Picnik is a free photo imaging website where users can download their photos and edit them, by adding a range of fantastic effects to enhance them (Wikipedia, 2009). Flickr the photo storage site is linked to Picnik, so you can store, share and access your images from anywhere at anytime. I found Picnik user friendly and it would be great tool in the classroom. the results of me playing on Picnik are shown below.
Learning Managers could use it to enhance images being used in learning experiences, powerpoints, photostory and more. I have used basic photo manipulation a few times in different year levels with different tools. Here an example using simple tools;
Year 4...SoSE/Ancient Civilizations....Lesson 12
* in groups students taken outside to take 3 photos of each other.
* students pictures then downloaded to class file.
* students log on and select a chosen ancient scene and character from some images that I had downloaded earlier.
* students then access their photo from the class file and moves it to paint.
* students then mask around their faces, cut and save.
* then they open the chosen background and paste their face onto their character.
* save and print and display in the classroom.
We had Cleopatras', Gladiators, Vikings, Mummies etc. If I had access in the school for Picnik I would definitely have used it, as Maslow (1970) noted that allowing the students to be creative and imaginative is an important part of how they effectively learn. The students take ownership of the images by personalising them, according to Maslows Heirarchy of needs (1970) image manipulation helps meets the self actualization need and gives creative fulfilment.
I have to confess that I have some experience in photo imaging, at home I use Photoshop (CS3) and Corel (X15), these programs have extensive tools. I store all my photos on my external hard drive and can post them from there without the need to go to 3 websites to do the job. But lets be honest, these free websites are far cheaper and easier to access for everyone. In the classroom the Learning Manager would have to set up a generic class site to supervise the control and content. Been able to load photos and images on the internet can be done in several ways, Flickr been just one of them. I do like the simplicity of Picnik , it has basic tools with templates to choose which would be ideal for middle and upper level primary school.
Maslow, A. (1970) Motivation and personality. Retrieved 23 July 2009 from, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/mod/resource/view.php?id=580
Wikipedia. (2009) Picnik. Retieved 10 August 2009 from, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picnik