Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thing 13 - Reflection

Out of all the sites I’ve encountered during the “Thing” classes, I have found that Blogger, Wikispaces, and Voicethread have been my favorite, and the ones that I either use the most already or will be using and implementing into my teaching. Blogger is a great way for me to share my learning and thoughts with other educators, and even parents too. I haven’t used it yet with my students, but would like to next school year and still have to figure out how to get all my students onto Blogger with accounts/passwords. Wikispaces has probably been the most beneficial to me as it allows me to share information on events in my classroom as well as give me a place to set up projects for my students to access and even collaborate on. I can set up student passwords to my classroom wiki making it quite user-friendly and practical. Students are able to add to the wiki or even have discussions under the discussion tabs! I have not used Voicethread yet in my classroom, but will be looking forward to using it with my students as a place to share poetry or other subjects being studying while giving them a place to comment and share thoughts about their classmates’ created works. This site is also practical because I can add users to my account so that they can comment either through audio or texting. I am sure my students will love this online communication and feedback on projects that we pursue in the classroom!

Many of the Web 2.0 applications that I’ve learned about have been shared with colleagues because we have taken the “Thing” classes together. This is great because we can discuss practical uses within our school and classroom! I have shared some applications with students, such as podcasts and podcasting, online videos, and Google Maps as I post to my classroom wiki. Twitter has been a great way for my students to be introduced to a popular social media network as I have set up a classroom Twitter account and have embedded it to my classroom wiki in which we often post whole class comments.

Twitter has also been a great way to create a PLN! Following other tech-savvy educators and experts has been a wonderful way to stay on top of all of the new and innovative technology strategies, tools, and techniques that top educators are using all over the world. Even with this class coming to an end, part of my life-long learning will come from my Twitter PLN, changing me as an educator and how I learn. Twitter has also helped change me by allowing me to share my thoughts and ideas with others as well…something I was only able to really do with the small group of colleagues that I work with everyday. We expect our students to learn and collaborate globally, and I now too have taken that next step to learn from others around the globe.

Learning about Web 2.0 applications and tools to use in my classroom has been an awesome experience and has and will help me to be a better teacher/guide in helping prepare my students for what the future has in store for them!

Thing 13 - Glogster

One free Web 2.0 application that I’ve used is GlogsterEDU. I have used it as a front/home page to my classroom wiki. Students love how it looks and always comment on how “cool” it is. I like how it gives my students a fun visual to navigate around my wiki.

Glogster is an application that allows users to create interactive posters that can be embedded onto a website, wiki, or blog. Students can use the tool to create projects related to subjects being studied in class. There are many backgrounds, images, and effects that can be used to design the poster. Documents, original pics/photos, videos, and links to other websites can also be linked to the poster. It is a great way to keep audio/visual learners interested in topics being studied!

Check it out at GlogsterEDU!

Thing 12 - Mobile Learning

The use of mobile learning devices (cell phones) in the classroom is an interesting concept. I believe that with most schools having a strict policy restricting these devices, it could be difficult for teachers to implement the tool as a requirement. There may be ways to allow students who do own cell phones to use them outside the classroom such as using the Google Voice app to text or call the teacher to ask a question or to obtain homework help or assignments. I can also see the QR codes being a fun way to pique the interest of some students who may have access to a cell phone outside of school. The QR codes could be created and posted to a website or wiki that parents and students could use to access homework answers or information promoting school events or units of study.

I teach in a middle school setting in which most of my students do not have cell phones (a disadvantage). I can definitely see cell phones being more applicable for classroom/learning use at the high school level in which cell phones could be used as a research tool within the classroom. Not all schools can implement the 1:1 laptop/iPad initiative into their schools just yet, but most high school students have their own cell phones which would put a research tool readily available into their hands. I do believe that they could be a distraction for some students, and that it could be difficult for teachers to be sure students are using them for the task at hand. Another disadvantage to these mobile learning devices (including tablets, iPads, and cell phones) is that they are not really productivity tools. Not yet, anyway. The laptop still offers students the ability to create and produce assignments/projects that other “new” mobile learning devices are still not capable of at this time. Someday I would love to implement these mobile learning devices into my curriculum, but for now I will wait until all the kinks of these fairly new devices are all worked out. I am, however, confident that these tools will be more common in schools in the near future!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thing 11 - Text-to-Speech/Speech-to-Text

Read the Words
A Bear in There by Shel Silverstein

MRA Conference Implementation PDF Document
MRA Conference Implementation

The first thing that came to mind as I explored the text-to-speech sites was how I could be using it right now in my classroom. Because I teach students how to write and how to go through the editing process, I often find that some students have difficulty in editing their writing because they just don't "see" the errors on the page. If my students were able to copy and paste their writing into one of the text-to-speech sites, they might be able to "hear" the mistakes and be able to make corrections as needed.

I really liked the vozMe site because it seemed the easiest for students to be able to use. Although the quality of the audio was okay, I could enter a small amount of text or copy and paste a large amount of text. Students would not need to set up accounts for this particular site either...a plus, in my opinion.

Read the Words was also quite easy but needed an account. I also could not upload a larger document without having to pay for an upgrade.

YAKiToMe, on the other hand allowed me to upload a larger piece of text. The quality of the audio was also pretty good. I preferred the YAKiToMe site over the others because of the the amount of text it could handle and the quality of the audio.

Dial2Do seemed like a pretty neat Speech-to-Text site. I thought the accuracy of the transcription was great. Although, it is limited in the amount of services unless a subscription is paid for.

Awesome UDL tools for giving students different ways to learn and be successful in the classroom!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thing 10 - Google Maps

Mackinac Bridge Area Attractions
View Mackinac Bridge Area Attractions in a larger map

Mackinac Bridge Street View

View Mackinac Bridge Area Attractions in a larger map

After exploring Google Maps and especially My Maps, I can see that educators could use this application in the classroom in many areas. As I teach English and reading at my school, I could have students search for places we are reading about, or I could create maps with video, links, and text to have students explore (virtual field trips). When studying folktales/mythology with 7th grade students, I could have them go to the places/areas that stories being studied took place or may have taken place...Greek Mythology - Greece for example. When studying Shakespeare a class could "visit" Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Google Maps could be used for math and geography when finding locations and distance. In social studies/history, teachers can take students to areas of the world when discussing current events. The possibilities are endless! Great Web 2.0 Tool!

Thing 9 - Google Custom Search Engine

Holocaust Search Engine

This customized search engine allows students to research topics and images for a unit of study on the Holocaust. I found my experience with setting up the Google Custom Search to be very easy. I really like the idea of creating a search engine for individual units of study such as the Holocaust because I know that my students will be going to sites that are appropriate and that allow them to get to the information they need without having to weed through what they don't want or need. After experimenting with the ease of this Google application, I will be creating a customized search engine to put on my classroom wiki for any topic to be researched. My students are always looking for websites that they can take images from. A list of fair use/copyright friendly websites of images that are kid-friendly will be my first goal with setting up this search engine. What a great way to help ensure the safety of our students while online!

Thing 8 - Screencast

Screencasting using Screencast-o-matic was actually pretty neat and pretty easy to use too. I had no issues with the website, software, or audio.

I can definitely see how teachers and students could use screencasting. The information I read about and the examples of Mathcasts that I looked at show how this tool would be extremely useful to a math teacher. Being able to show students how to solve math problems and also being able to have students show how they solve math problems in this format, which can be embedded onto a classroom website or wiki, allows for students and even parents to understand concepts learned at school. All too often, parents try to help their child with a math assignment at home, and they show their child a "different" way to do the work. Students get confused and frustrations arise. With an explanation of how to do the math concept readily available, this situation can be helped.

I really like the idea of students explaining something learned. I often have students help each other in the classroom because it allows them to learn from each other. Sometimes they learn better from each other than from only hearing and watching me teach them. Screencasting allows students to explain their way of doing something which in turn can help someone else understand.

As the fifth grade technology teacher at my school, I can see how creating screencasts on how to use applications and software can be useful. After students first listen and follow along to my instruction, if they need to be reminded of a step they may have forgotten, the screencast would be available for them to use. This helps me, and it also helps my students!

I believe screencasting could be used in any subject. Besides math and technology instruction, it would lend itself well to history or geography. Students could show movement of people throughout history with maps, images, and links done in a Powerpoint. Science screencasts could also be created in Powerpoint with images and diagrams to show a subject being learned.

Now that I've created my first screencast, I am sure to use it in my classroom instruction!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thing 7 - Screencast

Here is a screencast I created about how to make a banner in Microsoft Publisher:

Thing 6 - Comic Creators

Sentence Types

I believe the comic creators I explored including, ToonDoo, Kerpoof, and Five Card Nancy would all lend themselves to potential assignments/projects for my students. Although I used ToonDoos to create my comic, there is inappropriate content that students could run across, so utilizing the subscription ToonDooSpaces that ToonDoos created for educators and students might be the way to go. Kerpoof would require students being aware of the fair use info required.

Students in grades 4-6 would probably be most interested in creating comics. The cartoon I created is an example of an assignment I could give to my 5th graders. They would have to use the four types of sentences: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory using correct capitalization and punctuation to create their comic. I can also see students creating comics to show chronological order of events (plot) in a piece of writing. Older students such as 7th grade could take a story with flashbacks and put the events in order using one of the comic creators. Students who recognize the flashback/s would be able to adapt their creation to show chronological order of the events.

What a fun way to engage students in creating stories as well as learning about story elements and sentences!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thing 5 - VoiceThread

After browsing the many Voicethreads, I found this classroom poetry Voicethread. I am going to be having my fifth grade students create poetry after our spring break, and thought that this would be a great way to showcase their work.

Teachers and students both can use VoiceThread to share ideas and creations. Teachers could use it to "teach" lessons that could be posted to classroom websites or wikis for students to access at home. This would be especially useful to math teachers teaching math concepts. Not only can students watch and listen to the teacher, but they can comment back through text or audio. Students can also create their own Voicethreads for any subject being, social studies, and math. Another way I could use Voicethread is by having students create group stories. One group could write the beginning (setting and characters), a second group could write the plot (conflict and events), and a third group could write the ending (resolution). It could then be pulled together with Voicethread while having students record the story to go along with illustrations or other found images.

What a great tool that I have yet to use in my classroom and am looking forward to implementing!

Thing 4 - Skype

I really like Skype! Personally, I use it often to Skype dad, who spends part of his retirement in Florida during the winter months and my brothers, who do not live locally. It is a great way for us (My kids love it too!) to stay in touch with them and feel connected. Professionally, I also have been using Skype at my school. All of the teachers have Skype accounts, and we often message each other with questions as well as video Skype between classrooms. Our students think it is the coolest thing!

I had one video conversation with a colleague (to complete this "Thing") discussing the possible uses of Skype in the classroom. Our connection was good with little to no audio/visual issues. We talked about having our partner classes Skype each other to share stories we have written. It would also be great to use if a student who is absent for an extended period of time (due to illness or being on vacation)and has access to Skype to touch base with his/her class during their absence. I would really like to set up a Skype call with an author that my class/es have been studying. I've never really known where to start, but now with some of the resources shared from this course, I want to begin that process sooner rather than later.

Possible problems with skyping in the classroom could be equipment failure or issues during the call or setting up a convenient time with the person or class being skyped with that works for both parties. Students would also have to know the rules to be followed during a Skype call as to not be disruptive.

Skype is one of the Web 2.0 tools that is a must for the classroom!

Thing 2 - Twitter

So...this is the second time I've set up a Twitter account. I have one that I use to post messages to my classroom wiki and now a second one to use as my PLN! After reading all about Twitter, my first response is "Wow!" I didn't realize all that was or could be involved such as Tweetdeck, TinyUrl, and hashtags. I look forward to learning more about Twitter as I become more involved in it myself. As far as how I use Twitter and how I will use Twitter, there are many possibilities.

I could see Twitter becoming a way to stay in touch with friends and family with quick tweets to let everyone know what I am up to. And, vice versa, staying in the loop with friends and family!

Creating a Twitter account to follow other educators is a great way to stay informed, share, and even collaborate with teachers, both locally and globally. Starting a PLN using Twitter is an easy yet effective way for me to continue my goal as a life-long learner. I can also see it being a great way to get tech support when needed.

There may be ways to implement Twitter into my classroom such as allowing students to reflect on any subject being taught as well as responding to their peers' reflections. Helping students to stay up to date on current and world events is another use that I will look into. The more I become comfortable with Twitter, the more I will be able to see the pontential of its use in my classroom!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thing 22

The likelihood of me taking online professional development is certain. I love the idea of being able to take a class while at home and when it is convenient for me. Taking “PD in your PJ’s” is a definite plus, and not having to leave your home, saving on gas, or taking time away from family adds to the lure of online professional development. There is just more flexibility! Although taking classes online has its advantages, it does also have its disadvantages. If one is not comfortable with the technology, it could unnecessarily frustrate the person taking the class. Not having the face-to-face interaction with the instructor could also be a hindrance to the learning if that contact is needed to succeed with assignments and activities. It is also necessary to be self-motivated and have the self-discipline to complete the course.

Most of my experiences with online PD have been related to technology. After browsing some of the course offerings on Michigan Learnport, I found classes related to teaching reading comprehension. I will definitely be looking into taking those courses for future professional development. (I also like that I can receive SB-CEU’s for these courses and many of them are free!) It would be great to see the ISD also offering online PD geared toward subject specific content if that is possible.

My time spent on this particular online class has been well worth it. Some “things” were already familiar to me, but many “things” were also new. The online photo-sharing apps like Flickr, Dumpr, and BigHugeLabs are great additions to my repertoire of technologies to use in my classroom. I also have never really explored the available podcasts, especially from iTunes. The PBS widgets and activity packs were also new to me and I am sure I will try to implement some of these into my curriculum. In my case, taking a PD course like this “forces” me to explore new “things” that I may not have before. As a life-long learner, I know that there will always be new and improved technologies and web applications for me to explore and bring into my classroom. I’m hoping that the “13 Things” class will be offered again as I know it also will be beneficial to me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thing 21

Maya Angelou - The Power of Words

Maya Angelou - And Still I Rise

Using online video in the classroom is a great way to engage students who are audio/visual learners. I have been using video clips for awhile now in my classroom as a way to capture my students’ interest on any given subject. The use of online video should, of course, only be used as a way to enhance lessons taught. I have also found that if video is “overused” some students may “turn off” listening. So, keeping this in mind, I have learned to implement online videos as a way to introduce or reinforce what we are studying in class. Some of my favorites are the “School House Rock” videos that can be found on YouTube, TeacherTube, and even Google Videos.

Conjunction Junction - School House Rock

Sometimes after talking about a subject, let’s say for example, how people live in different cultures and different parts of the world, showing students through audio/visual allows them to “experience” that culture and bring a deeper understanding to the topic.

This year while team teaching a unit of study on the Holocaust, I plan on using video of survivors and their accounts of what it was like to live through the tragedy of that time. Just talking about what it was like for these people does not do enough justice to their experience. It is hoped that after viewing these accounts, my students will be hit with the reality of what it was really like and that it will lead them to an understanding of empathy for others. A blog will be created for students to then discuss issues of helping, speaking out for, and making a difference for others who are in need.

Clara Kramer: Holocaust survivor and author of CLARA'S WAR

A risk of using online video is that students could easily come across inappropriate content, uncensored user comments, and ads. Teacher computers have access YouTube, but it is blocked on the student computers at our school. I have YouTube videos embedded on my classroom wiki, and I notice there is a YouTube ad link that leads to the YouTube website which could be accessed from a student’s home. I know that there are video download helpers and converters like Zamzar, Vixy, and KeepVid that can help eliminate this problem and will maybe look into using them, but I just came across a new free service that will be available for K-12 teachers in April of this year called VuSafe. It is an app that will allow teachers to download videos from sites like YouTube to build a video library that can be categorized by subject and age and then viewed without the links to comments, ads, and inappropriate content. Looks like it might be a great way to safely stream video into the classroom!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thing 20

I believe my students would like listening to podcasts if they were entertaining enough for them. Of course, they also have to be educational and related to the subject being taught. I think that if the podcast is used at the right time and is short and to the point, my students would welcome them into the classroom as something new and different from the norm. Some of my students stop listening after a while, so hearing another voice explain or enhance learning may be a way to recapture their attention. Some podcasts my students would like to listen to:

Math Dude
ABC-Kids RollerCoaster -Fetch Faves
The Coolest Stuff on the Planet

My students would be interested in creating podcasts as long as they are given detailed instruction on how to create one and my expectations are clear. Some students shy away from recording their own voice because of confidence issues, but if given the time to practice and listen to themselves enough before a project is assigned, I believe they would enjoy creating podcasts. I have already had students create podcasts of narrative poetry they have written. It is a great way to get them thinking about and using the correct inflections and intonations in their voice to create the mood of the poem they have written. Some examples of these can be found on my classroom wiki. Other ideas for student created podcasts would be to “advertise” or review a book that has been read by producing a “radio commercial.” “Newscasts” of interviews with characters being studied from a novel read would be a fun project for students while still digging deeper into characterization. It always seems like my students themselves can come up with very creative ideas that I wouldn’t even think of…I always depend on that when assigning a project and welcome their ideas.

Podcasts that I have found to benefit me professionally:

Middle School Matters
K-12 Greatest Hits – The Best Ideas in Education
IRA Radio – Literacy 2.0 The New Frontier
Meet the Experts (Reading Rockets)

Podcasts that I have found to benefit me personally:

ANN-Smart Talk Women’s Radio Network
Oprah’s Book Club
Family Talk on – Dr. James Dobson

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thing 19

Grammar Girl
Catch Phrase
Just Vocabulary
A Meaningful Moment with Maya Angelou
Poetry Foundation

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Rikki-tikki-tavi by Rudyard Kipling Part One
Rikki-tikki-tavi by Rudyard Kipling Part Two

What I like best about using podcasts in the classroom is that they are easy to use if you have a computer with internet access and speakers. After searching and exploring for podcasts that relate to the subjects I teach however, I found some difficulty in locating podcasts that could actually be used and that students would like and find interesting. A short podcast from the "Grammar Girl" for example, could be a way to introduce a topic/subject being studied in English class as long as it grabs students' attention. I find that my students enjoy and are more attentive if there is a visual involved. Having said that, the podcast does offer teachers a way to help students work on listening, a skill that many students need work on.

Listing podcasts on my classroom wiki for students to listen to and then respond to either through online discussion or by written paper would allow them to become aware of high-quality podcasts worth listening to that can enhance their learning experiences. I have a link to an RSS feed of Daily Mass Readings in podcast form right now for my students to go to on my wiki. Having these podcasts available to them readies them for the weekly student mass that our school has every Wednesday. Parents love it too!

Another way that I am using audio in my room right now is by using an audiobook from for the novel, Johnny Tremain. In my seventh grade literature class, students listen to and follow along to the book. (I will have them finish a chapter at home independently before we continue again on the next chapter in class using the audiobook.) I have found that this has raised reading comprehension for some of my lower reading students. Sometimes they can't wait to continue on the next day in class to find out what happens next! (Side note: I did have to install Audible Manager and purchase the audiobook for a small price, but so far it has been worth it!)

Overall, I can see that having students listen to podcasts in the classroom can be beneficial. Like any technology tool or application, the use of the podcast has to lend itself reasonably to and enhance the learning of the lesson, activity, or subject being taught.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thing 18

Students love to click on images, and widgets posted on a classroom wiki grab their attention. Before they even know it, they are engaged in an interactive, educational experience where learning can take place. The widget below is an example that pertains to the subject I teach --English Language Arts. I will often use interactive activities such as these on the Smartboard in my classroom as either a way to introduce or culminate a lesson. I am always looking for interactive, online activities that will support writing and especially grammar and convention usage for the 5th-8th grade levels that I teach. I find that a lot of widgets on this subject area are geared toward lower elementary levels and would love to find more that are appropriate for the upper elementary/junior high levels.

The Clustr Map widget is a cool tool that allows my students and me to see who has visited our wiki. Students are always interested in seeing where visitors are coming from, especially when the Clustr Map shows activity outside our country. I will occasionally take a few minutes to view the map with my students (5th grade) and locate and name the countries of visitors to our wiki! My students always keep me updated, so I know that they are looking!

Thing 17

Wikis are different than blogs in that they are more collaborative with many people writing and editing, while blogs are more personal with usually one writer or author. Wikis are constantly changing with anyone having access to it and adding to it or making changes. Blogs are mainly written posts with opinions from the blogger and comments from others when approved by the blogger.

When thinking about classroom use and assignments, I think that the wiki is better suited for communication with parents and students. I like to use it to communicate assignments, projects, and important links. If students are working on a group project, they can work together to add links and resources, as well as create a project collaboratively on a page within the wiki. The wiki also offers a great place to showcase student work and classroom photos! The blog, on the other hand, seems to lend itself better to discussions. Creating a blog for students to discuss books/novels that are read is a great way to get them communicating about the literary elements and themes presented.

An initial problem with the wiki is teaching students how to edit and create on the wiki. Once they have had enough practice with adding links and images and embedding video, it is important for the teacher to monitor what is happening on the wiki so that students are using it appropriately. Rules for use need to be established and discussed, with consequences for misuse in place. The history tab is a great way for teachers to keep an eye on what each student is contributing to the wiki.

The classroom wikis that the teachers at our school have created have been a wonderful tool for all involved: teachers, students, and parents! What an awesome Web 2.0 Technology!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thing 16

Here is a link to my classroom wiki:

My colleagues and I have been using classroom wikis for two years now! Parents and students love it!

Thing 15

I added information about Michigan Lighthouses to the M!ch!gan page on the States wiki for "Thing 15". Check it out if you'd like!

Thing 14

Literacy in the Classroom “21st Century Style” – This wiki includes lists of books and podcasts from authors, as well as students. I would probably adapt this idea with my ELA 5-8 students by creating a page on my classroom wiki that would include author podcasts (if available) of books written, and then also allow my students to share books they have read through written review and also as a podcast. This list could grow and be a great resource for other students as they look for books that interest them!

Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools – This is a great wiki to help students and teachers of any subject or grade level to create presentations and webpages on a classroom wiki. It offers drawing, mapping, collaborative, video, slideshow, audio, music, graphing, and many more tools. I will be putting a link to this site on my classroom wiki as a resource for my students to use when creating their personal pages, as well as in creating media projects that I will assign.

My Side of the Mountain – Although this is a wiki dedicated to this particular novel, it could be adapted to suit any novel/book being read and studied in any of my 5-8 reading/literature classes. I notice that it is a wiki completely devoted to this one novel. I have a classroom wiki and wonder if I would have to create separate wikis for every book that I would do this for. Is it possible to have more than one wiki using the same email? Or, would I have to use another wiki tool such as PBworks or Wetpaint? Maybe it could be done with pages within my classroom wiki with a little planning and thought. I definitely need to get onboard with this collaboration amongst my students with what we are reading in class!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thing 13

I am impressed with the many things that can be done to a photo using the free tools out on the web! Of course Flickr offers Picnik as a way to edit and enhance photos as well as adding fun and unique effects. Students would love changing photos taken or found and adding effects and text to create images to be used in projects. I added a speech balloon with text to this photo using Picnik. Students can create comics/cartoons using this tool

A project that I have had students do in the past is to create a "Wall of Fame" for Black History Month. I have students do reports on an African-American man or woman and then trace an image of that person's head to create a silhouette. The silhouette and report are then displayed down the hallway for a dramatic "African-American History Wall of Fame." Parents and students love this. After browsing the Picnik site, I ran across this YouTube video on making silhouettes from images/photos found. It might be a great way to implement this technology tool into this project!

Other photo editing apps:

This photo was created in Dumpr using the Rubik's Cube effect.

I really liked BigHugeLabs. One of the tools allows the user to create a Movie Poster. I can see my students using this application to create posters for book reports, author studies (Students create a poster about an author.), during Women's History Month in March, students could create a poster about a famous woman in history. I created this image using the Movie Poster tool in BigHugeLabs.

Another tool from BigHugeLabs lets you create a Magazine Cover. Like the Movie Poster, this could be used by students to create covers for any subject being studied.

Not only are photo editing tools great for classroom use, I believe photo editing can be easily used for personal use! Creating invitations for birthday parties, images to be used in scrapbooking, calendars, etc...again, so many possibilities!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thing 12

I personally like the idea of having a place like Flickr where students and teachers can find photos to use in media projects and lessons. Having a "creative commons" area where students can search and download as well as upload and use photos or images either original or found offers many opportunities for creative projects.

Flickr could be utilized for projects such as collages. I will occasionally have a class create collages in groups to reflect a theme or idea being studied. Instead of using magazines to cut out pictures/images and then gluing to a posterboard, they can use Flickr.

I also like the Flickr tool that allows for the user to add text to an image. Being able to find photos related to a subject/theme being studied and adding text that analyzes what is viewed is a great way to make students think critically and share thoughts while doing it in a fun way.

Another project that I do with students to reinforce correct dialogue punctuation is to have them create comic strips with speech balloons or bubbles. Students could find photos to be used in a comic strip and add dialogue between characters using text right in the image.

The possibilities are endless!

Problems or obstacles that may arise might be the occasional photo found that may be questionable or inappropriate. Creating a "group" for a class to go to may help eliminate this issue. Reminding students of the "Acceptable Use Policy" signed also should discourage inappropriate use.

I am sure there are many more uses and tools that Flickr has to offer that could easily be utilized in the classroom. I look forward to exploring this site more!