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Best Sites to Find Public Domain Images and Sounds for Student Projects


May14

Now that more and more classrooms are publishing student work for digital storytelling, podcasting, or through wikis and blogs it is becoming increasingly critical students follow the copyright and fair use guidelines.   To help you and your students, I’ve created another freebie post – free images and sounds for student projects.  Yes, there are multiple websites out there for public domain images and sounds, but I tried to pull those that are safe for student searching.  You will find glorious photo landscapes, character illustrations of fairy tale characters, tornado sound effects, and more. 

In addition, the links do have suggested curriculum units that could be supported through the use of the websites.  Hopefully, that will guide your search.

I encourage you to place your favorite resource links on your own classroom website for students to access easily.

Public Domain Images

4FreePhotos is another site that offers quite a few artistic high quality images.  Many of these would be great for backgrounds.  Supporting Units: transportation, food, landforms, geography, art, aircraft, plants, penguins, Spring,

Florida’s Educational Technology Clipart Clearinghouse is a true clipart and line drawing gold mine.  You definitely want to tag this site as over 46,000 images are in the database.  Supporting units: mythology, math diagrams, money, fairy tales, alphabets, animals, historical figures

Karen Whimsey Public Domain Images is a phenomenal public domain gem of clipart, diagrams, sketches, and more for the classroom.  Supporting units: ancient civilizations, world religions, musical instruments, art, silhouettes, vintage fashion, fairy tales, folk tales, Native Americans, explorers, Civil War, geography, food, alphabet, Spanish, art, architecture, Shakespeare, plants, holidays.

Library of Congress Photo Archives is a site every teacher should bookmark.  With over 1.2 millions images in this database, your students can certainly gather a wide variety of images for their history projects.  Each image has different licensing, so look closely.  Supporting units: famous Americans, presidents, civil rights, wars, inventors, authors, and just about any historical American event

NOAA Public Image Library is a wonderful resource for science themed drawings, maps, graphics, diagrams, and photos.  The database is extensive.  Supporting units: animals, volcanoes, weather, biomes, landforms, oceans

PD Photo is another great image site and does offer a wide variety of images. Supporting units: geography, landforms, food, space, plants, ocean, grammar, animals

Photos8 is one of my favorite public domain image sites.  The images are high quality, high resolution, and offer an artistic approach.  I use many of these for backgrounds in Glogsters and PowerPoints.  Supporting units: geography, landforms, world religions, art, food, insects, plants, grammar (using images to represent parts of speech)

Pics4Learning is a great website full of photographs donated by amateur photographers and teachers to help all of us improve our curriculum.  Supporting units: biomes, animals, art, food, world religions, fractals, holidays, space, landforms, geography, Native Americans, colonial America, Civil War, ancient civilizations, mythology, presidents, World War I, World War II

Public Domain Photos offers a vast collection of clipart images and high resolution photos.  Supporting units: geography, landforms, US regions, flags from around the world, animals, space, ocean, plants, insects, food, vehicles, desert, 

Public Domain Sounds

MusOpen offers free mp3 files of classical instrumental and vocal music.  Definitely bookmark this one. Supporting units: music, composers, history, and background sounds for multimedia projects

PublicDomain4U is full of vintage recordings.  Supporting units: jazz, blues, country, folk songs, World War I

Sound Jay has become very popular in our district this spring for our video and podcast projects.  With a well designed layout and excellent choices of sound and music, you can’t go wrong. Supporting Units: weather, business, FACS, and backgrounds for podcast projects

Soungle has an amazing amount of sound effects for student projects.  These save as .wav files, which work great in most audio and video softwares such as Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Audacity, and Garage Band.  Supporting units: weather, emotions, dance, animals, water, and special effect sounds for podcasts.

Some would suggest www.freeplaymusic.com but their licensing does not allow the use of their music used in podcasts or on blogs without a prior agreement. 


posted by
5/15/09

Thanks for posting. There are quite a few links here that I hadn't seen.


posted by
5/16/09

Hi gkat! I'm glad I was able to pull some new options for your students.


posted by
7/05/09

Wow you have some sites I have not visited just yet. Here is a jog the web I made with some other free photo sites: http://www.jogtheweb.com/jog/#/dvGUevsGE3v4/1


posted by
7/05/09

Hi rmom352! Thanks for stopping by Making Teachers Nerdy and sharing your additional sites. The more we collectively share, the better resource library we'll all have.


posted by
7/19/09

This is a very useful list - thanks for posting it. I had queried my twitter pack about free sounds for background noise for an audio book (need to read some books for my students who don't read as easily...) and today @kangirsuk sent me this link.

Another useful site is SpinXpress. Searches video, audio, and image depending on the CC license type you plug into the search engine. There is some kind of a download thing that I've never really looked at, I go straight to 'Get Media' and do my searches.

http://www.spinxpress.com/index


posted by
7/19/09

Great list, can I also suggest that
http://www.sxc.hu/ whilst not exactly CC or public domain imagery has permissive licences (often) for non commercial work, that may be useful for work produced by students.

Also google image search has filters by licence now, in the advanced search options.
http://images.google.co.uk/advanced_image_search?hl=en


posted by
7/19/09

On the sounds front I think jamendo http://www.jamendo.com/en/ is all CC licensed so could be a useful addition.


posted by
7/29/09

Hello sdinnage and thank you for posting your resources here at Making Teachers Nerdy. I do love Google's new licensing feature and will be writing more about it in my Google posts, but it's great that you've added it here. I actually looked at Jamendo and voted not to include it in this list as some of the content bent to the questionable side. It would be a good tool for teachers to pre-download songs and bring into class for students, however. Thanks again!


posted by
7/29/09

Hi TraceyRosen. I hadn't seen Spinexpress before, but it certainly has a powerful search engine for finding media. This one definitely has a caveat for trouble as questionable content is easily accessed - I'll definitely be tagging it in my teacher only links, but I'm glad to have the resource. Thank you for helping all of us with your suggestion.


posted by
8/17/09

Hi Mrs. Smoke! This is a fantastic resource. Many frustrated teachers and students vent in my room because they find other resources for pictures and sounds (Google images is blocked). Although I direct them to Thinkfinity and a couple of others, this is a great list to circulate. Thank you!


posted by
9/27/09

For sounds, I also highly recommend freesound.org. All Creative Commons licensed sounds uploaded by users. Good resource for projects requiring sound.


posted by
10/18/09

Thanks a bunch Mrs Smoke! This one of the thigns Im seeing students doing more and more every day is creating online works, and this kind of safe listing is what I think will work well with students. Especially when you look at states like California that are switching over to online ebooks, it's only a matter of time that the internet is a huge portal for education. (more than it already is) grace


posted by
7/15/10

There is also :
http://www.sound-effects-hunter.com
It is totally free and has cool and original sound effects too.


posted by
1/25/11

One of the best undobedtly are the twins http://www.youtupedia.org for free photos and
http://wwwyoutupedia.com is a free directory online


posted by
3/03/11

The pics4learning site is a great way to share your own photos with your students too (show them the advanced search option so they can find the photos with your name). If you want your students to use your photos, be aware, however, because if you upload photos to the site, it will take a couple of days for them to appear because the site reviews every submitted photo.


posted by
5/13/11

Hi, thanks for the list!
You might want to check http://www.picdrome.com for copyright free pictures released into public domain.


posted by
7/24/11

Thanks for all of the comments....you guys have some great sites that I can use...


posted by
2/04/14

Great list of resources! You might also want to add my website to your list. We have hundreds of thousands of vintage graphics. We’d love to be included as a resource in your list! Viintage.com
Thanks and good luck with your blog!
-Matt


posted by
2/23/14

For public domain clip art, you might want to check out,
http://www.clipartlord.com



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