Friday, October 16, 2009

Finding Copyright-Friendly Pictures for Your Blog

"When you use pictures in your blog please make sure you are observing copyright."
Okay so where can I get pictures to use?

It's a fair question. Sometimes the "copyright" mention in the workshop sessions (any workshop session) turns into a lot of "don't." So where should you get pictures for use in your classroom blog?

Most of the time teachers aren't really interested in hearing me talk about how much I likecreative commons, they really just want a few sites to check out and see if they can find the pic they need. So here are a handful of sites I'd recommend, but I'd also need to mention that one of the best ways to use pictures would be to take your own (or even better have students take them). This won't work for all pictures but is a way to avoid any issues in copyright.
I'll also say that while many of the sites are "copyright friendly" and not likely to have any questionable content, it might not be a good idea to pull up pictures with your students. I've used all these sites before and not encountered anything objectionable but enter disclaimer here.

Top Sites for Copyright-Friendly Pictures for Your Blog:
  • Pics4Learning This site grants teachers and students the use of the pictures on its site, many of which were submitted by teachers and students. I love the idea, but there are some areas that there is not a lot of content. As a plus, it is very easy to use the site.
  • Flickr Flickr is a great one for finding pictures uploaded by users who in many cases have some real skills in photography. In most cases you'll find more than enough images to choose from. However not all content should be used. Be sure to check under Additional Information for details on the rights for the image. You may need to become familiar with creative commons licenses.
  • Compfight isn't a part of the Flickr site, but it does provide an easy option for searching. In Compfight you can easily search Flickr for only creative commons images. Just set the search option at the top of the page to Creative Commons Only.
  • Photo8 is maintained by a photographer who has a nice collection of quality photos that are now public domain. Again, this site might not have the volume of pictures other sites offer but should ease any copyright fears.
  • UncleSam'sPhotos The government might seem like an unlikely source of great photos. However, they have a nice directory of free stock photos available for commercial or personal use. There are a few steps to get to the content, but there are many good pictures related to the military, civics and United States.
Finally in many cases "copyright-friendly" still means cite the source. Even if this step is optional, it is still a good to model the process for our students.

So there they are, not a comprehensive list but a good starting place for pictures to use on your blog (voicethreads, webpage, etc...)


swalker said...

Thanks for the resource list - Will share at Kimmel Farm as we build our class blogs in the coming weeks!

Emory said...
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Emory said...

Thanks for the comment Sam. Are there any you can think of that I missed?