A Cyberpilgrim's List of Web 2.0 Tools for Ministry

Posts tagged ‘photo’

ABCya

Toolset: ABCya.com

One of my favorite animation tools, xtranormal, is now defunct (but watch for a renewed animation environment at  nawmal, xtranormal‘s purchasing group). In fact, I’m finding that many favorites are disappearing as the excitement of online tools wanes, and companies look toward mobile app development to invest their time and resources. However, there are still online learning sites that provide easy tools for youngsters to create storytelling graphics while learning rudimentary media literacy skills. I was very pleased to see Joyce Donahue’s post about one animation tool called Wimeo. Since I like to built a repertoire of different tools to answer different needs, I continued to scour the web for easy animation tools for youngsters… and oldsters like myself.

Enter ABCya‘s suite of learning tools for the younger set. ABCya was developed by a teacher who created this wonderful site because, as a new teacher looking for online resources for children, he found himself “in a never ending labyrinth of sites for kids loaded with violence, nested links, difficult navigation, and subscription fees!”

ABCya is an online collection of educational games for the younger set. Two in particular caught my eye for creating.

Creed Word Cloud

A word cloud is a, well, cloud of words! A famous word cloud tool, Wordle, is the subject of an earlier post. ABCya has a simple version geared for youngsters. They click the empty screen to start, type or paste words into a box, and click the arrow on the bottom right to create the cloud. There you can set the number of words to be shown, filter out common words, and change the color, layout and font of the cloud. I played with it by copying a Creed from on online source, created the cloud, and noted the largest words, which occur most often. You can then save the cloud as a graphic to use in a PowerPoint, or even as a background for the animation you can create using the next tool:

 

Getting back to xtranormal (click here for my “sniff!“, my face drawn in ABCya’s Color, Draw & Paint, and imported as a background for a Make an Animation clip) I’ve found that the animation maker in ABCya has its own charm. It is really for the younger set, but I must admit I was engaged for quite some time playing with its features. It is really simple… and limited. But, between WORD CLOUDS FOR KIDS (or ABCya’s Color, Draw & Paint) and MAKE AN ANIMATION, your students can create creative animated gifs, the file type that can be played in any browser, and thus can readily be embedded in your parish or school website. If you need to turn an ABCya animation into a movie for inclusion in Animoto video creation, Moviemaker (Windows), iMovie (Mac), or to upload it to YouTube as I did above… you can convert the gif to a video file using the video converter tool at Online-Convert.com.

I took the word cloud above and made a gif that you can see by clicking here.

Here is a video tutorial of using Make an Animation to create my non-award winning Sniff gif.

 

If you like these suggestions, click the “Like” button.  Once you engage your students with these tools, come back and tell us about it.  We’d love to hear from you.

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Photofunia

Tool: Photofunia

Photofunia is an online tool for uploading photos, and putting them in fun and/or elegant settings. Here is an example of a still.

My Spouse

Original Photo

My Spouse in a Heart

Photo made special with Photofunia

and an example of a moving picture… a “gif” created in Photofunia. You may need to click on the photo to launch its own window and give it motion.

Steamed Up Spouse

Photo enhanced and given motion by Photofunia

Imagine creating a class yearbook with photos of your students… that they supply… and you find a Photofunia effect to match their personalities! The Photofunia app for mobile devices can be found here. With an Android, iPad, iPhone, etc. you can snap a picture of your student… or of your students’ work, and apply the great Photofunia effects right then and there.

Here is a quick demo of the online version:

If you believe that you can now create a fun, odd, or engaging picture out of your own photos – click the “Like” button.  Once you create something to engage your students, come back and tell us about it.  We’d love to hear from you.

Pixlr

Tool: Pixlr

Pixlr is an online toolset for creating, editing, enhancing graphics. The toolset includes:

Image Drawn with Pixlr

Drawn image, imagine what you can do with some talent!

Prayer

Original Image

Prayer Reworked

Prayer reworked with Pixlr Express

Cross

Original Photo

Cross

Cross “retouched” with Pixlr-o-matic

and more…

This is a great tool for your digital storytelling projects. PLUS, you can enhance your images, and then upload them in Animoto to create even better copyright free videos! Don’t forget that you can make slides in PowerPoint and/or Keynote with stylized text, save the slides as jpg images, then further enhance them in Pixlr. Imagine your learners snapping photos corresponding to the Stations of the Cross, reworking them in Pixlr, and creating an Animoto video with appropriate music recording using the free program Audacity.

If you believe that you can now create, enhance or edit graphics or photos – click the “Like” button.  Once you create something to engage your students, come back and tell us about it.  We’d love to hear from you.

Aviary

Tool: Aviary for iPad and other iOS devices

Aviary WAS an online toolset for editing, enhancing and creating online.

However, they have moved away from the Flash based toolset and created a free app for the iPad, iPod and iPhone. It seems that they are working on a version for the Android OS as well.

You can add text, stickers and choose from many free effects, or purchase additional effect sets in app. Here is an example of a photo with text, a crown, a little brightness adjustment and an effect. Imagine what you can do with photos you snap of your learners’ drawings… and a little graphical talent.

Cross before Aviary for the iPad

This is the original photo of a Cross

Cross reworked with Aviary for the iPad

Reworked with Aviary for the iPad – notice the crown and the text

More information is available at Aviary.com, including a demo.

If you believe that you can now enhance or edit graphics and photos – click the “Like” button.  Once you create something to engage your students, come back and tell us about it.  We’d love to hear from you.

Compfight

Tool: Compfight

A picture is worth 1,000 words!  Yes, we’ve often heard this.  And with tools like Compfight, you can find images on Flickr that have been released under a creative commons license .  You can quickly locate images without having to gain explicit permission from the image owner.

The following video is a tutorial about the Compfight tool – How to Use!

Dave Foord, takes the harvesting of photo’s a step further. He talks about using another service called ImageStamper which then records which images are used and when, and most importantly what the license agreement was at the time (in case someone on Flickr changes their license agreement at a later date).

Applications for Ministry:

  • When involving students in creating any of their digital projects, here is a tool to help them find images that are under a creative commons license.  Here is an opportunity for you to mentor them in being copyright savvy!
  • Once you have images that you like, you can use them for your presentations, blogs, websites and more.

If you are looking for additional information about this tool, visit Amy’s blog for – Image Finding Tool: Compfight.

If you like the idea of easily locating creative commons images, click the “Like” button.