A picture is worth 1000 words – even if it’s free

Today I read an article about the importance of using images in a classroom. I also have been doing some work with various teachers on finding Creative Commons-licensed work for reuse. As this is Open Education Week, I thought it timely to post something about a few tools I use and find helpful.

Note: I’ve also seen a list of tips that stresses that students should be creating their own images instead of using others. I agree completely – and am working on some photography lessons for students and teachers (not by me!), but it’s still important to find others’ work.

So, here are three tools that I find useful for finding pictures that can be reused (plus a couple of extras):

Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons allows you to search a variety of sources of images (Flickr, Europeana, Fotopedia, Google images, etc.) as well as search repositories of music and other media.


This search engine allows you to search through Flickr‘s images, including choosing Creative Commons licenses. The very useful thing about this search engine is that it gives you quick access to downloading the image and a copy & pasteable HTML snippet to insert an image and give credit.

Here’s an example of pasted credit (copied from above): Photo Credit: babasteve via Compfight cc


Pixabay has a large and growing database of beautiful photographs in the public domain.

CC0All images are licensed CC0 – the Creative Commons public domain license.

Here are a few other sites I regularly use:

  • Wikimedia Commons – searchable through Creative Commons’ Search (above), but well worth listing as a source of photos and more
  • Open Clip Art – not photographs, but vector clip art, all licensed CC0

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: