A few years ago I attended a workshop that focused on the importance of using visual aids in the classroom, The presenter shared that we learn:
- 3% through taste
- 3% through smell
- 6% through touch
- 13% through hearing
- 75% through seeing
While most of us are aware that we should be using more visuals, we may not always know where to safely obtain our visual aids.With the wealth of the Internet the issue becomes not can we find images to use but rather, where do we find images to use that don't violate copyright? We know that we could easily Google images but is it appropriate to just use what we find on Google? There are two things that every educator needs to keep in mind when looking for any resource on the net.
First, not everything on the web is yours to use. Fair use does not always protect you and Google is making it easy for companies and content creators to seek out those who are downloading and/or re-posting their work. Yes, Google knows when you are accessing their site. If you have any doubt, check the ads on your Facebook site and see if they don't match your browsing history. Too, more and more “law firms” and organizations out there looking for violations in obtaining copyrighted content as a way of generating business. They then contact the copyright holder offering their services (for a fee of course). Keep in mind that when copyright laws were created the Internet was just a far away cloud on the horizon.
Secondly and happily, there are some resources that you can make use of. One thing to look for when figuring out if a resource is free to use is a Creative Commons license. Luckily, the CreativeCommons.org website has a ton of excellent information that will help keep us out of trouble. Below are some of my favorite places to go when hunting for images:
Creative Commons Search - Search many sites at the same time
StockVault.net – Free images from photographers around the world
Kozzi.com – One free photo per day
FindIcons.com – Huge resource for avatars or small images
Flickr Advanced Search – Use advanced search filters to show only CC licensed images
Morguefile – Free stock photos
Open Clipart Libary – Public domain clipart
Pics4Learning – free image library for education
At the bottom is a screenshot from a brand new site that I just stumbled upon. This one also has a free app inside of Edmodo so that you or your students can use this in posts. This is called Photos For Class. In the screenshot below you can see a search I did on the American Colonies.