Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finding Images for Presentations or Web Pages

When I need images for PowerPoint presentations or for my web pages or blog, I want to make sure that I am using photos, clip art, or animated gifs that are licensed for use in these types of projects.  If you are using images for a school presentation, you are usually safe because of fair use guidelines that allow you to use images in educational settings.  Students creating movies or presentations can follow fair use guidelines to use images in their projects. 
© Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Wikimedia Commons
However, if you have a blog or a web page that is viewed by the public, or if you have advertising on the page, you probably want to obtain images that have licensing that permits you to use them, that are "free to use, share, or modify, even commercially." One place to look for images that would fit my requirements is Wikimedia Commons . Sometime the image is free to use and share, but requires attribution as shown in the above photo.  Once you find an image, at the bottom of the page, the owner of the image will state how it can be used.  Below is an example of how the image above can be used.

  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:

  • attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author

From Google Advanced Image Search
Google Advanced Image Search
Most of the time, now that I have discovered how easy it is to use, I go to Google Advanced Image Search first.  I can type a word or a phrase that describes that I am looking for.  An example might be "spring flowers" or "pets OR dogs OR cats" I can specify words that should not be included such as "-snakes".  I then select the size of the image, the aspect ratio (tall, wide, square, or panoramic).  I can specify colors if there is a particular color I am trying to match.  An important feature here is that I can select images that have a transparent background.  Then, I select the type of image I am looking for:  a face, a line drawing, a photograph, clipart, or an animated graphic.  If I need a specific file type for a project such as a JPG, a GIF, a PNG or other file type, I can also specify the type needed.    This is a fantastic option for web site developers.  In my opinion, the best feature of Google's Advanced Image Search is that I can specify the usage rights.  I can choose from the following:  not filtered; free to use or share; free to use or share, even commercially; free to use, share, or modify; or finally, free to use, share or modify, even commercially.  The last option is my favorite. 

Usually, when I used Google's Advanced Image Search, I actually just type in the keyword I'm looking for plus the usage rights.  At that point, I just start browsing through the results to see what's available.  I usually find what I am looking for right away.  
If you still need ideas about sources for great images for projects, Infotopia has an entire set of resources for both images and sounds.  At the top right on the image page, there is a link to all Public Domain Images.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Earth Day--April 22, 2014
Do you observe Earth Day 365 days a year?  The EPA is posting 30 tips during April for improving the quality of our environment.   Which of the following tips are a regular part of your routine?
Change five lights
Caulk entrances
Power down
Maintain your car
Take a shower (instead of a bath)
Fix a leak
Insulate water heaters
Change HVAC filters
Plug into power strips
Wash efficiently (in cold water)

Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to focus on environmental issues and to raise public awareness about air and water pollution.  Since 1970, it has grown into a worldwide event, and according to the Earth Day Network, Earth Day now involves over a billion people from over 190 countries around the world.

There are resource toolkits for schools, organizations, and universities available from the Earth Day Network.  Also, you can register your class or your community at this site, and students can read about Earth Day events taking place around the world.

For more information about Earth Day, Infotopia has 12 links to Earth Day resources, dealing with the history of Earth Day, lesson plans for Earth Day, printables, activities, and more.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Monthly Events or Holidays

Are you looking for resources about holidays or monthly events, such as Earth Day, Veteran's Day, or Black History month?  This blog (
now has a new feature located in the tabs at the top called Monthly Events.  Just click on the tab and you'll find links to resources about activities for students, month by month.  

Also, if you read the newsletter and you watch for our monthly events feature, you'll be happy to know that our monthly events will be posted several months in advance on the blog.  That will allow more time to prepare for instructional activities for your students.

In the meantime, to celebrate April 2014,  Happy National Poetry Month, Happy National Library Week (April 13-19, 2014), and Happy Earth Day (April 22, 1014).  
We'll be adding to the monthly events so that you can browse them at least six months in advance.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Academic Web Portals--May 2014

Did you know that your high school or college students can easily search web portals such as Chabot College, ERIC, Infomine, JSTOR, LibGuides and more from the front page of  Just type your keywords into the “Search Additional Multidisciplinary Web Portals” search box, select the portals that interest you, and click search.  Try and you’ll be surprised at the quality of the results.

Science News--May 2014

Are your middle or high school students ready to investigate the latest journal articles about all fields of science?  Try Science Daily as a source of the latest news in science research.  Topics range from Health and Medicine, Mind and Brain, and Living Well, to Space and Time, Matter and Energy, Computers and Math, Plants and Animals, Earth and Climate, and Fossils and Ruins! Some of today’s topics include articles such as “Zombie Cancer Cells Eat Themselves to Live,” and “Does a Junk Food Diet Make You Lazy?”

This is just one of the amazing resources available on Infotopia’s Science Resource Page.  You can find it at

Saturday, April 5, 2014

May 2014 Events

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May Day--May 1, 2014 

Mother’s Day--May 11, 2014 

Children’s Book Week May 12-18, 2014 

Memorial Day  May 26, 2014


What's New--Infotopia--May 2014

Have you noticed anything new about the image on the front page of Infotopia?  Every time you refresh it you get a new picture.  Be sure to hover over “About Photo” at the bottom left of the picture and then click on it if you want to know more or maybe watch a video about it.  Do you like this feature?  Send us your comments.

Health and Disease Resources--May 2014

Are your middle or high school students studying health and disease?  Why not try our recommended resources, including WebMD, CDC Fast Stats, the Internet Public Library Health Topics page, RefDesk Health, Gray’s Anatomy (in full text) on Bartleby, and more!

Welcome--May 2014

Welcome to the students, teachers, and librarians of Allentown, Pennsylvania!  We’re happy you are using and for your research needs!

Kidtopia Art Resources--May 2014

Our Kidtopia Art resource pages have many links to wonderful web sites on Art History for Kids, coloring pages, crafts, dance, drama, music, pottery, printmaking, artists, drawing, painting, and more! We just discovered a new resource for all grades from Kindergarten to High School. It’s called KinderArt and it has links to art lessons by discipline, art lessons by age and grade, and art for special themes and days. Or, go to our Arts page and try out one of the other subjects!

Kidtopia Math and Computer Resources--April 2014

Kidtopia includes resources from the American Library Association’s collection of “Great Websites for Kids.”  You can find Animals, The Arts, Biographies, History, Reference Desk, Sciences, and Social Sciences.  Below are the Mathematics and Computers links.

News Resources--April 2014

Do your students read the top news stories of the day?  It’s a great way to learn geography, languages, history, politics, and more.  Have your students select an online newspaper from our news resources and share an article with the class.  Does the article satisfy the 5 W’s of good news reporting?

When did it take place?

Where did it take place?

What happened?

Who was involved?

April Events--April 2014

National Poetry Month

World Health Day--April 7, 2014

National Library Week—April 13-19, 2014

Theme: Lives Change @ Your Library

Easter—April 20, 2014

Earth Day—April 22, 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Day—April 27, 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Day—April 27, 2014

Astronomy Resources--April 2014

Are you interested in astronomy?  Explore our new page of resources on astronomy.  Infotopia’s Astronomy page has astronomy videos, biographies of famous astronomers, science fair projects that deal with astronomy, and more!  Check it out!

Literary Criticism Resources--April 2014

Literary Criticism Resources
The Internet Public Library has links to excellent sources for Literary Criticism.  You can search by Author’s Last Name, by Title, by Literary Period, and by Country of Origin (American, British, Canadian, French, Italian, Irish, German, Russian, Latin America, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and more).

German Resources--April 2014

Wilkommen auf unserer
neuen deutschen Seite!
(Welcome to our new German page.)

We have added German to our growing list of resources for studying languages.  Infotopia has links to French, German, Spanish, and American Sign Language.  Send us an email and let us know which language we should select next for a new resource page. 

Welcome--April 2014

Welcome to the students, teachers, and librarians of Hawthorne, New Jersey! We’re happy you are using and for your research needs!
Today is our first post on our new blog that will be an online version of our monthly newsletter for  Please check often as we can now add postings about resources that we recommend in every subject from Art to Technology, and for every grade, from Kindergarten to College level students.  As you know, our search engines are FREE, and only access web sites recommended by teachers or librarians.  Students from all over the world use or for their research needs because they know that their results will be reliable and age appropriate.  Let us hear from you!  We are always looking for new subject areas needed to be added to our resources.