Friday, September 22, 2017

School Graphics Resources Offer Safe, Legal Content for Educators and Students

Clipart image of children at their desks in a classroom
School days, school days are back again for another year.  Today marks the end of the second week of the new school term,  and the business of education is moving along as usual. Classrooms are abuzz with the energy of exuberant young students, full of questions and ready to learn. Shenanigans too abound, but for the most part youngsters and teens are settling in to the old routine.

Educators, tasked with the significant responsibility of nurturing young minds,  look for creative and innovative ways to inspire their students and motivate them to learn.  Teaching tools and lesson plans are important elements in achieving these goals. Resources such as TeachersPayTeachers give educators a chance to share some of their best with their peers. This offers variety and can stimulate when motivation is lost.

In our ever-changing, fast-paced world it takes an enthusiastic educator to make the quest for knowledge entertaining and appealing for the naive.  With creativity and ingenuity they have the ability to inject humour and fun into the work of gaining wisdom.

That the notion of what needs to be taught could be significantly different than in the past is sometimes difficult to get our heads around. It all happened so fast. Yet, for good or bad, the principle driver on this has of course been technology and the many advancements we've seen over the years.

Clipart image of a girl writing at a desk
Who would have believed that we would ever be told cursive writing isn't imperative any more? Who would have imagined there would be little need to lug around heavy textbooks any more, that lessons would be viewed on tablets in a classroom, that students could share information on course work without actually speaking to each other, let alone being in the same room?

In today's classrooms, computers are key. They provide access to many of the tools teachers need, the resources for both educators and students, as well as being an integral component of modern curriculum.  We might have lost cursive, but coding is at the top of the list of programs that have been added in many districts and boards.

Learning from, on and about computers, or using them as resources for other classroom activities and lessons are important facets of today's education. Part of this involves the use of graphics within the work created by teachers, as well as in the actual hands-on education of their charges.

A few years ago, a teacher friend proudly displayed the work of one of her most gifted students. I happened to notice that images used in the project were from iCLIPART.com and since they still contained the watermark, I questioned her on how they were obtained. Her reply was that her students simply search for images online and use whatever 'free' ones they can find.  Since I work in the online subscription graphics industry, I knew it was time we had a chat.

Clipart image of a boy at a computer in front of bookshelvesAllowing students to access 'free' images online is a dicey option. These sources can often lead to copyright issues and may contain viruses. Educators need to use, and promote, in their presentations and within their classrooms, safe, reliable clipart and photos, such as those you find in royalty-free subscription sites.

Vital Imagery Ltd., with its family of clipart websites, has taken the safety factor even further —  two resources exclusive to the education field. Images on  iCLIPART For Schools and Clipart.com School Edition have been stringently filtered to ensure content is child-friendly. In order to use images legally, one must become a member, but it's a small price to pay for setting a good example to young minds.
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