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This week’s topic is an important and useful one to know about. We’re going to have fun learning how to use images easily, legally, and safely.

  • Some people find this topic confusing but don’t worry. I’ll break it down for you!
  • This post is long as there’s lots for you to learn. Remember to use the menu on the right hand side if you’re on a computer.
  • Teachers, you’re welcome to summarise the posts on your own blog like this example from Kebra Panko.
  • Next week we will be having a catch up/free choice week so you can catch your breath!

Week three of the Student Blogging Challenge is all about images and Creative Commons. We'll learn how to use images easily, legally, and safely.

Week Two Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere have been some great posts submitted so far.

We now have 111 classes and 1026 students registered.

The number of submitted tasks are down a lot from usual but that’s not surprising with nearly 90% of the world’s students affected by school closures.

You can find the participants’ week two posts by clicking on the purple link on the sidebar of the homepage.

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted for week two:

  • Year 5 students at St Mary and St John in England did a great job of making quality commenting posters.
  • Margaret from the USA uses a rainbow acronym to teach about commenting. Great use of a feature image too!
  • Zoha from Australia used a unique star rating system to rank some comments.
  • Maggie from the USA told us about some comments she’s left and made her own image for her post using Google Drawings.
  • Mrs Houston and the Growing Geniuses from the USA made a Prezi and video to teach about commenting.
  • Evelyn from Canada in a returning challenge participant who is a role model to others. I just had to share her “quality commenting” diagram. 👇🏽

Anatomy of a quality comment diagram

If you ever come across any outstanding work in your class or another class we’d love to know about it. Email us, leave a comment on a STUBC post, share in our Facebook group, or tweet me!


Submitting your posts and viewing others’ work:

Here’s an overview of the weekly process:

  • When you complete a task, you submit your URL in the Google Form that’s at the bottom of the weekly post (there is a new Form each week). Click here to read more about the 4 step weekly process.
  • If you want to see the work other students have been doing (and leave a comment), you’ll find the link on the sidebar of the Student Blogging Challenge homepage. I add the new link on Tuesdays to give participants a couple of days to start completing and submitting posts.
  • You don’t need to request access to view/edit the spreadsheets with participants’ posts. The spreadsheets are “view only” and open to everyone.
  • Miss W. checks all the posts before assigning them to a volunteer commenter. Incorrect URLs are deleted. Learn how to find your correct URL at the bottom of this post.

Flowchart describing process above (submitting your weekly tasks)

General reminders:

  • Know anyone who wants to join the challenge late? Registrations for the Student Blogging Challenge will close April 5 (USA time).
  • Are you on our mailing list? Sign up here and make sure you add support@edublogs.org to your email contacts so it doesn’t end up in junk/spam. I send an email every Sunday.
  • Please keep approving comments regularly. Some students don’t realise they have comments waiting to be approved in their dashboard. Remember, it’s good etiquette to reply to comments if you can.
  • Can visitors access the pages on your blog? Some themes need you to manually add the link to pages. Find out more here if you’re using Edublogs or CampusPress.
  • Have you seen the Student Blogging Challenge schedule? You can look at it here or view it on the sidebar of the homepage.

Let’s Learn About Images

A blog without images would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it?

Images can really jazz up our posts, pages, headers, and widgets. Students and teachers also need images when they’re making a presentation, video, or other digital creations.

But where do we get those images?

Can’t we just use Google Images?

Do you know how to find pictures using Google? It’s so easy. You just type in the word you want, find the image you like, and save it to your computer.

But stop right there!

Should we be doing this? Should we be getting any image we like from Google and using it in our own work?

The answer is no.

As Ronnie Burt’s cat has told our community before…

Just because you find it on Google doesn't make it free
Photo by Ronnie Burt used with permission

Most images on Google are protected by copyright. This means, they are not free to use and you can get into trouble if you do use them without permission.

You can use the advanced search filter on Google Images to find images that you are allowed to use but this isn’t as simple as it seems. You need to know what the usage rights mean and how to attribute correctly.

We have some easier options to share with you this week.

Including the source is not enough…

A situation we commonly see on blogs is where someone uses an image they found online and then includes a link to the site they got it from.

For example,

Image from Kathleen Morris www.kathleenamorris.com

Just because you link to the source of an image, does not mean you can use it. You would need to ask the image creator for permission.

Unless stated otherwise, everything on the web is protected by copyright.

Let’s take a look at some options for finding images…

Where Can You Find Images?

I have a post on my own blog that goes through the 5 main ways to find images for blog posts or other digital work.

Here is a summary. Feel free to use this poster on your blog or in your classroom if it’s helpful.

5 options for finding images Kathleen Morris

Let’s take a closer look at each option:

1) Making your own images is an excellent option

This can be done either by drawing, taking your own photos, using computer software, or using online tools.

Just be mindful of two things:

  • This can take a long time and leave you with less time for your writing or other work.
  • Some online tools have age restrictions (often over 13).

2) Many businesses purchase stock photography

We often do this for our posts on The Edublogger.

We pay a hairdresser when we get a haircut, pay a baker for a loaf of bread, so why not pay a photographer for their work?

This is good to know about as an option but isn’t something schools or students would usually do.

3) Using Google Images is not usually a good idea

We talked about this above.

Most images that you find on Google are protected by copyright. Find out more about copyright by watching this short video.

4) Creative Commons is worth knowing about!

Everyone’s work is protected by copyright unless stated otherwise.

Many people are happy for others to use their work (as long as they give them credit etc.). They give their work a Creative Commons license to tell everyone what they can or cannot do with their image (or text, videos, music etc).

  • Copyright means the person who created the work does not allow anyone to use it — or, they get to choose how it’s used.
  • Creative Commons means the person who took the photo (or created the work) does allow people to use it IF they follow certain rules.
    • Usually, these rules mean saying who created the image/work and where it’s from.
    • Sometimes the rules state that you can use the image/work only if you don’t change it or sell it.
    • These rules are called licenses.
    • There are a number of Creative Commons licenses creators can choose from.
    • No matter what license is used, you must always attribute the creator of the image/work (unless it’s a Creative Commons Zero license — see point 5). “Attributing” means crediting the author. In a blog post, this usually means putting the attribution under an image as I’ve done below.

Cute koala image
By Erik Veland [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Here’s a short video by Nancy Minicozzi that explains Creative Commons.

I have a detailed blog post to help you learn more about Creative Commons. There are a few simple posters like the one below in the post. You’re welcome to use them.

Poster explaining copyright and Creative Commons

A plugin to make attribution easy

The trickiest part of using Creative Commons images is often the attribution (crediting the creator: saying who the creator is, where it’s from, what the license is etc).

If you’re using Edublogs or CampusPress, there’s a plugin you can use to find and insert Creative Commons images without worrying about attribution. It’s called Pixabay.

Important notes about the plugin:

  • While the Pixabay plugin provides safe filtered options, nothing is foolproof. Younger students should be supervised or use Photos For Class for the safest option.
  • If you’re familiar with the old Compfight plugin, this is no longer available as it doesn’t work properly with the latest version of WordPress.

5) Creative Commons Zero or royalty free images are the easiest choices

If your mind is spinning with all that talk of Creative Commons licenses and attribution, don’t worry!

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or royalty free images are easy to use.

These are the least restrictive licenses so anyone can use the images freely and attribution is optional.

There are now many sites where you can find CC0 or royalty free images but remember:

  • Many sites contain inappropriate content if you search for it
  • Many sites have age restrictions

I made this comparison chart to show you some of the best options to find images that you can use freely without attributing.

You can read a detailed description of each one in my blog post if you’re interested.

Comparison chart of free images teachers students Pixabay Unsplash Pexels Photos For Class Openclipart Pics4Learning

In the activity section below, you’ll also find some task cards to help you easily source images.

Help With Images

Adding an image to a post or page on your blog is quite straightforward.

If you haven’t figured out how to do this yet, check out these help guides:

Week Three Tasks

This week there are five tasks to choose from to help you learn more about using images. The third task links with doing either task four or five.

Here is a summary. I will explain each task in more detail below with some examples and ideas for how classes can approach each task.

STUBC week 3 tasks summary

Task 1: Educate Others

Many teachers and students around the world know very little about using images legally, Creative Commons, attributing Creative Commons images etc. You can help them learn while learning more about this topic yourself.

Do some more research into any of the topics discussed this week and make a blog post, poster, video, slideshow etc.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, students could create a poster or video to share in a post (or a series of posts). Or, all the students could make a slide for a slideshow. 


This video is the reaction of students in Mrs. Yollis’ class when she mislabelled their artwork. It helps people learn about the importance of correct attribution.

Read more in the post on Mrs. Yollis’ class blog.

More examples:

  • Rachel made a video to explain how to avoid copyright infringement when getting images off the web.
  • Acadia used a SCAM acronym to explain copyright.
  • Georgia summarized the places you can find images and included a slideshow.
  • Izzy wrote a fabulous post about not using copyright materials.

Task 2: Make An Image

Creating your own images for your blog posts is a great idea! You don’t have to worry about copyright and Creative Commons.

You can:

I published a guide to Google Drawings on The Edublogger a few months back that you might find helpful.

A Guide To Google Drawings For Teachers, Students, And Bloggers

Remember, some online tools have age restrictions.

Leave a comment on this post if you know any other good tools for making your own images.

Add your image(s) to a blog post and tell us a bit about the images and how you made them. If you used an online tool, include the link so others can try it.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, all the students could make their own image and the teacher could compile them into a Google Slide presentation or simply add them to a blog post (or series of posts). 


  • Alicia used MakeBelifsComix to share a message about the environment.
  • Jena made a word cloud.
  • Wesley shared an original photo he took for a photography class.
  • Sue Waters from Edublogs took this funny photo of something odd she spotted at the supermarket. What can you find in your surroundings that makes you feel surprised, happy, amused, or frustrated?

Photo of watermelon with a label that says chicken

Task 3: Image Task Cards

This connects with task 4 and 5. 

In the blog post I wrote about images for teachers and students, I prepared two task cards.

Depending on your age, use one of these task cards to find an image or a series of images to add to your post.

You could add a slideshow with some of your favourite images you found and write about why you like them. Or, you could use your images to complete task 4 or 5 below.

Tip: If you’re using Edublogs Pro or CampusPress, you can use the slider feature in the Live Shortcodes plugin to quickly add a slideshow to a post, page, or sidebar. Instructions are here. (Another option is the Metaslider Plugin) Find the instructions here.


  • My son's favourite animal is a tiger.

  • My daughter's favourite animal is a peacock.

  • We love going to the beach.
  • I'm currently teaching music to prep (kindergarten) students!
  • We enjoy going on bike rides.
  • Tomatoes are one of my favourite foods.

Task card for under 13s

Task card for over 13s

You’re welcome to print these task cards, or add them to your blog. To do this, you’ll need to click on the download button under the task card. Find out how to add a PDF file to your blog using Edublogs or CampusPress here.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps all students could use the task card to find an image. They could create a story, poem, or description for the image and these could be placed in a blog post (or series of blog posts). Or, the teacher could add some images to a post and ask the students to write an imaginative response in a comment. 

Task 4: Write A Poem

Find an image using one of the task cards above. Or you can try the Pixabay plugin if you’re an Edublogs/CampusPress user.

Now write a poem about your image.

Need some inspiration or advice? Check out Ken Nesbitt’s site which has lots of poetry resources.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, you could have students write their own poems and publish them as a series of posts. Alternatively, the teacher could publish a photo and have the students write a poem in a comment. 


Task 5: Picture Prompts

First, find an image or series of images using one of the task cards above. Or you can try the Pixabay plugin if you’re an Edublogs/CampusPress user.

Next, you have two choices:

1) Add an image and write the start of a story. Ask your readers to complete the story.


2) Or, make a sentence guessing game. Come up with a sentence and find a series of images to illustrate your sentence. Ask your readers to tell you what the sentence is in a comment.


  • Emily asks you to guess her sentence.
  • Keylee asks you to guess her favourite food.
  • Lily included a great introduction for her post.

Tip: You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to look at your post and complete your story or guess your word. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, you could publish a series of posts with the students’ picture prompts. Or the teacher could publish the picture prompts and invite the students to respond in a comment. 

Final Tips

Beware of advertisements

Remember, some of the free image sites have advertisements for paid image sites. We don’t want to click on those ads.

For example, on Pixabay, I typed “dolphin” into the search box. The top row of results has a Shutterstock watermark on it. Clicking on this takes me to the Shutterstock website which is a site where you can pay for images.

Pixabay ad example

Note: You won’t see advertisements when using the Pixabay plugin.

Do you need to go back and fix images in old posts?

Have you been using images from Google on your blog so far? Whoops. You might want to go back and fix these up when you have time. Remove the image or replace it with a Creative Commons image.

Have you tried using categories, tags, or labels yet?

Categories, tags, or labels are all ways to organise your posts. It’s a good idea to set up a category (or label in Blogger) called Student Blogging Challenge or STUBC. You can assign this category to all the posts you write for the challenge.

Submit Your Post URL ⬇

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your blog, remember to fill in the Google Form below for your week 3 post.

Do you have a post on your class blog and student blogs? Awesome! Feel free to submit the class blog post and student blog posts.

This video shows you how to find your URL…

Note, this isn’t a real class blog. Just one I used for testing 😉


  • Click on the title of your post/page and then copy the URL from your address bar.
  • This graphic below should help you understand what a post URL looks like if you’re using Edublogs/CampusPress/WordPress

Examples of post URLS for STUBCThe Google Form

Edit: This form is now closed. You can submit your work in the form of a later post if you are catching up. Check out the schedule here.

Teachers, you’re welcome to put the Google From URL on your own blog or LMS if it makes it easier to share with students.


Next week’s topic: Free choice/catch up!


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  1. Hi Kathleen!
    I really enjoyed reading this topic post. I learnt so much about copyright and images. I look forward to write a post on this topic. It really makes my day reading all these new things every week.
    I also have a little topic idea for the next challenge: Technology and the Digital World.
    Thanks for helping me improve my writing and making me a great blogger.

    Regards, Riddhi.

    • Hi Riddhi,
      Thanks for sharing your topic idea! That sounds like a good one for a future challenge.
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the challenge!

      • Kathleen Morris
  2. Hi Kathleen,
    This is a great set of resources. I’ve struggled to primary pupils to understand and use attribution for years. I’ve made a wee webpage that safe searches flickr for cc images and adds the attribution to the bottom. My class find it useful for their blogs and classroom projects.
    might be useful for other folk

    • Thank you for sharing your resource, John! What a great initiative. I’ll check it out.

      • Kathleen Morris