How to access open creative content?

As David Wiley mentions in his short Ted-talk, openness simply means being generous. Sharing your materials with the others is indeed a nice thing and that is what we have been taught by our adults since our childhood! Isn’t that so? Anyway, as a teacher, I think we all have to be open with our students if our aim is to disseminate knowledge.

Now that’s about openness. But have we ever thought about the openness of creative content. For example, images that we use for our teaching materials or any other work? We are just using any image that we find online, aren’t we? Well, I was, until the ONL course opened up my eyes.

Image repositories are quite common nowadays due to the vast number of pictures that are being taken every minute all around the world. And it is an obvious fact that images play a major role in creating our learning materials or in any other written work in terms of conviction, elaboration and attraction. However, finding the appropriate image from an open source has been a challenge, I believe, mainly due to the unawareness among people of any such open sources. Well, I always wondered how to download and use images on our work legally? This question had been in my mind for a long time until I watched a video that was posted on ONL course page. I was so happy to learn that there are particular websites where we can get such open licensed images.

After learning this, I wanted to expand my knowledge more on this and as usual, I googled. Anyway, even if you don’t know about any specific website for this matter, you can still google open images. There are several ways you could do that. In Google, when you look for an image, under tools, there is an option to check user rights. You may select your option: ‘not filtered by license’, ‘labeled for reuse with modification’, ‘labeled for reuse’, ‘labeled for non-commercial reuse with modification’, and ‘labeled for non-commercial reuse’.  Even in Bing, Flickr, Wikimedia commons and Europeana, you get filtering options. But there is a drawback in these methods because even if we filter the image, it is vital that we go to the website of the selected image to check on the original image to be sure of the image’s CC licencing and user permissions.  Further, OpenClipart and the NounProject which are repositories of clipart and icons respectively are in the public domain (Finding Open Images, 2019).

Moreover,,, and are free open licensed repositories which would give you a plethora of quality images.

So, isn’t this an interesting piece of information ? Well, it is for me, and thank you ONL for this!

For more information, you may watch the following video on ‘Creative Commons & Copyright Info’ which was introduced to us by the ONL course:


Open education and the future, Short TED-talk by David Wiley (

“Finding Open Images”, Open Educational Resources. (April 30, 2019). Retrieved from

4 thoughts on “How to access open creative content?

  1. It’s great that it doesn’t have to be THAT hard to find images that you actually can use, isn’t it? As a librarian I try to teach students about proper referencing and attribution of things like ideas and images, but I must admit that there have been times when I’ve cheated for presentations. (You know – using the “it’s just for a presentation that won’t be published”-excuse.) The tools mentioned in the ONL course, and the conviction that I can’t really expect students to do it if I can’t be bothered myself has helped me to do better though.

    Liked by 1 person

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