Created by: Kathy Irvin, Ae Ran Jang, Chae Hoon Jeong, Ja Hyea Ju, Rhiannon Keener, Hee Joon Kim, Katelin Muesing, Benjamin Powell, Kristy Weston, and Robert Woerner
What are the uses of Flickr? What does it do? Who uses Flickr?
Flickr is a Web 2.0 application that offers both free and paid accounts for photo and video sharing. This application is relatively free; however, if the user creates more than 3 albums of photographs or organizes the photographs into more than 3 groups, then the user will be required to upgrade to a Pro account that includes a cost. Flickr has thousands of photograph collections, which users can view or add comments and annotations. Through its many features of groups, contacts, and The Commons, Flickr facilitates the growth of connections and relationships with fellow users by sharing not only photographs but also the experiences and stories behind the photographs.
Flickr is growing steadfast in its usage in the educational setting. One student described social networking as the "possible exploration of education," so Flickr can be used effectively and efficiently in the educational classroom to actively involve students in their learning. With more than two billion images  available for photo-sharing, this Web 2.0 technology is becoming more popular in higher educational settings. Flickr has the ability to connect classrooms globally and provide the opportunity for students to see other cultures. According to Educause Learning Initiative, "students who are engaged with content demonstrate better learning outcomes and visual media facilitates that sense of connection to subject material.1
Flickr is all about sharing content with family, friends and people from all around the world. But how does this apply to you? As a teacher, this innovative application allows the usage of new technology in the educational classroom to promote social learning. In one setting, multiple classes can collaborate with each other through the use of pictures and videos to enhance the students' learning. Not only will the students gain knowledge of usage of this new technology in today's world, but also will connect to cultures all across the globe. In the business world, corporations can share photos and videos to enhance the accessibility to global business partners.
Table of Contents
In February 2004, Flickr was brought to life by Ludicorp, which is a computer-based company that is also known for creating the Game Neverending. In March 2005, the Yahoo Company acquired Ludicorp, and Flickr became one of its many applications.3 When the Flickr application was created, the co-founders, Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake, had two main goals in mind. The first being to help people share their creative abilities with their friends and family as well as people all over the world. This goal is achieved through photo and video sharing, e-mail, and blogging. The second goal is to help people organize their photos and videos in an innovative way. This can be done by arranging the photos into sets or groups as well as being able to add tags, notes and comments by others. 12
The masterminds behind this Web 2.0 application are Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake. When Flickr was started, Stewart Butterfield was the president of Ludicorp,and Caterina Fake was the vice president of marketing and community. We had the unique opportunity to correspond with Caterina Fake, who is a world renowned web designer. According to Caterina Fake, Flickr is "an infinite National Geographic, a family photo album, a place to meet, a place to show off, a creator of world peace and mutual understanding, a thing of beauty, a social network, a brilliantly designed piece of software, the original web 2.0 site, a wonder, a source of inspiration, a mirror of the world".2
I.2 How Flickr Works
Getting started with Flickr is just as easy as entering a user name and password. All that is required to obtain a Flickr account is a Yahoo! account, since Flickr is a division of Yahoo!. Once logged on, using the Yahoo! account information, the screen to the right will appear. From this screen, the user can then set up a profile, upload photos and find fellow friends. These are only the basic functions of Flickr besides simply uploading photos.
Flickr has many unique applications throughout its site that helps categorize it as "certainly the best photo management and sharing application in the world" according to Caterina Fake, one of the co-founders to Flickr. The special features that Flickr has to offer to each user enable the user to successfully share their creative abilities with the world and to organize the photographs in a set manner. The following discusses the unique applications that Flickr offers:
FlickrMail - In today's Web 2.0 world, electronic mail is a universal aspect of the internet. However, any email that is received on your Flickr account is also sent to your Yahoo! account. In addition, you do not need to remember the email address of your recipient. Instead, you select who the email is being addressed to from your list of contacts. This is very beneficial in the way if the email in the Flickr account is deleted, then there is another copy of it in the Yahoo! account. 1
Groups - Although Flickr is known for its photo-sharing capabilities, it has a unique feature of building networks and relationships with other users who share a common interest. This feature offers a search engine where you simply type in keywords that describe the interest, and within a few seconds, hundreds of groups are found that have this common interest. The group feature offers the ability to browse photographs from other users, add comments or annotations to the photographs, and has a discussion board for members of the group to chat with one another. 1
Contacts - With this feature, the user can search for family or friends that also have Flickr accounts, can list who is in the user's network, or the user can personally invite other friends who have yet to create a Flickr account. In addition, the user can be notified when any contact has recent uploads of photographs for the user to browse and comment on. 1
Privacy Settings- The user has the option for any photograph to be either available to the public eye or only available for the user to view. In addition, the user can select other privacy settings of who can view the photographs, meaning the user can allow only certain users to view the photographs. 1
The Commons- This is one of the newest features that has been recently added to Flickr to allow the public to view archives of historical photographs. Flickr has created a partnership with the Library of Congress in which 3,100 images are available for the public. The public has access to these collections of historical photographs, and can add any comments to the photographs that may enhance the knowledge about that time era 8
II. How Flickr relates to other applications
II.1 How to Join
II.2 Comparison to Competitors
Although Flickr is "almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world 1, there are other Web 2.0 applications that are quite similar with a few differences.
One such Web 2.0 application is Picasa, a photo organizing and editing application owned by Google. Picasa has many similar features to Flickr, such as creating web albums, sharing photographs with friends, family or for anyone to view, add tags to each photograph, and search through photographs of public albums. However, the main difference between Picasa and Flickr, is Picasa is completely free to download and use. This application has 1 gigabyte of free storage, which can store about 4,000 wallpaper-size photos. With Flickr, a user can only create 3 photo albums for free. If a user wants to create more albums, then the user must upgrade to a FlickrPro account for $24.95 a year. In addition, Flickr is more of a social networking site than Picasa. 15
Another similar Web 2.0 application is CyWorld, which has been in existence since 1999. Currently, this application is used frequently in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. Eventually, CyWorld will be introduced in Europe, South America, and India. Cyworld has very similar features to Flickr by being a social networking site that offers connecting with friends by joining clubs, uploading and sharing both photos and videos, and personalizing a profile. 9
II.3 Unique UsesBy using Flickr teachers can post pictures of project that they have arranged for their students to complete. Flickr provides teachers with an opportunity to share information in a whole new way.
III. Real World Applications
Below are more specific examples of ways to use Flickr in your occupation. For teachers particularly, there are four separate categories of elementary, junior high, high school or college level. Within those sections there are sample lesson plans of how to use Flickr in the educational classroom setting and Flickr in their daily studies.
III.1 Educational Lesson Plans
(1) English: Writing a Narrative
Description: 3rd grade students will search for different animal pictures on Flickr, and then use the pictures that they found to create a story. Each student will then be able to present their story to the class along with the different pictures that they found.
Objective: Students will work on a computer to find different pictures of different wildlife that inhabit Indiana. They will use Flickr, an online site to find their pictures and create a narrative based on their newly acquired pictures.
(2) Science: Life Cycle of a Butterfly
Description:Students will observe how a butterfly eggs transform to caterpillars, and then into a butterfly. Throughout the process students will take pictures each day of the progression, and write their observations into journals. The journals will then be discussed in class so if anyone has questions they can be answered.
Objective: Each student will be able to better understand how a butterfly evolves from being a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly.
(1) English: Wuthering Heights
Description: Students will read Wuthering Heights, discuss themes and characters. After finishing the novel students will get into groups and create posters with pictures that they have uploaded to Flickr, and present their posters to the class.
Objective: Read the novel Wuthering Heights, review summary of the novel's plot, and major characters, analyze a theme, and teach the theme as a unit to the class.
(2) Science: Compost Pile (STEM)
Description:Students will be able to create their own compost pile after making their on in their science class. Students will also photograph organic material that is being put into the compost, and continue to photograph how the compost decomposes.
Objective: Following this activity, students will be able to describe the process of composting, explain why composting is important to the environment, and obtain knowledge to set up a composting program at home.
(1)Science: Chemistry (STEM)
Description:When students first start taking chemistry in order to learn more about the periodic table, teachers or professors can create a project using flickr so that students can upload pictures of elements in their natural state.
Objective: Students will learn about the first few elements and discover how they look in their natural form such as helium in balloons, oxygen in air tanks, etc.
[Periodic Table (DOC)|^Flickr Freshman Periodic Table.doc]
[Periodic Table (PDF)|^Flickr Freshman Periodic Table.pdf]
(2)Language: English, Spanish, etc
Description: When students take a language course such as english or spanish, many times they read stories or discuss places in countries that have those languages. A teacher may make a project where students are able to upload pictures that they have taken which conencide with what they are learning at the time in their class. Such as spanish food for a spanish class, or sushi food for watching an anime movie.
Objective: The objective is to help students relate what they are learning in class to things that then encounter everyday.
[Language (DOC)|^Flickr Freshman English.doc]
[Language (PDF)|^Flickr Freshman English.pdf]
Flickr is a useful application in the business setting that allows access to the world through both photographs and videos. For example, if an employee is in another part of the world, then they can easily upload photos or videos to share his or her progress with the company. In addition, information that needs to remain private can be uploaded onto Flickr by changing the privacy settings to limit who can view the information. Any information that is uploaded onto Flickr is copyrighted by the creator. Thus, if the creator feels any information that has been used without consent, the Yahoo! Copyright Agency can be contacted.
Here are links to view examples of how companies are currently using Flickr in the business setting:
- Example of Flickr in a Business Setting
IV. Demonstration of Educational Value
Many times when students are able to express themselves through photographs or drawings they open up more, and become more involved in the class subject. By using Flickr teachers are able to present material to their students in a different visual way. Many times visual aids help students understand subjects better than any other type of teaching method.
V. How Flickr is Used Internationally
Flickr can be used for many global uses. It can be used in both schools and the work place to share photos throughout the world. It allows one user to upload photographs in one part of the world, and another user to view them on the opposite end of the world. For example, photographers can upload pictures on one side of the world and their boss or editor can view them right away. This is an excellent asset for companies with branches all over the world or with field agents.
Flickr is currently being used in classrooms all across the world to gain a further insight into different cultures and to enhance educational learning by being a teaching tool. In Japan, a class is currently using Flickr to learn the English language. The teacher has students upload photographs onto their profile, and then describe each photograph in English. By integrating Flickr into the curriculum, this allows the students to link the English language visually. In New Zealand, a class is using Flickr to study structures from around the world. With this project, the class shares the photographs with students who are doing the same project in other parts of the world. To learn more about this specific example of global usage of Flickr, follow the hyperlink to view the New Zealand class:
Although Flickr has been in existence since 2004 and has become a popular photo-sharing application, Flickr has yet to fully develop in certain countries. One specific country is Korea. Until a year ago, the usage of Flickr was blocked. Since Flickr was just introduced in Korea, it has yet to gain in popularity, as other photo-sharing applications such as CYWorld.  However, other countries have completely banned Flickr due to controversial photos of religious or political views.