Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Creative Commons–a teacher’s guide

Where do you get photos for students to use in their presentations?  This is a common question from educators as we want students to create high-quality reports and presentation and want to advise them how to follow copyright.

Here are some resources to get the busy educator started.

Canadian Creative Commons was established to give creators and copyright owners different levels of control to who can use and share their work.  In the past there used to be only a black and white copyright where you had to pay to use.  Many artists and content creator wanted to be more generous and this is why they allow the use of their pictures for non-commercial uses such as education.

Practical Uses of Creative Commons


Flikr is by far my favourite site to get amazing photos.  There are photographers with amazing cameras that get way better photos that I could ever get and then share them on Flikr.  Here is how to use a Flikr photo that has been licensed.

  1. go to
  2. click on ‘explore
  3. scroll to the bottom of the page and select ‘creative commons
  4. Selecting Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License has almost 50 million photos at this time. See more lets you do a search. 
  5. Save this URL in your favourites
  6. When you find a picture you like – right-click on select a size.  I use medium for posting on the web.  You can now right-click and copy.
  7. When you upload and post on a website, be sure to include the URL of the photo.

Below is an amazing photo of a Mount Saint Helens.  I visited it this summer and didn’t manage to get a photo as good as this one.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft clipart and pictures are an amazing extensive resource of graphics.  The terms-of-use allows for use as long as you own Microsoft Office products which almost everyone does.

To put a clipart onto a website is easy if you have MS word and use Windows Live Writer to post. 

  1. Open Word
  2. Insert Clip Art
  3. Search for a graphic and place into the document
  4. Right-click to copy
  5. Paste into Windows Live Writer

Below is a picture from Microsoft’s clip art gallery.



What other sites and sources to people have for copyright free images that teachers and students can use?  Post a comment here.

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