Friday, September 04, 2015

Exploring photo-a-day apps

One of my favourite things to do is to look at apps and find ways they can be used in the classroom which could possibly go beyond what they were originally designed for.

There are many apps which allow you to take a photo a day and have it display as a calendar.  The apps often provide the ability to add details to the image. These apps can have many uses in the classroom.

·        Document change: students can make observations of change by taking a photo each day of the month to compare with other days such as clouds in the sky, plants growing, construction of a garden or building, etc.

·        Personal reflection: Students can take selfies and do personal reflections each day, this will also document of they change during the year.

·        Reading log: Students can take a photo of the cover of the book they are reading and type the page numbers read and include comments.

·        Record student work: Students can take an image of work they have done each day and type in reflections.

·        Document a process: if students are working on a unit of work, students can document events through the duration.

·        Learning goals: students can set learning goals and take images to reflect and track their goals.

·        Art record: This is a great way to encourage art students to draw each day to improve their drawing skills.

·        Spelling words: Students can display their spelling words and take an image of a different word each day, they can then type in the definition of the word.

·        Themes and concepts: Students could take photos of using a particular theme or concept each month, eg. Shapes, colours, angles, etc.

·        Camp diary: students can take images during a camp.

·        Travel diary: images can be taken of different destinations. Could incorporate maps or apps such as Photo Mapo - Add a map to your photo.

·        Gratitude journal: Students can reflect each day of what they are grateful for.

·        Daily challenge: Each day students can be given a word or theme for a photo each day.

Some apps to choose from:



Friday, June 05, 2015

5 tools to create virtual posters

A Virtual poster is a digital page where you can often display text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks. It is a great platform for students to present their work in a creative way. Collage makers can also be used to create virtual posters.

The posters created using the app options can also be shared by adding to an eBook using Book creator app.


Pic Collage available for iPad, Android and Kindle Fire.
Pic Collage for Kids available for iPad.
These are great free tools to create interesting posters and collages using your photos, stickers, frames, and text. There is the option of using collage templates or free form design. Pic collage allows you to search for images on the internet and add straight to the page. Pic Collage fo Kids- the best and safest visual and photo editor for home and schools! has removed social features making it safer to use with younger students.


2. Moldiv

Available iPad and android

This is a great tool for create collages by combining and editing multiple photos. It also provides templates.  

3. Canva

Available for iPad and web.

Require a registering for an account. Provide a range of templates and upload your own images and have a choice of free content or content to purchase.


Website where the teacher registers and can create student accounts. You can add images, videos, links and text. It also provides a library of images.

Is a free software which is available for Windows and Mac. The software provides a page layout option where you can add your own images, graphics and speech bubbles.


Story prompts with colour image search

I am always looking for useful image search tools. TinEye Labs provides a colour search function which searches Flickr images. You can select up to 5 colours and alter the percentage of colour by dragging the coloumns. You can also add keywords as tags to refine the search. When you click on an individual image it gives you information about the image.

There are many ways to use this website:
  • generate story prompts
  • brainstorm ideas for themes
  • look at colour theory eg. complimentary colours, warm and cool colours
  • colour symbolism
  • fractions and percentages
  • useful for design purposes when working within a colour scheme.
The site also offers a tool to help you identify the colours from an image.

Friday, May 15, 2015

4 easy to use image overlay tools to create illusions

The technique of layering images, masking and erasing, makes it possible to manipulate images to create illusions. This can often be done using two images - a background image and a foreground image. Parts of the foreground image are erased to reveal the background image.
There are many ways this technique can be used with students:
Such as:

·        Virtual trip: change the background image to anywhere in the world, create a travel journal or travel postcards.

·        Mythical creature: merge animal parts to create a new creature with powers.

·        Superpowers: create the illusion of super human strength, invisibility or the ability to fly.

·        Surrealism: create a surrealistic image by placing objects out of context.

·        Out of proportion: Create the illusion that something has grown or shrunk by placing it next to objects which are out of proportion.

·        Space exploration: use images of space and planets for the background.

·        Travel through time: use images from the past as a background and add a black and white or sepia filter, students could also dress in relevant costume.

·        Jump into a story: use images reflect from a story.

·        Be the star of a comic: add images to a comic creator

·        Clone yourself: ever wished you could be in two places at once, take multiple photos of yourself in different poses and add them to the same background image.

·        Mirror image: create the illusion of a mirror image.

·        Evil twin: take on two personas in the same image.

There are many software options which allow you to do this technique, however, there are now many easy to use options.

1. Superimpose

Available for iPad and Android

Provides the ability to layer and mask your own images.

2. Clone camera
Android version: Clone camera 2.0
This app provides the ability to merge images and overlay.

iPad version
This app provides a range of free images for the background. You can buy the upgrade which will provide more images. You can use your own image for the foreground image. Very easy to use, simply erase the background of the foreground image. The free version does have ads.
4. Microsoft PowerPoint
Thought it was worth mentioning the remove background function in PowerPoint which is very effective and easy to use.
In the picture tools, select the option Remove background. Tools will then appear to indicating mark areas to keep and mark areas to remove. A purple mask will appear over the image, the purple areas will be removed. Layer images by right clicking and selecting Bring to front or send to back.