Use Open Content

Looking for images for a presentation? Need ideas on how other educators have structured a course? Select content from one of many repositories that provide openly-licensed images, video, music, course materials, and more.

Mixed Content

Creative Commons<br />

If you are searching for a variety of content (images, audio, video, slides, etc.), the Creative Commons (CC) is an excellent place to start. The CC Search portal provides a front door for searching open content on a wide variety of popular sites, including Flickr, Google, and Wikimedia Commons. In addition, the Creative Commons hosts a list—built by CC-community members—of organizations and projects powered with Creative Commons licenses.

Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository of public domain and freely-licensed educational media content. In addition to a large image collection, Wikimedia Commons also features audio and video clips. Mashable is a blog focused on Web 2.0 and Social Media news. Mashable reviews new Web sites and services, and offers social media resources and guides. SlideShare is a business media site for sharing presentations, documents and pdfs on a wide variety of topics, which you can specify search on SlideShare to retrieve openly-licensed content. Scribd is an online platform for publishing and finding a wide variety of documents: school papers, poems, presentations, academic research articles, government documents, free online books, spreadsheets, opinion essays, and more. works like YouTube, but you browse and upload texts instead of videos.

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Images: General

Flickr icon

There are many options for finding CC-licensed or public domain images to use for your presentations, documents, or websites. The Flickr photo-sharing website allows you to search for images and illustrations, specifying either CC-licensed or Public Domain content in your search results. To make finding this content even simpler, start your search using the CC or Public Domain landing pages for Flickr. Compflight also provides an easy-to-use search front-end for Flickr and allows you to specify "Creative Commons Only" in your search.

The Creative Commons provides a list of organizations and projects that host image repositories featuring CC-licensed content. WikiMedia Commons also provides a large, searchable repository of photos, graphics, and artwork.

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Images: Health Sciences

Openly licensed<br />
 health science images

Image courtesy of Henry Gray. This image is in the public domain.

If you are working in the health sciences, there are several repositories you can use to find openly-licensed illustrations and images. If you are looking for medical illustrations, two important collections are Gray's Anatomy on Wikepedia and the Patrick Lynch collection from the Yale University School of Medicine. If you are looking for photos, the CDC's Public Health Image Library (PHIL) has an excellent collection and also provides search results from the NLM's Medical Subjects Headings (MeSH). Use PHIL's advanced search feature to specify search results that are public domain. The NIH allows you to search for public domain images from the collections of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health.


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Audio and Video

CC Mixter logo

If you are looking for audio clips or video content to use in your learning materials, there are several websites featuring openly-licensed content for you to download. ccMixter is a community music site featuring music and remixes licensed under the Creative Commons. Jamendo is another great resource for finding music, and all the content on Jamendo is available under a Creative Commons license. The Creative Commons also provides a list of organizations and projects that host repositories of video and audio content featuring CC licenses.

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Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER logo

Maybe you're looking for lectures, reading lists, or even a complete course. If so, there are a number of Open Educational Resources (OER) repositories and collections you check. In addition to Open.Michigan's OER website, MIT and Tufts are just two examples of other universities that feature open courseware. The OER Commons allows you to browse for course materials across from more than 120 content providers, and find learning materials at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary level.

DiscoverEd is a new experimental project from ccLearn which attempts to improve search and discovery capabilities for OER. MERLOT provides a collection of peer-reviewed online learning materials that are CC-licensed and can be easily incorporated into courses.

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