Many teachers would like the option of editing photos and creating their own graphics, but some professional software, like Adobe Photoshop, is expensive.
With cheeky, wink-and-a-nudge humor, PicMonkey allows you to edit a photo with an array of special effects, some free and some membership upgrades; to assemble a photo collage from uploaded images; and to create artistic quotes with quick font editing.
First, I tried creating a collage. The interface is relatively intuitive. With some preliminary instruction on uploading images and drag-n-dropping, if needed, even elementary students should be able to create a personal collage for the traditional “All About Me” project.
Multiple layout options, from “Ducks in a Row” to “Biggie Smalls,” are offered. and the resulting file can be saved as a JPEG image. On my Mac, I did have some issues with Shockwave crashing. It could be my machine; it could be my software; it could be Picmonkey.
Next I experimented with the photo editing option, using a relatively terrible shot of my cat. The usual suspects are available: I can crop, edit, adjust the color balance, add sepia tone, etc.
My final product, the result of about 70 seconds of clicking, still looks much better than the original.
Finally I used the “Type It!” option on a pre-set image background, a clock on a neutral wall. I added my own saying, easily changing fonts and colors of specific words, until I had a nice, professional-looking quote art:
I can see a teacher, or even a group of students, taking photographs of places around their school, uploading the files, and then adding their choice of inspirational quote. The process works the other way, too, starting from the quote and then searching for a complementary image. The results could be printed and displayed or added to a class Pinterest board so parents can enjoy their children’s work.
From my brief experiment with Picmonkey, I’m feeling favorable. It looks like a worthy successor to Picnik, the previous reigning monarch of free photo editing.