Showing posts with label Digital Images. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Digital Images. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

National Geographic Photo Jigsaw Puzzles

National Geographic has a daily user-generated photo gallery called the Your Shot Daily Dozen. The Daily Dozen is similar to the BBC's Day in Pictures series. The Daily Dozen contains user-submitted pictures from around the world. Each picture has a small caption containing a description and the location of where the photo was taken. National Geographic has two activities that students can use based on the Daily Dozen pictures, a jigsaw puzzle and a memory game. These activities could be a fun way for students to develop memory skills, matching skills, and puzzle solving skills.

Applications for Education
When I wrote about the BBC's Day in Picture series last year, I titled that blog post BBC's Day in Pictures Worth One Thousand Lessons. National Geographic's Daily Dozen has an equally large number of classroom uses. The images could be used as conversation starters in current events courses, environmental science classes, or photography classes. The images could also be used as story starters for a creative writing class.

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Photovisi - Simple, Quick Collage Builder

Photovisi makes creating collages of digital photos quick and easy. Simply select a collage template, upload images from your computer or Flickr account, sequence the images, and the collage is created. No registration is required to use the service, but you also cannot save the collages on Photovisi, you have to download your completed collage. You can see the collage I made in less than a minute in the image below.

Applications for Education
While there are certainly more advanced collage building tools that have more editing features, very few are as easy to use as Photovisi. Photovisi could be a good tool for students that are just beginning to learn to create content online. Registration is not required to use the service and there is not a public gallery of collages, therefore Photovisi could be used in elementary school classrooms without worries about strangers viewing students' work.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Image Spark - Build Photo Collages, Share Images

Image Spark is an image sharing service that at first glance didn't seem like much, but upon my second look I realized the utility of Image Spark. Image Spark allows you to build collections of images that you find on the Internet and create collages of those images. Image Spark calls these collages "mood boards." Every image and mood board you create can be set to public view or private view.

Uploading images to your Image Spark account is done through the use of a Firefox plug-in or through a standard browser uploader (the same style as is found on most photo sharing sites). I installed the Firefox plug-in and found that it was very easy to use. To use the Firefox plug-in simply right click on an image and select "upload to image spark."

Applications for Education
Image Spark could be used to have students create digital collages around a theme that you assign. If you're an art teacher having one way to use Image Spark could be to have students upload images they've created and make a collage using the images of all classmates. The students would be using the same set of images, but it would be interesting to see how each student organized their collages with those images.

Friday, February 27, 2009

How My Students Used Today

I've written about a number of times in the past (here, here, and here) and I continue to find new ways to take advantage of all that has to offer. For those readers not familiar with, the basic purpose of is to provide a simple file, private sharing system. gives users the ability to create a page of documents, links, and audio files in a matter of seconds.

Today, I gave one of my classes an assignment about the transcontinental railroad, the settlement of the western United States, and the role that "the old west" played in forming the identity of America. The assignment required students to find 19th century images of the West that they thought symbolized characteristics and stereotypes of the West. After finding the images, the students had to write a short justification for the selection of each image. I could have had the students print each image they found, but our school only has black and white laser printers so the quality of image prints is not good. Here's where entered the picture; I had each student (there is only four in this class) create a page on which they added links to the images they found. Along with each image link the students had to write a short note justifying the selection of each image.

The students enjoyed creating these digital portfolios and they now have something that they can continue to add to for the rest of the year. Using to have students create digital portfolios for this assignment also cuts down on the pile of physical papers that I have to sort through and keep track of over the weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Morgue File - Odd Name, Good Free Photos

Morgue File sounds like a website that would feature weird photos and images, but actually it's just an odd name for a good website that provides free photos. The Morgue File photo collection contains thousands of images that anyone can use for free in academic or commercial presentations. The image collection can be searched by subject category, image size, color, or rating.

Morgue File is more than just a source for free images. The Morgue File also features a "classroom" where visitors can learn photography techniques and get tips about image editing.

Applications for Education
Finding free images that students can use in their digital presentations can be a time consuming and occasionally frustrating experience. Morgue File makes it easy to find good free images for students to use in their digital presentations.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kitzu - Find, Learn, Create

Kitzu is a resource for copyright friendly digital resources that students can use to create digital projects. Kitzu provides "kits" of images, videos, documents, and audio clips organized thematically. You can browse the Kitzu kits by subject and by grade level.

Thanks to Coachburk on Twitter for the Kitzu link.

Applications for Education
Kitzu offers nice collections of digital resources for students to use in the creation of presentations. Some of the Kitzu kits also contain resources that teachers will find useful when creating lesson plans and activities for students.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Photl - Free Stock Photo Images

Finding free high-quality images can be difficult and confusing at times. Fortunately, everything you find on Photl is free to use in just about any manner that a teacher or student could think of. The only prohibited use that I read was that you cannot sell the images themselves, otherwise you can use them however you see fit. To find images you can search by keyword or browse through the tag cloud.

Applications for Education
Photl is a great collection of images that students can use in their digital presentations. The best part of having students use Photl is that you don't have to worry about copyright infringement.

Monday, January 19, 2009

360 Cities - Embeddable Panoramic Images

360 Cities, a panoramic image collection that I've written about in the past, now publishes an embed code with each image. This is a great improvement to the service as it will allow students and teachers greater flexibility when building virtual tours. The imagery in 360 Cities, as you will see in the image below, is much better than that typically found in Google's Street View imagery.

view Panoramic photography of Günzburg Frauenkirche

Applications for Education
360 Cities offers high quality imagery that students and teachers can use in creating virtual tours. 360 Cities has a Google Earth layer that you can use to view and navigate through the image collections.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Resize Images Without Downloading Any Software

Resize Image is a simple web-based tool for resizing images. You do not have to create an account or provide any type of information in order to use Resize Image. Simply upload an image, select the size that you would like it to be, click "save changes" and Resize Image does the rest. Once your image is resized you have the option of downloading it to your computer, cropping it, or resizing it again. Resize Image accepts JPEG and PNG files. The service is quick even with very large, high definition images.

Applications for Education
Resize Image is a fast, free tool for students to use to resize images for inclusion in digital presentations. The user interface is simple and straight forward enough that elementary school students can learn to use it quickly.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Get Backboard - Get Feedback Faster

The first time I reviewed Backboard in May it was a simple website through which you could post a document and have people leave feedback for you in a message board or comment system style. It was easy to use and free so I thought it had potential as online resource for conducting peer-review of documents. Yesterday, I received an email informing me of some updates to Backboard that make it a better product.

Backboard has recently added the capability for real-time commenting within a document which is an improvement over the previous system. Backboard now has a full-screen mode and a resizing option to allow you to work with images of almost any size. Speaking of images, Backboard now supports the inclusion of vector graphics. Finally, Backboard offers RSS feeds for your documents so that you can track comments in your favorite RSS reader.

Applications for Education
Backboard is a quick and easy way for students and teachers to peer-review documents. To upload a document, you need to create an account, but to comment you do not. So if you want to have students comment on an article or on an image you can have the class writing comments very quickly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Free Digital Photo Watermarking Tool

I have recently become very interested in copyright and content protection. On the same day that I was busy trying to prevent the re-use of Free Technology for Teachers for commercial gain, ran an article about watermarking images. The article included the reference to a free watermarking tool at I tried it out on some of the pictures I took while hiking last weekend. The service is easy to use, customizable, and fast. The only drawback to it is that the maximum file size it accepts is 100k and it does not accept PNG files. You can see one of the images I watermarked below.

Applications for Education is a good resource for art and photography teachers to introduce to their students. If your students have work that they are particularly proud of and want to put on the Internet, they may want to make sure that they are
properly credited . Creating a small custom watermark, it doesn't have to be as large as the one I made, is a good way for students to make sure their work is protected.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Your World in Pictures

Mashable ran a story earlier today about Life (a Time company) and Getty Images joining forces to create The site is not live yet, but when it does go live it will host all of the imagery that Life is famous for publishing. If you visit now, you can sign up to receive an email alert when the site goes live. seems like it will be similar to Flickr's Commons collection of images from the Library of Congress.

Applications for Education
If is as good as Flickr's Commons collection, Social Studies teachers around the world will have access to a great free resource. I often use the images found in Flickr's Commons collection to start conversations about events and topics in US History.

If you're looking for other image resources you may want to check out Picturing America or the Brooklyn Art Museum's Flickr collection.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Podcast - What is Creativity?

In this podcast I address a great question that Tom Grissom posed in his podcast Tech Talk 4 Teachers. Tom asked the question, “can we still call this creativity if the machine is making the decisions for us?” Tom was raising this question in reference to the use of online tools like Wordle, AutoCollage, and Animoto. To learn more about these tools and hear Tom Grissom’s podcast visit Tech Talk 4 Teachers.

If you enjoyed this podcast or previous episodes, the player embedded in the right hand column of this blog can also be embedded in your blog. To embed my podcast in your blog or website click on the "get this widget" link immediately below the player.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Image Based Lesson Plans

Pics4Learning is a place for students to find copyright friendly images to use in their presentations. There other websites that offer images to students for educational use, what makes Pics4Learning different is that it also hosts a large list of lesson plans for teachers. Pics4Learning offers teachers a great list of lesson plans and projects centered around images. There are lesson plans and activities available for Language Arts, Science, Math, and Social Studies.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Digital Learning Center

Digital cameras are replacing film cameras making photography a less expensive art form and hobby which in turn leads to more students experimenting with photography. Nikon, one of the most popular names in optics and cameras, has created the Nikon Digital Learning Center to help students develop their digital photography skills. The Digital Learning Center features how-to articles from professional photographers, a glossary of terms, and how-to tips and articles specific various photography genres.

Applications for Education
The Nikon Digital Learning Center is a nice new resource to compliment an art course. As photography and film become a more common element in presentations and assessments improving those images will become more important to some students and teachers. The Digital Learning Center is a place where non-art teachers can find some quick tips to help their students improve the visual elements of a presentation.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Online Resource for Visual Arts

VADS (Visual Arts Data Service) is project at the University College for the Creative Arts. The VADS project provides thousands of high quality images categorized thematically. Some of the collections are comprised of images of historical significance while other collections are comprised of images of more contemporary art. VADS provides more than just images, it also provides background information about each collection and links to investigate for further study. One of the really nice services VADS provides is a free light box service that users can use to save images into collections of their own and then share with others.

Applications for Education
The light box service VADS provides is a nice tool teachers and students can use to create their own collection of images for study. Under the "services" section of VADS teachers will find some great guides to using digital resources for teaching art. Also in the services section of VADS teachers will find case studies of digital resources being used as teaching tools.