A Guide to Finding and Using Images for Teaching, Presentations, Blogging and Other Uses
On Tuesday, contributor Andrea Lythgoe wrote “Copy Right! Using Images in Your Presentations and Teaching Materials Appropriately“sharing what educators and presenters need to know when preparing to use images or other works for teaching materials and presentations. We learned about what it means when a work is copyrighted, (and basically, all work is copyrighted once it is produced by the artist/photographer.) Copyrighted work may not be used without permission from the owner. Today, I discuss what are the options available to educators with a small to nonexistent budget who need to source images for childbirth classes or other presentation purposes. I will explain about “Creative Commons” images, how to find and attribute images that you can use and some of my favorite resources for locating appropriate images for the needs of the educator or other professional.
Many creators want to share the work (music, artwork, photos, videos, even academic or scientific material and more) that they have created and make it available for others to use, while still maintaining the rights to how it is used. Many bloggers, educators, students and others would like to access images and other works without having to purchase the rights, especially for non-commercial purposes. Some people would even like to modify the works of others for their own purpose. Enter Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that lets creators determine how their work may be used. Creative Commons has established different licenses so that artists may specify under what circumstances a specific image, video or other creative work may be used by the general public. For a great general introduction to Creative Commons, please view this video on the Creative Commons website.
Creative Commons Licenses
There are six types of licenses under the Creative Commons Agreements. Some of these licenses are very generous, allowing the user to modify, tweak, change, build upon and distribute a version of the original work as long as the same level of Creative Commons license is applied to the new work, and this new work may be used for commercial purposes. The most restrictive Creative Commons license allows the work to be shared for noncommercial purposes only. Each of the six license levels require the licensor (creator) to be credited. No matter what level of Creative Commons license is assigned to the item by the licensor, the copyright is still owned by the creator of the work.
Every time you use a work that you obtained through a Creative Common license, you must attribute it properly. This can be very confusing at times. A very thorough guide on how to properly attribute Creative Commons works can be found here. If you are using the Chrome web browser, there is a very handy extension, Flickr CC Attribution Helper, that automatically formats the correct attribution from any Creative Commons image you are using from Flickr. Flickr is one of the largest sources for Creative Commons images, so this can be very helpful. There very well may be other such plugins and extensions for Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and other browsers. I happen to use Chrome, so this extension is one I am familiar with. Do make every attempt to provide the correct attribution for a piece of work. If the artist was kind enough to share it, you should honor their request to be correctly attributed.
My Favorite Sources for Images and More
I have several favorite sites for finding images to use in this blog, my teaching materials, presentations and other image needs. I would like to share them here with you.
The mother of all Creative Commons search tools. Easy to use, this website lets you specify if you want to use the material for commercial purposes or make changes to the original work. You enter your search terms, and select the venue that you want to search and off you go. You can find videos, music, images and artwork, along with other material. If you don’t find what you are looking for, come back and try another option from the main site.
A repository of almost 20 million educational media content images, including sound and video clips that are free to use and modify. This site functions much like Wikipedia does, allowing everyone to edit it. Work is available in a multitude of languages from this site. The main purpose of the site was to provide a source of images and other media to be used on the Wikipedia Commons site, but the material is also freely downloadable as well.
Flickr has compiled millions and millions of photography images that are free for you to use under the Creative Commons license. The number of images available grows by leaps and bounds every day with new material added all the time. Flickr also has a very large collection from the world’s public photography archive, in a collection called The Commons. This is a great place to find old pictures from many public institutions. Remember if you are using Chrome, check out Flickr CC Attribution Helper. Not all the images on Flick are available for use, so double check before using.
Google Images is another one of my favorites for images, clip art, pictures along with technical drawings and illustrations. To find Creative Commons work, you will want to go to the advanced settings (click on the gear image in the upper right,) and select the type of license you want near the bottom. Don’t worry, it is easy to change once your search returns some images. Doing this ensures you are using images that you are licensed to use under the Creative Commons license.
Other sites that I want you to know about include Pixabay, Every Stock Photo, PhotoPin and Bing Images. All of these image search engines let you limit the results to the material you can use under a Creative Commons License. At times, I need to hit several different tools to find just the right image that I feel is perfect for what I am trying to convey. Finding the right image is one of my favorite parts of working on Science & Sensibility.
What do you do to find images and other media for your teaching and presentations? What are your favorite sites? Do you have additional tips and tricks to share with Science & Sensibility readers? Let us know in the comments section.