Monday, July 9, 2012

Pictures for School Projects

 Social media image stats from 2011 compiled by the Royal Pingdom team.
  • 14 million – Number of Instagram accounts created during 2011.
  • 60 – The average number of photos uploaded per second to Instagram.
  • 100 billion – Estimated number of photos on Facebook by mid-2011.
  • 51 million – Total number of registered users on Flickr.
  • 4.5 million – Number of photos uploaded to Flickr each day.
  • 6 billion – Photos hosted on Flickr (August 2011).
  • 1 – Apple iPhone 4 is the most popular camera on Flickr.
While these numbers are staggering they don't, by a long shot, give us a clear idea of the actual number of pictures that reside on the World Wide Web.

As educators we can benefit from this trend in the social media revolution if we just know where to look.  While I do not recommend you let your students search these social media sites for images (some pictures may not be school appropriate - student safe search tools for students will be listed below), that does not mean that you can not find some amazing first had pictures for your classroom presentations, website or blog.  For example, the image below was found on Insagram and depicts a scene during the final Shuttle launch.  Pictures can be found in real time as the event occurs. 
From user sgoralnich
Why would you want to use a picture taken by Joe Public instead on one taken by a professional photographer?

1. Joe Public is everywhere with his trusty smartphone.  Images can be found on social media that professional news agencies just can not cover (Why was Peter Parker the only camera person that could capture Spider-man on film?  Because he was there when the action was taking place).

2. Copyright.  While Joe Public owns an all rights reserved copyright to the picture he just snapped on his iPhone, you are not "...effecting...the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work" as you MIGHT be if you used the image taken by a professional cameraman and then sold to a news agency.  You would be good to go, based on the Fair Use guidelines. This may be a bit a stretch, because copyright law does favor educators.  While you would be fine to use the professionally taken photo in the classroom, using it on  your class website or blog would be an entirely different story.

Social Network Image Search Tools (Recommended for teacher use only) - This is the best tool I know of for searching Public Instagram photos.  Full size images are returned as well as the users name, so you can give appropriate attribution. - This is a favorite Flickr search tool. It allows you to search specifically for images that have a Creative Commons license. - Keyword search Flickr for Creative Commons licensed photos.  If you use the embed code they provide, it will also add the appropriate attribution to your website or blog (I use this for the vast majority of pictures on this blog).

 Flicker CC -  This is another great Creative Commons image search tool that pulls from Flickr

*It is not possible to search the private profiles of individual Facebook users.  While search tools do exist to search images on Public Facebook Pages (for businesses, etc), I did not include these on the list because of the likelihood of copyright conflict.


General Image Search tools (for students) - A massive stock photo search engine.
- A search tool for free stock photos.  Not as comprehensive as Everystockphoto, but still a very useful tool.
- A copyright-friendly searchable image database specifically made for teachers and students.  

Google Images (advanced search) -  Use the advance search feature to find copyright friendly images indexed by Google.

1. Search for an image by keyword (standard image search).

2. Click the cog button to the right corner of the screen and select Advanced search

3. Scroll the bottom of the page and select the desired licensing type.  I personally like "free to use share or modify" for school projects.

Do you have some favorite image search sites for teachers or students that I missed?  Suggest one or more in a comment.

photo credit: paloetic via photo pin cc


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