of smarthphone ownership, services that rely on quick uploads from a phone camera and emphasize social sharing have become increasingly popular. Of course Facebook is the monster in this category. Instagram and Tumblr are also incredibly popular. Even Pinterest could be used to create and share photos sets. Just don’t look to these tools for solid organizational tools and backup storage. They may have those options, but they’re not as full-featured as tools like Flickr and Picasa.
Geolocation Tools: Have travel photos or old photos to share? Panoramio, HistoryPin and What Was There all have interesting map-based sharing features. Build a tour of your town, share historic photos, explore far flung locations.
And then there are tons of tools for editing photos and creating fun projects with your images (some examples in the “More To Explore” section at the end of this page.)
SCHOOLS & LIBRARIES
So, what kinds of things can libraries and schools do with photo-sharing?
- Post photos of school & community events.
- Create a school group on Flickr for students & staff to share photos of events
- Hold a “Day in the Life” event where the community shares photos representing one day in the life of the school.
- Photos to chronicle library/school renovations and keep community up to date..
- Share photos of art work and crafts created by students.
- Book spine poetry photos. 🙂
- Scan & post historic photos and ask community to share memories through the comments feature.
- Taking Pictures, Telling Stories Part 4 : Fun with Photos at Library Events
- Share ideas for library displays, program ideas and more.
- Create slide shows that can be embedded on your web page. (examples of slide shows)
- Public photo sharing sites like flickr are great resources for Creative Commons licensesd images to use in presentations.
Explore these library and school flickr sets to see what fun you can have with flickr:
- Summer Reader photos – a fun set of summer reading photos
- League of Librarian Trading Cards – Fun! You could create your own trading card with BigHugeLabs.
- Art Show @ The Unquiet Library – student art work.
- Family Portrait Day – Charlotte Mecklenburg (NC) Public Library (Blog post)
- A Surprising Culture – Students share cultural differences.
- Veterans – Archival photos have been posted and the community is asked to help identify the veterans in the photos.
- New Traditions Elementary School – Lots and lots of photo sets.
NOTE: Photo Permissions If you’re taking photos of students in school, make sure you know what your schools policy is about posting images of students.
USING & SHARING IMAGES – CREATIVE COMMONS
It is so easy to find and ‘borrow’ the perfect image for papers, presentations and other projects. But much of what is on web is copyrighted. Use of an image (or other content) may be legitimate under “copyright fair use”, but do make the effort to be sure! This guide is a quick read and very helpful:: Fair Use Guidelines for Multimedia Projects
Working with images is a great opportunity to educate students about copyright, fair use and Creative Commons (CC) licensing. Creative Commons licensing allows for reuse of a image (and other intellectual content) under certain conditions. The licensing is easy to understand and having students select how they want to license their own work is a great way to get students thinking about copyright, reuse and attribution. The Creative Commons site includes a summary of the licenses and a handy license chooser tool.
We’ll look at sources for CC licensed content in the lesson on Digital Storytelling, coming in December.
TOOLS TO EXPLORE
All of these products allow you to upload and share your photos. Each has its pros & cons and some people absolutely love one tool or another. If you already have an account with one of these photosharing sites, feel free to use your existing account for your project. If you don’t have an account, we recommend Flickr to get started.
Traditional Photo Sharing Sites
- Flickr – Owned by Yahoo, but easy to setup an account with your Facebook, Google or Yahoo account. Flickr is probably the largest and most popular photo-sharing sites. You can tag your photos, comment on the photos of others, search by tag or user, use RSS feeds for photo feeds, download images in multiple sizes, create sets (sets are like photo albums), create groups for sharing among colleagues, use geotags (location information), and much, much more.
- PicasaWeb – A Google product. Another very popular tool for uploading and managing your photos. Public albums are searchable through Google image searching. Also has a very useful free desktop application called Picasa, for managing the photos on you own computer. (Review from PC Magazine)
- Snapfish – From HP. Free unlimited photo storage with the ability to organize, edit, and add borders, tints and other creative touches. Create calendars, albums and other printed products. Share photo albums with friends and family.
- Shutterfly – Unlimited free storage. Print photos to pick up at local stores and create printed photo albums. Offers an online community where you can share your work and see projects created by others as well as a blog full of great ideas. Shutterfly Share offers free webpage space and templates for showing and sharing your photos.
Social Sharing Photo Sites
- Instagram – Fun photo app for your iOS or Android mobile devices. Take a photo, apply fun filters (or not), share with followers. Allows for commenting and ‘liking’. Simple and fun way to quickly share moments from your day. Now owned by Facebook, there is a new web-based profile page for each member. (eg: Polly’s profile page) Photos can be also be posted to Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.
- Tumblr – What started out as something of a cross between a full blown blogging tool and the quick posting of something like twitter, Tumblr has become a hugely popular social network where people post their own photos and content, as well as content reposted from all over the web. What drives me a bit nuts about Tumblr is the difficulty finding the original source for an image. A photo of a beautiful vacation spot may have been reposted so many times, that it’s next to impossible to find the original source. Still, this is hugely popular with teens. Use with caution though, much of the content my be NSFW (not safe for work). A quick read about tumblr: Why Teachers Should Try Out Tumblr
- Pinterest – Not strictly a photo sharing site, but a great place to create a public display of your photos. Create a board for an event or a class project, make it a collaborative board so others can add to it. Students could create their own photo boards here too. Very simple to use and free. Also has a new option to create private boards.Warning, any content posted to Pinterest should be CC licensed and understand that great images will be reposted to other people’s boards.
Geolocation Based Sharing
- Panoramio – Uploaded your photos and share them with the world. Photos are accessed as a layer in Google Earth and Google Maps.
- HistoryPin – Great tool for exploring the world through photos. Students can also add their own photos, create tours and more.
- What Was There – Similar idea as History Pin.
Resources, help, tips, etc.
- Teaching With Flickr – this wiki page has some good teaching ideas and links to even more ideas.
- The Best Photo Sharing Services – PC Magazine roundup of tools from June 2012
- PhotoSharing: The Basics – getting started with Flickr (courtesy of a similar learning program 23 Things Kansas)
- Flickr Tutorial for Beginners – a screencast video with the basics of getting started.
- Flickr Essential Training – Though just a few of these Lynda.com tutorials are available for free, it’s still worth a look. If your library has a Lynda.com subscription, you might have access to all of them. (Lynda.com tutorials are terrific!)
OPTION 1: Getting your feet wet
If you’re not ready to join flickr or one of the other services, this activity is for you!
- View the short video intro for this activity
- Go to the Flickr.com main page and Explore the amazing array of photos on Flickr. You can explores Places, Historic Photos, Current Events and so much more.
- Find an interesting image that you want to put on your blog. To search for photos that you can legally re-use, use Flickr’s advanced search page and check the box for “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”
- Post the photo to your blog (review the video intro if you have trouble figuring out how to post)
- Your Blog Post for the week:
- Please label your post “Thing 4 : Photo Sharing”
- Comment on your experience finding images, using Flickr, how you might use photos in your school or anything else related to the exercise.
OPTION 2: Join and explore
Ready to join one of the sites? Or dig deeper into one that you’re already using?
- Join one of the photosharing tools and load some photos. Note if you’re already a member of a service, but aren’t really familiar with it, go ahead and use that to explore more advanced features.
- Explore features such as organizing photos into folders, sets or whatever the tool you’ve chosen uses.
- Your Blog Post for the week:
- Please label your post “Thing 4 : Photo Sharing”
- Comment on your experience with flickr (or other photo sharing site). What did you learn? What advanced features did you find useful? How could you use these tools with students?
OPTION 3: Edit, create, share and more
If you’ve already joined a photosharing site and are read to explore some more, here are some ideas! (all the tools are listed in the More To Explore list below) Then share what you’ve learned through your blog post. Please label your post “Thing 4 : Photo Sharing”
- Test out an editing tool
- Create a collage and post it to your blog
- Explore Big Huge Labs and make something fun. A magazine cover, a Trading Card
- Create a slideshow to put on your website or blog
- Explore the search tools to see how
- Have an iPad, tablet, smartphone? Try out a photo editing app or collage making app for your device.
MORE TO EXPLORE: If you’re already really familiar with Flickr and want to try something different or if you just want to explore some more fun tools.
- Photo Editing– try your hand at editing a photo using one of these online photo editor.
- Aviary – This is the editing tool that Flickr adopted after Picnik was bought by Google and shutdown. Aviary is great though and a handy tool to have accessible right from the Actions menu right above each photo.
- Pixlr – A popular replacement for Picnik.
- PhotoShop Express – a free online photo editor from Adobe.
- PicMonkey – In addition to photo editing features, it includes a collage tool,.
- Photo Fun– Make posters, slide shows, collages and so much more. Lots of interesting ideas here.
- BigHugeLabs – Trading cards, posters, magazine covers, collages, calendars, lots of fun photo project ideas.
- PhotoFunia – Put yourself in the picture.
- Lots of slide show options – Create a slide show that could be placed on a web site.
- Flickr Badges – Create a photo badge to place on a web site.
- Create Collages – Muzy, Poster My Wall, PicMonkey
- More ways to find photos
- Colr Fields – Pick photos by color
- flickrCC – Searches for Creative Commons licensed photos on flickr.
- PhotoPin – Another Creative Commons search tool
- Explore Pinterest– the hot new image sharing, social bookmarking, curating obsession.
- Pinterest: curation, image sharing, collaborating, bookmarking & obsession – an introduction to Pinterest by Polly.