Category: Images

tech tips

169 Tech Tip #51 Find Public Domain Images

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Find Public Domain Images

Category: Images

Sub-category: Internet, Security, Search/Research, MS Office, Google Apps

Q: I know ‘fair use’ allows students to use most online images for educational purposes, but I want them to know how to find public domain pictures for everyday, non-school use. What’s the easiest way to do that?

A: Google Docs makes it easy by attaching the citation to any picture added through the program. Photos for Class does this also (see Tech Tip #52).

But that only works if the student is working through those two programs. To find only legal images available for free for all types of projects, you have to edit the Google search settings to reflect only images that can be used and re-edited:

  • search for image through Images.Google.com (for example: puppies)
  • when the thumbnails come up, go to Search tools
  • using the radial button, select Labeled for reuse

public domain images

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169 Tech Tip #116–How to Take Screenshots

In these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #116–How to Take Screenshots

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, PC, Mac, iPad, Chromebook

Here are the screenshot shortkeys for five platforms:

  • Windows: a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Chromebooks: Ctrl+Window Switcher key
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windowsbutton
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button simultaneously

There are also screenshot programs you can download like Jing and Printkey (the latter uses your keyboard’s Print Scr key) or use from your browser (like Nimbus or Snagit). Each has a different selection of annotation tools. You may find this works better for your needs.

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online images

Image Copyright Do’s and Don’ts

image copyrightsWhen I teach professional development classes, by far the topic that surprises teachers the most is the legal use of online images. And they’re not alone. On my blog, in educator forums, and in the virtual meetings I moderate, there’s lots of confusion about what can be grabbed for free from online sites and what must be cited with a linkback, credit, author’s name, public domain reference, or even as little as an email from the creator giving you permission. When I receive guest posts that include pictures, many contributors tell me the photo can be used because they include the linkback.

Not always true. In fact, the answer to the question…

“What online images can I use?”

typically starts with…

It depends…

Luckily, teaching it to K-8 students is simpler because most of them haven’t yet established the bad habits or misinformation we as adults operate under. But, to try to teach this topic in a thirty-minute set-aside dug out of the daily class inquiry is a prescription for failure. The only way to communicate the proper use of online images is exactly the way you teach kids not to take items from a store shelves just because they think they can get away with it: Say it often, in different ways, with the buy-in of stakeholders, and with logical consequence. Discuss online images with students every time it comes up in their online activities.

There are five topics to be reviewed when exploring the use of online images:

  • digital privacy
  • copyrights
  • digital law and plagiarism
  • hoaxes
  • writing with graphics

Here are suggestions on how to teach these to your students.

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child-safe online photos

Photos For Class–Robust, Student-safe with built in citations

A question I get a lot from readers is where to go for free, classroom-safe images. Photo sites are either too sparse or poorly vetted. And–while we’re on the subject of online images–it needs to be easier to add citations because otherwise, students will just skip that step.

Photos for Class, brought to you by the folks at Storyboard That (a premier digital storytelling site that quickly and easily enables students to mix avatars, backgrounds, and talk bubbles to tell a story) does all of these. It uses proprietary filters to search millions of Creative Commons-licensed photos from the Library of Congress, the British Royal Archives, and Flikr’s safe-search setting to curate a classroom-safe collection of topical photos in seconds.  There is no log-in, no registration, no fee or premium plan, and a zero learning curve. All students need to know is how to use a search bar and a download button.

Here’s how it works: Go to the Photos for Class website (no registration or log-in required), search your topic:

free online photos

…and then download the selected photo. Each downloaded photo includes an attribution and license detail.

online photos

There is no charge, no delay, and lots of choices.

In addition to photos, the site offers suggestions on citing and filtering photos, and a list of the top 250 searches.

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classroom tech tools

3 Favorite Classroom Apps

Here’s an excellent collection of great apps for your classroom — to cover writing, research, and assessment. You can even use all three on one project:

storyboard thatStoryboard That

Free; fee for education accounts 

Storyboard That is a leader among online digital storytelling tools thanks to its comic-based themes, clean layout, vast collection of story pieces, varied strip layouts, and intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Students map out ideas using a huge library of backgrounds, characters, text boxes, shapes, and images (with over 325 characters, 225 scenes, and 45,000 images).  With an education account, teachers also get teacher guides and lesson plans. 

Here’s how it works: Log into your account and Storyboard That automatically adapts to your device (whether it’s a desktop, Chromebook, or iPad). Select the layout you’d like, then add a background, characters, one or more props, and speech bubbles from Storyboard That’s collections. Each element can be resized, rotated, and repositioned to exactly suit your needs. Characters can also be adjusted for appearance, emotion, and action. You can even upload images and record a voice overlay (premium only) to narrate the story. Once finished, storyboards can be saved as PDFs, PowerPoints, and/or emailed out.

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Tech Tip #123: Quick Search for Plagiarized Images

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I’m teaching a class on internet forensics–to drive home the point that the internet is a scary place for the uninformed. I know people who use facial recognition tools to search FB, Instagram and those sorts of picture curatators. Most of the programs I’ve found are expensive and complicated. Is there an easy one to share with my students:

There sure is–Google’s Image Search. Go to:

http://image.google.com

Upload an image you want to search for (or drag-drop it into the field), like this one:

child drawing

Google will find all the places it appears:

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internet start page

4 Collaborative Projects Students Will Love

Collaboration is the new rigor in the classroom. Who hasn’t been mesmerized by children gathered at a table engaged in a high-level discussion, making shared decisions, and demonstrating deep, scaffolded learning? When students share organic ideas and peer review projects, they build authentic knowledge that everyone takes ownership in, but the saying is easier than the doing. You can’t just break students into groups and expect a collaborative workflow. It takes practice. The rudimentary teamwork availed by Google Docs and online tools like Subtext is a great start, but what’s better is projects that inspire, motivate, and teach students skills for speaking and listening.

Here are three activities I use in my classroom to achieve this goal:

three then meThree Then Me

Every activity in your classroom includes how-to questions. Before answering, have students ask three classmates before asking you. For example, if they can’t find the tech tool they want, check with three neighbors before putting their hand. Kids love helping each other and spotlighting their talent. Not only does ‘Three then me’ get the student’s question answered faster, it engenders a sense of cooperation and collaboration in the class, that students are resources to each other.

A note of caution: This works best with self-correcting facts, like how to do something, but if it’s a definition or the spelling of a word, students could get the wrong answer and not know it. As you’re training students in ‘three then me’, remind them to evaluate answers, critically think about them before implementing, and trust their own judgment. Does it sound right? Does it fit what else they know about the question? If it does, go for it!

Educational Activities

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internet start page

5 Image Apps for your Classroom

Any child knows that a picture communicates differently than text. It’s not just quicker, it shares more detail more effectively. In seconds, our brain grasps a wide selection of data from the picture’s color, layout, design and draws conclusions. To do that with text requires lots of words, re-reading, extreme concentration, and scratching the head.

It’s no surprise research indicates the majority of students learn better if they see information. This includes graphic organizers, diagrams, mind maps, outlines–even pictures and art work.

Here are five image apps. One (or more) of these will be perfect for your classroom:

Canva

Free

1.8 million users have created over 15 million designs using Canva’s one million+ design templates (including font schemes, stock photographs, backgrounds, and illustrations–some free/some fee) to create cards, fliers, posters, newsletters, infographics, and more. Drag and drop project parts to personalize the design (see my Canva-created poster below). Edit photos using preset filters or advanced photo editing tools like brightness, contrast, saturation, tint, and blur. Save as a high-quality image or a printable PDF. Canva provides lots of graphic design video tutorials for even the most basic skill level. These are great for mature elementary age, Middle School, and High School students, as well as teachers.

Canva for education features 17+ lesson plans from some of the leaders in tech-in-ed. You can even sign in through Google Apps for Education. Canva not only works on iPads, but desktops and laptops.

puppy with a message - cavalier king charles spaniel puppy with sign around neck - 7 weeks ols

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Tech Tip #82: My Picture’s a TIFF and the Program Needs a JPG

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: My picture file is a .bmp and I need a .jpg. What do I do?

A: Blogs and wikis and lots of online sites won’t accept .bmp image files. I no longer even save pictures in that format because so much of what I do is collaborative, which means online.

If you have an image you want to use, but it’s in this .bmp format, here’s what you do:

  • Open it in MS Paint (which comes with Windows) or Photoshop
  • save-as a .jpg.

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