I was very excited to learn more about how to use Flickr and Creative Commons in my science classroom. Initially I thought, how could this benefit me as a science teacher? I drew a blank line in my train of thought, because I did not know how. I decided to continue researching to find the answer to my question. After reviewing the literature, it was clear to me how these internet tools are not only beneficial for every content area, but in the planning of instructional lessons, professional presentations and even personal use. Richardson’s (2010) states, that teachers and students can use internet tools such as Flickr and Creative Commons to experiment with creating, sharing and publishing digital content such as text, photos and videos to multiple users. Furthermore, Creative Common allows its users to mark their creative work with the freedoms they want to carry. More importantly, authors can keep all rights to their works, or share some of the rights with others.
I use digital images, audio and video clips from the web in my professional practice everyday. I often use images and videos in my online modules for the blended learning courses in Desire to Learn (D2L) or MyEclass (D2L is called MyEclass in my school district). I normally just copy and paste what I need. In addition, I pull up various video clips for my school’s Advisement Lessons, since I am the Advisement Coordinator for my school. Consequently, I distribute these lessons to all of the teachers in my school without thinking twice about copyright laws. After learning about copyrighting material and Code of Best Practices for Use in Media Education, I realized that a lot of the material I use is not own by me, but by thousands of other people. This includes digital textbooks that I use, videos, lesson plans, rubrics, online simulations and labs, apps, CD-ROMs, instructional strategies and lots of classroom management resources. I have shared some content on the web, but have always been weary about copyrighting, so I kept it to a minimum.
In my school I share digital resources with my colleagues and students daily. Before learning about Creative Commons, I did not think that I was violating copyright infringing laws. Some potential negatives for using Creative Commons is that if a author, changes their copyright terms to some rights reserve, that leaves room for someone to potentially steal that original work. Moreover, educators can face severe consequences or penalties for plagiarism of resources or material without credit to the owner, especially in graduate research or professional presentation were their has been a legally binding contract for pay. Ultimately, teachers and students need to be aware of giving the original author credit for their material and use code of best practices for use of media in the education.
Richardson’s (2010), asserts that Flickr has become the Web based digital portal of choice, and is one of the best sites on the web. Now that I am more aware of Creative Commons, I can practice safe and fair use of digital media in my classroom. Now, I normally never rush to make judgments about anything, especially if I hear the words “the best”, so I keep my reservations until I can check it out for myself. First, I learned that Flickr allows it users to contribute to discussions, share and comment about photos, and learn from other users in creative and interesting ways. Next, I learned that I could use Flickr in my classroom daily, to capture important events or highlights, and can share them with parents, colleagues or the school community. When reading Putting Pedagogy into the Tools: Flickr and exploring Fascinating Flickr, I learn that teachers can create lessons including class projects where they give students control to post photos, edit them, and use a rubric to guide the students final product. This not only makes their learning meaningful and authentic, but also allows students to share what they created and gives them ownership in the work they create. I was pleasantly surprised at what Flicker has to offer, and thought about all of the amazing things I could do with this new Internet tool. After reading Classroom Uses of Flicker blog, I felt inspired to use Flicker in my Environmental Science class for students to identify various environmental problems and have them comment on possible solutions. I found a really cool picture of a coral reefs that I could use in my Environmental Science when teaching biodiversity, along with other great photos from Flickr. I created a slideshow for my Environmental Science students about the Environmental Problems we face today. I could use this media as inspiration for a free writes, 3 Color Writing prompts, or to spark debates or discussions with my science students. In addition, I can also use Flickr in my Forensic Science classes to identify patterns in blood splatter, documents, or comparing victim and suspect samples taken from the crime scene.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oak, California: Corwin.