Friday, January 2, 2009

Free Images Online? - yes... and maybe. What the fine print means & sources to consider

A simply explained piece touching on what "free" really is, and what the nuances of using Creative Commons images are - very useful as an introductory article for K-12 classes (and for the rest of us too!).

Links are provided for more detail on the finer points, and for a number of sources of free images.

read the full article

A Year-Long Challenge for 2009 (with global support!)

I've always loved to shoot photos - won't say that I'm that great... but I like to catch the details and the quirky things that catch my attention. (Like a clever squirrel who defeated my "squirrel proof" bird feeder, then boldly stared me in the eyes to have the last laugh!)

There's been a healthy round of discussion during this past week in my Personal Learning Network (PLN) group on Twitter as members have shared their personal satisfaction and the success they felt at the completion of the 2008/366 Flick'r photostream challenge. It was a simple enough sounding activity... to commit to taking a photo each and every day of 2008, and to upload those photos daily to Flick'r, in either a personal photostream, or to the group stream (tagged 2008/366).

Some found it got to be onerous and dropped or skipped days; others found that they had actually loaded over 2000 images and produced end-of-year movies! All had comments to make - the sense of completion, the personal growth, and of their increased awareness with the world immediately around them... and it was suggested the group reform for 2009 - new members welcome, of course!

So - it's on again - to take a photo each and every day of 2009, and to upload those photos daily as well to Flick'r - with a set name of 2009/365. The group is posting a common photostream, or you can just do this as a personal/private challenge.

I'm going to try to be a part of the 2009/365 photostream group at Flick'r, as well as posting my own stream... we'll see... you can see the start of my stream and follow along as my 2009/365 set grows (hopefully!) Not setting any lofty goals here - just to try to stick through to completion, and to hopefully grow a bit as a photographer, or at least have fun trying!

Why start something like this?
Well - because my fellow tweeters said they'd had fun and learned from it, and were willing to be a support group for this coming year.
If you are a Twitter user, you know that the Personal Learning Network of colleagues you build there can span the globe. You select the voices and conversation streams you want to follow, based on their willingness to share expertise in areas of common interest. (In my case those areas would be elearning, social media, virtualization, web 2.0, 21st Century literacies for learners, libraries, web design, technology advances, etc. - as well as anything mac-related and some personal friends and family)

My PLN group spans 7 of the Canadian provinces, as well as 5 other countries! We converse 140 characters at a time, we share blog posts for broader debates, and even gather in occasional virtual Connect meetings to have indepth sharing and group discussions... but I've never *actually* met most of them. I'd not likely recognize most of them if we passed on the street. Some I only know as nicknames and avatar images, so I might not even make the connection if formally introduced somewhere!
But I've grown to know their "twitter voice" and the way they are willing to share ideas and answer questions... I've picked and dropped those I choose to follow as my interests have changed, but the current core group is a solid bunch and I think they'll be a good support group!

Wish us luck!

PS: a widget over on the left margin always reflects my most current tweets on Twitter and offers the link to follow me if you also Twitter)