Exploring Creative Commons

Creative Commons Digital storytelling often involves learners using images, music, and other content that was created by other individuals. Part of teaching our learners digital citizenship, is showing them how to respect copyright and how to properly cite where they found the content they use from others. Creative Common licensing is a simple way for people to define how their content can be used and remixed.

For this activity, we will learn about Creative Commons licenses and explore how they work. Follow these instructions:

1st. Watch this slideshow explaining Creative Commons. Generally, permission to use images ranges from pictures that are in the public domain (anyone can use them) to images that are copyrighted and require permission to use. Creative Commons licenses grant permission in advance. All Creative Commons licenses require attribution (meaning you have to credit the person who shared the image).

2nd. Explore the Creative Common (CC) licenses of at least 3 images and 2 songs/ sound effects. This means you will have 5 entries in  this database. For each source, fill out the following-

1. Title of the image or song (include a link to the source).

2. The license details.

3. The restrictions (what are you not allowed to do with this content).

4. The attribution in the way that is required.

Use the following resources to do your Creative Commons Search: 

Image Sites: 

  • Flickr- Go to the Flickr Advanced Search page. (Flickr.com --> click on search --> click on advanced search --> enter a keyword, like "animals", scroll down and tick the box that says "search only in Creative Commons-licensed content"). 
  • FlickrCC- a website which will look for CC images on Flickr and give you the attribution. It  is a faster option than the instructions above, but it isn't always updated. Please click on the original image to make sure the attribution details are correct. 
  • Pics4Learning- Over 35000 images for educational purposes
  • Wikimedia Commons (4 million images in the public domain)
  • Free Images (6000 stock photos, and they require you to credit them as the source)
  • World Images (80,000 photos from the California State University IMAGE project, under a non-commercial  CC license)
  • PhotoPin (a search engine that finds Creative Commons images)
  • Wylio- Search engine for CC images for bloggers

Music and Sound Effects Sites: 

When you have completed your search, click below on the Add Entry and complete the following fields in the database, then click Save and View so that your contribution is recorded. You should have 5 entries- 3 images and 2 songs/sound effects.


This task is voluntary. However, this type of tasks help you explore the topic more and give you the opportunity to receive extra feedback from your instructor and peers.

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