Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pic Collage: Take Your Pictures Up a Notch

Recently, I have been on the hunt for an app that can accomplish a couple things. I wanted an app that my students could use to, for example, take pictures of the (smelly) crayfish we currently have in our classroom and label their body parts and functions directly on the photo. I also wanted students to be able to choose between text and free writing to complete this task. Additionally, I wanted students to be able to export all of their photos and work into an app called Seesaw so I could categorize it and share it with parents. My final requirement? It had to be cheap free. I downloaded and tested two apps, Paper 53 and Pic Collage for kids. The app I chose? Drum roll, please...Pic Collage for Kids!

As for the reason I ultimately chose Pic Collage for Kids over Paper 53? Well, first it was recommended to me. Work smarter, not harder. But additionally, it had one huge feature that Paper 53 just didn't have. While both apps allow you to draw freehand directly on the picture, Paper 53 does not allow you to add multiple text boxes onto a picture. In fact, the only typed text you can add is a title. Everything else you have to write by hand. And I don't know about your class, but my class already struggles enough with writing on large pieces of paper, so they definitely don't need the added struggle of trying to draw in teeny tiny letters on a photo. 

Ready to learn how to use it? Let's get started. 

First, download the free Pic Collage for Kids app. When you open the app, it'll look a little something like this:

Simply click the + button in the upper right hand corner to get started! When you do so, this screen will come up:

Next, click the photo icon to upload a single picture or multiples. For simplicity's sake, this step by step model will only use one picture. The picture I chose may or may not be of my own dog. 

 When you have selected one, click the check mark icon in the upper right hand corner. The picture you selected will then come up as a small image in the middle of the screen. Simply adjust the picture size and angle by moving it with your fingers on the screen.

I wanted mine to be as large as possible, so I adjusted it accordingly.

To add text, just click the + at the bottom of the screen and select "Text".  From there, you just need to type what you want, choose the font, and drag the corners of the text box to adjust text size. You can then place it on the picture wherever you would like.

Here's what my final product looked like:

Want to know how long that took? 5 minutes. What does this mean for you as a techie teacher? It means instead of giving your student a boring science reading followed by an even more painstaking diagram to label, you can let them explore the same content in a more meaningful way. Let them take a picture of the plant or animal you're studying! Don't have one in your class? Let them look for their own on a kid-safe search engine. Still nervous about using technology you're somewhat unfamiliar with? Start with this. Pic Collage for Kids. Your classroom full of eager little minds will thank you.

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