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Saturday, December 16, 2017

5 Good Alternatives to Google Image Search

Google Images tends to be the default image search tool of students and adults who haven't been introduced to better options. Google Images is convenient, but it's not the best place for students to find images that are in the public domain or images that have been labeled with a Creative Commons license. Here are five better options.

Unsplash offers a huge library of images that are either in the public domain or have a Creative Common license. If you or your students are using Google Slides, the Unsplash add-on for Google Slides makes it easy to quickly take images from Unsplash and add them to your slides. Watch my video embedded below to see how the Unsplash add-on for Google Slides works. 



Pixabay is usually my go-to place to find and download quality public domain images. You can search on Pixabay by using keywords or you can simply browse through the library of images. When you find an image you can download it in the size that suits your needs. Registered users do not have to enter a captcha code to download images. Users who do not register can download images, but they do have to enter a captcha code before downloading each picture. There is a safe search mode in Pixabay that you should use in classroom settings.



Flickr's The Commons hosts images from libraries and museums around the world. You can search The Commons by topic or by searching for a specific type of image.




PikWizard is a free site that offers thousands of high quality images that you can download and re-use for free. PikWizard provides clear guidance on how you can use each picture that you find on the site. You will find that guidance posted to the right of any picture that you select from search results. PikWizard also provides clear directions on how to give credit to the photographers whose pictures you use.

Photos for Class is a free site that helps students find Creative Commons licensed images. The images that they download from Photos for Class come with attribution information embedded into the footer of the image. In the short video below I demonstrate how easy it is to find pictures through Photos for Class.


You can put the the Photos for Class search engine in your own blog or website. The video embedded below offers a demonstration of that process.


Bonus item!
Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Commons can be good places to find images that are in the public domain as well as images that have Creative Common licenses. I haven't found a great way to search for images on Wikipedia and Wikimedia so I just enter a search for a topic, person, or place and then scroll through the page to look for an image. It's not the most efficient process, but it works for me. Just make sure that you check the licensing statement on the image before you re-use it.

Disclosure: Photos for Class is owned by Storyboard That. Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog.