Tuesday, July 16, 2013

iMages, Photos, and Art...Oh My!

Just like bar bands get Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird requests, I am always asked for image online libraries.  Many teachers like their clipart and here are my 5 (+1) suggestions for alternatives to clipart associated with computer applications.  Below you will find random images associated with each of my suggestions.  

As a tech coach, I have to be careful about using royalty-free images.  For one, I want to set a good example as a digital citizen, but also I don't want to fight an epic legal battle.  So, to get around just borrowing images from a quick Google Images search, I can use the following resources.

Open Clipart

OpenClipart is a free website filled with clipart that is free to use.  It's a great site for teachers looking for clipart to spruce up their Pages documents.  On this website, there are over 100,000 artist contributing to the free clipart and feeding elementary teacher's addiction to cute artwork.  


Pics4Learning allows teachers and students to access their library of "copyright-friendly" images.

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art hosts a searchable warehouse of digital artwork.  This repository of images houses more than 25,000 from various artists.  Most of the images can be downloaded and reused for free, and this is a nice way to incorporate artwork into a class project.


The PhotoPin website allows bloggers to locate photos and makes the process of siting the photos easy.    PhotoPin searches Flickr for CreativeCommon photos for sharing within a blog post.  

Take your Own Photos

My biggest suggestion is to take your own photos and upload them to Picasa or Flickr.  Use a smartphone and send your photos to Instagram as a storage tool.  Then, allow your students to access your images or keep them as your own repository of generic tech, field trip, first day, project, or other themed photos to use when needed.

Make your Own Photos

Considering the suggestion just above this one, this might seem a little redundant.  But, I mean take photos using a device and use an app to make it unique to the project you are attempting to create.  Take a still shot with your iPhone and use an app to transform the image into what was needed.  For instance, turn yourself into a cartoon character with the My Cartoon app.  Create a comic book collage image with the app ComicBook.  Or just apply filters and effects with Pixlr Express+.

Here is an example of the process I am referencing.  The following image was taken from a video that I took from an Instagram video I made.  I used the app entitled Video 2 Photo to do this.   Then, I place the image into the app Over to add text and additional effects.

I had the Great Depression in mind when I made this one, and it could have been used for an iBook cover in an iTunes U course on this historical event.

So, the next time you are in need of the perfect image use the above resources or if you are a "rebel and a loner PeeWee" try to create your own images.  

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