Using Flickr in Education

The presence of visual elements in today’s teaching and learning is increasing as the integration of images and visual presentations with text in textbooks, instructional manuals, classroom presentations, and computer interfaces broadens (Benson, 1997; Branton, 1999; Dwyer 1999)

The use of images in teaching and learning makes most students react positively. Everybody can get different things out of images. How can we embrace visual enhancements in instruction? Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application that allows educators to play with many different tools.

Let´s take a look at some of the visual possibilities we can include in our teaching scenarios.

FlickrStorm – a website where you can find creative common copyrighted photos and create a tray of photos you choose.

Flickr Toys – a website where you can create trading cards, movie posters, picture cubes and lots more with your photographs

Flickr Related Tag Viewer – a website that offers ideas of other tag words for the word that you type in.

Searching tools that use Flickr

Compfight Find and share Creative Commons images with this tools.

Flickr Storm Search on Flickr with some magic.

FlickRiver A great search option to view photos quickly and easily, in one seamless “river of photos” view. Browse images by group, by tag word, by user and by place.

World Cup teaching themes using Flickr images

Bubblr Is a very simple and easy website. Drag speech bubbles onto the photo and add text. Students have to describe their favourite football player.

Big Huge Labs This website allows you to create several things with your Flickr images and even the images uploaded from your own computer.

My students used the following options:

Create a magazine cover

Imagine that the World cup has just finished. Create a magazine cover informing who won the world cup.

Create your World cup billboard

Create a map with the countries that are participating in the World cup

Add special effects to the picture of your favourite football player

Turn words into pictures Write down the name and last name of a famous football player. This application will turn the words into letter pictures from Flickr cc library.

Other applications that use Flickr images

Picnik This online editing tools allow you to use your Flickr photos to edit them and add special effects. No registration required and you can save your edited picture into Flickr.

Splashr Search for Flickr images via tags, user ID, photo set ID or email address. The result obtained can be embedded to another site.

Retrievr Sketch a shape and then explore Flickr images that have similar shapes and colours.

Fastr Nice game to guess the tags of the different pictures shown.

Check this flickr image to see what esle you can do with flickr.



  1. The old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words rings true. Pictures can do so much to enhance learning and provide students with a visual link and framework for their learning. I love these Flickr tools, thank you for introducing me to some new ones!

  2. Last week I used several of these tools with my students and they loved it!! I never thought that Flickr had so many different functions. I am glad to know that you found some new Flickr tools.

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