Do you remember how much you loved books with lots of pictures versus the ones with only text when you were a kid?
Pictures can often “spice up” even the most difficult topic and can raise learner motivation making your content more memorable!
Images can even save you time in the classroom or your training seminar. For instance, try to explain to a non –English speaker what a skunk is without using a visual! It will take you a while to do so just using your words, and will make you do some weird things once you try to add gestures …
However, as teachers and trainers we are very conscious about various copyright laws that we learned about from day one of our teaching & training careers; and finding royalty free images can be a very daunting and time-consuming process.
Exhausted and scared we choose to play it safe and often decide against using a visual to illustrate our point.
If we do our image search, most of us do it on google. Unfortunately, it is not the best source of finding the right images (no offence, google!).
- Often, our search comes back with some inappropriate photos. (For example, during the time that I taught Russian, it was almost impossible to type in the word “Russian” and not to come up with a list of images that were very unsuitable for ANY audience, let alone for my highschool kids)
- It is extremely difficult to find an image for which you have permission to reproduce it through making copies or posting them on the internet
- Some “Royalty Free” sites still ask you to pay a monthly fee, which often does not make sense to us, as there is no “package” that fits our diverse training and teaching purposes and buying several of such sets can cost us an arm and a leg.
Therefore, I want to share my list of FREE sites that I compiled over the years. I hope it will help you find what you are looking for easily and hassle-free:
Sometimes, images that we find do not exactly fit our needs. We might like one element of the picture, but not care for another.
Editing programs, such as Photoshop, are extremely expensive and difficult to master, especially to those of us who are still novices when it comes to visual design.
Here are two programs that are free, internet-based (you do not need to download them) and are very user friendly.
My favorite program that works just like Photoshop (but requires a MUCH shorter learning curve) is:
If you need to edit images to make them more suitable for such LMS as Moodle, Google’s Picasa does a basic job very well. It is available free from:
Have fun finding interesting images to spice up your class. Use them right, use them free!
PS: Do you have any other sources that you found useful? Please share them with us!
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