The Internet makes it easy to find and quickly download image, video, and audio files. But as some people have learned the hard way, just because you can download it doesn’t mean that you can use it however you like. Even if it is for classroom use, you still can’t just ignore copyright regulations.
Before I go any further I need to give two disclaimers. First, every country has slightly different laws regarding copyright. I live and work in the U.S. so this is from that perspective. Second, I am not an attorney.
The best way to avoid any copyright-related problems is to use your own media whenever possible. Of course, that isn’t always practical or even possible. That’s when you’ll want to look for works that are in the public domain or works that have a Creative Commons license. Fair use is a murky area and should be a last resort for classroom projects.
I created a short guide to help you and your students find media that is in the public domain and or has a Creative Commons license. The guide you’ll find lists of sources for image, video, and audio files. The guide also contains brief explanations of public domain, Creative Commons, and Fair Use. You can get your copy of my updated guide to finding media for classroom projects as embedded below as a PDF. You can also view it here as a Google Document.
Create a B-roll Folder
If you teach elementary school students, you might find it helpful to create folders of approved pictures, videos, and sounds that they can use in their projects. You can do that fairly easily in Google Drive and OneDrive. This video demonstrates how to do that.
50 Tech Tuesday Tips and a Webinar!
I’ll host a webinar for free for any school or group that purchases ten or more copies of my eBook, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips.