Using Flickr for Creative Commons Images in a Presentation

provide credit

In putting together a keynote presentation, I try to be mindful of copyright when choosing my images.

Flickr Images are Not Free

Most images on Flickr, and on the internet, are under copyright. Creative Commons is a license that content owners can place on their works that gives people permission to utilize the content… with attribution. In other words, give credit! You must filter your search in order to isolate images you are able to utilize for your presentations.

I have my Flickr account setting set up to default my images to Creative Commons. Click here to view my Flickr photostream. Feel free to use the images, just remember to give credit.

Find Images

Flickr is not the only place to find Creative Commons images, but it is a source for them. In Flickr type your keyword into the search box. Once you search you will notice a link under the search box that says “Advanced Search.”
advanced search

Scroll down on the options page and the last set of options is Creative Commons. Check the checkbox to “Only search within Creative Commons – licensed content.” Click “Search.”
search creative commons

Of course all the really cool images went away. If there was an image you really wanted to use, contact the content owner and obtain their permission in writing. I have had good success with this.

Click on Image

Finding an image you like, click on the image to isolate it from the other images. I hold down the Control key (Command on a Mac) to open that image in a new tab so I do not lose my search results page.

Download Photo

If the image is labeled as Creative Commons you will have the option to download the photo. It is recommended that you NAME the photo with the content owners name so you remember where you obtained the image from.
Download Photo

“View all sizes”

After downloading the image size you desire, hover back over the download icon and choose the “View all sizes” option.
flickr view all sizes

Record Owner Name

The all sizes page gives you information about the photo’s Creative Commons license. There are different types of Creative Commons licenses so double check what the content owner is giving you permission to do with their intellectual property.

You will want to give credit to the content owner, make note of the content owners username.
photo license in flickr

Copy the URL

You want to provide a link back to the original content. Copy the URL at the top of the page.

It would look something like this:


Blank Slide

You can use any presentation tool. PowerPoint, Google Slides or Apple’s Keynote to name a few. Insert a blank slide.

Since I am using Keynote for my next presentation the following directions are specific to this tool, but any of the tools have similar methods.


If you are on a blank slide, or do not have any elements selected, the “Format” option in the upper right hand corner will allow you to format the slide.
background on Keynote

On the right hand side is an option for “Background.” The default background is a “Color Fill” in the drop down menu.

Image Fill

Choose “Image Fill” from the drop down menu. The background will default to the last image you uploaded.
image fill


Click on the “Choose” button to choose a different image. Browse your downloads folder for where your Flickr image downloaded.
choose image


Once you have the background image set you will need to provide attribution for the image on the slide. Click on the “T” at the top of Keynote to create a text box.
text box

In that text box I type “Creative Commons Image: Username” and place that text box in the bottom corner of the slide.
Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 10.44.17 AM


You will want to hyperlink the text back to that image. Highlight the text and choose Command K to insert a link. You can also use the insert menu to find the insert link option.

The default is for the hyperlink to link to a slide. Notice this is actually a drop down menu. Click on the link to “Slide” and instead choose “Webpage.”



The default is to have the text link to

Replace the link with the link to the Flickr page.
replace with flickr link

There is not a save button. Just click somewhere on the slide to close out the linking options.

Other Sources of Creative Commons Images

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Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 10.57.33 AM

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Go to and search images. These images are under copyright, thus not available to use. Use the settings cog in the upper right hand corner to choose “Advanced search.”
google advanced image search

Find the usage rights in the options and change from “not filtered…” to “free to use or share.”
usage rights google advanced search


Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 11.24.35 AM

Posted in Keynote, MAC | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

New Google Drive: Using an Office Document

Office in Drive

Very likely you have office Documents or someone will send you an Office document. If you are a Google Drive user you might want to utilize your Office Documents in Google Drive.


You are able to store your Office files right in Google Drive. Simply DRAG the Office file or folder from your computer right onto the document list in Google Drive.
Drag and Drop files

As you drag your file from your computer to the document list in Drive a blue incoming circle will appear. Let go of the mouse and the Office file will be uploaded to Google Drive.
incoming drag a file into google drive

Stays Office

When you upload the file into Google Drive the file type remains the same. The files are NOT converted to Google Docs. Notice in the screenshot below the P symbol indicating a file in my Google Drive is a PowerPoint file. The yellow rectangle is the Google Slides symbol which is showing me PowerPoint files that I converted to Google Slides files.
PowerPoint and Google Slides

Double Click

Double click on the Office file to launch it in Quick Office. This allows you to edit the Office document and retain the file as an Office file. Notice the favicon on the tab shows the “Office” symbol and the icon in the upper left of the document is not the Google Doc icon, but rather the “Office” symbol.
Edit Word in Google Drive

Limited Editing

Editing capabilities are limited when the document is not converted. Essentially you are only able to edit the text.

Sharing capabilities are restricted on an Office document as well. If you are wanting to collaborate on your Office documents you will need to either convert the Office document to a Google document or utilize Microsoft’s cloud service “Office 365″ in “OneDrive.”


To convert the Office document to a Google document first open the file from Google Drive.

Using the File menu choose “Save as Google Docs.”
Save as Google Docs

Creates a Copy

Saving as Google Docs does not change the Office document. A COPY of the document is created as a Google document. You can find both files in Google Drive.

Posted in Drive, Google, Microsoft | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Google Docs: File Make a Copy

File Make a Copy

When sharing Google Docs with students one trick is to have the students make a copy.

Sharing Settings

In the upper right hand corner of a Google Doc is the blue share button. Click on this to change sharing settings from private to “anyone with the link.”
blue google share button padlock private

Control L

The link to share the document is right in the sharing screen. I usually just highlight the URL at the top of the document. The keyboard shortcut for this is Control L (Command L on a Mac) to highlight the URL and Control C to copy the URL.


I advocate having a really good classroom website (a digital haversack) that the students use to link from. Instead of asking them to go to xyz website, the students always go to your classroom website. Post the link for students to get to the document.

View Only

Since the document is view only the students can look at the template you’ve provided but they can not make changes.

Make a Copy

Teach students to go to the File menu and choose “Make a copy…” This will create a copy of the document into the students “My Drive” with the student as owner.

Google Classroom

If your class is using the new Google Classroom this workflow is something you would not need to do. However, teaching students how to make copies of documents is still a valuable skill. File->Make a Copy is also how you can share document templates with colleagues. They will want to make their own copy to use with their students.

Posted in docs, Draw, Google, Presentation, Spreadsheet | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Create a Google Account Without Gmail


If you have an AOL, yahoo, or other preferred email address you are still able to obtain a Google Account without having to sign up for Gmail.

Google Account

Associating your current email with a Google Account provides you access to all of the Google products except for Gmail. This includes Google Drive, Google Docs, YouTube, and more.

No Gmail

If you do not want Gmail go to and sign up with your current email address. When signing into Google products such as Google Drive you would type in your current email address as your username.

Posted in Google | Tagged | 1 Comment

Using a Wordle to Connect with Students

Handmade Wordle

Article by Barton Keeler
On the first day of school I greet every student at the door, welcoming them, shaking their hand and asking them what they like to do. This takes several minutes so I need to have a meaningful activity posted on the board for the students to work on while I finish my greetings.

This year I had the students create a Wordle by hand. Initially, I had the students think of 5 words that best describe themselves. I posted an example based on myself on the whiteboard. It contained vague, simple statements like: Teacher, Runner, Writer and some words that students were not familiar with like: Classicist and Calvinist. Actually I just borrowed what I had written on my Twitter profile. My thinking was that this would provide a visual example of what I wanted them to do. It worked ok the first day (we are on a block schedule so I see the same students every other day). But the results were unimaginative, generic and overall homogenous. For example, nearly every student said they were into sports and music. When I introduced my example there were very few follow up questions. But, it was something for them to do on their own so that I could greet kids and build community.

Alice Keeler challenged my thinking on the wordle. “What if,” she said “we have the students write down 20 things instead of 5?” I was reluctant because several students hadn’t finished and I really wasn’t that concerned with the assignment because I was “building community.” I agreed nevertheless and we proceeded to create another wordle based on me. When we pushed past the previous 5 or 6 word requirement, something amazing happened. We started to dig a bit deeper and found things that really make me unique. We added words like: Tough Mudder, World of Warcraft and Collecting. “See, here are three more points of contact that will help you connect with your students,” she added.

Then it hit me. I was trying to build community in the classroom but I wasn’t including myself nor was I challenging the kids to discover what truly makes them unique.

The next day when I introduced my wordle example I had quite a few follow up questions that inspired other questions and really got to share some geeky aspects of my personality that an average person wouldn’t assume. I showed them my lunch pail collection and how I got into World of Warcraft etc. Then, when I had the students work on their own wordle I found the results much more interesting. Students were able to come up with 20 things in the same amount of time as I gave the students a day before to come up with 5. I found out I have a female student who likes to restore classic cars (she’s currently restoring a ‘79 Camaro), another student likes Grunge and another likes classic horror films (and hates all the remakes).

My three big takeaways from my adjustments from day 1 to day two are:

1. You can’t build community in your classroom while excluding yourself. The more you reveal about yourself the greater chance students will form a connection to you.

2. Students will rise to your expectations. I have probably parrot this notion in years past but it was refreshing to be reminded of it on my second day.

3. The more students share about themselves the greater the points of connection with each other and the teacher. I discovered many more interesting things about my students on day two.

Community is about building connections. The more connections you have the more cohesive the community.

Click Here for post on Barton Keeler’s rules for building community.

imgres Guest Post by Barton Keeler:
Barton is an English and History teacher at Caruthers High School. His classroom has 1:1 Chromebooks and he threw out the desks to create more collaborative work spaces and a student centered classroom. He tweets @bartonkeeler
Posted in Blog Entries | Tagged | 2 Comments

Instead of Rules…. Community Builders



The first day of school is usually a sharing of the “Rules” for the class. However, I feel strongly about our role as teachers being more about community and relationship builders. Handing students (and parents) a list of rules can set the tone that you are the focus of the classroom. In trying to consider how to build community in my husbands English class this year we looked at revising the “Rules.”

Original List of Rules

When the students came into the classroom they were greeted with the list of rules written on the board.

  1. No food or drink (except water)
  2. Be respectful of myself, the classroom and others.
  3. Devices: Academic purposes only. Ask first.
  4. Professional tone.
  5. Academic language.

As a student the first thing you see when you walk in the door is “No.” Potentially, this conveys to the student “your ideas are not welcome here and I do not trust you.” Another class of the teacher dictating to the student what to do rather than letting the students help shape what happens in the classroom.

Community Building

First day activities included greeting each student at the door, shaking their hand and asking them a questions about themselves. The students then came inside to read the board and get started with a handmade Wordle with key words about themselves. They then stapled these Wordle’s to the wall to show that this place is about them. Students then worked in collaborative teams to do a variation of the marshmallow challenge.

These activities were intentionally chosen to convey the message that this class is student centered, that we are a community of learners and that the teacher cares about each student. We very intentionally avoided having the students sit in rows to listen to the teacher talk to them about the teachers expectations.

Community Builders

In wanting to continue the theme of building community we changed the word “Rules” to “Community Builders.” Rather than telling students what they can not do, we provided reasons for why they would want to be part of the community.

  1. The teacher will respect you and your point of view.
  2. We respect the community of learners and individuals.
  3. We share this space, we want it to be kept nice for everyone to enjoy.
  4. Food and drink are not the computer’s friend. Use “The Porch” :)
  5. We are here to LEARN and help others learn.

Community builder #1 is not telling the students what to do, but rather the teacher. This class is focused on the students and the teacher will earn your respect.

Using the word “We” helps to establish that this classroom is a community and that each student is responsible to the community.

My husbands classroom is 1:1 Chromebooks, so rather than telling the students no food or drink we created an area where food and drink are encouraged. “The Porch.” It is rude to eat near someone, so “The Porch” is an intentional learning space that is created that provides food and drink. When we eat and drink together, we build community. Activities are created that ask students to interact at “The Porch” to collaborate, brainstorm and discuss essential questions.

Posted in Blog Entries | Tagged | 3 Comments

Socrative New Features: Multiple Answer Questions

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 7.02.45 AM

Socrative is a free, online student response system that allows the user to access a teacher created quiz or question with any device. It is a quick and easy way for a teacher to assess their class, take a quick poll or just check for understanding. Recently, they have added additional features that give the teacher more options in quiz creation.

My favorite so far has been the new feature that allows for many correct answers in the multiple choice format. The teacher can add as many questions as they want and make as many of them “correct” answers. This allows the teacher to create higher level multiple choice quizzes that measure a student’s understanding with a greater level of accuracy. Plus, the teacher is now able to create questions that resemble the types of questions that will be on the Smarter Balanced common core assessment.


imgres Guest Post by Barton Keeler:
Barton is an English and History teacher at Caruthers High School. His classroom has 1:1 Chromebooks and he threw out the desks to create more collaborative work spaces and a student centered classroom. He tweets @bartonkeeler
Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Teaching my Daughter to Search

(DUE 7-12-14) 7-18-14 - Puss Moth Caterpillar - 9-12

One of the projects I work on is the Bing in the Classroom lesson of the day. This project requires that I look at a picture and a description of the picture and come up with an essential question to help students learn to search. While working on the project I thought it would be interesting to see how my 10 year old approached the images and questions.

Search is the New Literacy

Technology is only going to get better. The reality of search engines is that our students will have access to them for their entire lives and probably in their pocket. At the moment they are wondering something they will have the ability to look it up. This reality redefines what we do in the classroom.

What students need to know how to do is to search well.

  • How to find information.
  • Critically evaluate if it is good information.
  • Use information from one search to initiate another search in order to refine their search.
  • Utilize critical thinking skills in order to arrive at the answer.
  • Be able to support their answers with their research.

Asking Good Questions

I asked my 10 year old: “Do you want your teacher to tell you everything or do you want to figure it out yourself?”

She answered: “I want to figure it out myself, I get smarter and I will know how to use the internet. I wouldn’t have to just sit and listen to the teacher talking all the time.”

Note taking is a passive activity. Asking students a really interesting question that can not be answered with a single search has them being active learners.

Students need to:

  • Filter out information that is irrelevant.
  • Determine the keywords that will help them to arrive at the answer.
  • Examine the sources to see if it is credible information.
  • Manage conflicting information.
  • Use critical thinking to determine which source has the correct information.
  • Ask questions that lead to find information about the main question.
  • Use Control F to find keywords on a page and other techniques to skim a resource.

Work Together

Get kids doing these exercises in teams – collaborating – so they can see how teams of people solve problems more effectively. More importantly, they learn quickly how effective teams work on different parts of the same problems, rather than everyone doing the same thing. It’s analogous to how young soccer players all chase after the ball, and soon learn that playing different positions on the field is more effective.

Starting the Conversation

My first question to my daughter was: “after looking at the picture and the description, what questions do you have?” This was an opportunity to talk about unfamiliar vocabulary and to answer basic questions with her. Looking at the essential question, we were able to discuss what search terms she might want to use to find the answer. We then looked at the search results that came up based on what she searched. Turns out the words she used also had other meanings. This caused her search results to not be what she expected. This of course led into a discussion about how we search.

We can start these same conversations with our students. The reality is they think they know how to search but do not. Let’s be honest, most of us do not know how to do advanced searching techniques.

Power Searching with Google

Google provides 2 self paced courses on search at This is a great resource for learning searching techniques that you can use with your students. Choose one technique and help students to practice that.

A Google A Day is another resource for practicing search techniques. Google provides this in a game format that you and your students will enjoy in your quest to improve your searching techniques.

Bing in the Classroom

Bing provides a lesson plan every day based on the image of the day. Go to Bing and click on “info” in the bottom right hand corner. This should take you to a page with information about the image and a link to the lesson plan. This actually takes you to the archive of all the lesson plans, which are freely available for you to use with your students.

Try the Lessons

You do not have to finish the lessons to completion, they can make for great conversation starters as a morning warm up. Use the provided PowerPoints to spark a whole class discussion on what search terms they would use. Focus on the process rather than the answer. Some teachers have students do this in small groups or divide up the scaffolding questions to be researched by small groups.

Observe the Search

Students do not naturally know how to search, we need to teach them. A great place to start is by posing a question for students to search and documenting their search techniques.

Provide a Challenge

The Bing lesson of the day may not correlate to your current curriculum. Challenge students to extend their learning by tackling some of the interesting essential questions in the Bing in the Classroom lesson plans. Reward students learning to search and think critically.

Blank Template

Bing provides 3 PowerPoint lesson plans a day. One for K-4, one for 5-8 and one for grades 9-12. In addition to the pre-made lesson plans, Bing in the Classroom provides the BLANK PowerPoint template. You can use this to create your own essential question and tie it to the lesson objective you’re teaching. You can also use the blank template to have students ask questions and create their own.

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Gmail: Find your Google Apps

apps icon

In your email you can easily link to your other Google products by clicking on the apps icon to the right of the search box. This icon is a 3 by 3 grid of boxes. If you are using an Android device you will notice the apps icon is the same.
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Link to Drive

Clicking on the apps icon reveals a grid of Google products that you can quickly link to. Google Calendar and Google Drive are my two most used apps. Click on the Drive icon to open Google Drive in a second tab.
Link to Drive

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New Google Drive: Adding Files to My Drive

Add to New Google Drive


When performing a search in Google Drive the results will show documents you have created, documents that have been shared with you, and documents that you have opened but are not shared with you.

Select File

From the search results you are not able to drag the file into a folder. Instead single click on the file.

Add to Drive

After selecting the file you will notice an “Add to My Drive” icon in the toolbar above the document list. Choosing this icon will allow you to file the document into a single folder in your Drive. If you want to add that file to multiple drives use “Shift Z.”
Google Drive add to my drive

Posted in Drive, Google | Tagged , | 2 Comments