PechaFlickr for language classes

We are about to begin those final weeks of the academic year,  and language teachers (and students) are looking for ways to review and reinforce the learning that has happened during the term.  This week in LLU I thought I would share a few tools that I have used in class that we found to be successful on a variety of levels.

Here goes!

What is it?  PechaFlickr was created by Alan Levine (the same man who brought us 5 card flickr …I blogged about that fun tool here).  

How does it work?: PechaFlickr was developed around the same ideas that created  PechaKucha: rather than presentations being  boring, droning, endless slides read aloud, presenters create 20 slides and are given 20 seconds per slide  to say what needs to be said.  The result: crisp and succinct presentations with more time for Q & A.

PechaFlickr  takes that idea one step further (click on  Advanced Settings)  and allows the user to create slide shows (using pictures that are open and available on Flickr)  based upon a chosen keyword.  It also allows you to chose the number of slides as well as the amount of time the  per slide.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 12.26.17 PM


In this example I used the keyword Colombia, asked for 20 slides with 15 seconds per slide for a 5 minute presentation/ class activity.

The url generator is a nice feature.  Once you have chosen the parameters for your presenetation, it allows you to go back and play again.  Depending upon the keyword you use it could deliver the same pictures, new pictures, same pictures in a different order, etc

How I used it in class:   After modeling a brief demos (5 slides X 20 seconds),  I asked students to suggest a keyword  and amount of time per slide (the number of slides = the number of people in the room).  I told them we were going to create a story as a class, and each person had to add to the story using the slides presented.  This first time through we did it going around the room so people could see who was first, second, third…we then did it where they picked a number (PechaFlickr counts the number of slides so they always know where they are in the sequence).

It takes less than 10 minutes to set up and accomplish the activity, and invariably students ask to do it again and again.  It is a great icebreaker for the beginning of class as well as a great way to wind down at the end of class).

Have suggestions on how to improve the tool or new ideas on how to use it, let Alan know here.

Great fun and super easy to use.  A big woof of thanks to the cogdog for making this happen. Try it out!



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Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!


  1. Alan Levine (@cogdog) · March 24, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the writeup, Barbara- I have seen the most uptake and enthusiasm for pechaflickr among language teachers and learners. I just recently added a feature to provide a summary and list of links to all images use… a fture dream is a way to be able to send a link that would give someone else the same exactl images and settings.

    bark! bark!

    • Barbara · March 24, 2014 Reply

      That’s great that this has been popular with language teachers! Maybe we could contact each other about ideas for how to use it in class? That could be fun.

      Yes to links that people can return to with the same images (ala five card flickr) That would be very helpful and practical.


      PS Petey and Ozzie say hi.

  2. Felix · March 26, 2014 Reply

    I sued pechaflickr a few weeks ago in my second semester German class. I agree that this is a wonderful tool! Thanks for the post.

  3. Barbara · March 26, 2014 Reply

    Heh. I was getting excited there for a minute 🙂

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