Creative Commons provides rights an intellectual property or creative works an author can grant to other users. Through Creative Commons, authors can grant rights for copying and reusing material. This non-profit was created with the same ideas behind open source software - our collective intelligence is better than each of us working for our own benefit. Both of these movements were started and continued by like-minded individuals who want to make the world a better place through collaboration. Contributing back to the same community from which you benefit is altruistic. At the Creative Commons website you can get a Creative Commons license for your own work and search for other products that people are willing to share.
There are a number of ways you can license your work. The table below describes each category and displays the icon related to each.
The Public Domain in the United States contains works that are considered property of the masses. They include things the government creates and/or distributes, are so old or unprotected they no longer carry a copyright or trademark or were created specifically for widespread use. Orphaned works, those where no one knows the originator are also considered public domain. Recently, I dug up an old collection of images that serve as a wonderful, local (for most of you) example called Yukon Public Domain. This was a set of images created by a team of high school students as a senior project in the early 1990s. This collection was created at Benson High School in Portland, Oregon.
What does this have to do with teaching and learning?
If your students don't have enough time to create their own graphics and pictures for publications and slide decks, consider teaching them to search for images, buttons, icons, etc on the Creative Commons website (author-licensed work) or through the Library of Congress and the National Archives (Public domain).