Best Sources for Public Domain and Creative Commons Pictures for your Online Presentations

As soon as a teacher moves from an in-class presentation to online cross all sorts of copyright lines. An image that a teacher “found on Google” might suffice for a PowerPoint presentation with 30 students in a room, but as soon as it is recorded, put on YouTube or an LMS, the teacher is effectively distributing copies of this image and may be doing it illegally. This could also apply to including video, music and words from copyright sources. Know that just because it is freely available on the internet and does not contain the copyright symbol does not mean that it is copyright free!

So, what should be done regarding images? One approach is to only use images that are clearly in the public domain or listed under various Creative Commons licenses. ( More on CC can be learned here ) Also, Click here for an Educator’s guide to copyright.

Moving forward, here are some resources for public domain or CC images.

My Current Top Favorites: 

(and short looping videos too: )

Creative Commons

Here is your one-stop shop search engine for creative commons material. You can select your engine and execute your search right from

Google Search Engine:

By far the best image search engine is Most of the images found here are copyright protected, but by changing a couple of settings you can find thousands of pictures that are free to use in your educational presentations.


  1. After going to Google images, click on the Search Tools button
  2. Click on Usage Rights
  3. Select your preferred usage rights – you should get the most number of results from the last two

Full instructions from Google here


Other Sources:

This list was updated 2-17-17