Friday, May 15, 2015

4 easy to use image overlay tools to create illusions

The technique of layering images, masking and erasing, makes it possible to manipulate images to create illusions. This can often be done using two images - a background image and a foreground image. Parts of the foreground image are erased to reveal the background image.
There are many ways this technique can be used with students:
Such as:

·        Virtual trip: change the background image to anywhere in the world, create a travel journal or travel postcards.

·        Mythical creature: merge animal parts to create a new creature with powers.

·        Superpowers: create the illusion of super human strength, invisibility or the ability to fly.

·        Surrealism: create a surrealistic image by placing objects out of context.

·        Out of proportion: Create the illusion that something has grown or shrunk by placing it next to objects which are out of proportion.

·        Space exploration: use images of space and planets for the background.

·        Travel through time: use images from the past as a background and add a black and white or sepia filter, students could also dress in relevant costume.

·        Jump into a story: use images reflect from a story.

·        Be the star of a comic: add images to a comic creator

·        Clone yourself: ever wished you could be in two places at once, take multiple photos of yourself in different poses and add them to the same background image.

·        Mirror image: create the illusion of a mirror image.

·        Evil twin: take on two personas in the same image.

There are many software options which allow you to do this technique, however, there are now many easy to use options.

1. Superimpose

Available for iPad and Android

Provides the ability to layer and mask your own images.

2. Clone camera
Android version: Clone camera 2.0
This app provides the ability to merge images and overlay.

iPad version
This app provides a range of free images for the background. You can buy the upgrade which will provide more images. You can use your own image for the foreground image. Very easy to use, simply erase the background of the foreground image. The free version does have ads.
4. Microsoft PowerPoint
Thought it was worth mentioning the remove background function in PowerPoint which is very effective and easy to use.
In the picture tools, select the option Remove background. Tools will then appear to indicating mark areas to keep and mark areas to remove. A purple mask will appear over the image, the purple areas will be removed. Layer images by right clicking and selecting Bring to front or send to back.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Create eBooks on iPads

Creating eBooks is now easier than ever using iPads and the Book Creator for iPad app. Students can create the content to add to their ebook using a variety of apps. These can then be added to Book creator for a range of purposes. Book creator will allow you to add images, videos, audio and record audio. The ebooks can be exported to iBooks, iTunes and exported as an epub file.

Ways to use ebooks 

• Instructional manual: take photographs of a process or experiment, video demonstration 
• Reference book: Maths equations and tutorials 
• Recipe book
• ‘About me’ book
• Learning another language
• Learning the alphabet
• Picture book
• Glossary to develop vocabulary
• Spelling List book
• Present class artwork
• Photo book
• Art portfolio
• Create a year book for the class
• Reflect on a field trip or school camp – apps to edit photos, create comics and collages
• Present a research task
• Use as a digital portfolio adding images, collages, comics, videos, audio and text
• Create a comic book
• Write a story
• Diary or journal
• Demonstrate understanding of a topic by explaining diagrams or images
• Present Poetry
• A music book, add recorded videos or audio of students creating music
• Use for planning a project and recording end results

Apps to create videos and images to add to your eBook: 

Concept maps:

Video apps:

Image editing apps:

Word Art: 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

4 Apps to Create Designs with Words

Creating designs with words can be a great way to reinforce spelling , learning of new words and describing a theme or topics.  Students can create their own designs and use them to decorate the classroom. here are 4 great apps which allow you to design using words in different ways.

Create a collage of words and customise text, colour and layout.

This app allows you to draw a line or choose a created line and the add text to the line.

Type the text you wish to use and customise font, size and colour and then draw on the device and the words appear.

With this app you can take a photo or use one from the gallery, type in a set of words and the app will apply the words to the image. There are a few styles to choose from and colour schemes.  The effects look great.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Learning Game Coding

Learning the basics of computer programming can be a useful skill. There are many apps and software designed to be user friendly for students of varying ages, to learn how to code using visual interpretation with drag and drop functionality. There are also games which involve giving instructions and using commands. These processes can help develop skills in sequencing, literacy and numeracy, problem-solving, creativity, and communication.
Cargo-bot - a fun game where students learn about sequencing and instructions, also good for developing memory skills.
Hopscotch - provides a visual drag and drop platform with colour coding.

Daisy the dinosaur -  This free app offers an easy drag and drop platform to move Daisy the Dinosaur.

Kodable - a game to learn programming concepts and problem solving.
Move the Turtle. Programming for kids - a fun way for younger students to learn the basics computer programming and using commands.
Bee-Bot  - provides a tool for younger students to learn directional language and programming through sequences.
Bee-Bot Pyramid - provides challenges for students to solve.

Web Based:
Gamestar Mechanic - a game which allows students to learn about game design and make their own games.

Creating Video Tutorials for a Flipped classroom

A Flipped Classroom is a teaching model which reverses traditional methods.  Instruction is delivered at home through interactive websites, teacher-created videos or content and moves the homework style learning to the classroom.

Class time is used for creating tasks, exercises and problem solving while the teacher is present to assist and give immediate feedback whereas the homework is designated for learning content and students can form questions about what they have learnt to prepare for their next lesson. This allows the teacher more time to interact with the students.
Some teachers like to create informative videos or ask students to create the videos for younger students. These can be made using screencasting software and some apps, such as:


These apps allow you to record your drawing and narrate at the same time.  Enabling you to explain a concept or give instructions.  Also great for students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept.  You can also upload images and diagrams in many of these apps.

Sago Mini Doodlecast

Explain Everything ™

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard


This app allows you to record websites.

Explain a Website

Web based:

The best one I have come across is Screencast-o-matic which allows you to record your desktop and select the file type you would like to save it as and then save to your computer.


Microsoft PowerPoint - you can create some great tutorials with PowerPoint using the animation and record slide show tools.  It also allows you to convert into a video and record narrations.

Microsoft Community Clips -  this free software is an easy to use screencasting tool allowing you to record the entire screen or just a section.
Once you have installed the software. Search and click on the name to activate the program.

To start the program, go to the hidden icons on the bottom tool bar in the right hand corner. Click on the symbol with the question mark.

Selecting Start recording will record the entire desktop or select Start recording a region . To stop the recording go to the same place in the hidden icons. You can then save the video to your computer.



Camtasia - a commercial software which provides a screencasting tool and a video editior.

Professor Word

Professor Word provides a function which allows you to visit any web page, click on the word and a definition will pop up.
To activate it, you go to the Professor Word website and follow the instructions to add it to your favourites bar. You click on Run Professor word on the favourites bar and then go to a website and click on a word to see the definition.
This can be useful for students who are researching a topic or lower level readers and ESL students.

Add fun to learning with Trading Cards

This site allows you to create Trading Cards which gives students an alternative way to demonstrate their knowledge of a concept. This interactive activity allows students to create their own trading card about a real or fictional person, place, object, event or concept. The site also provides ideas and lesson plans.