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Ahh, summer!  Days are filled with sights of lemonade stands, poolside chatter, and the opportunity to capture some much deserved rest and rejuvenation.  Above all, summer is for memory making!  Whether your plans take you across town or across the country, mobile technology can be a best friend to freeze those special moments in time with just the right picture.

 

The power of visual imagery is undeniable, but don’t stop at the camera roll.   Here are a few ideas to take those awesome images to the next level.  Plus, by exploring these creative (FREE!) apps, you can begin to discover ways to leverage their capabilities in the classroom for creation-based demonstration of learning.

 

photoshop express app  Adobe Photoshop Express   

This fun photo editing app is my go-to choice for turning amateur snapshots into professional looking masterpieces in seconds.  Available for iOS , Android, and Windows Phone, adjustment results are displayed in real-time so you can see the immediate impact of options such as clarity, highlights, shadows, filters, borders, and more with a sliding scale for controlled effect.  I also appreciate a simultaneous side-by-side view of my original photo along with the edited version. Final edits are easily shared via social media and saved back to your camera roll (which will come in handy with our other apps).  Thinking about instruction, use filters to discuss how different colors or misty overlays evoke mood.  Have students capture images that would be appropriate illustrations for the book you’re reading and use edit tools to represent it through a character’s lens.

 

pic collage app icon  PicCollage

 

Now that we’ve got the perfect looking images, let’s combine them for a custom collage.  PicCollage for iOS and Android makes it easy to compile any number of photos along with text, stickers, web images, and frames to uniquely express your memories on a single canvas.  Take advantage of pre-arranged frames for a more tailored look, or throw images on your favorite background, edit photos in-app, and clip photos by outlining the area around them with your finger.  Create a postcard worthy of a souvenir stand! With multiple avenues to share via social media and email, you can keep your loved ones updated on your awesome summer adventures.  PicCollage is a perfect companion in the classroom.  Create book covers, digital project posters, and incorporate QR codes that launch additional information about the collage content. Let PicCollage be your “Get to Know Your Class” project by having pairs of students create collages for their partners after conducting an interview and gathering knowledge.   With the school setting, you can disable browsing the web for images and posting to social media.  It’s a safe, creative, and inspiring way to take your images to the next level.

 

fotobabble app icon  Fotobabble

 

Ever wish your photos could speak?  Fotobabble is a beautifully simple iPhone app (also available online) that allows you to create talking photos.  Snap a shot in-app or pull from your camera roll, tap record, and you’re ready to share via social media, email, or SMS straight from your phone.  Log in on their website to access your Fotobabble library where you can grab the hyperlink or embed code to post on a website or blog.   Instead of buying those boring paper postcards and relying on snail mail, create a talking postcard with your PicCollage and share it real-time!  As a fun opening week activity, allow students to share their summer adventures by incorporating the apps we’ve discussed.  Using a collaborative web space like Padlet or leveraging a discussion board in your LMS (check out Converge!) , have them post their Fotobabble on a digital wall and use it as an opportunity to get to know your class while learning about new places.  The possibilities are endless!

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Summer is the perfect time to go swimming in the deep end of the digital pool.  If you aren’t already using these apps, add them to your must-try list.  You’ll instantly fall in love with their intuitive design while being amazed at how your summer memories spring to life with a little app-smashing magic.  Oh – and you’ve added some great tools to your instructional toolbox just in time for the school bell to ring!

About The Author

Tiffaney Lavoie currently serves as the Director of Instructional Media and Design at Edvergent Learning. An educator with a business background, she has served over 60 school districts in Kentucky as an instructional technology consultant where she developed and delivered professional learning opportunities and partnered with school and district technology rollouts. A former middle school teacher, Tiffaney has a passion for effective technology integration and recognizes the importance of accessible digital tools to support teaching and learning. She has presented on a state, regional, and national level, and values immersive digital learning environments that better equip students to compete in a global society.

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