Tag Archive for 'image'

Need a huge poster for classroom display?

Have you ever wished you could increase the impact of a poster or photograph for your classroom by making it much, much bigger than the paper in your printer?

Perhaps you have an image of some historical figures or characters from a book you wish to have life-size on your classroom wall. Or perhaps a poster of tips for pupils for a teaching topic. But your school printer only prints on ordinary paper. So here’s what you can do:

Block Posters is a free online tool where you simply upload your image in jpg or gif format (maximum filesize is 1MB).

Then choose the paper type your printer uses and select the number of pages wide you’d like your enlarged poster to be.  BlockPosters will then calculate how big that will be so you can adjust the setting to fit the display space you will have available.

Then, having uploaded the image, the site will then create a series of PDFs ready for sending to your printer, with overlaps so that when you print them you can trim and stick them together. And there you have a very large poster just using your ordinary printer.

An alternative tool which does a similar job and is free downloadable  software to install on your computer is PosteRazor.

Thinglink – making images interactive

There are many times when there are great images to show to pupils in class. Whether historical events, geographical locations, great works of art or images of engineering marvels. Wouldn’t it be useful to be able to quickly add related information to that information – naming individuals in a group picture, identifying details, or providing links to related videos which illustrate a point.

Well ThingLink provides a tool to do this.

Thinglink lets you add links to your images online to make the user experience more interactive. There is a free version, as well as options for additional premium features. As you hover over a ThingLink image you’ll see content which relates to the part of the image over which you hover – this can be plain text explaining what you are seeing, or a link, a related image or a video. The video below from ThingLink provides a quick introduction to what it can do.

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ThingLink for Teaching and Learning is a series of posts by Susan Oxnevad (Cool Tools for 21st century Learners) providing an introductory guide to Thinglink, as well as a step-by-step guide to getting started with Thinglink, as well as a whole host of examples of Thinglink used in schools. Susan’s post uses the online tool MentorMob to guide you through the sequence of pages of information and resources.

Richard Byrne has written here about how to use Thinglink and how others have used it in the classroom. Click below to watch a video introduction to ThingLink by Richard Byrne:

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Donna Baumbach (@AuntyTech) has created a step-by-step guide to creating your first ThinkLink image with linked resources for embedding elsewhere on a blog or website.

ThingLink and Learn is a collection of examples of Thinglink used in education contexts (collected by Salil Wilson) to provide examples where schools have used the resource.

Click below for ideas shared by many teachers for interesting ways to use ThingLink in the classroom, collated by Donna Baumbach

Paint like Picasso or Draw like Da Vinci? Online artpads

There are a number of free online tools which let users create artworks on screen as if using paper, brush or pencil.


ArtPad is a simple to use free tool which lets you choose the size of brush or pencil, the colour of choice, and then to create an artwork of your own. For what looks like a basic tool there are quite a number of options available from a simple interface. In addition, once you have completed your artwork you can click on the replay button to see an animation of how you created the artwork – great as a demonstration tool for teachers or pupils to show how an effect was achieved. You can control the speed of the replay and pause it as required if highlighting a particular aspect of the artwork. You can save the work for later editing, and copy the link to the created artwork for sharing elsewhere. As a collaborative art creation tool you can share a link to your work with others and they can continue working on a painting – there are also undo options. There is a help page with tips and hints for creating artwork, with additional links to ideas for working in the style of famous artists.


Sumopaint is a  free online art package with a comprehensive set of creation tools. While it is able to be used at a basic level with ease, Sumo Paint also offers a wide selection of brushes, all of which can be used either with a computer mouse, tablet, or interactive whiteboard. The brush tool’s option bar has controls for setting the brush diameter, opacity and flow, and also includes scattering, random rotation, gravity (the gravity option smoothes the drawn line to curves). The option is available in Symmetry and Brush tools., blend modes and brush effects including smoothing, bevel, wet edges and ink. The eraser tool also has a wide selection of brushes which supports scattering, random rotation and gravity effects  (the gravity option smoothes the drawn line to curves). There are also controls for the eraser tool for diameter, opacity and hardness for adjusting the level and size. The ink mode lets the user adjust ink wetness with the mode value slider. The ink mode can be applied to the brush, ink, pen, symmetry and all the shape tools. Sumopaint’s smudge tool has a big selection of brushes and a possibility to use the following blending modes: Normal, Lighten, Darken. For primary teachers using this tool in a mathematics setting the symmetry tool and its multiple properties lets users experiment with the symmetry points, gravity and modes. While Sumopaint is a very comprehensive, yet easy to use tool, there is a comprehensive series of tutorials, including a wide range of video tutorials which serve to explain how each tool is used, as well as inspire users to explore possibilities to develop their artwork. Sumopaint can be used to create artworks from scratch or can open existing images in many formats, which can then have effects applied or elements added or edited. And everything created can be saved in several image formats. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/NAEoeWnYYvI" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /] Sumopaint has a gallery of artworks created by users, and there are links to a huge number of videos by users showing how they created their artworks.

Aviary Education Phoenix Art Package Image Editor

Aviary Education Phoenix art package (image editor) is part of the Aviary suite of creative tools. This image editor is aimed specifically at schools (so teachers can create a private class area if desired, or the tools can be used entirely without registering – either way it is all free). The education version of Aviary has a gallery of creations only added by other education users. Features of this tool include a Move Tool letting users Move items, especially Text objects, Clone Stamp Tool which lets users Clone selected parts of an image, Liquify Tool to let you reshape the image by dragging the cursor, blur Tool, Sharpen Tool, Dodge and Burn Tool (controlling exposure in selected areas), Smudge Tool, Colour Replacement Tool to anable changing one colour to another in selected areas or across the entire image, Eraser Tool, Shape Brush, Paint Brush Tool, Gradient Tool to Fill an area with a customizable gradient, Fill Tool, Shape Tools, line tools,  Transformation Tool, Magic Wand Tool, Resize, stretch or rotate the current selection, Distortion Tool, and more. There is a wealth of tutorials and video guides which can be sorted by difficulty level.


Sketchfu is a very simple art tool which lets users draw or paint with a limited set of tools. The facility to undo and to replay the process of how an image was created (and at choice of different speeds) makes this a neat tool for classroom use to demonstrate a process in creating a particular effect in an artwork.

Draw Island

DrawIsland is an online drawing tool with a basic range of tools, simple to use, yet from which quite complex pictures can be created. There is no gallery of creations by other users. Users have a range of tools from which to choose, with choices for these to refine their appearance. created images can also be downloaded to a PC. 

Primary Paint

Primary Paint is a paint pad which can be used by one user alone but is specifically set up to encourage and enable real time collaboration in creating a piece of art by a teacher and pupils. That means that with pupils on several PCs or devices they can all be working on the same creation at the same time, each pupil able to see immediately any change that another pupil makes. When you create a Primary Paint pad a unique workspace is generated which is then shared with the pupils thus ensuring only your pupils can work on the image. When each pupil enters the work area they simply add their first name and Primary Pad then assigns them a colour against their name so that changes made by that pupil can be readily identified. There is a collaborative area for sharing messages so that pupils can suggest ideas, or a teacher might guide the process by typing steps or suggestions.

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Kerpoof Make a Drawing or Picture

Kerpoof Make a Drawing or picture – two tools which are specifically aimed at children where a teacher can create an account along with pupil login details to save their work in a safer environment. The Drawing tool is suitable for all ages while the Painting tool is targeted at younger pupils where pre-made shapes or images can be included and adapted within creations. The suite of tools has lesson plans and teacher notes to support teachers in using these tools in a classroom setting.

Shawn Avery has created video introductions to both of these tools here.

So at whatever level of artist you are now there are free online tools to help bring out that artwork.

Scrambling for cultural resources? Try SCRAN

Scran is a fantastic online resource – an archive of  over 360,000 images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media.

And all of it comes with embedded attribution text so that schools using the material can be sure of the source of each resource. The rights to use of the resources allows for free use by any licensed Scran user within educational establishments, such as for sharing on intranets, VLEs (Glow for Scottish schools), worksheets, posters, etc.

The full scale versions of images and other material can only be used in public resources (such as blogs, websites or wikis where these are open to be viewed by anyone anywhere) where a licence is purchased to do so – and there is an online facility on Scran to make this process straightforward. However, Scran also provides html code for users to embed thumbnail versions on their blog or website – this code includes the credit information as to source and copyright, like the image below. And note how this also includes an automatic link to Scran and more information about the image:

Aerial view, The Falkirk Wheel, Falkirk, from north-west

© Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland; E/11461/cn. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.

To demonstrate the range of resources available, you can find anything from images of tigers, Charlie Chaplin, Sean Connery, a Degas, a Dali, to images of war or whaling, standing stones, a pint of beer, an integrated circuit, or line drawings of an acorn or an adrenal gland! For learning, there are Pathfinder Packs for instant use; and tools such as Curriculum Navigator, Albums, Stuff, Create, Multicreate, Mini Website and Slides to let you discover, store, design, assemble and share your own learning resources within your own school, education authority or all Scran users.

There are templates to quickly and easily create a quick poster or worksheet in just a couple of clicks from any image, or make a slideshow on a theme or topic. This can be used by teachers creating materials for use by pupils, or for pupils themselves to create leaflets, posters, timelines, geographical studies projects – either using the templates or by simply copying and pasting into word-processing software or elsewhere. A huge benefit is that each image, when copied and pasted, has a message below it stating the origin of the image. This helps pupils and staff deal with giving credit to the source.

Here’s a summary from Scran’s website of what is on offer for your use:


Access over 347,000 copyright cleared images. View and download the images at the size of your choice – thumbnail, postcard and full screen size. Zoom enables you to view maps and documents in detail.

Pathfinder Packs

Explore over 3,500 professionally written concise illustrated histories on events, people, places and a wealth of other topics. From Prehistory and the Dark Ages to modern Feats of Engineering, and from writers and poets to war and warmongers, Scran’s Pathfinder Packs provide the ideal starting point. Every pack can be copied into your own album in Stuff for editing.


Your own personal space on Scran where you can store images, searches and albums. From Stuff, you can edit, create and share materials with other users. You can even generate RSS feeds.

Access Scran’s communities and create your own Blog or Community in our Scribble website where you can also upload your own material.


A simple and innovative way to create your own electronic collections of Scran resources. Albums are fully editable in Stuff and can be used to multicreate a booklet, generate a browsable web site or an online slideshow. Albums can also be shared with other licensed users.


Once you have your album in order with the text edited, why not make an instant slide show using Slides. Copy your album to another user and they have the slides to view too.

Ever seen an image and instantly wanted to make it into a worksheet, card, postcard, greetings card or calendar? Create is the solution for you. In a few easy templated steps your creation is delivered to your desktop fully completed in PDF format ready to use.

Ever wanted an instant booklet from an album of images?  Multicreate – just like Create above – does exactly that job – and it’s just as easy as Create.  1, 2, 3 and you have your booklet in PDF format with no copying or complications.
Mini Web Sites

Create your own mini website from Scran Albums or Pathfinder Packs in a couple of simple clicks. Your personal mini website is delivered to your desktop and you can use this offline.

Search smartly through educational topics, subjects and levels. Immediately find relevant resources.

Maps – Geographic Search

Look up Ordnance Survey maps of Britain and get Scran to find material in that location or, alternatively, open a map from a record to see where the object comes from. “Mash-up” to Google Maps or Google Earth from any record too.

Use Share, which is conveniently located on the toolbar under every image, to email, blog or send a postcard on a particular thumbnail image.  Never done this before? Scran makes it easy with a simple point and click interface.

Scran’s website has video tutorials on how to make the most of Scran’s resources – to access these click on the left-hand menu on Scran’s website – “About Us & Contact” – “Scran Demo” and choose from the videos listed under “Demonstration flash movies.”

The aqueduct and boat lift, Falkirk Wheel, 2002

© Falkirk Museums. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.

Click here for a handout supporting Using Scran for Schools.

Scran’s aim is to provide educational access to digital materials representing our material culture and history. Scran is a service of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland – and with material coming from a multitude of museums, art galleries, businesses, organisations and individuals this is a huge resource aimed at supporting teachers make use of our cultural resources – wherever you may be.

Ideas to Inspire – tips for using classroom tools shared by many teachers

Looking for ideas to help you use online tools in the classroom? Not sure how to make best use of that ICT equipment in your school? Just looking for fresh approaches to using tools with which you are already familiar?

Well Mark Warner has created Ideas to inspire to help teachers everywhere. And it collects ideas generously shared by many, many teachers into grouped presentations. You can browse through anything which grabs your attention or choose a presentation on a topic about which you are looking for some help. There are presentations on using images in imaginative ways in the classroom, interactive whiteboard ideas, making use of digital cameras, ideas for maths and numeracy, literacy, active geography and much, much more. There are ideas for making engaging classroom displays, tips for incorporating games based learning into learning, and hints for making internet research more meaningful – and each presentation continues to grow as further teachers add their ideas too – so it is always worth rediscovering – indeed they are Ideas to Inspire!

Create collage pictures from your photographs with Microsoft Research AutoCollage

Would you like to be able to create a collage of your own photographs where the images blend into one another, but you don’t feel you have the skills to blend them together?  Then step up Microsoft Research Autocollage.  All you do is put your chosen photographs into a folder on your computer, open the Autocollage software and select the folder, then choose the desired size of completed collage picture.  Then click “create” and watch the collage create before your eyes.  Save the finished collage creation – and if you’re not happy with it just click “create” again and again until you get just the image you wish.

This software is available free to download for teachers signing up to the UK Microsoft Partners in Learning Network:  http://uk.partnersinlearningnetwork.com/Pages/ArticleViewer.aspx?listname=ITNFeaturedArticle&itemid=13

Picasa 3 for your Pictures – working with images

Picasa 3 is free downloadable software (from http://picasa.google.com/) which lets you manage and manipulate your photographs.  You can apply several effects to each photograph, you can resize, crop and create collages , slideshows or videos. 

You can create large posters to whatever size you wish from your photograph which prints on the paper in your printer but overlaps to let you piece it together at the larger size.

You can create a collage of any number of images and have full control over resizing, rotating and layering these in any way you wish.

You can batch export a whole group of photographs to a folder – handy when your digital camera produces high-quality large filesize photographs and you need to quickly resize a whole group for putting onto a website or blog.

You can create a video slideshow with animations and transitions along with audio.

Picasa’s own helpguide and tutorials can be found here: http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=14609&hl=en

See the following for answers from TechEase to several Frequently Asked Questions about using Picasa:
http://etc.usf.edu/techease/win/images/ – this also includes other helpful information about digital images in general.

Video tutorials on using Picasa from LearningElectric.com can be found here:

Resize multiple pictures for use on a website or blog by using Picasa – here’s how

Excellent introductory video to Picasa 3

Images free for Pupil Projects

How often do you look for images for classroom projects, presentations, blogs and websites?   But of course you are concerned that you don’t want to use images in your work you may not have permission to use.  Using a search engine like Google to find an image does not tell you whether it is free for your use.  You could use an image search tool such as Flickr (and this post shows how to find images where users have given permission to use them, and also shows tps for how to easily attribute the images used).

Many people now upload images and apply a Creative Commons licence to their images granting use to others – for a full explanation of what that means, as well as a link to a Creative Commons image search tool, click here.

What does Creative Commons mean? – this is a visual infographic poster about what the various types of Creative Commons licences mean for users of images with each designation.

Simple CC Flickr Search is a search tool by John Johnston for user-uploaded shared images on Flickr where the images have been uploaded by users as being Creative Commons – on this search site all you do is enter the search term, then choose your selected image, and the embed code which appears for your use on a website or blog or elsewhere will include automatic attribution text for that image to the source of the image. There is also a Stamp tool which lets you copy the image with a panel along the bottom which provides the source attribution – useful for adding to print documents. And in addition when you find an image there is a link to further edit the image in an online image editor.

And below are some image collections for education – each site clearly states how the images can be used, and how they should be credited.  And they all have categories of images as well as being searchable.

http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic98.htm Teacher Tap resources – this provides links to a variety of Public Domain, Copyright Free, Open Source, and Student Use Images and Media.   Not all the resources are copyright free, but most allow student to use and cite the projects in their assignments.  Read the copyright sections at each site to determine exact restrictions.  The site also links to http://www.pdimages.com/web9.htm which provides a useful guide to the use of images and the law in the USA – while details vary from country to country the guide provides useful information to consider.

http://imagebase.davidniblack.com/main.php Image Base – collection of free to use high-quality images in searchable categories by David Niblack.  You can use the images for whatever you want, personal, commercial or non-profit use for free.  All you have to do is attribute the creator David Niblack.

http://www.openclipart.org/ Open Clipart Library – an free to use searchable archive of clip art that can be used for free for any use.  Search by category or use the serach box to find what you need.

http://www.school-clip-art.com/The clip art images you find at School-Clip-Art.com are provided free for educational use. Teachers can use them for worksheets, Lesson Plans, Quizzes, Web sites, and other classroom needs. Pupils can use them for their homework assignments and Web sites too.  When using clip art users are asked toprovide a link back to http://www.school-clip-art.com giving credit for the clip art used.

http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/ The Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com has a wide range of images by Mark A. Hicks. Permission is granted to download no more than ten different clip art images for non-revenue-producing use on hard copy documents or on Web sites with the following restrictions:  Any reproduction must be unaltered from its original downloaded form. This includes, but is not limited to, colouring, cropping, or editing.  Any use of clip art images on Web sites must credit Discoveryschool.com and include a link to the Discoveryschool.com Web site. Credit must read – “Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com”

http://www.shambles.net/pages/school/clipart/ an extensive collection of links to websites of clip art for education by Chris Smith.  Each collection is described along with helpful comments about the type of collection and conditions of use of each site.

http://www.edupic.net/index.html EduPic – William Vann’s Graphical Resource of free photographs and graphics for education.  All of the images are free to use by teachers and their pupils without seeking specific permission.  This is a teacher-designed free resource for teachers and pupils.

http://copyrightfriendly.wikispaces.com/An extensive list of copyright-friendly resources with helpful guidance about uses of images in projects.

http://www.phillipmartin.info/clipart/homepage.htm Free Clip Art by Phillip Martin  specifically for your classroom, newsletters, or wherever you can find a non-profit use.  Grouped in categories, or by A-Z or searchable.

Pics4Learning http://www.pics4learning.com/ is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and pupils. The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. Permission has been granted for teachers and pupils to use all of the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection.  Pics4Learning is developed as part of the Partners in Education program by Tech4Learning, and the Orange County Public Schools Technology Development Unit.

http://bevevans22.posterous.com/ Bev Evans has created a site full of images, which she has created free for use by schools, in a variety of categories, by curricular area, topic, seasonal or current events.

The E2BN / NEN Gallery is a community resource, built and maintained by the education community for the education community.  http://gallery.nen.gov.uk/index.php The Gallery is a growing collection containing around 52,000 Image, Audio and Video resources covering a wide range of topics relevant to the curriculum. Its purpose is to provide a free repository of high quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning.

All of the resources in the gallery are archived at the highest quality available so they can be used on whiteboards, printed materials, animations and for any other educational application. Medium resolution versions of every file are also made available for review and preview. All of the resources are copyright cleared so they can be downloaded, edited and re-purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home. The gallery is free to browse and explore online, the resources are browsable by topic and searchable by keyword, phase and subject. As the resource is web-based it can be accessed at school and at home by teachers and pupils. Everything placed within the gallery is moderated before being made live by a team of regional moderators and trusted educational professionals.

There is a teacher’s area that contains guidance documentation, copyright information and case studies of use. By registering users can create and save their own collections, create slideshows of content, and submit resources for moderation and publication.

Stock.xchng is a free to use searchable database of around 400,000 photographs – all free. You can browse through categories or type in the search box to find the image you wish.

Convert image, audio or video to different file type with Format Factory

How many times have you found that the video you created in a camera does not work with the video-editing software you tried to edit it in because the software said it was the wrong file type?  Format Factory http://www.formatoz.com/index.html is free software to download which converts all video types to MP4/3GP/MPG/AVI/WMV/FLV/SWF formats.

Or someone has sent you a CD of music they have created with a class and they want to edit it because someone coughed in the middle – but you find you can’t edit it because the editing software tells you it is in the wrong format? Format Factory http://www.formatoz.com/index.html converts all audio file formats (including an audio CD) to MP3/WMA/AMR/OGG/AAC/WAV.

Or the photographs you have been sent are all far too big to upload to a website or blog so they all need to be converted to a lower filesize. Format Factory http://www.formatoz.com/index.html can bulk reduce a large number of pictures all at once, or convert them to a different filetype.  And it does it all in seconds.

Online File Conversion Tools

As an online alternative to Format Factory, where you don’t have Format factory installed on your computer, Convert.Files.com can convert files either uploaded to it, or from files located elsewhere online.

Online-Convert lets you upload a host of file types for coverting into different file types – whether audio, video, document, ebook, archive (such as zip)  or image.

Add animations to your photographs with Lunapic

Add animated effects to your pictures, edit, crop or apply a wide range of filters using the free online tool www.lunapic.com

You can choose from loads of effects, such as rippling water, or rotating dice animations as well as various static effects.  And for every result you can further refine the animations or the images with extensive editing tools.

You can even change the background to be a specific colour, or pattern or an image of your own.

You can also create animated slideshows with a variety of transitions.

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