Showing posts with label PicMonkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PicMonkey. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Using Sumo Paint and PicMonkey in Elementary Art

Art by Jane, a 5th grade student.
This week I am hosting some guest bloggers. This is a guest post from Carrie Zimmer.

Andy Warhol was legendary for his work combining art and pop culture and his use of bright color and iconic images is known worldwide.

Warhol was provided as inspiration to American School of Milan 5th grade students several months back by art teacher, Julie Troyer. They chose a simple image that could be replicated and created the identical image six times in different color schemes.

Moving forward with the same inspiration, Julie and I decided to create different versions of one student selected photograph using our Dell tablets. We wanted to find programs that were web-based, free, and didn’t require registration. We selected Sumo Paint and PicMonkey as the best tools for our students. While copyright friendly pics can be found online in a Google filtered image search and several other places, this time our students used photographs that I gathered from my own collection.

Sumo Paint is a web-based photo editing tool. Registration is not required, as students are able to use the program and save files without creating an account. In our elementary program, this is key. We taught the students a few quick ideas using only the Adjustments and Filters, showing how they could change the image, but still maintain a reference to the original. Each student created three versions of their selected photo by experimenting with these controls, like Pixelate, Stylize, and Hue/Saturation.

Once their versions were complete, students used PicMonkey to collage their photos into one image. PicMonkey is an online photo editing and collaging tool. Again, registration is not required to use their site or save finished images. I find that this site is really easy for almost any user to understand as well. Users can drag and drop photos into collages and move them around as needed. The size and shape of the collage can also be customized to fit your needs.
Art by Nicole, a 5th grade student.

This project was completed in two 40 minute class segments. Written directions that can be modified for your situation can be found here.

A well deserved thanks goes to the amazing technologist, teacher and colleague, Tamara Wolpowitz, who shares her ideas and knowledge with me every day and provided the idea for this project. You, too, can find inspiration from her @tamwol.

Carrie Zimmer is a Technology Integration Specialist and Coach at the American School of Milan in Italy. She’s a Google Certified Teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, but more importantly, a lifelong learner. Make your plans to come to ASM for Learning 2.016, the first Learning2 conference in Europe. Outside of the classroom, you can find Carrie reading, baking and blogging about life and travel in Europe at You can also find her online at or @carrie_zimmer

Friday, December 19, 2014

Three Tools for Creating Last-minute Holiday Cards

In typical form I have done all of my Christmas shopping and card mailings in the last 24 hours. I know I am not the only one that waits until the last minute to get these things done. You may have students in the same boat. You may also find yourself looking for a way to help students create some last-minute holiday greeting cards of their own. The following three popular tools offer options for creating holiday cards.

Canva, PicMonkey, and PicCollage are currently offering holiday-themed graphics that you can use to create cards featuring your own pictures. Of the three Canva provides the most themes and the most options for customization. PicMonkey doesn't require students to create accounts in order to create their cards. And PicCollage is great if you're working on an Android tablet or on an iPad. (Canva also has an iPad app).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Three Tools for Creating Multimedia Year-in-Review Collages

In my previous post I shared some tools for creating year-in-review videos. A video might not be the format in which you want students to summarize the year. You may find that a collage of images, videos, sounds, and text is a better format for your students. Here are three tools that could be used to create multimedia year-in-review collages.

PicCollage is my go-to iPad and Android app for creating multimedia collages. It is a free app that allows you to quickly arrange pictures, video, text, and stickers into collages. From the app you can share your collage to Google Drive, Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, and many other file sharing services. You can also simply save your collage to your tablet's camera roll. A video tutorial on PicCollage is embedded below.

PicMonkey is a web-based tool for creating image collages. If you import your PicMonkey collage into ThingLink you can create a multimedia collage. I demonstrate that process in the video embedded below.

If you want all of your students to work together on the development of one collage, Padlet might be the tool for you. You could create a Padlet wall to which your students post videos, images, links, and files summarizing the highlights of the year. The video embedded below provides an overview of how to use Padlet.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

PicMonkey + Thinglink = Interactive Collages

A couple of nights ago my friend Joe, a middle school social studies teacher, sent me a Facebook message about creating multimedia collages. My suggestion to Joe was to use PicMonkey and Thinglink. In the video below I demonstrate how to do that.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Crowd Sourced Ideas for Using PicCollage, Canva, PicMonkey, and Thinglink in Education

Today, I facilitated a workshop for the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency in Bettendorf, Iowa. To start the day we created some visual stories to represent what we thought good teaching and learning environments look like. We then took those visuals and dropped them into Thinglink to add video and audio media to the visuals. Finally, we shared our creations on this Padlet wall so that the whole group could see benefit from seeing each other's work and ideas about using visual story creation tools in their classrooms. The wall is embedded below. The tools we used include PicCollage, PicMonkey, Canva, and Thinglink. The outline from the workshop is available here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Three Ways for Students to Create and Send Digital Holiday Greetings

Image credit: Jen Deyenberg
Tomorrow is the last day of school before winter break for many students. If you're looking for a good elementary school or middle school activity for the last day before break, consider having students create and send digital greeting cards. Here are three tools students can use to create and send digital greeting cards.

Animoto offers video themes for every season. Their holiday themes include "starry night," "wonderland of snow," "eight days of lights," "pop-up pandemonium," "gifting gifts," "spirit of December," and "wrapping scraps." To send a video greeting card through Animoto just select one of the themes, upload images or choose images from the Animoto gallery, select a soundtrack, title your project, and then let Animoto mix it into a beautiful video greeting. Students can share their video greetings through email, Facebook, or by embedding it into a blog.

PicMonkey is a great image editing and collage creation tool. They're currently offering a variety of holiday themes that students can use for their collages. Your students could create a holiday collage and share it via email or post in on your classroom blog.

Its A Message is a neat site for sending digital greetings that uses Google Maps Street View as its basis for generating location-based greeting cards. To send a greeting through Its A Message start by specifying any location. Its A Message will then take you to that location in a Street View display that has been enhanced for the holidays. For example, the imagery of Portland, Maine has been drawn with lights and snowflakes. After settling on a location click "share your message" to customize what appears on the screen and to send the greeting to friends.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Photo Collages as Writing Prompts

In a post on Android for Schools I wrote about using Pic Collage on my Android phone to create a collage to summarize my day. Pic Collage is a free app available for Android and iOS devices. The app allows you to quickly arrange pictures on a wide variety of canvas designs, add text to your images, and add stickers to your collages. From the app you can share your collage to Google Drive, Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, and many other file sharing services.

Applications for Education
Students who struggle to get started on a descriptive writing assignment could benefit from first creating a photo collage about the event or concept that they need to write about. In thinking about the images that they select, they're also thinking about what they will say about each image.

Pic Collage is a good option for creating collages on Android and iOS devices. For a browser-based option I recommend trying PicMonkey.

See Angela Oliverson's guest post for more ideas about using PicMonkey in your classroom.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five Tools for Modern Postcard Lessons

Yesterday, I found a postcard creation tool and lesson on Read Write Think. The RWT Postcard Creator walks students through the process of addressing, writing, and mailing a postcard. It's a nice little activity, but as I was trying it I couldn't help but wonder how relevant it is to today's students who may go never send a postcard because all of their communications happen digitally. As I thought about the RWT lesson I started to brainstorm a list of tools that can be used by students to send virtual postcards to their friends and family.

Instagram was the first option that came to mind even though it can't be used by students under 13.

PicMonkey is a free photo editing tool that can be used by anyone without registering on the site. Using PicMonkey you can apply many different frames and effects to your images. PicMonkey has text editing options that could be used to create a greeting on your image.

PicSay is an Android app (free and pro versions available) that students can use to add text and special effects to their images before sharing them with friends.

Animoto could be used by students to create and email short video postcards.

AudioBoo can be used to record short audio messages. Images can be attached to the messages. AudioBoos is available on the web, on iOS devices, and on Android devices.

Applications for Education
All of these resources could be used in a "back to school" activity that students complete to introduce themselves to you and their classmates. Students can work with images to create short introductions that highlight their favorite people, places, and things.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Make PicMonkey Collages to Pique Kids' Interest in Books

This week I am away on an offline vacation. Rather than let the blog be dormant or rerunning old posts I decided to give some other people a chance to share their experiences and ideas with you. I hope you enjoy the posts.

I am excited to be here today to let you know that PicMonkey’s Collage tool has gone live and it is awesome! And fun. And easy. No log-in required. But it DOES require some nice thinking from students. Win-win, is that not? The site works through our district filter and with  any browser I’ve tried. Check out Free Technology for Teachers' original post for a basic PicMonkey editor how to. The Collage function is new!

As a teacher librarian I love anything that will pique kids’ interest in books.  This is something I (or any teacher) can do for display around the classroom or web presence.  Even better … it’s something the students can do. Other curriculum areas could certainly use this same tool to demonstrate awareness in their respective areas (landforms, shapes, angles, geography, types of weather, historical landmarks, etc.).

This is an opportunity to either have students use their own photography skills or teach them good digital citizenship and how to look for Creative Commons licensed images. There are many places you can go for possibilities (Stuck? Start here). In this collage I used CC licensed photos from Fotopedia and Morguefile. Please make attribution part of the expectation rubric for the collage (even with sites like Morguefile that don’t require it)!

The easiest way I’ve found is to save the photos in one folder on the desktop (to be moved back and forth from a network drive to work on in multiple class sessions). The source addresses could either then be “stamped” onto the images themselves using the “Add Text” feature of PicMonkey or they could be listed below the collage. If all of the pictures are in one folder it is easy to upload them to the site and don’t start the project until you have at least one or two more photos than you think you will need. You can rearrange the collage, dragging and dropping pictures in different spaces and choosing from several different layout options.

Don’t forget to save the finished collage to the same folder as it will not be saved online.. When you go to save you have three different resolution options (that’s what they are, even though they are given strange names like “Ewan.” I usually just stick with the middle one (though if I were ever going to print something large scale I might bump it up to the highest). The middle one has been fine for web and 8X11 or smaller printing.

If you like you can then reupload the single image collage to basic PicMonkey and put a nice digital frame around it. 

Photos from top left to bottom right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

This example collages is based on a newly minted  most-favorite books ever. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is a MUST READ if you ever loved Charlotte’s Web. I used to live in WA state a long time ago and would go visit the original gorilla this story is loosely based upon.

Angela Oliverson, known to her students as  Ms. O, is a teacher librarian in San Antonio, TX. She is a proud aunt of eight, a Star Wars fan, and can be found online at as well as @senoritao.