Teaching students about Creative Commons and appropriate use of images

Kathleen McGeady has shared some great advice on teaching students about on appopriate use of images and has given me permission to cross post it here.

What inspires me about her post is her attitude that there are important skills everyone needs to learn and you’re never too young to learn them.

Please note:

The background

2M class blogA few weeks ago I set up blogs for two of my most enthusiastic student bloggers, Rhiannon and Bianca.

I chose these students as they regularly left comments on our 2KM class blog and were committed to learning as much as they can about blogging.

After gaining their parents’ permission, I set their blogs up, adding myself as an administrator.

I had a discussion with Rhiannon and Bianca about what they’re going to blog about and how often they’ll post.

We then revised the features of quality posts as well as revising the cyber safety and netiquette guidelines they were already familiar with.

After some initial familiarisation sessions my students were off and it didn’t take them long to learn the basics of blogging.

Check out:

  1. Rhiannon’s blog
  2. Bianca’s blog

Before long, my students were keen to use images off the internet to enhance their posts.

Example of post with imageThis was a dilemma for me.

While my students are only in Grade Two and I don’t want to make blogging too complex for them, I knew that I would have to delve into the topic of copyright and Creative Commons to help my students develop good blogging habits.

Little do many people know, you can’t just use any images off the internet in your blog posts. Not only is this ethically incorrect but you could leave yourself open to copyright infringement.

Explaining Creative Commons and using images in blog posts

Wanting to make this process clear to my students, I typed up a document explaining copyright, copyright infringement and Creative Commons while also offering step-by-step instructions on how to use FlickrCC to upload and attribute images in blog posts.

Obviously, there is more than one way to do this but given the age of my students, I wanted to keep things as straightforward as posssible.

I’ve embedded this document below:

Feel free to use it with your students to teach them about these important blogging habits. (Please Note:  the instructions for uploading the image to a blog post apply to Edublogs blogs)

My approach to Student blogging

One of the things I love about teaching seven and eight year olds is that I can teach them about issues such as copyright, cyber safety, netiquette, social networking etc just before they reach the age where they would dive into these areas, prepared or not.

I feel like I can make an impact in setting my students on the right path for their futures.

I am constantly amazed at how my students respond when I challenge them and engage them with ICT and their results across the board never fail to impress me.

Set your standards high, provide the structure and the support that your students need to scaffold their learning and reap the rewards!

Final Thoughts

Thanks Kathleen for letting me share your post here.

Pleae make sure you drop past Kathleen’s post and share your thoughts on:

  1. Will the how-to document be useful for you and your students?
  2. Do you have any questions about blogging or using internet images?
  3. What results have you seen from using ICT and setting high standards for your students?

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23 thoughts on “Teaching students about Creative Commons and appropriate use of images

  1. Hi there, I love this blog post. I am a Primary ICT Coordinator and have been looking for an easy way to explain to students (from 2nd to 5th grade) the idea of Copyright, copyright infringement and Creative Commons. Could you please email me the document that you wrote offering step-by-step instructions on how to use FlickrCC to upload and attribute images in blog posts? I am not able to see the one that you embedded.

    Many Thanks,


  2. Well, I believe you have shared one of the most significant thing while blogging. I believe this should be equally important to guys who have just started with blogging and dont know much of copyright issues. Thank you very much for this.


  3. Thank you for this great article. I am going to refer to it back in my ” the 21st Century Skills Teachers and Students Need” ebook.

  4. Hi All,

    I would like to create some of my own personal awards to add to my students Edublog websites. What program do you use to create your awards?

    Thank you,
    Renee Jorae

  5. @ Miss ABC, thank you for your kind words. I too am so impressed with Rhiannon’s and Bianca’s blogs and I feel that blogging has really helped these girls improve academically and on a personal level in so many ways.

    When I first introduce my students to individual blogs we have a chat about the sorts of things they could post about but there are no set guidelines. It might be things they are doing at home or at school, holidays, or, as Bianca has been doing lately, posts about general topics like “the weather”, “African animals”, “ladybugs” etc.

    Due to the ongoing and authentic discussions we have about what is/is not appropriate to post on the internet all throughout the year, the students have a good understanding of what they should include on their blog.

    If you want your students to have blogs, I think it is crucial that you are the administrator. I subscribe to my student blogs so I get an email every time a new post or comment goes on. Twice now I’ve had to log in to their blogs to edit a post or comment when too much information was included. One student gave out the time, date and location of an after school activity. Another girl left a comment which (in a round about way) gave out her grandparents address. These are small oversights but as I’m monitoring each blog I can nip things like this in the bud.

    Hope that helps,

  6. I think it is great that you have your 2nd grade student’s blogging. Many teachers have concerns about students using the internet and posting information on the web. I have to say I was apprehensive of introducing blogging to primary students, but now looking at Rhiannon and Bianca’s blog, I can see the important skills that students can gain. I was truly amazed by their in depth writing, creativity and their abilities to reflect and engage in higher level thinking. I agree that it is so important that students become aware of copyright, social networking and internet safety. By having a classroom blog you can touch on all of these issues and teach students about great resources such as Creative Commons. I have always wanted to incorporate blogging into my classroom, however, it never seemed practical until now. After reading your blog I want to begin enhancing the tools and resources that emerging technology is currently offering. My only concern is how do you keep students from posting inappropriate information? Also, do you set guidelines on what students can write about?

  7. Thanks everyone for sharing your extra tips and ideas.

    And thanks so much, Kathleen for letting us cross post your post here on The Edublogger! We really appreciate it!

  8. @ Sue, thanks so much for this cross post! You’re right, students are really never too young to learn these skills and I know that my students would have been on the path to developing bad habits if I had not addressed this issue now.

    @ Pat, thanks – always interesting to check out new resources. As I mentioned in the post, inserting CC images is already enough for my students to learn so I wanted to keep it simple by showing them one way of doing it. However, I always like to have different image options for my own use, so thank you!

    @ Miss T, isn’t it funny when something you’ve just been talking about pops up! I hope the guide is useful for your students!

    @ Tilgunas, thanks for the other links! Strangely, Flickr is blocked at school but luckily FlickrCC works! I can see that middle schools students would be hard to convince! I hope my post inspires other primary school teachers to start young 🙂

    @ researchpaper, wow, thank you for your kind words! I agree that the uninhibited creativity of my young students make them a pleasure to work with. I have found the children have done so well with structure on “how to write a quality comment”, “how to write a quality post”, “how to use internet images correctly” and so on. Forming good habits early on is so important. I learnt a lot about this sort of structure from a fantastic educational blogger, Linda Yollis. You can find her really useful wiki about educational blogging here http://educational-blogging.wikispaces.com/

  9. That’s really amazing, could never thought that such young students can already be quite successful bloggers! Their age gives them advantage of extraordinary creativity and uniqueness! When I have a kid, I would surely want them to have such a creative and brave teacher *thumbs up

    1. Hi Nazareth, I’m sorry but we have replied servael times to your emails from Edublogs Support and perhaps but the email addresses you have supplied have filters that are blogging our response?I’m sorry but it isn’t possible for us to provide you with telephone support. We support over 1,000,000 users globally who use Edublogs, 24/7/365 days a year and as a result we can only provide this type of service to our Edublogs Campus clients. You’ll find this is the same for all companies like ours due to the sheer volume of users we support. Can you check both your email accounts including the spam folder as we’ve sent links to sites to help you. Alternatively please contact using a web based email address like gmail.

  10. I use flickrcc at home and love it, but anything related to Flickr is blocked at work. We are able to use “Wikiwix (and it nicely labels what type of use pictures are allowed), stock.xchg, and if they still can’t find suitable images, I teach them the advanced search in Google (labeled for reuse). It’s fantastic that elementary students are learning it, because by the time they’re in middle school (my students) they need some convincing. We do a huge introduction to copyright before they start their blogs.

  11. I was just talking to my students an hour ago about this issue. So I must read all suggestions carefully, I was thinking of doing my own post but perhaps Kathleen’s guide will be sufficient for us.

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