I have used Flickr for my own use for quite a while. It was a great way to share photos of my kids with friends and family that didn’t get to see them often.  However, after seeing it come up in some articles, I began to think of ways I could use Flickr in the classroom.  When I read Elizabeth’s post on I (heart) EdTech, “How to Use Flickr in Your Classroom” http://blog.simplek12.com/social-media/how-to-use-flickr-in-your-classroom. It started me thinking.  There are some great ideas on the blog such as virtual field trips or even just teaching about copyright and creative commons.  However, making things work in my classroom usually takes some idea tweaking.  So I began searching for pictures on topics I teach. I was pleasantly surprised on how much there was available on Flickr on Ancient History.  I used the gallery feature to save pictures in topics.  This way the picture was still linked to original owner so they get credit for their photos.  Eventually I came across this lesson idea.

In my classes we have been talking about how geography effected early civilizations including the advantages and disadvantages.  Since we are almost finished our semester I will probably use this as a post assessment but it could easily be used as a pre assessment or even engagement activity.  I chose photos from various landscapes and placed them in a gallery called “landscapes”( You can visit my gallery at http://www.flickr.com/photos/kdomboski/galleries/72157629327001916/) .  As  I show each picture I will have the students write down the advantages and disadvantages each landscape would have for early civilizations.  Once we had gone through all the photos I would have the students chose one landscape(geographical feature) they would choose to settle in during ancient times and explain why and how they would counter the disadvantages.  If I wanted to do this lesson with students using technology they could even comment right in my gallery next to the pictures, or I could link the gallery to an Edmodo discussion.  This lesson would meet FCPS Essential Curriculum standard SS.HAW.10.04     Analyze geographic characteristics that influence the location of human activities in world regions. 

Now that I have begun to explore Flickr for educational use instead of personal use, I am beginning to see all the possibilites.  I really like Flickr uses creative commons and is very aware of the potential of people using copyrighted material illegally.  This aspect alone I think make Flickr a valuable resource for instruction.

Works cited:

How to use flickr in your classroom. (2010, July 1). I (heart) ed tech. Retrieved March 28, 2012, from


About kmdomboski

I am a middle school social studies teacher and a current School Library Media graduate student. I have been teaching for over 11 years. I also am Nationally Board Certified and have a masters in Technology for Educators from Johns Hopkins University.

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