Saturday, April 14, 2018

18 Free Image Sites and Tools for Schools

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it might also be worth a thousand dollars if your school gets hit with a copyright violation claim. This happens to schools every year as students or teachers inappropriately use an image that they do not have the rights to.

Thankfully this does not have to be the case as there are loads of high quality pictures that can be used in school projects without any licensing concerns. These can include images that are released under creative commons, or are in the public domain, or simply are copyright-free. Of course depending on the license, it may still be necessary to cite where the image came from to provide proper attribution (and it can be a good practice to do even if not required).

There are many sites and tools that can help educators and students find free photos, clipart, icons, and more. See below for a list of many of these, and be sure to share your suggestions for other resources to add to this collection.


The List

If you just want the links to the sites and tools, see the list right below. If you want all the details on each site go further down the post to find that information.

Free Image Websites

Free Image Add-ons for Docs

Free Image Add-ons for Slides


Free Image Websites

The first section of this list contains websites where free images can be found. For each site, I tried to include several helpful items of information:
  • Website - The web address for the site
  • Media Types - The types of files the site provides, such as photos, clipart, icons, videos, and such.
  • Quantity - How many images the site currently provides, if known.
  • License - An explanation of the license(s), approved uses, and citation requirements for the images.
  • Account - Whether or not an account is needed to use the site.
  • Adult Content - In short, does the site contain any images that have nudity? If so, is there a safe search option to exclude such images? Because standards for content vary depending on age level, community, and other factors, as always please explore any site before using it with students and use your best judgement.
  • Sample Image - I have included a sample image from each site with a search for the term "dog".


Unsplash
  • Website - https://unsplash.com
  • Media Types - Photos
  • Quantity - Over 300,000
  • License - All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible. https://unsplash.com/license
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - No
  • Sample Image - Photo by NIDHIN MUNDACKAL on Unsplash


Pexels
  • Website - https://www.pexels.com
  • Media Types - Photos
  • Quantity - Over 40,000
  • License - Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. Attribution is not required. https://www.pexels.com/photo-license/
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - No
  • Sample Image - Source: pixabay.com


Stockio
  • Website - https://www.stockio.com
  • Media Types - Photos, Videos, Vectors (clipart), Fonts, Icons
  • Quantity - Unknown
  • License - Free for personal and commercial use. Not for sale or redistribution. Attribution is not required but appreciated.
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - No
  • Sample Image - Photo by Zivile& Arunas


Reshot
  • Website - https://www.reshot.com
  • Media Types - Photos
  • Quantity - Unknown
  • License - You can download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Reshot. https://www.reshot.com/license
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - No
  • Sample Image - Photo by Gema Soler


PikWizard
  • Website - https://pikwizard.com
  • Media Types - Photos
  • Quantity - Unknown
  • License - Creative Common Zero (CC0) license. Free for personal and even commercial usage. Attribution is not required but appreciated. https://pikwizard.com/cc0-license
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - No
  • Sample Image - Photo by cri92


Pixabay
  • Website - https://pixabay.com
  • Media Types - Photos, Vector Graphics (clipart), Illustrations, Videos
  • Quantity - Over 1.4 million items
  • License - Creative Commons CC0. You are free to adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although not required, a link back to Pixabay is appreciated. https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage
  • Account - Not needed unless you want to download the highest resolution versions of the images. Can log in with Google account.
  • Adult Content - Yes, but a safe search is available. Adult content is blocked by default.
  • Sample Image - Photo by Free-Photos


Morguefile
  • Website - https://morguefile.com
  • Media Types - Photos
  • Quantity - Unknown
  • License - You are free to use and adapt the images, even for commercial purposes. If you don't alter the image and leave it exactly as it is, then you must credit the photographer to use it. https://morguefile.com/license
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - No
  • Sample Image - Photo by kamuelaboy


Openclipart
  • Website - https://openclipart.org
  • Media Types - Clipart
  • Quantity - Over 140,000 items
  • License - Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Public Domain License - You can copy, modify, distribute the images, even for commercial purposes, without asking permission, and without attributing the original author or source. https://openclipart.org/share
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - Yes (but it is clipart)
  • Sample Image - Clipart by anarres


Photos for Class


Pics4Learning
  • Website - http://www.pics4learning.com
  • Media Types - Photos
  • Quantity - Over 30,000 items
  • License - Copyright friendly images for use by students and teachers in an educational setting. Images cannot be used for commercial production without permission. http://www.pics4learning.com/about.php
  • Account - No account option
  • Adult Content - No
  • Sample Image - Photo by  Kolk, Melinda. handsomebud.jpg. Apr-02. Pics4Learning. 13 Apr 2018


Flickr Advanced Search
  • Website - http://flickr.com/search/advanced
  • Media Types - Photos
  • Quantity - Unknown, but in the millions
  • License - Licenses can be chosen in the advanced search under "Any licenses type" menu. License varies by item, but versions of Creative Commons can be selected.
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - Yes, but there is a "SafeSearch" filter which is on by default, although it is not as accurate as other safe searches. You cannot turn off SafeSearch unless you create a Flickr account.
  • Sample Image - Photo by Allen Skyy


Google Images Advanced Search
  • Website - https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search
  • Media Types - Photos, Clipart, Animated
  • Quantity - Unknown
  • License - Licenses can be chosen in the advanced search under "Usage Rights" menu. License varies by item, but "Free to use and share" can be selected in the search.
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - Yes, but there is a "SafeSearch" option. This may or may not be on by default based on your school's G Suite settings.
  • Sample Image - Photo from pxhere


Wikimedia Commons
  • Website - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
  • Media Types - Photos, Sounds, Videos
  • Quantity - Over 46 million items
  • License - Varies by item, but generally Creative Commons or Public Domain. You are allowed to copy, use and modify any files freely, although the license may require you to credit the source and author(s). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Welcome
  • Account - Not needed
  • Adult Content - Yes
  • Sample Image - Photo: Cpl Ian Houlding/MOD [OGL 3], via Wikimedia Commons


Free Image Add-ons for Docs

Instead of going to the websites listed above, finding an image, saving the image, and then inserting the photo into a Google Doc or Google Slideshow, you can save a few steps by using Add-ons. There are several Add-ons for Google Docs that will let you search for a free image right inside of your document, and then insert the picture you find. Several of these Add-ons pull images from services listed above.

You can install these Add-ons in Google Docs as follows:

  • Click "Add-ons" in the top menu bar in Docs.
  • Click "Get Add-ons" from the drop-down menu.
  • Search for the Add-ons by name.
  • Click the "+FREE" button to install the Add-on.
  • Review and accepts the permissions for the Add-on to install.

Alternately you can use the links proved for each Add-on below instead of searching.


Full Deck for Google Docs



Pixabay Free Images



Insert icons for Docs

  • Install - Google Docs Add-on Link
  • Description - Searches for icons from Font Awesome and Material Design. Icons can be changed to any color from within the Add-on.



Free Image Add-ons for Slides

Just like Add-ons for Docs, there are also helpful Add-ons for Slides. With these Add-ons you can search for a free image right inside of your slideshow, and then insert the picture you find. Several of these Add-ons pull images from services listed above.

You can install these Add-ons in Google Slides as follows:

  • Click "Add-ons" in the top menu bar in Slides..
  • Click "Get Add-ons" from the drop-down menu.
  • Search for the Add-ons by name.
  • Click the "+FREE" button to install the Add-on.
  • Review and accepts the permissions for the Add-on to install.

Alternately you can use the links proved for each Add-on below instead of searching.


Unsplash



Insert icons for Slides

  • Install - Google Slides Add-on Link
  • Description - Searches for icons from Font Awesome and Material Design. Icons can be changed to any color from within the Add-on.



Conclusion

Hopefully these sites and tools will help you and your students to express your creativity and communicate clearly, without violating any copyright restrictions. If you have other sources for free images, or any comments or suggestions, please share your ideas in the comments below.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great resource, Eric!

    Another one I like is Raw Pixel (they have premium and free images but there are some nice ones).

    My biggest obstacle is that I always work with primary school students and there is a limited range of CC0/public domain images for under 13s. Luckily, Photos For Class has improved just recently and now pull filtered images from Pixabay (I recently checked with the owner to make sure it was still okay for under 13s and he said it is).

    I wonder what the guidelines with are Add-ons? For example, Unsplash is 13+ but if you're using it in Slides, would it be okay for under 13s? Sounds like one of those grey areas perhaps!

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I use unsplash instant on my Chrome Browser and I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a great list of resources, thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing this list. I had some teachers say that a few of these websites aren't appropriate for elementary students if you search "girl". Just an FYI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marisa, yes you are correct, that is certainly possible on many image websites. I included an "Adult Content" section for each site in its description, and included this disclaimer in the post - "Adult Content - In short, does the site contain any images that have nudity? If so, is there a safe search option to exclude such images? Because standards for content vary depending on age level, community, and other factors, as always please explore any site before using it with students and use your best judgement."

      Delete