I had the chance to work with a small group of middle school teachers the last two days as they developed teaching activities in geography and history. One of the questions that came up as we were creating placemark descriptions in Google Earth was

Where can I find good images that are copyright free?

It’s a common problem.

There are a variety of tools available online but I always try to start at the Creative Commons section of Flickr. Tons of images that can be used as part of instruction! The problem?

It can be hard to search the database. But I was over at Susan Sedro’s Adventures in Educational Blogging site and ran across one of her recent posts. I now have two new tools!

Compfight

A nice tool that lets you select filter levels for safe searching and creative commons levels. Pretty basic but seems to do a good job with results.

Edited 7/25 (I am too trusting at times, I guess. Susan’s comment below alerted me to some issues with the Safe Filter feature of Compfight. I did a few practice searches looking for stuff that teachers would look for but failed to think enough like a middle school kid. SafeSearch works on some things, not on others. I still like it for teachers to use to find stuff, probably not ready for students yet. My bad!)

Flickr CC

I like this one because the site displays results on the left and an enlarged version of individual pics to the right. The right side also provides attribution and URL info as well as providing the opportunity to edit the pic with their tool or with Picnik. Very sweet!

Check ’em out and add them to your multimedia toolkit!