Challenge #4 – How do I find a Creative Commons licensed image to use in my course materials or presentations?

As educators we are often in need of photos, diagrams, and images we can use to supplement or enhance our course material.  This usually has us googling for images that may or may not be permissible for our use.

Fortunately there are a variety of places where you can find openly licensed images.


  • Creative Commons image search is a tool that allows openly licensed and public domain works to be discovered and used by everyone, most images require attribution
  • Flickr – photos, images filterable by licence (includes full copyright, creative commons and public domain images), attribution generally required
  • Unsplash – photos that are free to use, no permission required but attribution appreciated
  • Pixabay – images that are free for commercial use, no permission required but attribution appreciated
  • Pexels – stock photos that are free to use, attribution is not required, adaptation is permitted
  • The Noun Project – CC licensed illustrated icons

Your Challenge This Week….

Many of us begin our search for images with Google! For this challenge, you will learn how to find CC licensed images with Google’s Advanced Search. Please note that for images licensed with Creative Commons licences, it’s necessary to attribute (give credit to) the creator. We will focus on attribution in the challenge #5.

  1. Go to Google
  2. Type in a search term for an image you would use in one of your courses, click on “images”, and then click on “settings”
  3. Scroll down to where it says Usage Rights.  Select “Creative Commons licenses”, then “Advanced search”.
  4. You will be taken to a page where all images have been filtered by CC license.
  5. Find an image you would like to use for one of your courses.
  6. Post a link to your image in the Padlet below and tell us the search term you used to find that image.

Watch this video walkthrough of how to find an openly licensed image on Google:

Share your image….

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