How is it working for you?”
Jim – Great question.
I found that for the first year plus that I used Flickr we used it with minimal teaching from me about “inappropriate” photos they might find. Why? – 1) because we only ever accessed our class account … they didn’t know there was more than that. They got to Flickr through a link on our wiki page. 2) When we used it I was usually giving them step-by-step instructions on how to download or upload or whatever, and then moving on to something else … they weren’t sitting there perusing photos on Flickr.
Last year during a project we were working on we didn’t have all the photos we needed in our account … we would have to go looking elsewhere, namely searching photos on Flickr.
It was then that I did a lesson on the ethical use of Flickr (but really any tool). Also how to do searches safely – “be very specific” and the like – we practiced some and when kids were doing searches I kept my eye out and wandered around the room. I explained what kinds of pictures COULD be found there – why that wasn’t what we were about, that Flickr had been a great resource for us and that perhaps NONE OF US would be able to use it if anyone used it inappropriately – AND that anyone misusing it would be disallowed from using the internet for AT LEAST a year by school district policy. We then focused on all the positive things we had used it for and how it had impacted their learning. We reminded everyone of that pretty much each time we used it after that and so far no problems. I do think that the key is we keep that discussion ongoing.
My goal is to get my students where the work they are doing involves THEM making the decision about what tool to use and when … access will be at least mostly up to them (remembering that they are 5th graders and that the plan is that I keep them as sixth graders). At that point those “ethics” become even more imperative. Also since things are likely to go wrong on occasion, lessons on “Oops, what do I do now,” will be important too.
Please feel free to add to this discussion.
UPDATE: A conversation is going on about this over at “In Practice” thanks Alice Mercer.
Learning is messy!
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