Flickr in the Classroom

Using Flickr in the classroom both F2F and online is something I’ve been doing and will continue to do into the future. The Creative Commons licensing and availability of media has made accessing and using someone else’s work, albeit under copyright, possible because they have offered it for use by anyone who would agree to comply with the stipulations of the Creative Commons agreement.

For educators that means we are able to use the work of amateur, and professional creators of original or adapted works who are sharing their work through Creative Commons without fear of breaking the law. This development in shareable media has enlivened (leagally) many lessons I’ve put together for F2F and online students.

In this example, Jake Shimabukuru, a native Hawaiian ukulele artist, is shown playing in a concert from 2012. The photographer, Joe Bielawa, captured this image and has shared it via a creative commons attribution license. I have used this image in introductory lessons for the ukulele because Jake Shimabukuru became famous via YouTube and many students are already familiar with his playing.


Joe Bielawa. (2012, March 8). Jake.DSC_0376-Cedar.12. Jake Shimabukuro, Cedar Cultural Center 3/8/2012 Photostream.  Retrieved from 

Using Flickr combined with the ease of searching for images shareable through Creative Commons licenses is fast, and relatively easy and has endless appeal for educators. The skill is easily taught to students who can then search for and use images and other media in their projects and do so legally.

Have you ever come across a problem with using media protected by copyright, or know of a story where someone has?


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