My original thought was to find an image of an amusing cat. I thought the image would provide my blog readers with a giggle or a laugh. People love taking pictures of their animals so surely I would not have an issue finding an image that would be amusing without a copyright license attached to it. I was sadly mistaken. The website “Pics4Learning” gave me nothing of importance. The website, “Morgue File” was similar, but contained more extraneous images then “Pics4Learning”. “Flickr” was the only website that had a somewhat funny looking cat. My search results were so limited because I was looking for an image that was free to use or had a Creative Commons license. The image I found on “Google” has a creative commons license.
There were some other experiences about my search that are of note. On “Google”, I searched for an image of an amusing cat under a plain search. The results I got were fantastic from the grumpy cat that is all over “Pinterest” to people taking funny pictures of their cats and adding captions to the pictures. Then, I searched the same term, but corrected the license section under advanced search to free to use with commercial purposes. These results were even more limited and quite frankly boring.
Here is my oh so funny image of a cat:
This image is free to use because I discovered it by doing an advanced image search for images of amusing cats that are free to use and share. The original source of the image is from the “Flickr” site and in particular it was under the “Flickr Creative Commons” website which means the owner of the image allowed it to be shared.
With an undergraduate degree in history, my history professors always told me to cite, cite, cite everything I possibly could. While I enjoy the fact that Creative Commons exist, from my experience finding the image, the material that is free to share and use is much more limited. As a teacher, you must be constantly aware of what materials you’re using, how you want to use them, and how they are allowed to be used. The pdf “Copyright and Fair Use Guide for Teachers”, provides an excellent guide for usage of materials that are commonly used in the classroom. I think the most important skills I can teach as a social studies teacher is that everything belongs to someone. I think the younger generations of digital natives struggle with this concept because information is readily available on the internet with the click of a button. In my classroom, I would have students extensvely practice citing all information that comes from any source that isn’t their own thought. As a teacher, I would cite everything I use from images in PowerPoints to worksheets for homework. For information that has the Creative Commons License or is “free to use and share”, I would make not of it.
Even more important than citing is stressing to younger generations that they have a digital footprint. Students need to understand the reprecussions of forgetting to sign out of their accounts especially on public computers. They also need to understand that every time they visit a site various web sites and search engines catalog that information and build a digital profile of the IP address you are working from (Childnet International, 2009). We need to educate children on how the internet works and not just how to use it.
The picture of the cat wouldn’t think that it looks amusing because that is how it actually looks in real life. It is a specific breed of car in China that goes for 220,000 yen (A.K.,G., 2007).
A.K., G. (Photographer). (2007). Exotic and permanently scared. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from
Childnet International. (2009). Digital footprints. Retrieved from
Hall Davidson. (n.d.). Copyright and fair use guide for teachers. Retrieved from
Nielsio. (2011, March 22). “Against Owning Information (“Intellectual Property”)” . Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVusj2a0pzg