I was introduced to Tag Galaxy at a recent TeachMeet (#TmHills), and thought it one of the ideas well worth sharing here.
Tag Galaxy works to bring tags and images together in an inspiring form; which can be more easily searched than scouring through image repositories like Flickr. It could be used to not only find images to suit a particular need, but also to inspire discussion about how certain concepts may be defined differently by individuals about the globe.
The best way to understand how it works is to start using it:
Begin at: http://taggalaxy.de/
Input your initial tag e.g. refugee.
This will provide a number of galaxial globes with suggested associated terms (from Flickr)
You can select additional globes to refine your search e.g. if you wanted ‘refugee’ plus ‘war’.
Click on the most suitable globe for your need till a single globe is left in the centre of the screen with images flying in from Flickr
There may be mutiple pages for your tags, just keep clicking through, or select any one of the images on the globe to reveal more about it.
Clicking on your selected photo (after spinning the globe around to see what other alternatives are on the globe of course…), gives details of the picture and following through to Flickr will give information about copyright issues i.e. whether the image is able to be used and how.
The beauty of Tag Galaxy is that you don’t need to scroll through pages and pages of images on Flickr. It also gives some sense of how the online community views a particular topic, which should generate some lively discussion at times. The down side is the reliance on community tagging, which may differ greatly from conventional subject headings – but that is the social nature of knowledge on the internet.
Some suggested applications for classroom use include:
checking possible global understanding of a concept
illustration of assignments / stories / etc.
A similar word concept tool is Visuwords – which you can read about at: http://weeksy.edublogs.org/2008/03/04/cant-find-the-right-word/ It provides lots of alternative associated terms to those you can input.
# Note 1, both these applications need Flash to function.
# Note 2, as mentioned on iLearn Technology’s post, as with any other socially generated tool, caution should be exercised given that you never can tell how some people may tag a photo. Some trials may be worth considering with some age groups.