Students should follow academic guidelines for copyright and citation when using multimedia sources in an academic product. Students now consult a range of media sources while researching, and also produce assignments that may integrate photos, videos, and sound created by others.
Proper Attribution of Sources
All major citation formats (MLA, APA, etc.) provide guidelines for citing online and non-print sources. Some assignments may not require formal citations, but teachers should still expect that students provide attribution, as they would when quoting text. For example, a presentation might include a credits page as the last slide, or captioning features can be used to provide credits for a photo.
Google Images is Not a Source
Google Images is a search tool, but the images that display on Google’s results pages are merely preview thumbnails. Students must click through to the page that actually hosts the image to gather correct source data. Also, it is only by visiting the page where the image or video is hosted that one can find contextual data allowing for evaluation of the material.
Consider Copyright: Fair Use of Multimedia
Giving credit does not bestow the rights to use an author’s material. Many, but not all, educational uses of copyrighted sources fall under fair use guidelines, particularly when in a face-to-face classroom setting. Posting student work online that integrates copyrighted material without the permission of the rightsholder may be possible – but you must evaluate the fair use circumstances before assuming it’s legal.
Explore the Copyright-Friendly World
There are a variety of resources to help you and your students find works that may be used without the express permission of a copyright holder. Older works and many government publications are not under copyright. Creative Commons and Wikimedia Commons provide licensing that is less restrictive than traditional copyright.