PicCollage – much more than the name might suggest, PicCollage is a free app which works on multiple platforms including iPads, Android, Windows and Amazon devices. Yes of course it can create collages of multiple images but it can do much more! And it has uses to support across the curriculum in different ways.
At its most straightforward you can create a collage of multiple images in one single image to illustrate an aspect of learning in an overview.
And PicCollage provides a range of grid templates from which to choose. Simply open the app, choose “grids”, select your images from your device, select the outline shape/proportion from the size tab, then from Grid tab choose from the range of grid types – note that you can choose from overlapping freestyle or from different numbers of images and relative sizes.
In addition, for any selected grid template, you can click on any single image at a time and adjust the relative proportions/size of each image to reflect how you want the complete collage of images to appear.
The size of the gap between each image (the background), as well as the outline of the entire collage, can be adjusted by using the slider (you can adjust it so there is no background or gap between images). Click on the third tab, background, to choose the colour or pattern which will appear between images and around the outline of the collage.
The Tweet by @MPS_Primary6 used the app to select images to illustrate mood and diplay in a grid template and overlay with text
— MPS-Primary6 (@MPS_Primary6) January 8, 2019
For any collage you can add stickers, from speech/thought bubbles to smiley faces to thumbs-up and more. These stickers can be handy if you have a need to obscure elements of an image, such as to hide faces or to blank out names or other text details. Once placed on a collage a sticker can be moved, rotated or resized.
You can add text to any collage, choosing from a range of typefaces/fonts. You can choose the colour of the letters as well as the colour of the text box (or choose to have no background colour or text box visible). You can choose how to align text within a text box if you choose to show the text box, and choose whether or bot to display an outline in each letter.
See the Tweet below from @MrsOrrCPS for examples of how this app has been used by learners choosing an image or background, then overlaying their self-created poetry text which the image reflects.
P6/7 have been learning about onomatopoeia (& know a sneaky song to spell it!) They used onomatopoeia to make their poems more effective & then redrafted them on @PicCollage #literacy #litchat #writing #poetry #ict #DigiLearnScot #digitechlearn @digitechlearn #ukedchat pic.twitter.com/novSvElIxf
— MrsOrr&P6/7E (@MrsOrrCPS) April 24, 2018
Web image search facility
The inbuilt web image search provides the option to easily find images, including animated gifs, to add on top of your collage.
@P7PWPS chose images and backgrounds in the app, and then used the text tool to overlay descriptive words in French
— P7PWPS (@P7PWPS) January 28, 2019
The doodle option lets you choose the size of the drawn line and the colour of drawing tool. Then you simply draw freehand on top of the collage. Once drawn this drawn image can then be moved, rotated or resized as required.
Selecting “animation” gives you the option to select from various animations, including moving from side to side or moving into the centre, wiggling or spreading and more. The animation applies to all of the elements of the collage. These animated collages can be shared online via website or social media where the animations will then be seen.
PicCollage has a Teacher’s Corner area of their blog full of ideas about how this app can be used in the classroom to support learning. Head over to https://blog.piccollage.com/category/teachers-corner/ to check it out.
So how have you used this app? Do share in the comments here how you have used the app in your classroom
TL:DR I’ve found a link that leads to google image search for images labeled for noncommercial reuse. This is handy on iOS where it is hard to get to the Usage Rights Filter, here is the link: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=&lr=&safe=active&hl=en-GB&tbs=sur:f&tbm=isch.
Coming back to the classroom after 9 years I find I am still interested in searching for images and copyright. It still seems to be as hard to get young children to understand the problem and harder to understand and carry out attribution.
As well as the problem with attribution there is the ever present temptation just to search google. This is made worse by the fact that the Search Tools displayed on iOS lack the Usage Rights popup.
So I was interested in the link I saw today: How to find Google images with reuse licenses on an iPad iOS – Using Technology Better.
Unfortunately this method was described as a hack and took 6 steps to get to the advanced search and the usage rights pop up.
So I though I might have a search for the url parameters1 involved in a search with the Usage rights displayed.
There are quite a lot of parameters and although searching google for a list provides some these seem to be both undocumented and changeable:
You can expect that a lot of this will change. The reason why Google themselves do not provide any guidance or documentation on these parameters is probably that they want to retain full freedom to change how they work. You can expect that some will be removed, some will be added, and others will give a different result than before.
from: Google Search URL Request Parameters | DETECTED Which give a lot of details, but not the one I wanted.
So I went through the process in the Using Technology Better post and copied the url. I then started deleting the parameters until I found the ones that would produce the right kind of search:
The tbm=isch bit makes it an image search, the tbs=sur:f seems to set the usage rights to Labeled for noncommercial reuse.
So you can now give pupils on iOS a direct link to search for images that labeled for noncommercial reuse.
1. The paramaters are the bits in the url after ? for example ?q=bus&safe=active, makes a search for a bus safe. ↩
I know we are in the days of lots of free space, but it is worth remembering when blogging (or making webpages) shrinking images is worth doing for your visitors.
I don’t always do it, but today as I updates a Glow Blogs Help page, I saved nearly half the space by using, ImageOptim — better Save for Web.
There are other tools, but this one is free & open source, works on a Mac, but lists and links to windows & linux tools.