Happy New Year!
The Internet is a great resource for high-quality images to help enhance the work of both students and teachers. Type in just about any search term and you will likely find an image to fit your needs. Just because it’s “out there” though, doesn’t mean it’s free to take and use without another thought. Fortunately there are some great resources to help you and your students find quality images that have been licensed as “free to reuse” and even “free to modify for noncommercial purposes”. Even these, however, still require a citation giving credit to the original creator of the work. Enter Photos for Class.
Photos for Class is a new site that offers a place for students and teachers to search for images that are safe and appropriate for school and have a Creative Commons license that makes them available for reuse. But the best part is that when you download the images, the citation is automatically included as a watermark at the bottom of the image. (Click on the image above to get a better look.) No need to search for and save the attribution information and then try to find a place to add the citation on your document. It’s right there, already done for you.
I realize there may be instances where having that watermark may detract from the impact of the photo…and in fact some of the photos I downloaded had a watermark almost as big as the image itself…not exactly aesthetically pleasing. In those cases, the responsibility would fall on the user to find the attribution information and include it him- or herself. But as a learning tool, and especially as an easy way to model and reinforce the importance of giving credit to the creator of an image, Photos for Class is a great resource.
Next time you need a great image to activate your lesson or to drive home a point, give Photos for Class a try. When your students ask about the watermark (or even if they don’t) remind them that part of being a good digital citizen is giving credit where credit is due. Then show them Photos for Class, so they can easily do the same in their own work.