Teaching about Creative Commons

Possible student activities

Here are a few possible activities to help students understand Creative Commons

Make a Creative Commons presentation
This YouTube video outlines what Creative Commons is all about and uses a series of Comic images that are in the Public Domain (free of copyright) and available from the Creative Commons wiki .

Suggestion: Have the students watch the video and then take the original comic images to remake their own version of the presentation in their own words.

Use Creative Commons content
Suggestion: Students could work in teams to present information about a current topic or focus using backing music and images from Creative Commons sources which they have to attribute correctly.

Alternatively, you can ask a group of students to build a library of CC content linked to from a class wiki, blog or LMS page that could be used by the rest of the class in their work and have different students do this for different topics.

License original works
Suggestion: Students create a completely original work (eg art work). They then discuss what license would be appropriate for their work and place it online to a site that allows work to be tagged with a Creative Commons license (eg Flickr). An extension would be to take the work of a fellow student and use it in a way that obeys the terms of the Creative Commons license.

Accessing Creative Commons Content

There are now a number of websites that give you the option to search specifically for materials that have been licensed through Creative Commons. If the terms of the license are followed, this means that students can then be sure that they are reusing content legally. Below are a number of useful websites to share with students to help them locate Creative Commons materials to use in their school work.

General CC searches

Creative Commons search

The Internet Archive
This site indexes content in the Public Domain (free to use for any purpose) or Creative Commons content.

Rather than using a standard Google Image search which indexes all images on the web, many of which are copyrighted, teach students to use one of the options below to help students locate Creative Commons materials.

Google Images Advanced Search


Flickr - search Creative Commons


Veezzle is a free stock photo search engine, so you can search and quickly find high quality free stock photos on the web. You can also register and be part of the community, share your photos, create collections etc. The photos sourced in Veezzle are made to be distributed over the Internet so you have the RIGHT to use them online or in your work.

Flickr Storm
This allows you to do a search for creative common licensed images on Flickr and create a page with pictures on it. This could be a good option to collect legal images in one place for younger students to use. Older students can build their own page as they search for images.

Another great search option for Flickr Photos. Click on the box and then enter your search term to get images displayed that match that criteria with the most interesting pictures displayed first.

While this website is not a place to find Creative Common Flickr images, it is a great tool for generating a version of the image that contains the license and creator information for use on websites. Just put in the URL of a Flickr image and it generates the image and the code you need to add it to other websites.

More image banks:

Sounds and music


Browse by genre on this site.

Artists upload music to this site that is then made available for download using one of the six different Creative Commons licenses. You can search by artist, album, tag (genre), or type of Creative Commons license. This is very useful for finding backing music for podcasts or video projects.

Free Royalty Free Music Loops and Sound Effects


Free Royalty Free Stock Music for Education

Free Sounds