Presentation Tip: Finding Free High Quality Images

A key part of a good presentation is finding and using the right images.  The Internet has made this incredibly easy… easy to steal images, that is.  When searching for images, most people go to the search engine of their choice and do an image search.  This makes sense as it is an incredibly easy and intuitive way to find images.  The problem with doing this is that (1) you tend to find a lot of junk, and (2) you are often taking images without regard for copyright and attribution.

There is a better way, however, and the following are some of the resources I use when finding images for presentations:

But first, a bit about Creative Commons…


One thing to look out for when finding images are those that come with a Creative Commons (CC) license.  Individuals that want to share their work and let others reuse it, but still want to put some restrictions on them, use a CC license.  The video below does a great job of explaining how CC works.  The benefit of using CC images is that often times, the individuals that take the extra step to add a license to their images are often the ones uploading higher quality images.

If you go to the Creative Commons Search page, you can do searches through a number of sites, including Flickr, and it will provide you with only CC-licensed images.  The Creative Commons search is also not just limited to images, but you will also find other forms of media including video and audio.

Some Reasonably Priced Stock Images


Using a professional stock image service such as Corbis or Getty Images will often produce results that include pictures that could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. There are a number of good stock image services, however, that provide reasonably priced images that you can buy.  One of my favorites is iStockphoto.  The benefit of using a stock service like iStockphoto is that (1) you pay the artists (nearly) directly, (2) they often have higher quality and a broader range of images, and (3) you can often find series of images that look visually similar (this helps in creating a consistent look/feel in your presentations).  Another little tip for iStockphoto is to check to see if there are coupons before you buy.  UPDATE: iStock was purchased by Getty and their prices have increased substantially. I can’t reccommend it anymore. 😦

Another Resource


This final resource isn’t just about images, per se, but entire presentations from which to draw inspiration.  Slideshare is a site where individuals can upload their slide decks and presentations to share with the world.  Think YouTube for presentations.  It’s a great place to get ideas and some of the uploders even allow you to download, remix, and reuse their content.


Experiment Using Social Media in the Classroom (After The Article)

Twitter Bird

StudentAffairsLogoLast week, published a piece I wrote entitled, An Experiment Using Twitter in Teaching a Student Affairs Practicum Course, in their Journal of Technology in Student Affairs.  (Please check it out and let me know what you think!)  In one of the later paragraphs of the piece, I wrote about my plans for teaching with social media in the future.  As many of my students will tell you, I like to try one or two new “teaching experiments” each semester.  Usually these experiments involve some kind of technology or social media use.  With another semester under my belt, I wanted to write a small follow-up piece on some new lessons learned.  I undertook two new experiments this semester:

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Excited to Launch

NOSE-0100-3I’m launching a fun little experiment I call The Clown Nose Project! It’s a simple project trying to spread a little fun and joy. The basic concept is this: Seeing pictures of normal everyday people in clown noses makes me smile. Brightening someone’s day makes me smile. By harnessing the power of the internet, perhaps I could get a small army of clown-nose-armed people (which I refer to as “Clown Nosers”) to give out clown noses to unsuspecting people and take pictures or videos of them wearing them. We can post them on the Web and spread this joy even further!

Is there a sad student in your office? Put a clown nose on it.

Is there a little girl crying in the grocery store? Put a clown nose on it.

Is the person behind the cash register having a bad day? Put a clown nose on it.

Do you want to let off a little steam? Put a clown nose on it.

So if you want to participate, you can…

1. View submitted photos and videos here:

2. Learn more about the project and how to participate here:

3. Submit your own photos and videos here:

You can also follow the project via Twitter or Facebook.

I’m excited to be launching this with the help of my ACPA family this week. And I’d like to thank two gentlemen in my life for inspiring me with this idea. You know who you are. So come join us! Become a Clown Noser!

The Social Media Mindset (Hint: ‘Yer Doin’ It Wrong)

966605_10101114569460738_1798730164_oLast week I had the privilege of being invited to speak to the amazing staff at Johnson & Wales University in Denver and also do a five-hour consultation on their social media efforts.  I have done a number of social media consults for departments, and other campus entities, and one of the questions that always arises is: “Can you show me a good example of a university doing social media?”

I can understand why people ask this question.  Higher education and student affairs professionals are known for their free and open sharing of resources.  When developing a new program or service, one of the first steps people take is to look at “best practices” or “exemplar institutions.”  This makes sense.  With social media, however, it often isn’t this easy.  Sure, I can provide a list of institutions that seem to be successful (there are a number of lists out there: here, here, and here), but critical consumers of information will ask, “What’s the metric being used to determine these lists?”  The tricky part about social media is that it is a moving target.  New services come and go.  Statuses, posts, and tweets go stale quickly.  Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, social media is about the interactions that take place.  Interactions are hard to capture just by looking at a site.  They’re what happens “in-between.”
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The Bacon Kitty George Takei Star Wars Experience 2: Now with Circus Clowns!

baconcattekeistarwars2Approximately one month ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “The Bacon Kitty George Takei Star Wars Experience” about my definition of social media.  A few weeks prior, I had also titled a post, “Your Professional Network is Powered by Bacon.”  After doing this, an odd thing happened.  In the statistics for my website, “bacon” became the most frequent search term directing traffic to my site.

The following are the search engine term statistics from my site for the past 30 days:
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