in Resources, techintegration

Find Free High Quality Images

Met Museum collection, public domain image.

Images can be used in the classroom in a number of ways. We can use images in presentations and other multimedia that we create, in photo essays, digital stories, and blog posts. High resolution images provides greater detail, which are well suited to many activities.Teachers can use them as prompts for writing exercises, and for discussions. They can facilitate both fiction, and non-fiction work in the classroom.

The Metropolitan Museum recently announced that many of their images would be licensed as CC0, which means that anyone can used them without any rights reserved. Here are three museums, with collections of images in the public domain. I’ve hyperlinked to the public domain collection, in each case.

  1. National Gallery of Art
  2. Rijksmuseum
  3. The Met Museum

As a bonus, visit The Commons on Flickr for other Creative Commons licensed images from various institutions. If you’re looking for other sources of images, read my other post on using online images.

Update: February 10, 2017 – I just read that Creative Commons has their own image search engine, out in beta. The search engine lets you find images licensed with Creative Commons from Flickr, MMA, New York Public library, Rijksmuseum, and The Met. This search engine is only for images. The old CC search is still available if you’re looking for other types of media.


Note that this post is written for my participation in #EdublogsClub challenge. The prompt was to “write a post about free web tools “.

    • Thanks for the correction, @suewaters. I have used Pixabay with students, but I don’t like the inclusion of the Shutterstock images. I’m amazed at how many students choose to use images with the watermark, but perhaps that’s a good teaching opportunity!

      • Thanks! Was curious why it wasn’t on the list. It’s a hard question. I’m also conflicted with Creative Commons vs Free to use. Do we teach them to use Creative commons images only to ensure they understand that you should only use images you are allowed to? Maybe it is all good teaching opportunities?.

        • To me, the enduring understanding that I would like for students to have is that they should only use images with permission. Sometimes that permission is broadly given with images in the public domain, and sometimes the permission is conveyed through Creative Commons licenses. In each case, it is the responsibility of the user to confirm the terms of use. The conflict that I have is in captioning images from the public domain. Do I need to identify Public Domain images in the caption? I don’t always but I think that it may be a good habit to always include image source in the caption or endnotes/footnotes.

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