Posts Tagged ‘creative commons’

PostHeaderIcon EasyBib App

EasyBib is my first review of an app.  I have not reviewed very many apps because I have yet to procure a iPad or iTouch of my very own.  I have been able to borrow them from my local BOCES (School Library System).  I found it extremely exciting.  However, I wanted to share with you a wonderful app for all those research papers that librarians have to help with.  Bibliographies and giving credit is a big problem for students.  It is imperative for us, as teacher librarians, to instill in students an understanding of digital ownership.  If we are going to go to Google Images use  Okay, I am off my soapbox.

EasyBib is an app that takes the wonderful free citation creator website and repackages it as an app.  You can keep track of your bibliography and email it to yourself.  Three styles are included on the site: MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian (however to use all the types you have to pay).  (From Appstore: Create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Build and manage your works cited. Once done, email your citations and then export your citations to’s popular bibliography management service.)  The scanning of the barcode is exciting to me.

It is also a GoogleApp.  Your Google Administrator can add it to your Google Apps account.  The App is free and have MLA styling.

If you are using the internet it is just as easy to use a free option:  Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) Citation Maker

PostHeaderIcon Teaching Copyright and Responsibility

Although plagiarism was the sincerest form of flattery in the ancient world, it is no longer the case in the modern world.  Plagiarism is a serous problem with the ease of the copy and paste in the Internet Age.  Therefore, it is imperative that students are educated in proper digital citizenship.

Rather than using Turnitin services (check if text was created by someone else) after the project is done to check the papers.  I would suggest having students use it prior to turning their papers in to check the paper themselves.  This could be used as a teaching tool rather than just a grading tool.

YouTube has a new series of videos which attempt to educate the public on copyright.  Included is a series of 4 questions about copyright to answer after the video.  In addition, there are captions in English or other languages.  The video has a cartoon with Russell (beaver) and Lumpy (moose) who talk about copyright.  Included are videos and also mashups or compilations of video and pictures which can be confusing.  (The videos are in order if you use the above link…but I have add additional videos below in the series I specifically like.)

I found another video called a Guide to Cut and Paste.  It takes each letter of Cut and Paste and educates users on legal and illegal uses of media and information.  It is bare bones but does break down a student or user’s rights in using data.

Another video I found is manga inspired called Copyright Exposed: Featuring Cop E. Wright.  It has a Cop E. Wright who educates users on ownership on content.  The one drawback is that there is no vocal and users have to read the thought/talking bubbles.

The last video I want to share is called What is Copyright?.  It takes copyright and repackages it into a rap video.  This comes from the Media Education Lab at Temple University.

There is also a graphic novel created by Duke Law School which educates students in a fun way about the regulations of Public Domain and Copyright.  You can view it in HTML, Flash, PDF, or Translate it into numerous languages.  You can also buy the comic from Amazon for $5.00.

There are tons of videos on Youtube on the issue of copyright.  Not to mention games and media to educate.  However, it is important to model what you teach.  When you are teaching students to create content, use of open source pictures and music is important.  Although, as educators we can use content in limited amounts, it is important for students to understand what they will be able to create outside of the classroom.  When they are creating content for their own profit and personal use, we must give them resources to be successful.

PostHeaderIcon Fotopedia


is a collaborative photo encyclopedia.  What an interesting idea.  One can search the photopedia or look at pictures and discover an article of information.  The articles are short and give you a bit of information which originates from Wikipedia.

Photos are under the creative commons license and are rated by users.  One can use their facebook account to login or create a free account.  Embedding or downloading the photos are possible options, making these photos ideal for student projects.  New pictures are constantly being added as it is a bit like a photo wikipedia.  The homepage reminds me of Bing, which I am not keen on but works in this instance.

PostHeaderIcon Copyright-Free Music Sites

Anyone creating digital media quickly discovers their need for copyright free music.  Whether it is a book trailer, photostory, or any number of projects,  music is a necessity.  There are many sources, but not all truly royalty free.  Below you will find several different sources I have used for free music.


Animoto is a web 2.0 tool that gives one the ability to create (for free) 30 second videos (with music, photos, and videos).  Their is an edu version as well as an educational account in which you can have up to 50 accounts related to an email address.  It has integrated music within their product.  They have many choices to use in their web 2.0 product.  Genres such as seasonal, pop, classical, jazz, etc.  Unfortunately, you cannot export their music for use in other applications.


Free Play Music is an excellent source of royalty-free music.  They are sortable by style, feel, and cd volume.  There are two different versions of the site.  They are currently updating their site.  The original version is here and the updated version is here.  The updated version looks very similar to an iTunes model which many people are familiar with.  I prefer the new version with its search box, ability to preview songs online, ability to have an account, add items to your account, and a music player (Please note it is currently down for maintenance)

Royalty Free Music has a section with music freely available for education.  The amount of music available is not extensive, but this is another source.


iTunes (blog which lists free music available) store occasionally has free songs, however one would have to check the copyright status on such music.  Be sure that all the music you use is copyright free, royalty free, or you have permission to use it for educational purposes.


MusOpen is a warehouse of copyright free music, sheet music, and music player which is completely online.  Users must create an account which is free and can download music for use in any application.  Credit to the artist (if any) is appreciated.

Open Music Archive

“Open Music Archive is a collaborative project, initiated by artists Eileen Simpson & Ben White, to source, digitize and distribute out-of-copyright sound recordings. The archive is open for anyone to use and contribute.”  You can download the music.  The usability is not great, but you can find the music.  There is a search, keywords, and current projects.  This music is all open source due to the fact that the music is out of copyright.

Internet Audio Archive

This library contains over two hundred thousand free digital recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download.  There is a search as well as many categories for browsing.   Downloading requires right-clicking the link and saving link as.  With a lot of different formats on the pages, it could get a little confusing for inexperienced downloaders.

PostHeaderIcon Book Trailers

There are many options when creating book trailers.  I am currently working on Book Trailers with my 3rd grade students.  We are using Animoto due to its ease of use and free education account providing me with 50 accounts.  When I began the book trailer process, I discovered this wiki created by students at the University of Maryland.  Book Trailer Wiki; Lesson Plan

Included in said wiki was a brainstorming sheet and script sheet.  The concept of a book trailer was new for 3rd grade students so introduction was extremely important.  We viewed many book trailers in order to understand what they were and how to make one.  Students then spent the time before the next library class reading a book.  I felt the worksheets worked well, however, I found I needed another column for keywords students would look for when going to the computer.

It is also important to talk about copyright and I used several resources for royalty-free/creative commons pictures.


“Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students. The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection (Pics4Learning Website).”

Morgue File

“This morgue file contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artists, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.”


This is a search engine for pictures  that fall under creative commons.  Bloggers, educators, and students can use said photos.  “Wylio automatically sizes the image, hosts the image, and builds the photo credit into the code.”


World Images

A site of over 80,000 images created by the Universities of California hosts creative commons license photos which can be used by students and teachers.  Proper credit must be given upon use. “It has just been selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials. It contains approximately 80,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery.”


Photos 8

These images are copyright free but according to the website, however, the creator would request linking back to his site and giving him credit.  There are photos on numerous topics (animals, landscapes, etc.) and all are amazing quality.  The creator is a graphic artist and shares his pictures with all.  You can search the site as well as use the categories on the side.

One cannot speak of copyright free images without mentioning  One can go to this site to search for any time of media which is copyright free.  Simply go to and pick your engine of choice (video, image, etc.) and you will easily find a legal media.  I especially like the new interface in beta.



April 2014
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