Sunday, September 26, 2010

Historical Images for Digital Content Creation - A UDL Resource for Social Studies and Science

The Flickr Commons was launched in January of 2008. It started out as a pilot project between Flickr and The Library of Congress. The original project was to provide a large sample of the over 1,000,000 images that depict American and World History. The project has grown to include many of our countries museums, organizations, and public institutions.

A blog posting on the project reveals the intent of the project: "There are two main aims to The Commons project, starting with the pilot: firstly, to increase exposure to the amazing content currently held in the public collections of civic institutions around the world, and secondly, to facilitate the collection of general knowledge about these collections, with the hope that this information can feed back into the catalogs, making them richer and easier to search."

Today the collection contains images from institutions such as NASA, The Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian, The National Library of Scotland, National Maritime Museum, The New York Public Library and many other civic institutions.

The images have many uses in the classroom:

  • Most of the images are public domain. This means that no known copyright protection is applied. These images are available for digital story projects.

  • They may also be used by educators to introduce topics in social studies and science classes.

  • Images may be inserted in Google Earth tours to add historical perspectives to present day imagery.

  • Many of the images can be used as conversation starters and writing prompts.

  • Each image has a full description and comments from various viewers. Students may be provided with an opportunity to write for an audience by providing additional information in the comment section of each image.

Enjoy this fabulous resource. I welcome your comments regarding ideas for classroom integration.

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