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Picasa

    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.

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Piki Kids Comic Creator

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Character Education, Fun & Games, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Websites | Posted on 06-10-2008

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What it is:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an online comic creator for students.  Students can upload pictures from their computers, or search Flickr for images to use in their comic strip.  The comics are very flexible so students can make them uniquely their own.  Students can choose the number of panels, the look of the panels, color choices, and much more.  When students are finished creating their online Piki Kids comic, they can save them to a gallery, or print out.

 

How to integrate Piki Kids Comic Creator into the classroom:  Students love reading comics, there is something about the interaction with a comic that makes even struggling readers willing to try.  I find that the same is true with writing.  Many kids who struggle to write would dread writing out a story or series of events after reading a book.  But, introduce a comic and suddenly those kids who don’t like writing are writing full stories.  Piki Kids Comic Creator is the perfect way to get your students writing about anything.  Studying dinosaurs?  Have the kids find some clip art of dinosaurs that they can upload to Piki Kids and have them write about what they are learning comic book style.  Learning about the Civil War?  Have the students retell the story as a comic strip.  You will see creativity that you didn’t know your students possessed!  Comic strips are also an excellent place for students to “write” a book report after finishing a book.  Comics can be used in science to show processes (like plant cycle…give those plants a voice!)  Comics can be used in math for students to create word problems for fellow classmates to solve.  Use comics in character education, after teaching a lesson, students can illustrate, comic-style, what that might look like.  From the technology side of things, Piki Kids Comic Creator is a great place to teach kids skills like uploading to a website, searching flickr for pictures, changing font, size, and color.  

 

Tips:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an excellent tool.  Be aware that there are adwords on the website.  I use these as an opportunity to help my student spot advertisements and talk about why sites include ads on websites.  Everything can be a learning experience!

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Piki Kids Comic Creator in your classroom.

Comments (2)

Hi there,

Comics are truly a great tool for educators. You seem to have captured various ways in which they can be used in the classroom!

You could also check out http://www.toondoo.com, an easy-to-use comic strip creator with loads of inbuilt characters. ToonDoo is currently being used by educators from all over the world.

Have fun teaching and learning with comics!
Meera

Hi! I just found your blog and after reading post after post, I’m amazed at all of the great resources you have shared! I too am a technology teacher and many of these I have not heard of. I am going to be teaching a technology enrichment class and I love the Piki Kids Comic Creator. I can’t wait to show it to my kids, they are going to have a blast!

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