Tag Archives: Image manipulation

Emojis, Symbols and Signs in Literacy and Learning⤴

from @ ICT for Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

For conveying information quickly we all rely on signs and symbols every day, whether it’s finding toilets, exits, stairs or lifts in unfamiliar public buildings, or signs on roads warning of dangers ahead. We’re used to seeing symbols which convey information such as laundry washing symbols, packaging symbols, or about recycling products. And it might be said that people find information shared in an infographic poster more visually engaging when text and graphics and combined. Images can be recognised quickly regardless of the first language of the reader ensuring that information can be conveyed concisely without high levels of reading skills in any particular language.

Signs and symbols have been used throughout history to convey information so they are not new. The symbols used in ancient civilisations through to the emoticons and emojis of today may be considered to be part of a continuum.

It’s been described as one of the fastest growing languages and many millions of messages are reported to be sent every day using only emojis. Tennis star Andy Murray tweeted about his wedding day solely using emojis!

So what is an Emoji?

Emojis are simply pictures you type on a device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or computer. Emojis are standardised characters available on different platforms whether running Apple, Android, or Windows operating systems, or different social media platforms (the artwork varies slightly between each but the meaning remains the same).

But I don’t know what each emoji means!!

We all grow up with signs and symbols but for many people there may be a worry that they don’t know what each emoji means – don’t panic, there’s an online encyclopedia/dictionary of emojis: https://emojipedia.org/. Simply type in a word to find the emoji you need.

There’s also a Frequently-Asked-Questions section which answers questions you might have about emojis.

You might also find useful the EmojiTranslate site where you simply type a word, sentence or paragraph to get emojis to copy and paste elsewhere https://emojitranslate.com/

Why might Emojis be used in Education?

Why I use Emoji in Research and Teaching – an article by Jennifer Fane setting out reasons why to consider using emojis in education to support inclusion, to aid communication, and to give voice to all learners.

How Emojis can Help Children Learn and Communicate – another article by Jennifer Fane describing how emojis can aid inclusion for children as well as support children’s learning in areas of health, well-being, safety and diversity.

 

Ideas and Resources for using Emojis in the Classroom

An Emoji Education – a blogpost by Tony Vincent in his excellent Learning in Hand blog which presents lots of tools and ideas for using emojis in the classroom complemented by visually engaging poster images. Whether it’s simply suggesting use of emojis instead of common bullet-points in reports or presentations for greater impact, or for learners summarizing texts using emojis to demonstrate understanding, or using emojis as prompts for story starts, as well as a range of tools which can aid the use of emojis on a variety of devices.

20+ Emoji Activities and Resources for Teaching Math, Science, and English – a very helpful blogpost by Shelly Terrell with a host of ideas for making use of emojis in education. The ideas can be adapted across many curricular areas. Shelley links to other useful resources and tools, as well as additional posts about how emojis can be used including her “Teaching the Emoji Generation” article which also links to many other articles, resources and tools.

15 Ways to Emoji-fy Your Teaching – a blogpost by teacher Stacy Zeiger with ideas for using emojis in the classroom for supporting reading and writing, for maths and science such as illustrating processes, and to support social and emotional learning to help break down communication barriers for some learners.

Using Emojis to Teach Critical Reading Skills – an article by Marissa King with suggestions for how emojis might be used in a classroom situation as one means of connecting learner experience outwith school to develop skills in other contexts in the classroom.

Cybrary Man’s Educational Website for Emojis – a web page of links to resources about using emojis in education collated on the Cybrary Man website by Jerry Blumengarten.

Get Going with Green Screen film-making in the classroom⤴

from @ ICT for Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

So what is green-screen?

Essentially it’s using software or an app to combine different images or video so that one appears as if part of the other. The green screen part makes use of chroma-key feature of the app so that anyone standing in front of a green screen will appear in the video with the green screen not seen at all, but replaced by another chosen background image or video. Wikipedia gives a much fuller explanation here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_key.

But how do I create a film in the classroom with green screen?

With an iPad, and a green screen app (such as the Doink green screen iPad app) and with anything in the background which is green (whether frieze paper on the wall or green sheeting, or specially made green screen fabric on a frame) you are ready to go.

Have a look at the Sway below for examples of videos created by pupils using the DoInk green screen iPad app, along with how-to guides to starting to use it yourself. And then it’s creativity on the part of your learners in the classroom – for further inspiration have a look at the DoInk green screen app blog  to see how others have shared about using green screen film-making in the classroom.

 

 

Creating and editing a film in the classroom with iMovie on an iPad⤴

from @ ICT for Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

Creating and editing a film in the classroom with an iPad can be done with the iMovie app.

View this Sway presentation about using iMovie on your iPad in the classroom for help on getting started as well as tips on using some of the neat features such as adding video-in-video or picture in picture and more

 

Making Memes and Animated Gifs for Learning⤴

from @ ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

memeanimatedlearningMemes and animated gifs abound in social media. You don’t have to look too long online to see these appear, often being shared and shared by many people via their social media accounts, or prominent on webpages or blogposts to draw in the reader to find out more about a story or data.

Having learners create their own memes or animated gifs can support their learning across all areas of the curriculum. The process of demonstrating understanding of a concept involves learners in reflecting on their learning, often discussing with others to test the depth of that understanding, and then finding creative ways to present the information to others. Where learners are encouraged to make these animated gifs or memes to demonstrate their understanding of concepts they are reflecting on what the key points are, they are summarising, in effect creating a visual précis of information.

So what is an animated gif?

Animated gifs are short animations lasting just a few seconds, sometimes just a sequence of related images, sometimes a short looping segment or clip of a video, sometimes a stop-motion style of inanimate objects brought to life to convey a message.

horsingaroundmemeAnd what is an image meme?

Image Memes generally may consist of a single photograph with text along the top and foot of the image, sometimes black top and bottom borders where bold white text is superimposed. The text is often in capitalised Impact font.

The text is usually very short and the text along the top can often be the draw to bring in the viewer, and then the text along the foot can spin the idea to make the reader reflect on the issue, often with humorous effect.

Where learners might make memes  and animated gifs

Animated gifs and memes present messages in a visual, attention-grabbing way, to make those who view them stop and think. The most thought-provoking memes and animated gifs distil what can be a complex concept into the main idea which can be understood in just a few seconds.

problem-shared-is-problem-halvedA Mental Health and Wellbeing project, AyeMind, (which inspired this blogpost after a presentation by Dr Trevor Lakey, Health Improvement and Inequalities manager with NHSGGC) developed by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde along with partner organisations, has a fantastic website to be a part of providing positive mental health support for children and young people.

Part of this was about digital inclusion, and using the tools, platforms and means of communications familiar to children and young people to engage and share. Part of this project was enabling talking about mental health issues in a positive, supportive environment and giving the children and young people a voice and opportunity to make better use of the Internet, social media and mobile technologies. The memes and animated gifs on the AyeMind project website were created by children and young people as part of the project.

How to create an animated gif

There are a number of free online tools which let users create an animated gif. When using in an educational setting it would be prudent to check for suitability of advertising or galleries of user-created content which is rarely moderated.

Aye_Mind_ChooseaQuestionIdeally find a tool which just offers the tool for creation of the animated gif. Each tool which creates an animated gif may provide different options such as the limit on the number of images which can be uploaded, the option to control the speed or frame-rate of the animation, the size of the output animated gif image, and sometimes further options. Some simply provide the option for users to specify the location of an already uploaded video online, and the starting and finishing point for the clip animated gif to be created.

The Young Scot website AyeMind project page provides an excellent outline of an activity for involving children and young people in deciding on the message they wish to convey and then shows step-by-step how to use either an online tool or a mobile app to create an animated gif. There are also plenty of example of memes and animated gifs created by children and young people on the Young Scot website AyeMind project page and an outline guide providing the steps to running a session with children, young people or adults on coming up with the ideas and then moving to making the memes or animated gifs.

Online tools or mobile apps for creating an animated gif:

ABCyaABC.ya animator – aimed at being suitable for young children since it only permits drawn images or selection of pictures from an inbuilt galley of images.

GifMaker.me – animated gif creator with several options from which to choose in controlling how the animated gif will be presented, and provides the option to add music or even combine several animated gifs. As with any creation tool it provides the opportunity to explore sources of images and content found elsewhere, to use only where permission is granted and attribution given as required.

MakeAGif – provides the option to make a gif from an uploaded existing video or from an online source on YouTube, from which the specific segment can be selected. Be aware of the gallery of examples which would not all be appropriate for an educational setting.

EZGif – provides the option for animated gifs from multiple images (up to 400) or from video. There is advertising on the site but no gallery of user-created content.

Mobile device apps – many apps are available for smartphone or tablet to create animated gifs. Leslie Walker put together “Mobile GIF Guide: Make Animated GIFs on Your Phone” which lists several apps for mobile phones or tablet devices, along with descriptions of the features of each. Justin Pot gathered together “Making an animated gif is easier than you think with these  which lists online tools as well as mobile device apps, including descriptions and guidance as to how to make use of each. Elise Moreau collated a list of free animated gif creators for mobile devices at “9 Free GIF Maker Apps for iPhone and Android” describing each and providing helpful hints as to how each can be used.

Online tools or mobile device apps for creating an image meme

Any image-creation tool (or a presentation tool like PowerPoint) on computer, mobile or tablet device can usually be used for creating an image meme – wherever an image can be placed with the facility to overlay text either along the top and bottom of the image, or within a border of black along the top and bottom of the image for white text to be superimposed on these black panels. There are online tools but as with any free online tool a having unmoderated galleries of user-created content has to be a factor an educator looks at in assessing the suitability of a tool in an educational context, however the following may provide the teacher with ideas, guides as well as inspire an adaptation of an existing meme to suit the learning need. Meme creation online tools include imgFlip Meme generator, MemeMaker.Net, MemeGenerator.net, and ImageChef Meme Maker (be aware that all of these have galleries of user-generated content which would not generally be suitable in an educational context but selected memes may be shared by a teacher for showing examples).

Mobile device apps specifically for creating image memes have been collated on the AppCrawlr site “Best iOS apps for meme generator” and “Best Android apps for meme generator.” Mobile device users may well find they already have one of these apps as several have multiple purposes such as for editing images.

Blurring to save face – hiding photograph elements⤴

from @ ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

There are occasions when a great photograph which you’ve taken, which shows exactly the activity you want to share online, has a part of the picture which stops you doing so. There can be several reasons, whether a piece of text appears in the photograph which might share information which wouldn’t want to be shared (such as a house number, car registration number, a name badge or even a document being held by someone in the photograph); or faces of individuals who would not want their faces to appear online.

There are many free online tools which let you upload the photograph and apply a blur filter  (click here for a host of these tools). While you can blur an entire photograph to  illustrate the activity you are sharing on a website or blogpost, wouldn’t it be good to just blur the part of the photograph causing you the concern?

PhotoHide is a free online tool which lets you select faces or other elements of a photograph and very quickly blur these parts of the photograph and save a copy. You simply upload the photograph, drag the computer mouse over the feature to be blurred, click “hide” to blur that part and preview it, repeat as necessary on any other part of the photograph, then save to you computer. That’s it! Anything uploaded is deleted from their servers once you have completed the operation.