What it is: Picasa is a free download from Google that helps you organize, edit, share, and create using photos. The edit feature allows you to fix red-eye, crop, and fix any blemishes or scratches. Picasa lets students create turning photos into movies, collages, and slideshows. Picasa also makes it easy to upload albums to the web to share. Picasa has been around for a while as a Google tool but the big news this week is the release of the beta version of Picasa for Macs. The neat thing about the Mac Picasa release is its integration with iPhoto. The features are pretty neat and definitely worth a look for either platform but with the announcement of iPhoto ’09 yesterday, they aren’t as impressive. HOWEVER, Picasa is completely free while iPhoto ’09 is not.
How to integrate Picasa into the classroom: Picasa is a great way to organize photos you are taking of your classroom in action. Create a web album, parents always like to see the great things their kids are learning. Students can use Picasa to organize images they find online or pictures they take on a field trip. These pictures can then be used to create a movie, collage, or slideshow directly in the Picasa software. Students could create a class story in pictures, create a movie out of it and share it with other grades. Students can also collect historical images, scientific images, etc and easily create a movie or slideshow displaying their knowledge.
Tips: Picasa is available for Macs in beta version and Windows and Linux based in alpha.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Picasa in your classroom.