Heart-stopping moment is over – my Greasemonkey script wasn’t working!! Luckily all it was – I was due for an update. If you want to learn more about this really cool tool from my pal CogDog then read about GreaseMonkey and Flickr for the Adventurous.
As it was this time last year, I have a group of students working with me on visual elements of online presentations as part of their exploration of Digital Citizenship in Schools, and of course I introduce them to the FlickrCC Attribution Helper for Greasemonkey. The reason for this is related to ethical use of online images, and the value of working with Creative Commons as an effective source of visual imagery.
Alan Levine has written a Flickr Attribution Helper – a browser script that embeds easy to copy attribution text to creative commons licensed flickr images. Greasemonkey is an add-on for Firefox browser. Once Greasemonkey is installed, you have the ability to add all sorts of magical things to the functionality of your browser. The Attribution Helper also installs into other browsers without the help of Greasemonkey.
Do take time to revisit the post to discover why this tool is fabulous ~ if you are not already using it. If you are using it – keep reading for an update!
Here’s the twist! A student asked me to clarify the attribution code found on some of my images. For example, if you look at the image in my last post, you will see that if as follows:
I’d like to think that all teachers and librarians are clever enough to know how to work well with images to promote creativity in learning. My post-grad students working on Digital Citizenship in Schools have just completed a phase of their learning that included an investigation of how to find and use images in their work using free images online, and even using Greasemonkey and Flickr to speed up their image attribution. Media literacy is an important part of digital learning environments.
Media literacy education helps people of all ages to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, and active citizens. Media literacy is the capacity to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate messages in a wide variety of forms. This expanded conceptualization of literacy responds to the demands of cultural participation in the twenty-first century. Like literacy in general, media literacy includes both receptive and productive dimensions, encompassing critical analysis and communication skills, particularly in relationship to mass media, popular culture, and digital media. Like literacy in general, media literacy is applied in a wide variety of contexts—when watching television or reading newspapers, for example, or when posting commentary to a blog. Indeed, media literacy is implicated everywhere one encounters information and entertainment content. And like literacy in general, media literacy can be taught and learned. Using images is just one aspect of media literacy educaiton – but none-the-less a vital one. Media literacy education can flourish only with a robust understanding of fair use.
Fair use in education means that educators and learners often make use of copyrighted materials that stand ‘outside’ the general use e.g. in the classroom, at a conference or within a school-wide setting. When this takes place within school fair use indicates flexibility. Each country has it’s own specific rules and regulations that apply to copyright. But for teachers, the aim should be not to teach or bend rigid rules, but rather to promote media literacy in action and help students learn HOW to use media to empower their work, and promote a creative commons approach to sharing and mashup works.
For this reason I was excited AND disappointed with the newest enhancement to Google Images, mainly because in my experience teachers have continued to turn a blind eye in this area of media literacy action. Google has announced you can now sort Google Images by subject.
To see this in action, go to Google Images, conduct a search and look on the left hand side for the search option. Directly under the “More” link, you will find the default sort option set to “by relevance,” click on the “Sort by subject.” The results will then shift and group images by subject topic.
Decorating print and digital material with google images is pretty standard amongst kids – no attribution, no use of creative commons materials etc. Your students may be different – but I’m considering the general norm that I have seen, and now the job just got easier!
What interested me most though was watching the video about this new feature. Notice how they’ve cleverly ‘covered’ the value of this new feature? You’d use this feature to help you understand a topic better? pick a better dog! and perhaps add a nice image to presentation at school?
Sorting just made searching a lot more visual. Yes. No mention of copyright, creative commons, fair use. No mention of th Advanced Image Search, and the option to filter by license. So there are rules…and they did not promote breaking them. But they did leave the rest of the job up to us!
OK – so I guess it’s up to teachers and teacher librarians to get the fair use message across, as part of our media literacy education.
Some of my students are busy creating slideshare presentations, that we will be able to mill around, listen to their thoughts, and discuss ideas via Slideshare zipcast. The exciting thing about this is also the opportunity to help them develop new ways of managing online tools -AND images for work like this.
A tweet this morning from friend Darcy Moore asking Dean Groom (yes, he’s a friend too!) about image attribution in his recent blog post reminded me that I should crosspost my tip to my students about my favourite image attribution tool right here too!
Here it is:
I promised a while back that I would share some more interesting ways to manage your image work online. Tips and tricks abound, but this one from Alan Levine is the niftiest around, so I’ve decided to share it first.
So what am I talking about? Well of course, as you prepare your presentation (or indeed work on other image-related tasks in your professional work) one of the things you are doing is noting where the image comes from and providing a hyperlinked attribution. If, like me, you are backed into a corner for time, then you will most certainly end up at Flickr. (Even if not in a rush I still prefer to use FlickrCC, and think laterally in my search terms! I also love the new things it throws up for me.)
There are a few reasons for this:
1. You can store your own images at Flickr and build your own collections
2. You can ‘favourite’ other peoples CC. images (something I regularly do as I collect images for my various bits of work)
3. Now you can also install a nice GreaseMonkey script to make the image attribute even easier.
Here’s what it’s about – read on, only if you are keen for an adventure!
Alan Levine has written a Flickr Attribution Helper – a browser script that embeds easy to copy attribution text to creative commons licensed flickr images. Greasemonkey is an add-on for Firefox browser. Once Greasemonkey is installed, you have the ability to add all sorts of magical things to the functionality of your browser.
To be honest, the only one I have ever added is Alan’s Flickr Attribtion Helper – but its insanely useful! See the image above – that red tee-shirt and the attribution were simply copied from the HTML box and pasted here in the blog! Done in one go!
Stephen Ridgeway, from New South Wales Australia, created a video that explains how to use the Flickr CC Attribution helper (thank goodness – a blog post by itself would never do it!). Download and install the Flickr Attribution helper (after you have installed Greasmonkey). Then watch the magic happen every time you go to a Flickr image!
Often, you are in a great need for some pictures to freshen up your webpage and would like to include one of these images. If you want to do this, there are quite a lot of steps necessary:
Make sure you understood the license correctly
Get the correct HTML code for the IMG tag
Link the image back to the Flickr photo page
Give the author of the image proper credits (Attribution)
Link to the Flickr profile of the author
Link to the license the image is licensed under
Flickr currently hosts more than 75 million images that are licensed under a Creative Commons license. Depending on the license, you may use the images on your private or commercial webpage, or make changes to it.
Then ImageCodr.org will generate the ready-to-use HTML code for you to drop into your online platform of choice.
It will also display a brief and easy license summary, so you don’t get in legal trouble because you missed something.
I know that students (and teachers) just like to copy and paste images from anywhere into anything. But we really can’t afford to miss the opportunity to teach our kids real digital citizenship skills even if it’s just about how to use images.
From small acorns, big trees grow! What seeds are you planning on help grow today?
Autoposting Connects the Dots to Twitter and Facebook: For those of us that have multiple social media accounts (think: Flickr, Twitter, personal blog, Facebook), there is always a dilemma of where to post what, and whether to replicate posts across multiple sites. This dilemma is even more vexing since, whereas Twitter tweets are limited to 140 character text and links, Facebook posts can include pictures, text and video of variable lengths, and personal blogs are as custom as you want to get. Here, Posterous really shines, giving you the ability to autopost your posterous posts to one or more services, defaulting the title of the post as the Twitter tweet
So lets see…my standard toolkit includes: Wordpess, Gmail, Google calendar, Google chat, and a host of other Google doc tools, Delicious, Nings galore, facebook, twitter, flickr, flickrCC, SnipThis, TwitThat, Feedly, Clip to Evernote, Tumblr, Kwout, Wikispaces, Wetpaint, Youtube and other video sites, and of course Vodpod to store my most important video finds, skype, Elluminate as well as WizIQ and Flashmeeting. Of course, there are raft of tools that are associated with virtual learning environments – a Second Life for me! That is not all, but that is already making my mind exhausted when I think of the shift in my ‘way of being’ – exhausted not for my self, but for the communication barrier that exists between me and so many of those that I work with.
More rumination….while I make a small movie from text!
What I am actually a bit worried about is that the pace of change has been so great, that the gap between the digitally adept and the digitally challenged is getting wider and wider, and perhaps will become too big a gap to bridge. I think I should settle for rumination, rather than worry, and let 2009 take care of itself 🙂
Here’s a really interesting opportunity for some visual literacy and historical analysis work with your history students!
Hot update:PhotosNormandi thanks to a quick comment to this post from Patrick Peccatte. This is another stunning collection for history students.
The Library of Congress and photosharing site Flickr today announced a partnership that will put photos from the LoC’s collection online. These are public-domain, copyright-free photos from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information and The George Grantham Bain Collection, for which no known copyright exists. The collections will be housed on the LoC’s Flickr page.
Interesting project – and they are relying on ‘us’ to provide tags for the images!
So Flickr has launched a new tagging initiative called The Commons – “your opportunity to contribute to describing the world’s public photo collections.”
The photos, which are already available on the Library’s photo and prints page (along with over 1 million others), may not be on Flickr permanently. The length of the pilot program will be determined by the amount of interest and activity shown by Flickr users, according to the LoC.
Picnik’s awesome photo editing tools are now only a click away. If you’ve ever wanted to deal with the dreaded red eye or crop a photo just so, click on the new “edit photo” icon located above one of your photos and get started.
The Picnik/Flickr collaboration works similarly to other 3rd party services who’ve built additional tools on top of the Flickr API: You’ll need to pass through the step of giving the Picnik service permission to edit and save your photos… It’s a little bit like you’re “installing” Picnik on your Flickr account, but with nothing to download.
I rather like having access to this – especially when I am not always working on my own computer with my own suite of favourite tools. It’s all about being able to work quickly, efficiently, and ‘on the fly’ whenever and wherever – isn’t it?