Using Online Images

I believe that it’s important for us to teach/remind students to make sure that they have permission before selecting and using an image that they find online.  Remind students that just because something is posted on the internet doesn’t mean it’s okay for them to download and use it.

My favorite website for children to use is Photos for Class. The reason that I like this website best, is because the photo source is automatically posted on the image, so children don’t have to do an additional step to site the image. This is especially great for children in lower elementary. Sometimes, however, children have trouble finding images on Photos for Class. This is especially frustrating for students who have done the same search at home, in Google Images, where there are many more results.

My second favorite search tool is Google Advanced Image Search. Google Advanced Image Search searches the world wide web. You can filter out explicit results, and narrow your results to images that  you are free to use and share. See the image below to find those settings.

advanced-image-searchOnce you find an image on the web, you have to check the permission images to see what is required of you to use this image. You are usually required to cite the sources, and sometimes, to hyperlink to the original image. Some images are in the public domain and do not need to be cited.

There are a number of other specialty websites that help you find images that you have permission to use.

  • Creative Commons Search lets you search specific sites or databases for images, and other multimedia that are Creative Commons licensed.
  • Wikimedia Commons is a collection of user submitted images that anyone can use.
  • Flickr Creative Commons lets you find images that Flickr users have licensed for reuse using Creative Commons.
  • Tech for Learning is a library of images especially curated for educational use
  • UN World Library is a collection of historical images from the Library of Congress and UNESCO about our world.
  • Prints and Photographs from the Library of Congress is a collection of historical images from the Library of Congress
  • Free Photo sites is a directory of images collected from the world wide web, free for non-commercial use. Attribution is necessary for these images.
  • Trek Earth is a website that encourages people to learn about the world through photography. Images are organized by locations where they were taken.
  • Realia Project is a collection of images and media collected by faculty for use in learning and teaching modern languages.
  • Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon is a selection of images specifically curated to support language learning. They bill themselves as “the source for authentic images for language learning.
  • Morgue File lets users (creatives) share photos for other people to use in creative endeavors. The website also indexes images from other sites.

Related Posts


Better Searching – Google Drive

Have you noticed that the search options in Google Drive have changed, and by changed I mean greatly improved?! I’m excited to be able to search by owner, and to be able to specify if a search term can be found in the title, or in the content of the file. Check it out when you have a chance. Click on all the drop down arrows to see all the options. To access the search options, click on the arrow beside the search box in Drive.

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Who Wrote That? Authority Online

On January 22, Google added a feature to search to help you verify the authority of publishers online. This information automatically shows up in your search results when “when a site is widely recognized as notable online, when there is enough information to show or when the content may be handy for you”. Read the Google blog post to see what else Google had to say about this change.

I was trying to share this feature with a colleague today and it had dissappeared. Well, not really. As it turns out, the extra information showed up when I performed searches on but not when I used a regional google search page such as or This extra information shows up as a grey hyperlink to the right of the site URL.

google search

The search on the right is done in; the one on the left is done in

When you click on the grey arrow, a dropdown box provides information taken from Wikipedia about the organization responsible for publishing the web page, as in the case of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences shown below.

Image showing drop down box providing information about the website responsible for publishing the page.

Image showing drop down box providing information about the website responsible for publishing the page.

I think that this is  a great feature to help people evaluate websites. However, one shouldn’t depend on it too much. For example, the Missouri botanical gardens is likely a reliable source on water pollution but my search didn’t provide any gray indicator of additional information to suggest credibility.

Google Search – Filters

Google has modified search to include an Applications tab. You may have to click on more to find it. I first learned of this from Martin Hawksey on Google+.

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At the top level, you can also filter by images, maps, shopping, videos, news, books, blogs, discussions, patents, recipes and flights. The filtering options will depending on the Google domain that you are searching from. I see all filtering options when I search with, but flights and recipes disappear when I use