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As our students create more and more digital products—blog posts, videos, podcasts, e-books—they should be using images to enhance them.
We’ll start with the safest, most affordable option. My goal is to raise awareness of the complexities of online use of images and get teachers to pass on that awareness to their students.
If you find inaccuracies, please point them out and I will make corrections.
The way to identify a paid image is if it has a watermark: a translucent design that covers the image but doesn’t prevent you from seeing the picture behind it.
These watermarks are only removed after someone actually pays for the image, but it is possible to download a watermarked image, and people will sometimes do this without realizing that they are basically stealing the image AND broadcasting that fact to the world. With all of this said, using images correctly can be an inexact science: Sometimes you can’t always contact a person for permission.
You can learn about all of the licenses here, but the safest bet is to steer students toward pictures that have the two least restrictive licenses: CC0: Creative Commons Zero This is the least restrictive level, and the one students should look for first.
Items marked as CC0 can be used by anyone, for any purpose without having to get permission or give credit to the artist.
When using photos they take themselves, students should keep the following rules in mind: Creative Commons is an organization that has made it much easier for people to share artwork.
They have established a set of licenses that artists can place on their work that automatically gives others permission to use that work in their own projects under specific terms and conditions.
CC BY: Attribution Items with this license can be used for non-commercial OR commercial purposes, and all the user has to do is give credit to the original artist.
[Both license images above came from Creative Commons and are licensed under CC BY 4.0] Free Stock Photo Sites These fantastic sites curate free, high-quality images that are all CC0 licensed.