Creative Commons should have been created by a kindergarten teacher. It enables you to share what you’ve created. People aren’t allowed to steal your stuff–they can use it, but they need to give you credit. Sounds like a good kinder class, right?
To be more specific, Creative Commons are “licenses that provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators.” Not to be confused with fair use, this is a pro-active way to share your content as a creator. On the flip side, it’s an easy way to find and use content if you need it for your class. Here is an explanation of the creative commons symbols:
Or, if you prefer reading:
If you want to get fancy, these licenses can be combined. On my website (in the bottom right corner), the CC logos are: BY NC SA… so: you can use my work (CC), but you have to give me credit (BY), you can’t sell your work (NC), and your final product also needs to be shared (SA). There are a few more CC licenses, and they’re a bit more complex, but these are the by far the most common (hehe, common) ones.
One of the main objectives of creative commons is that you should give people credit. However, it can be confusing to keep track of dozens of images and their owners. Fortunately, Rushton Hurley has created a PDF to walk you through citing sources, titled Grabbing Copyright-Friendly Images. This is a great resource for you as a teacher, and for your students. As you find images, save them with a title “image name by author name from URL.” For example, “kyoto by billselak from Flickr.”
Here are my favorite websitse for finding CC works:
So, the next time you create something and post it online, consider sharing it with a creative commons license. Most websites allow you to set a default license, making it easy to share your work with other educators. After all, sharing a photo is much easier than sharing a dream.