Online Photo Editing

#edtech #web20 #edchat #photoediting #elearning

Ever needed to crop, resize, or change a photo in some way only to discover that you have no photo editing software?  Fear not!  There are browser based photo editors available for you to use without the need to download and install software.

The First, and most versatile, is Pixlr.  Pixlar comes in three “flavors”: Pixlr-o-Matic (playful), Pixlr Express (efficient), and Pixlr editor (advanced).

The Pixlr-o-Matic app has functionality similar to that of Instagram or other smartphone apps.

jibspixlrmtcAs you can see from the picture, using the Pixlr-o-Matic version allows you to browse many automated settings to change things like hue, color balance, contrast and effects.  If your students are creating online posters (like Glogs) this would be a useful app to quickly modify pictures to match the theme.

Pixlr Express has a little more functionality.  You can still add all of the effects that are available in Pixlr-o-Matic, but there are other added features.  jibsexprssYou can add text and other special effects as well. The menus are easy to follow and use.


The Pixlr Editor has a layout and functionality similar to that of programs like Photoshop.  Users have the ability to use layers, crop, and free transform to name a few.  The Pixlr Editor also has a lasso tool (although not a magnetic lasso).

The Pixlr suite of browser based photo editors can prove to be very useful to you and your students.  You can choose the best one for your classroom based on your needs and abilities.

Another browser based photo editor, called ChromaPad, developed at, is also easy to use and has mixed functionality.  The best part, it’s free to use and, like Pixlr, there’s no need to download and install anything.  


Smartphone Video Editing

#edtech #web20 #edchat #videoediting #elearning #phoneapps

For this blog, Herb Saperstone of PSD’s Channel 10 offers some good advice for using smartphones to take and edit video.

Posted on February 8, 2013

20130209-130111.jpgFor those with an on-the-go spirit and small fingers, you too can edit video on your phone. Here at Channel 10, we like our big-lensed camcorders to catch all the action-and not to mention the weighted feel of a study camera on our shoulder to provide stability and minimal shakiness.

So, what if you or your students want to make movies with their mobile phones?
3 Important Dos/Don’ts
• Always compose and record your scene in landscape or horizontal mode. TV is a horizontal playback device.
• If you want to get clean audio, use a video camera with an external microphone.  But, if you don’t have that option, just get as close to the sound source as possible.
• When you are recording, press the record button 3 seconds BEFORE you say ‘action’. Same for stopping. Let the action finish…count to 3 then hit stop. Your editor (or you) will love you for it.

Here are some recommendations you can check out.

Then there’s Apple’s I-movie for the iphone. Not bad for $4.99


For those of you with Android/Google phones, here is a website with 10 video editing apps for iOS and Android

“Amazing Race” with Google Presentations

#edtech #web20 #edchat #google #elearning #googleapps

Looking for new and creative ways to use Google apps?  Google Presentation is similar to Microsoft PowerPoint in form and function, with one key difference;  Google Presentations allow users to collaborate and create in real-time.

This opens up a whole new realm of possibility for you and your students across content areas.  Google Presentations are available under the “Create” button in Google Drive.


The “Amazing Race” uses Google Presentations,  Google Forms, and Google Docs in a creative way.  Students are given a research topic (such as famous scientists or countries in Africa)  and a slide in the presentation.  They then research their topic and create a slide with facts and clues about their topic.  After an entire class worth of students creates individual slides, the teacher has an entire presentation made.  From there, the teacher creates a Google Form based on slide number.  Students look at other students’ slides in the presentation, investigate the facts and clues, and fill out their answer in the Google Form.  The students usually work in pairs and have to collaborate on their answers via a Google Doc (they aren’t allowed to talk during the “race”).

If this all sounds a little complex, check out our extended video podcast by clicking the link below.

Amazing Race with Google

The first 7:25 of the video goes over a description and a real example of it being used in a PSD classroom.  In the rest of the video, Ben Johnson goes over a detailed explanation of how to create this fun and engaging activity for your classroom.

The “Amazing Race” utilizes many Google apps and is a fun and engaging way to integrate 21st century skills into your classroom.