Using Google to search for images to include in projects is considered a relatively simple task for students. However, ensuring that students have permissions to use any given image and give credit to the “owner” of that image can seem a little more daunting. Thankfully, Google has a method to make this task more user-friendly and with a few clicks, students can ensure that their searches are demonstrating digital citizenship in their use of images from the Internet.
Google has the option to refine your searches to include images that have granted permission for reuse. After clicking on the images tab, click “Search tools.” Several options appear but we’re interested in the “Usage rights.”
Using the “Usage rights” dropdown menu, select options that give permission for “reuse.” This will refine a search to images that are granting permission to be used. The next step in selecting and saving images is for students to give credit to who actually “owns” the image. After clicking on an image, right-click on the image and select “Save image as…” and select the location for saving the image. Then right-click on the image a second time and select “Copy image URL.” SIDE NOTE: Point out to students that the “Related images” are not necessarily part of the refined search for images labeled for reuse, so they should only use images from the actual search to ensure they have permissions.
Using a Word document, students can then create a source document in which they right-click and paste the URL as an introductory way of learning to cite sources for their images. SIDE NOTE: Be sure students hit “Enter” after each URL to ensure that they do not connect one URL to another, creating a long inaccurate URL.
One element of digital citizenship is digital law, and we can teach this concept to students at a very early age with a discussion of “Does it belong to you?” and follow up with what we do to use something that does not belong to us: we ask for permission to use it and we tell others who we borrowed it from. As students are introduced to more formal methods of citation, the foundational ideas of copyright and crediting sources are laid out with this simple strategy.
I am a technology integration coach for a school district supporting one preschool, fifteen elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools. Check here for the latest updates on instructional technology.