Most free blog services include the ability to upload your own images to their servers in order to add them to your blog posts. You can also use images that are stored at photo sites such as Flickr and Picasaweb and insert them into your posts. These images do not count against your storage quota since you are not the one 'hosting' them. The downside, of course, is if the person who is hosting them decides to delete the image, then you will no longer be able to view it on your blog.

One thing to be aware of (and to make your students aware of when they start blogging) is the idea of copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, you should assume that all images found on the internet are copyrighted and, in order to use them, you should seek permission in advance before using them. The concept of Fair Use does come in to play here, but that area of copyright law is very gray. Instead, we can rely on user-generated content that is licensed under Creative Commons to help us.

What is Creative Commons?

A Creative Commons license is an alternative to traditional copyright. Instead of have "all rights reserved", Creative Commons licensed work forfeits some of those rights - particularly the need to ask for permission before using the work - in order to make it easier to share with others. A Creative Commons license does not allow others to use that work however they want; there are certain conditions that may be applied:
  • Attribution - All CC licenses include the condition of attribution. When using somebody else's work, you must attribute that work to the original creator, preferably with a hyperlink to the original content. You should also include the conditions of the original CC license.
  • Non-Commercial - Some CC licenses include the condition of non-commercial applications only.
  • No Derivatives - Some CC licenses specify that you may not alter the original work in form.
  • Share Alike - If you do alter the work, some CC licenses specify that you must share your finished product using the same CC license as the original work.

Finding Creative Commons licensed images

There are lots of tools that you can use to find CC licensed images. Most of them are third-party search tools that search Flickr's extensive library
  • Flickr - Using the Advanced Search, you can specify only CC licensed work in your results.
  • FlickrCC - This site gives you an attribution that you can copy and paste into your blog post.
  • Compfight - Be sure to select "Creative Commons Only" before beginning your search!
  • Google Images - Under "Usage Rights" you can select "Labelled for Reuse" to find CC licensed work.

Attributing Creative Commons Images
When using a CC licensed image in your blog (or wiki), you should include the name of the image, the name of the creator and the license information. Also, if you are using an image from Flickr, part of their terms of service is that you link back to the Flickr page where you found the image.

For example:
external image 2428071753_42574fe979.jpg
Cathedral by Mario Marti licensed under CC BY NC SA

Inserting Other Media

You can also insert other media into your blog posts. Videos from YouTube or Vimeo, slideshows from SlideShare, documents from Google Docs... almost anything that generates an embed code can be added to your blog post! Watch the video below to see how to embed YouTube clips into Wordpress blogs. This technique can be used on other objects with an embed code as well: