Teaching students (and teachers!) how to search for Creative Commons images and music

I ran a session recently with our Year 7 students about ethical use of images and music from the Web and the need for them to understand Creative Commons licenses. Our Head of Year 7 understands the need for us to be informing our students about ethical use of the Internet and we’d discussed the fact that a session like this was necessary for our students. It’s great when you work with people who support what you’re doing and understand this knowledge is important to impart.

I made reference to this session at a conference I was presenting at in Perth last week. I was talking about Cloud Computing, but a participant’s question at the end of the session referred to what I’d done with the Year 7 students. She wanted to know how you search images on Google that are licensed Creative Commons. The entire room seemed to not know how to do this. It made me think. Just how is it that we expect students to be using the web ethically, when there would be, potentially, the majority of their teachers who have no idea how to do so also?

So, here’s how you do it. First step would be visiting the Google Web Search help page where they explain in detail what it is you can find when you use the Advanced Search options. You can follow this link, or read what I’ve copied from the site (I hope this constitutes fair use -at least I’ve let you know where it’s from!);

Find all types of reusable content using the Advanced Search page

The usage rights filter on the Advanced Search page shows you pages that are either labeled with a Creative Commons license or labeled as being in the public domain. Here are the different usage rights options available:

  • Free to use or share
    Your results will only include pages that are either labeled as public domain or carry a license that allows you to copy or redistribute its content, as long as the content remains unchanged.
  • Free to use, share, or modify
    Your results will only include pages that are labeled with a license that allows you to copy, modify, or redistribute in ways specified in the license.
  • If you want content for commercial use, be sure to select the appropriate option containing the term commercially.

Find reusable images using Advanced Image Search

If you’re looking for reusable images, use the Advanced Image Search page. In addition to images labeled as being under the Creative Commons license or in the public domain, the usage rights filter on this page also shows you images labeled with the GNU Free Documentation license.

In the Usage Rights drop-down, select one of the following options:

  • Labeled for reuse
    Your results will only include images labeled with a license that allows you to copy and/or modify the image in ways specified in the license.
  • Labeled for commercial reuse
    Your results will only include images labeled with a license that allows you to copy the image for commercial purposes, in ways specified in the license.
  • Labeled for reuse with modification
    Your results will only include images labeled with a license that allows you to copy and modify the image in ways specified in the license.
  • Labeled for commercial reuse with modification
    Your results will only include images labeled with a license that allows you to copy the image for commercial purposes and modify it in ways specified in the license.

If you find images with the wrong usage rights in the search results, let us know by reporting them in the help forum.

Before reusing content that you’ve found, you should verify that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse stated in the license. For example, most licenses require that you give credit to the image creator when reusing an image. Google has no way of knowing whether the license is legitimate, so we aren’t making any representation that the content is actually or lawfully licensed.

I direct my students to select Usage rights – return images that are – labelled for commercial reuse. This screenshot shows you what I mean;

It was a wake up call for the Year 7 students, most of whom admitted to using Google Image Search but paying no heed to copyright issues.

Of course, we had to preface the talk with a discussion about just what Creative Commons was and what the different licenses represented;

Creative Commons licences

Attribution
Attribution

Attribution
by
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.

Share Alike
Share Alike

Share Alike
sa
You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

Noncommercial
Noncommercial

Non-Commercial
nc
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only.

NoDerivative Works
NoDerivative Works

No Derivative Works
nd
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

We also explored other sites that allow you to search for images that are in the Creative Commons. These included Morguefile, Compfight, and Flickr itself. We also looked at sites that provide free music in the Creative Commons. These included Jamendo, CC Mixter, opsound, Dmusic and Soundclick.

(A twitter link tonight led me to a site for free stock photo images – Veezzle)

Hopefully, the session had an impact on the way they go about using images and music from the Web. For Australian educators, the Smartcopying website provides an excellent port of call for reading about copyright, and understanding what you can do in schools with text, images and music.

Really, I should be running sessions like this across the school. Something to put on the list for Semester Two!

16 Comments

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16 responses to “Teaching students (and teachers!) how to search for Creative Commons images and music

  1. Pingback: links for 2010-06-09 | Stratepedia Blog

  2. whipplehill

    awesome. well done!

  3. ImageCodr gives you instant info about a flickr image, including html code for embedding and a license summary. You just enter the url of the image page.

  4. Hi Jenny,
    Very interesting and clear explanation here that gets people thinking about intellectual property, rights, Creative Commons material and how we have to be conscious of the fact that we cannot just freely take what we want without attribution, as easy as it is to do. Would love to use this and make it available to my school community so am asking here if I could link it on my website’s Information Skills page if that’s OK with you.
    Thanking you.
    Anni

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  8. Belinda

    An excellent overview – thanks Jenny! This will be perfect for sharing with staff and students.

  9. Pingback: Time to consolidate | Robyn's blog

  10. Pingback: Week 5 – Digital Citizenship | Meghan's PLN Blog

  11. Thanks Jenny. Reading this has changed my own practices. It is amazing how much I don’t know. I am grafeul to you for helping me to be a better digital citizen and am passing on the word, not just tot my students, staff and school community, but
    to my family and friends as well. :)

    • jennylu

      Thanks so much for leaving this comment. Sometimes you do wonder if your writing is making a difference for others. Your comment is inspiration to continue sharing.
      Jenny. : )

  12. Pingback: Digital Citizenship – Unit 5 « journeybeginsbeneathmyfeet

  13. Pingback: Creative commons and plagiarism « pattoexplores

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