Friday, 25 January 2013

Free online collage makers - Part 2

Big Heart of Art - By Qthomasbower

Now that the collages have been viewed and liked, it's time to reveal the tools that created them.
I won't rank them according to the number of votes because the results are obviously partial and to judge the tools by 'likes' will be unfair.
It should be mentioned that I have not included those collage makers that work only on mobile devices.

Collage nr.1 was made by Pixlr which is a cool and versatile tool. It does a lot of things with images and it is free, so it's worthwhile to explore it. Collages are created by Pixlr Express - lots of formatting options.

Collage nr.2 was created by Picture2Life collage maker which not only creates collages and edits images but also animates them. But I have no explanation why this collage got the largest number of votes! :)

Collage nr.3 was created by Ribbet photo editor. It is a great tool for manipulating your images in various ways.

Collage nr.4 was made by Collage Maker which is a nice online tool for the single purpose of making collages. This is the 'youngest' of all collage makers. Give it a try!

Collage nr.5 was created by Photovisi which is a tool for creating collages online. A large variety of templates to choose from and lots of editing options.

Collage nr.6 was made by PosterMyWall which is a poster maker but finely suitable for poster-size collages as well.

Collage nr.7 was created by AutoCollage which is the only tool among the ones I mentioned that has to be downloaded as part of Learning Suite by Microsoft. I have written about it here. It is one of my favourite tools and it is fascinating to watch the collage creating process which is happening in front of your eyes.

How could teachers and students use collages?

1. In teaching for focusing students' attention on the topic or particular vocabulary.
2. In storytelling. You can put the whole story in one collage! Upload your collage to Thinglink website and put your story inside the collage!
3. In discussions as a visual stimulus.
4. For capturing and sharing memorable moments of school life.
5. For creating artistic wall decorations in the classroom or school.

More ideas?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Comparing free online collage makers

Photo collages are a powerful and expressive visual means of conveying a certain message, not put into words, and I would like to compare some of the popular collage generators.

I have made seven collages with seven different free online collage makers and I would like you to vote for the best collage, according to your opinion. Of course, your preferences will be intuitive, based on your like/dislike impulse.

The poll is at the bottom of the post and it is anonymous.
I am going to reveal the name of each collage maker, give some feedback and draw conclusions when there are enough votes cast.








Thank you for responding to my request!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Using mind maps with students

It seems that new mind mapping tools and software are created daily. There are so many tools that are similar in their design and performance that one may question the rationale for making more and more new applications but for the customers it means a wider choice, a possibility of finding a tool that suits your needs best.
A mind map is an indispensable learning tool for visual learners.

You can explore the vast range of mind mapping applications on my scoopit page. There you will find not only links to most mind mapping tools and software but also articles that deal with the theory behind mind mapping, tips for creating mind maps, examples and suggestions for the use of mind maps in learning.

I would like to share some of the ways how I use mind maps with my students.

One of the simplest ways how to use a mind map is gathering and sorting new vocabulary. The example shows city vocabulary organized in 3 groups. Students find it much easier to memorize the words which they see placed in a certain spot, connected to a certain topic. Works well with students of all ages.

This mind map was created with

Another way of using a mind map is giving students a task where they have to display a summary of some topic, for example, My favourite pastimes. Each bubble may contain more than one word or even a phrase. This mind map can be used by the student in the classroom for making a short speech or a comment about his free time. If a mind map is created by the teacher and shown at the lesson, it can be used as a basis for classroom discussion or a writing task.

This mind map was created with ExamTime which is my new favorite.

Older students may use a mind map for outlining their report or an essay.
This mind map was created with Popplet which is a versatile application and may be used not only for mind mapping. Bubbles can be filled with text or images, arranged in various ways and even used for visual storytelling.

Useful websites for learning more about mind mapping: