Alana Aldred

Okay, so this post isn’t really about whether cats are cuter than dogs… rather, it’s about open source repositories, and how they can help you easily access copyright free images and open source content!

We all know that using strong visuals and resources are a really important element in creating engaging paper-based and online course content to enhance the student learning experience.

And we also know that the internet is rich with photos, illustrations, graphic elements, fonts and videos… just a quick Google search and you can find thousands of hits right at your fingertips. But how do we know what is legally allowed to be used without restrictions? It’s fair to say that copyright law can be a bit of a minefield!

So to make life just a little easier, next time you are thinking about revamping old course materials, or creating some new ones, why not take a look at, for example, Wikimedia Commons. The site holds hundreds of thousands of media files, which can be freely used for educational purposes.

Another example of a lesser known repository is NYPL Digital Collections. This site holds a vast array of research collections featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video and much, much more!

The following websites have curated links to dozens of free and open source resources (and offer more than just cute pictures of cats and dogs!), which can be used with either little or no restrictions. You can also find tools that can be used to help deliver course content in a more engaging way.