Category Archives: Digital Citizenship

Using Photos Fairly: #EdublogsClub Prompt 4

computer class

Creative Commons License woodleywonderworks via Compfight

This week’s blogging challenge was to write a post that includes an image and to write about that image or about the process of using images in digital work!  Here are my thoughts:

Digital Citizenship has always been an important topic, but I’m especially concerned about teaching students to use images and other works belonging to others fairly.  We are in the third year of a 1:1 iPad implementation K-12 in our district, and as kids become more and more savvy and creative in their creation of digital media, I am more and more concerned that we need to ALL be informed and take it as our responsibility to teach and enforce the proper, legal use of images.  I appreciated the recent update on The Edublogger about understanding copyright and creative commons for educators.  You can read the entire post at:  The Educator’s Guide To Copyright, Fair Use, And Creative Commons.

My favorite take-away from reading the update was the list of resources for finding images with friendly-to-use licensing.  I’d been familiar with Photos For Class for quite a while and I really like it because it saves the images with their attribution attached at the bottom.  Super easy for our youngest students!  New to me, though, was CompFight.  As a blogger, the plug-in works slick!  I can search for the image, and when I insert it into my post, the attribution and link come right along with it.  You can see my very first use of this tool in the image for this post.  Note the hyperlinked text below it….that came right along with the image when I inserted it!  So nice to have confidence that I’m using and crediting images correctly!  I  also tried out the online tool at the web address linked above.  While it is easy to search for images, the results do bring up a couple of rows of not-free, stock photos that you’d have to teach kids to ignore.  The attribution is easy to find on the page, but does not get saved right at the bottom of the photo like it does for Photos For Class, either.

Pixabay is another resource suggested by the post, but I haven’t felt easy suggesting it because, while the photos are all released to use without attribution, they aren’t all something that I’m comfortable with students pulling up in their search results, especially for my youngest students.

Another tip related to images I’d like to add:  I recently worked with some 3rd graders and wanted to show them the Google Advanced Image Search tool you can get when you visit  (On iPad, the advanced tools aren’t as easy to open in the browser.)  One thing I did was make a QR code to that URL so that they could easily get to the address.  Then we saved the URL as a web-clip so that it looks like an app on their iPad screen.  I taught them to type in their search terms and before hitting search,  change the “usage rights” field to “free to use or share.”  We talked about how different the search results were and why.  It still is important to help students find the information for giving attribution, but it makes searching a bit easier anyway.

If you’re a regular classroom teacher, what are your thoughts on your responsibility for teaching kids to give credit when they use someone else’s intellectual property like images? Should you be expected to teach it?  Enforce it?  If not you, who in your students’ lives should be responsible?