Digital Images and Creative Commons Licensing project

laptop by emma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This week my fourth graders started a new unit that I’m teaching with my school’s enrichment teacher, Darcie Rankin (@darcierankin at The students have been creating digital images and sharing them on the Internet with Creative Commons licenses.


First I set up our library iPods and iPads with the WordFoto, Blogger, and Safari apps on a single screen. I bookmarked the Creative Commons License Chooser on Safari.Then I created a Blogger blog at ThinkCreateCollaborate through my school’s Google Apps for Education account, and I set up the Blogger apps to post to this blog. I liked this solution for sharing student work because I could set up the Blogger apps with a library email address, so students didn’t need to create individual accounts.

The students used the WordFoto app on the library’s iPads and iPods to take pictures, then alter them to include words (see the “Spaceship” example above). Once they created these pieces of digital artwork, they saved them to the Photo Library on the iPods and iPads.

Then students switched to the Blogger app. Each student created a new post, gave it a title (the title of their digital artwork), and included their digital image from the Camera Roll.

As a final step students switched to the Safari app, picked Creative Commons Licenses for their artwork using the Creative Commons License Chooser, and copied the license information. Then they switched back to Blogger, pasted the license information into the body of the post, and clicked Publish. The resulting posts look like this:


and this


We have four goals for this unit:

Students will know how to take and alter photos with the WordFoto app.

Students will understand that images on the Internet belong to someone.

Students will understand that some images on the Internet can be reused because their owners have given permission (licensing).

Students will know one way to license their digital photographs for reuse on the Internet.

This unit is part of our overall instruction on digital citizenship. It’s been an engaging, hands-on way to help students understand about ownership and sharing of materials on the Internet. I first saw this idea during a presentation by Shannon Walters @shannonwa in 2011. It’s taken over a year to get it into practice, but I’ve been thrilled with the results so far.


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