Flickr Hits 100,000,000 CC Photos

Flickr Photo by Joshua Sosrosaputro

I got this from a Twitter post this morning from iJohn Pederson, “Number of CC licensed photos on Flickr just passed 100,000,000. (Congrats world!)”  I retweeted it, as have several others.  You can read the details at the Creative Commons blog, article Celebrate 100 Million CC Photos on Flickr…

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been keeping a close eye on the number of CC licensed photos of Flickr. Our calculations now show that Flickr has surpassed 100 million CC licensed photos sometime during the day on Saturday, March 21st, 2009. As of Monday, we’re calculating the total number of CC licensed photos at 100,191,085.

From a teacher’s point of view, this is important in view of one of the most important questions that faces us today.  Let me explain it this way.

When I was still teaching, my grandparents moved from the house they had lived in for more than fifty years.  Because I was the only teacher in the family, they gave me their decades worth of National Geographic Magazines.  I must shame myself by admitting to you, that as I leafed through those magazines, I had scissors in my hands.  I cut those things to pieces — because I wanted to bring the pictures, maps, diagrams, and captions into my classroom, put them on the wall, so that my students could learn from them.  That’s how information-starved my classroom was.

I had five year old textbook, some old maps (one was pre-WWII), and what I could draw on the chalkboard.  My pedagogies — the pedagogies that I was taught in university — were based on information-scarce learning environments.

The question we ask today is,

“What are the pedagogies of information abundant learning environments?”

When Flickr is received 2.5 million new photos a day, and now more than 100,000,000 have been designated to the Creative Commons (you have the photographer’s explicit permission to use them), then how does that change how we teach — how we learn?

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9 thoughts on “Flickr Hits 100,000,000 CC Photos”

  1. It would change a heck of a lot more if Flickr weren’t completely blocked in my school district. Apparently, some middle school kid found an inappropriate photo when they searched for sparkly, and that shut the whole thing down for all of us. If you look at my own Flickr photos, which consist largely of old slides and tombstones, it makes you wonder why–or any of the other amazing Flickr collections that are available, like the Library of Congress site.

  2. While I take Warlick’s point, I think we are tossing about terms such as “information abundant” too casually these days. True, like Warlick, I have readier access to more packaged data than I did when I was a schoolboy in the 60s and 70s. But if we look at the primitive paintings in the caves at Lascaux, we’d be pressed to say they weren’t information rich. And Thoreau found plenty of information in the woods near Concord. The world, in a sense, has always been information rich.

    But what do we do with all the information available to us online? I find comments like “a weeks worth of New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century” meaningless, not least of all because that assumes that all that information is valid and useful. Besides, how am I to make sense out of 100 millions of anything? But leave aside for now the questions of whether a person can or should come to terms with all of it. We will know how our pedagogies should change, if they change significantly at all, when we answer the question “What is the purpose of an education?”

  3. David Warlick asks: “What are the pedagogies of information abundant learning environments?” in the context of Flickr hitting 100,000,000 Creative Commons licensed photos.

    What are the implications of a vast array of easily accessible, legally usable photos for teachers and students? The cynic in me wants to say “Now we can legally do what we’ve been illegally doing all along…”

    Many secondary school classrooms are still “information starved,” I think. In situations where a teacher has a classroom that he or she alone exclusively uses each day, there is an ability and incentive to make that room information-rich. Teachers who travel from drab room to drab room each period, however, have less of this ability and incentive: less time to pull it off, and less reason to invest in a place where they only spend a fraction of their day. I think that this “geographical” factor — that of “migrating, nomadic teachers” — ironically, limits the use of information-rich resources (that are becoming less and less tied to geography as time goes on).

    It is good to start thinking more about “information-rich classroom” pedagogy (I think that elementary teachers have more of a sense of this than secondary teachers), but I think that the physical and psychological implications of the nomadic teacher are limiting factors in developing and delivering such a pedagogy.

  4. Flikr is an interesting technology, but pictures alone do not define the art of teaching. Students today learn through all kinds of media content such as video, music, PowerPoint, digital photos, etc.

    The issue has become not “what” but “how” do you combine and utilize all of these media assets quickly and effectively in the classroom and online.

    Elearning was supposed to solve this problem, but in my humble opinion has complicated the process and in many cases decreased the effectiveness of learning.

    I have spent the last six years in organizations and public schools trying to solve this issue. The result is a technology that allows students and teachers in the classroom to quickly mash (stitch) all media types into web presentations and interactive videos. BTW it not blocked by Schools.

    Stephen Sadler
    President / CEO
    Scate Technologies

  5. a “dumb” question – when i click on the rss subscribe to posts symbol I get the message “the xml file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. the document tree is shown below” How do I subscribe or am I issing a plug-in or something? I m using Camino 1.6.6 web browser.

    1. I’m not sure why this is. It’s been a long time since I used Camino. I just tried clicking on the link to subscribe and It worked fine with Firefox and with Flock. It went straight to the Google page where it asks if I want to subscribe with Google Reader or with iGoogle. The feed link is the standard WordPress generated XML file.

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