Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

75 Free or Open Source Resources for Remixing


Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform. — from TED talk

What’s a remix? In Kirby Ferguson’s view, any piece of art that contains a recognizable reference to another work–a quote from a lyric, a borrowed riff, a filmic homage. Which makes almost everything a remix, from a Led Zeppelin song to a classic film from George Lucas. His deeply researched and insanely fun four-part web series, “Everything Is a Remix,” dives into the question: Is remixing a form of creativity, a production of the new on the shoulders of what precedes it, or is it just copying? He comes out firmly on the side of creativity, calling for protections for people who, with good intentions, weave together bits of existing culture into something fresh and relevant.

In Kirby’s website, he lists hardware and softwares suggested for remixing. Here is a collection of other useful resources for your remixing and creation:

Quick Take Away

(best posts for busy educators)

Here’s your invite to reuse and remix the 4 million Creative Commons-licensed videos on YouTube

17 Free Youtube Tools Every Teacher Should Know About

Create video tutorials and presentations – 10 free software

Create “Choose Your Own Adventure” Videos

Use Pinterest to Find Public Domain Images to Rock Your Glogs

Free Photoshop Alternatives For Editing Photos

Find Open Source Images

Pics4Learning is a popular site to find free, open source photo sharing for teachers and students (biomes, animals, art, food, world religions, fractals, holidays, space, landforms, geography, Native Americans, colonial America, Civil War, ancient civilizations, mythology, presidents, World War I, World War II).

Flickr uses the Advanced search option and check the box at the bottom to only search CC licensed photos, or link through here 200 million Creative Commons photos and counting! ( the largest CC photo repository in the world)

PhotoPin uses the Flickr API and searches creative commons photos to use for your blog. It generate the HTML code with proper citation for you to use.

CompFight.com is useful for helping students find pictures that are available for use under various Creative Commons licenses, and for teaching them about the different levels of permission

Wikipedia has vast majority of images which are open-licensed, click the image to find source and license, good resources for historic and academic topics.

Wikimedia Commons  is the media collection that Wikipedia draws from, including images, sound files and video clips, there are more historic and academic resources than Flickr, more than 11 billion media files are there; it’s also a great site to find government resources in public domain, many resources from National Archives and Library of Congress are digitized and uploaded onto this sites.

Library of Congress Photo Archives has over 1.2 millions images in its database, it’s an excellent source for student’s history projects. Each image has different licensing. (famous Americans, presidents, civil rights, wars, inventors, authors, American history)

NOAA Public Image Library is a wonderful resource for science projects. The database is extensive. (animals, volcanoes, weather, biomes, landforms, oceans)

Florida’s Educational Technology Clipart Clearinghouse is a clip art and drawing collection of over 46,000 images. (mythology, math diagrams, money, fairy tales, alphabets, animals, historical figures) A maximum of fifty (50) clip art items may be used in any non-commercial, educational project (report, presentation, display, website, etc.) without special permission.

PICDROME is  a growing Public Domain picture collection, free of copyright and licensed under Creative Commons CC 1.0 Public Domain Dedication.

PD Photo is another great image site and offers geography, landforms, food, space, plants, ocean, grammar, animals images.

Photos8 offers high quality, high resolution public domain images in geography, landforms, world religions, art, food, insects, plants.

Public Domain Photos offers a vast collection of clip art images and high resolution photos. (geography, landforms, US regions, flags from around the world, animals, space, ocean, plants, insects, food, vehicles, desert)

The Open Photo Project is a smaller collection of high quality open source photo sharing.

Image*After  is a smaller collection of high quality photos, there are ads for commercial photos.

morgueFile is a smaller collection of high quality open source photo sharing.

Stock.XCHNG is a smaller collection of high quality open source photo sharing.

Copyright free images collects public domain pictures, free for any private or commercial use.

4FreePhotos is another site that offers quite a few artistic high quality images.  Many of these would be great for backgrounds.  Supporting Units: transportation, food, landforms, geography, art, aircraft, plants, penguins, Spring.

Karen Whimsey Public Domain Images has clip art, diagrams, sketches, and more public domain images.  (ancient civilizations, world religions, musical instruments, art, silhouettes, vintage fashion, fairy tales, Native Americans, explorers, Civil War, geography, food, Spanish, art, architecture, Shakespeare, plants)

Ookaboo is a Creative commons (free) site for finding great images for class work.

Google Swirl is for you to search for images and see their relationships with each other (use with Google Safe Search enabled).

Free Photo Bank provides an easy way to find creative common images

WPClipart has clip arts, easy to search(high quality).

Open Clip Art Library has clip arts, it’s a larger collection and has more variation in quality.

School Clip Art has free clip art images for teachers and students.

Find Open Source Music and Sound

The Freesound Project has open source sound effects of every type imaginable, searching by tag on the left is the easiest way to find things, you have to register and logged in to use them but it’s free, you can preview all of the clips in the browser before downloading.

Partners in Rhyme gives you general sound effects, public domain sound effects, free royalty free sound effects and music.

Sound Bible offers thousands of copyright free sound effects, sound clips, and straight up sounds, they consist of Creative Commons and Public Domain works.

Magnatune  provides full access to 1200+ albums unlimited music downloads in a variety of MP3 and lossless formats as well as unlimited online music streaming. Your Magnatune membership makes it easy and legal to stream music at work, listen to downloaded music on your MP3 player, and burn CDs at home.

Jamendo is the biggest European platform for the online distribution of musical works under Creative Commons licences, 317,027 free music tracks downloads for private use, Royalty free music license for commercial purposes,  more than 40,000 albums by independent artists, it’s also a community of music authors, also downloadable through BitTorrent.

Purple Planet collects royalty free music, it is a nice source for fun, easy to use, royalty-free music for projects.

MusOpen has mostly classical and acoustic music.

ccMixter has mostly contemporary music, a small number are marked “Not safe for work” which are generally for adult language.

Wikimedia Commons music has a variety of music, but mostly classical; it also has videos.

SoundCloud Creative Commons  has a unique media player that allows you to embed sound and music clips into other webpages. It also allows users to comment on the sound clips, directly on the media’s timeline, so you can leave a comment with the music. Like all good social media platforms, you can follow audio creators you like, so you can keep up on their creations.

Vimeo Music Store is a collection for searching just the Creative Commons or FREE tracks,  even you aren’t Vimeo users you can download the FREE tracks without having to login, while downloading the track, a little pop up reminding you of the exact license of that track, so you know what you can and can’t do with it.

Find Sounds is a free site where you can search the Web for sound effects and musical instrument samples.

Free Kids Music.com is a collection of quality children’s music. These are complete songs, not edited versions. All music downloads on this site are free.

FreePlay Music  is a comprehensive collection of High End Broadcast production music spanning all the popular musical genres, available for free download either online or can be purchased by cd.

PublicDomain4U has jazz, blues, country, folk songs, World War I.

Sound Jay has sounds for weather, business, FACS, and backgrounds for podcast projects.

Soungle has abundant sound effects for student projects including weather, emotions, dance, animals, water, and special effect sounds for podcasts.

Find Open Source Video

National Repository of Online Courses has Algebra, Calculus, History, Biology, Environmental Science, Physics and World Religions online courses.

American Rhetoric (famous speeches) makes material available to advance understanding of political, social, and religious issues as they relate to the study and practice of rhetoric and public address deemed relevant to the public interest and the promotion of civic discourse.

Teacher’s Domain   is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities. Register and do an advanced search for open source multimedia materials.

Internet Archive – Movie Archive has Hundreds of thousands of public domain video clips, films, community submitted clips, and older historical news reels. There are thousands of great short video clips in the Arts category that would be useful for abstract video backgrounds during student news casts. From sports videos to animations and cartoons, there’s a LOT to dig through.

National Park Service B-Roll Video Archive has public domain video clips from a number of different U.S. National Parks and Monuments. This site has great footage for shots of nature and famous landmarks, monuments, and parks around the U.S. All of the footage is professional quality, and available in H.264 format, so it’s highly compatible with lots of software.

Next Vista for Learning has videos are all under 4 minutes so that you can find relevant video that fit well into a discussion and don’t abuse the attention span of viewers. Videos are all created by other learners, so students get to watch other students, not adults. Videos all include a handy download link for offline usage.

Khan Academy   has  instructional videos for math and science of K-12 level.

Karl Fisch’s algebra movies has instructional videos for high school algebra.

K-12 Open Ed movies  includes middle school math and preK-2 – literacy

Kitzu is a Digital Kit for education provided by the Orange County, California Department of Education.

Video Editing Tools

Animoto is a very popular tool to create videos from images and music. Educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account ($30/year) for use in classrooms, it can create presentations incorporating images, video clips, music and text. There is an array of tools helps you automatically create unique video pieces. This video is a how-to tutorial :

Aviary provides a suite of online tools that allows you to take create images, edit screenshots, edit sounds and create music. All for free, and all through your browser. Aviary Education is  a completely private setting which is separate from the rest of the Aviary community , you can create private student accounts, manage assignments and projects, use image/audio editor and music creator, access content and images which are 100% school safe.

Kerpoof lets you make a picture, a movie, a drawing or a card by selecting a background and then dragging and dropping your selected additions. There’s a host of activities that you can do at Kerpoof. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)

Fluxtime is an interesting tool that allows the user to record actions as they move things around the screen, manually creating the animation. In addition to providing backgrounds and images Fluxtime has an upload option so you can include any images you create or find elsewhere.

EmbedPlus ia a free tool which enables you to enhance the viewer experience on YouTube videos, like chopping, sweet spot marking, slow motion on demand, scene skipping, zooming, annotation and real-time reactions from internet.

TubeChop helps educators avoid the hassle of skipping through videos to find a certain clip within the video. Instead, users can select and chop just the portion of the video they would like to show or share with others.

Masher lets you “mix, mash, and share” video clips, audio files, and photos into polished movies, it’s all free ; also free media content from students own content as well as from the BBC Motion Gallery are available.

Movie Maker is the Microsoft version of Apple’s iMovie, a free and easy to use video editor. It can turn photos and video clips into digital movies with special effects such as transitions, captions, sharing features, and more.

Cinefx is an open-source digital media player and editor, Cinefx works on both Windows and Mac operating systems. It has professional video editing features and a lot of special effects.

MovieStorm  is to make 3D animation accessible to teachers and students, businesses, and amateur filmmakers, so it’s an easy-to-use tool full of high-quality, industry-standard features.

Creaza is an online video editing tools other than Windows Movie Maker, it has an alternative for GarageBand and a comic creator.

Vimeo is a place for sharing video, there is a video school full of tips of making good video.

Voki is a free service for educators to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profiles and email messages, Teachers’ Corners and Lesson Plan Database are collaborative resources for teachers.

WeVideo is s new service which let people collaborate on making video online and share through social media, with internet connection, you can access the video on smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Caption It Yourself provides guides and tool information for creating captions for your videos.

StoryBoard Pro is designed specifically for students and teachers by Bill Bierden, StoryBoard Pro allows users to plan ahead for their video projects. You can enter shot descriptions, planned lengths, and editing order, create and print storyboards, and upload a variety of media to illustrate each shot.

Let us know if we miss something valuable, or add your comments and suggestions!

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7 Responses »

  1. That’s a mighty list! More than enough to keep me busy for the rest of the month, but I would add just one more: http://flickrcc.net – like photopin this site makes it easy to find Creative Commons licensed images on flickr but it also has an online editor for adding captions, cropping etc.

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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