If you have read this blog before you will have noticed that I have embedded my Flickr photostream into the blog (look further down the page). You may have even visited my Flickr account and looked at my photographs.
However not everyone knows what an online photo sharing service is and therefore visiting Flickr for the first time may appear daunting.
TASI (Technical Advisory Service for Images) who are funded by the JISC have posted a guide which highlights the advantages and potential issues that using these sites have for educational institutions.
Photo sharing has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means for individuals to publish or distribute their digital images online. As a result, some of the photo sharing sites that host these images have become useful sources of free or low-cost images. Many of these sites also include enough features to be seen as practical tools for managing and organising your own collection of images. This paper looks at the most common features offered by a number of photo sharing sites, highlights the pros and cons of using such sites, and offers some practical tips for both finding images and organising your own images.
Thanks to eNews from the JISC Regional Support Centres in Scotland for the link.
So what do you do with forty iPods?
Lay them out and take a photograph of course…
Flickr and TUAW
Brian Kelly (who writes the UK Web Focus blog) has been asking the question:
Externally-hosted blogs, wikis, etc: (a) valuable solution for institutions which can save effort and resources; (b) to be avoided, as institutions need to be able to manage and tweak their own services or (c) an alternative view (please describe)?
He’s been using Facebook to ask the question and it is a valid question to ask. Should we as institutions take advantage of such services or should we be running our own services.
Some of the answers on Brian’s question make for interesting reading (Facebook login required) and he has been discussing this on his blog.
I use Flickr quite a bit now, finding it useful for not only organising photographs but allowing staff within Gloucestershire College to use them simply and easily. Now if I used an internal service this would probably also meet their needs, however those of you who have checked my Flickr feed will know I also used it quite a bit at ALT-C and delegates (and non-delegates as well) would have been unable to view (and in some cases use) the photographs. From my perspective using a single service makes life easier, there are lots of guides online, also using an external service allows me to use such clever applications like ShoZu.
One potential downside is what happens when staff leave? They can remove the photographs very quickly and easily.
Also though most Web 2.0 services are free, some like Flickr have limitations on the free account. The “pro” upgrade does cost and the question is who pays for that?
There are many more questions. Luckily for us some Universities have already been down this route and have created guidelines, check lists and risk assessment so providing the basis for any college which is looking at using external web services.
So how do you get images from your mobile phone to wherever quickly and easily.
I have a Nokia N73 I use to…
Take a photograph.
Send it via Bluetooth to my computer.
Upload it to Flickr.
Of course this meant I needed both a computer and internet access.
The Nokia N73 does come with an application to upload images to Flickr, however this never worked for me, and I suspect it is because Vodafone (my phone provider) blocks access to Flickr as part of their content control!
So I was interested to see how ShoZu would work out.
Shozu is an application that works on a range of phones and allows you with just one click take an image (or a video) and upload it straight to a Web 2.0 site of your choice.
You give ShoZu your mobile phone number, they send you an SMS text message, you download and install the application on your phone.
Rather than use the phone to configure the destinations (though you can) you can configure your account via a web browser. Which is great if like me you don’t really like to input data and information via a mobile phone number pad.
Configured it all.
So in London for a meeting took a photo at Paddington station and after I had taken the photograph, up popped a dialogue asking me if I wanted to send it to Flickr, so I click okay.
The image is automatically uploaded to Flickr and then into my other online sites which Flickr feeds into such as Jaiku and the VLE.
You can also add the images to your blogs (as seen here).
Works really easily and simply.
If you are scanning in slides or taking digital images of projected slides, ensure that your institution has the rights to the images on those slides. A lot of colleges in the long and distant past would have purchased slide collections and now want to digitise them, ensure that you have the rights
to do so.
Who does own the rights to the slide, they do belong to the original photographer, but if they were an employee of the college and they took the photographs for using within a course being taught in the college then the copyright belongs to the college, unless there was an agreement to the contrary.
When producing electronic resources I commit myself to only utilise images that I have the rights to use – and in most cases these rights would have been purchased or owned by me.
As a result I will often take photographs for learning resources.
However be aware that taking photographs of students (and staff) can breach both the data protection act and the human rights act and therefore if there are people in your pictures ensure that they have signed a model release form before using them in learning resources or publicity material.
The other thing to remember is that a lot of image collections you can buy are for personal use only and can not be used in an educational context without the written permission of the copyright holder.
My line is, if in doubt don’t use it.
One way to find images you can use is via Flickr and search for those images which have a creative commons licence.
The information being provided in this posting is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as constituting legal advice.