Flickr Toys


Dear colleagues–

Did you like looking at photos people share on Flickr? Last time we discussed a little bit how you can use Flickr to create a presentation and how you can use it in the classroom. I hoped to receive some questions and/or comments about my IATEFL Brighton collection but… Hope you will still find a bit of time to ask a couple of questions about 1-2 photos in this collection. With this I have a question: will you use such an activity with your students? Why or why not? Do you see any advantages and/or disadvantages in using Flickr in the classroom?

Today I’d like to share with you a number of activities which use Flickr images. There are several of them:

bookr: with its help you can create your own Photobook and share it with your students; of course, you can ask your students to create their own Photobooks too. They can can do it alone or collaborate on creating such a book together.

Here are two examples of stories created with the help of bookr by my students:



bublr: this is a tool with the help of which you can create a comic strip from a set of images you have selected from Flickr collection. I’d like to share with you some of the comic strips my university students who took the course of ICT Methods in ELT in autumn created:



Phrasr works this way: you should write anything you want in the box on the screen and you will be promted images to go with youк phrase. My students decided to use Phrasr to explain idioms. Here is their own explanation of the rationale for this task:

“The second tool that i’ve studied is PHRASR. I find it rather useful because using this tool a teacher can try to explain different phrases and idioms to students. According to the pictures we can judge about the meaning of different components of a phrase and try to understand the meaning of the whole phrase. I also created my own phrasr on the example of the phrase “Birds of a feather flock together”, tried to add suitable pictures to the words ( It is not connected straight to birds, so on the first picture there is a little hint to students that is “water”. I think that using this tool in presentation of new phrases will have a great effect on students, so they will remember these phrases easy, and they will use this tool themselves to create their own phrasr to show them to their groupmates”. (Anna Dentsova)


I’d like again to use my students’ help to explain how this tool work:

“It’s a very interesting game, where we can choose a particular topic (for example, animals), develop our memory. Then students can work in pairs, name all the animals on the pictures, and try to describe what is happening on the picture. This tool can help students enrich their vocabulary and develop their speaking skills.” (Anna Dentsova)

real time tags

real time tv

I am inviting you too to share with us some of your ideas about how  you could use these tools with your students. Most importantly, though, we need to discuss how using these tools can help your students in improving their English. Here are some questions you can address in your reflection. It’d be very interesting to hear what you think.

a) Would you use any of them with your learners? If yes, how? If no, why?

b) How would you incorporate them into your lesson?

c) What difficulties if any can you foresee with the use of these tools in the classroom?

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11 Responses to Flickr Toys

  1. nataneva says:

    Please, post the links to the Bookr, Bubbler or smth else you have created in the thread:)

  2. anna says:

    Thank you, Natalia. Actually, it was pretty easy, though looking for the appropriate picture does take time. But it was fun. Of course, this beautiful “poem” is not my creation. My American friend gave this little inspiration card to me long ago and I still have it on my fridge and in my heart. Well, I’m not sure that this will work with my students but once I have a computer and the Internet in my classroom I’ll try. Thank you again for this tool.

    • nataneva says:

      I am glad that you have found creating a Bookr an anjoyable task and had no problems with it. What problems do you think your students can have with doing smth similar? One problem I can imagine is computer access and speed of connection. Are there some other things you have in mind?

  3. alla12 says:

    Finally we (my children and I) managed to create two simple books. At first I tried to do it myself, but there was something wrong with my computer or with my Google or with connection. Later we tried together and I used Mozilla. Well, creating books (to be more exactly, choosing photos) took a lot of time. My children are nine and eleven and I think Bookr can be rather useful for learning vocabulary and it also can be very motivating, especially for young learners.
    Thank you, Natalia.

    • nataneva says:

      Hello Alla–

      Many congrats to you and your children on having created these wonderful Bookrs:)!!! I was delighted to see both Bookrs you had created with your children! The one about pets is my favourite! The pets in your Bookr are so cute!

      You are right to note that there are several things that can make using the technology in the classroom quite time-consuming (particularly in the beginning). But with time I am sure you and your kids will be able to do things quicker and more efficiently. What will remain is the motivation!

      I am quite satisfied that I was able to share with you something that you have found interesting and useful:))

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