How to Use Flickr in Your Classroom
Home » Classroom Technology, Education, Social Media

How to Use Flickr in Your Classroom

Written by 1 July 2010

I love photography. It wasn’t until I started doing Project 365 as a new year’s resolution that I really started to be so intrigued with it. Often times, I find myself pretending I’m some professional placing things or people, looking for lighting, finding unique angles, etc… but it is most definitely fun. Last night when I was uploading my photo for the day to my Flickr account I started to think about how Flickr could be used in the classroom.

How to Use Flickr in Your ClassroomFlickr has millions and millions of photographs on their site. And there is most definitely a lot of ways you can incorporate Flickr in your classroom. Here are some ideas of how you can use Flickr in your classroom:

  • Creative writing assignment with individual pictures or storytelling with multiple pictures…can you imagine the possibilities?
  • Create Virtual field trips!
  • Teach students about intellectual property rights with Creative Commons licensing.
  • Use the Flickr slideshow feature as an alternative to PowerPoint or other presentation tools.
  • Create digital portfolios.
  • Create various different groups to upload photos to and encourage collaboration and commenting from students.
  • Explore with Flickr’s map feature to see what is happening all over the world.
  • Use Flickr’s search feature to have your students collect photos of important monuments or symbols, then create a presentation on what and why those are important to history.

Integrate digital video in your classroom easily and quickly with Teach with Video! Click here for more!

There are SO many ways to use Flickr in the classroom – those are just the tip of the iceberg! So, I want to also address a couple safety issues while using Flickr. Remember that you can make groups that are private for your class or school. This will help ensure only those you want to see your photos will be able to. Instead of using students actual names, give them a number or use initials. Also, make sure that if you’re publishing photos of the students, you get permission from their parents first.

Hope you will have a few takeaways from this post about Flickr. Don’t forget, it’s free to sign up! If you have some additional uses in the classroom, please share!

Share this post with your friends and colleagues:
How to Use Flickr in Your Classroom


  • Shelley Owen said:

    Flickr is blocked in my school district!

    mike isaksson Reply:

    That is very short thinking by local authorities. It really curtails the creativity and output on the students. There is an enormous amount of photos out there that can be used in so many constructive ways by the students. Why?

  • March said:

    Get to know your tech people. If they know you, they will be more likely to consider your site requests. Anything with a forum gets nixed at our schools. Please write and send them this note and my pics on FlickR (marcch2) and prove that you are using the site in an exciting and educational way. I promise to add more pics to my maps but they are pretty much congealed in one location-the best area in the world-SW Wisconsin!

  • Some Recent Diigo Bookmarks said:

    [...] How to Use Flickr in Your Classroom – SimpleK12 [...]

  • Things I’ve discovered on Twitter recently (part 6) | Teaching News said:

    [...] How to use Flickr in your classroom – Shared by SimpleK12. [...]

  • Technology In Class said:

    I have also used Flickr by posting an image that studetns try to interpret. They can do so in the comments section just below the image, this is a great way to begin a lesson or to generate discussion about a topic.

    Thanks for the post Elizabeth,

  • Joshua Brown said:

    Flickr is really a great way to share photos on the net, the photo resizing feature of Flickr is what i like*:-

  • Mike Harrison said:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I wrote about this recently on my blog at In the Flickr of an eye and actually came up with similar things to your suggestions here. I think yours are a bit more concise as explanations though, and my focus was on teaching ESOL in particular.

    There are also interesting ideas in the comments, including editing photos using Picnic on Flickr, a link to a photography project run by @MrFoteah and another to a handout on using photo-sharing websites. All good stuff!

    Thank you for sharing here!


    Mike Harrison recently posted..My students’ adventures in social mediaMy Profile

  • Brian Metcalfe said:

    Hi Elizabeth …

    I am sharing my latest “start the new school year” blog entry that you might find beneficial. It is called Image with a Message and it focuses on students using and crediting “Creative Commons” images to provide a unique, subject-related message. Although this activity can be assigned within class, I suggest that students may be encouraged to work collaboratively outside school to avoid having Flickr access blocked. I hope you find it of benefit.
    Take care & keep smiling :-) Brian
    Brian Metcalfe recently posted..“Image with a Message” Activity-ProjectMy Profile

  • Finding Flickr said:

    [...] How to Use Flickr in Your Classroom Flickr Apps Flickr on Facebook [...]

  • Derrick Willard said:

    I too, am using Flickr for an urban design project in my AP Environmental Science class. This is the second year I’ve asked students to share pics and Google Earth screenshots of areas in our community that exhibit good design and poor design. After we share the pics, we discuss them at Flickr.
    Derrick Willard recently posted..Schools don’t innovate? Do they?My Profile