I have named my gallery “El Mundo Hispanohablante” (the Spanish-speaking world).
I created this gallery based on various locations within Spanish-speaking countries. I even included two photos from San Antonio, Texas because Texas was at one time a Spanish colony and has plenty of Spanish-speakers even today!
How I could use this in my classroom:
1. I could have my students choose one location or person/team) from the gallery, complete a brief research project on that location/person/team, and create a presentation of their own using something like Animoto/Photostory/etc. in which they discuss their chosen topic.
2. Students could choose a scene from the gallery to practice their conversational skills in the target language. Students would pair up and take turns asking/answering questions about the scene, people, etc. of the chosen photo. Alternatively, students could write a brief description of what they see in the photo.
3. Taking a page from the “Using Flicker in the Classroom” article, I could have students study the pictures I chose. From this point of reference, they would choose a Spanish-speaking country or even a location within the gallery I made, and create a travel brochure of a specific destination within the country (or of the location they chose from the gallery such as San Antonio, Texas). The librarian and I could collaborate on the teaching of photograph/intellectual property copyright issues, researching specific countries, and creating a virtual travel brochure using their own Flicker account and corresponding written presentation.
I think using Flicker in the classroom could be a fantastic tool for a foreign language classroom. You could use it for anything from a warm-up discussion/written assignment to a research project. The only issues that could arise (besides copyright issues) is accessibility. Not every teacher in every classroom will have internet access every day. Perhaps Flicker would only be useful then for projects in the library.
Also, the teacher will have to be aware of inappropriate photos. For quality assurances only (I swear!!!) I searched a few ‘naughty’ words and sure enough some pictures came up that I didn’t think would be appropriate for schools (though it’s no where near as bad as Google Images!). As a teacher, this is something to be aware of when using the internet and any service that has photos should be used with some degree of caution.