I’ve been observing middle school students work on projects about U.S. Landmarks. Students are searching for resources on line, gathering information and copying photos. It seems that the students are not recording information on where they are getting the images from. This is a necessary topic, especially in the middle grades. Students need guidance on what is allowed to be copied on the Web, and what isn’t. Many educators prefer to us only royalty free web sites. Some explain what Creative Commons is and use sites like flickr. FCIT and Pics4Learning has many images that are available and without copyright. I realize Google Images is one of the first resources that comes to the mind of many, but it isn’t necessarily the best tool to use in school. A good example of why not is that kids don’t always know the best keywords to use. Today, the use of “whitehouse” in a Google search and then selection of ‘images’ on the left, brought some very graphic images to view that were not of Washington. This post is to act as a reminder that educators need to provide direct guidance and be available to intervene whenever students are working on the Web.
As to citing sources, why not use BibMe? Students will find this to be very easy to use and guidance is provided to cite magazines, books, film, and the Web. Son of Citation Machine and EasyBib are similar sites.