Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Copyright-free images for education
You might be wondering how to find pictures without copyright restrictions that your kids can use in their online learning school projects? The good news is that there are a tonne of websites out there with stock images for any kind of usage but many of them are also completely free. I’ve compiled this list of websites where students can find very high-resolution images for free download to use in their school work. Maybe they need to break up an essay with some images, making an online timeline with pictures or want to make a presentation more engaging with photos - either way, kids can find free images online at all of the following sites.
Royalty-free images for school use
The first two - Photos for Class and Pics4Learning are websites specifically for kids looking for images to use for school work and school projects.
Photos for Class
This site is 100% free and has a handy automatic citation feature where the photo that you download is saved with a proper citation on it (see above) so that kids don't need to worry about adding it separately when they use the image in their work.
Pics4Learning is another site for free images that is aimed towards kids and kids looking for images for their school work in particular. What's nice on this site is how they have loads of collections of images set up with educational themes. For example, they have free images for students of maps, architecture, plants, space and much more. This makes it easier for kids to browse and find images better suited to the project that they are working on.
My favourite websites for free pictures online
Here are a few of my favourite places to find images and artwork online that you can download and use for free. I use these sites frequently for my job as a teacher and to find free images for my blog!
I use Pixabay a lot for finding free images to download without having to worry about the licensing. They have very high-resolution images for free download that would be perfect for students looking to add visuals to projects. My favourite thing about Pixabay though, is that they have vector artwork and illustrations for free download as well as photos.
I personally use this site all the time for downloading free images that I can use on this blog, in social media posts and also for my teaching. I love how they encourage you to share the artists or the photographer's details when you use the image by providing a citation that you can copy in one click. This makes it a great choice for a site where you can get beautiful free images for any kind of school project but also promote digital citizenship and digital responsibility.
As you can see Flickr Commons is special because it includes access to harder to find kinds of images which are publicly-held such as historic photos which have no copyright restrictions and are free to download and use. These would be great for history or social studies students doing projects like making timelines online with pictures.
Gratisography is a source of more quirky or unusual photos which could be a great source for kids working on fun or personal projects. Their free images are available to download and are high quality and beautiful.
More sites with free images to download
What is Digital Responsibility?
In this day and age, it's becoming more and more important that our kids are up to speed on digital responsibility. What is digital responsibility? As good digital citizens, our digital responsibility is to use the internet and technology in a responsible way. Kids and students need to have an understanding of the rights and responsibilities we all have as digital users. When it comes to images, music or other online content that is owned by someone else, digital citizens have a responsibility to only download it legally and to use it fairly with appropriate citations when used.
This blog post: Teaching Students to Legally Use Images Online is an absolutely amazing blog post that can help parents to understand how they can encourage their kids to be responsible digital citizens in their use of images that they find online. I would definitely recommend reading it the sites listed above aren't really cutting it for your child's projects and if you're interested in other ways to get useful images for kids to use in school work legally and for free.
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