The ability to manipulate images in various ways is an essential skill for the learning manager. There will be many occasions when it will be necessary to crop, sharpen, add brightness, correct red eye and add text or graphics to images for use in the classroom.
Sometimes images need to be reduced or enlarged and Picnik is a perfect, free and super easy program to use. Students would have a lot of fun with this ICT. The function of adding graphics and doodles will really appeal to students, it helps them to personalise their photos.
I uploaded a photo of the Pink Palace Hotel in Hawaii and it looks just like it would have in Elvis’ day! The original of this photo is very modern looking although it’s an old hotel. I was able to manipulate it to appear as it would have perhaps 50 years ago. I love it!
I also uploaded a photo of our dog Monty and his thoughts on cats. This one was just for the fun of it everyone loves a dog picture, don’t they? I also sharpened and added contrast to Monty.
Another important point to note about Picnik is that the site itself has visual appeal; it even looks user friendly to me, a digital immigrant! I think the fact that it immediately looks like anyone can use it is one of its strengths, it is non -threatening and not too high tech for students. I feel that Photoshop is probably too sophisticated for students to tackle first up, but Picnik would be a fabulous point of entry into image manipulation for them.
All the little add-ons are great too, links to flickr, My Space and Facebook- teenagers expect to be able to connect immediately to social sites and Picnik caters for that expectation.
Picnik. (2009). Picnik. Veiwed August 20,2009.