Using Flickr with Blackboard

To start, Flickr photos can be used to spruce up the appearance of your Blackboard class and to make it appear more engaging.

I found this photo by going to, clicking on Flickr, and typing in “psychology” as the search term.

I used to have Super Human Powers

Notice that it is licensed by the Flickr user Esparta under Creative Commons terms that do allow for sharing. Starting out by searching for Creative Commons images can help you avoid sharing photos that are copyrighted in ways that ask you not to repost.

When I went back to the Creative Commons Flickr search and typed in “Freud,” I did find a picture of Sigmond Freud that was available to share. I also found a photostream called “Psychology Pictures.” That gave me access to a number of images that could be used in a unit on psychology, including this B.F. Skinner exhibit of pigeons play ping pong.

B.F Skinner

Anything you say is bound to be more interesting once you have the pigeons there to set it up.

You can find any number of images on any number of subjects in Flickr (and through Creative Commons) that, when integrated into your Blackboard course, can clarify or enhance information (or perhaps just make everything a little more entertaining.

You can also upload your own photographs into Flickr and embed them from there into Blackboard. This is often better than uploading pictures directly to Blackboard because Flickr is made for handling images. They load faster from Flickr and are easier for students with slower connections to view. Plus, Flickr allows for easy editing of images through another online tool called Picnik.

Just go to and sign up for a free account to get started. Paid accounts are also available if you want to upload more images than the free version allows.

I’ll leave you with this image, which I found through Creative Commons on Flickr by search “anxiety.”

Anxiety - photo used under Creative Commons Licence

I hope this isn’t how you feel about redesigning your Blackboard course.

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