Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thing #10 - Image Generators

Fun, yet frustrating.

I had some trouble with the Custom Sign Generator tools. I couldn't manipulate the images quite like I wanted them. I may have had unrealistic expectations.

I love Image Chef! Easy to use, visually attractive site, great ideas! I used the Visual Poetry option to create the image of my baby in the heart. Image Chef has all kinds of great options in their catalog. I really like the capability of writing a message on a piece of toast! You could get a really high level of thinking out of kids if you pushed them. The symbolism that could be done is really cool. There are many opportunities for depth in putting text with images. Great point-of-view product, too.

The Templates for Kids were neat, also. It has great backgrounds on which younger students can put messages. (See my Etch-a-Sketch image.)

The Happy Face Generator was fun, playful, and easy to use. I think kids would enjoy it. You could have them do ads for books they enjoyed or summarize a community problem using these tools. I can also see fun additions to newsletters being created here. (See my Happy Face Comic.)

Similarly, the Comic Strip Generator was easy to use. It really takes a lot of thought (not saying mine did) to do a good job. It's an open-ended product to some degree because kids can take it to different levels of depth depending on their understanding of symbolism and their capacity for humor. I love Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin is one of the most gifted kids in the press. I'm sure he'd be a ball in a GT classroom, though he might have trouble getting identified.

My second favorite, after Image Chef, is Wordle. It wasn't listed in our guide, but I saw one on a blog during an earlier "Thing". It may come up in future "Things". I think Wordle is a wonderful collage type product. Visual poetry for sure! The ability to manipulate the size of words by the frequency of occurrence is interesting. In looking through the Gallery, there is a lot of variety and seems to be just as much value in using a few words as in using many. One caution... there are a number of inappropriate Wordles for kids that appear in the Gallery. You might need to prepare elementary students not to react to body part words or avoid the Gallery with them. I also had some difficulty posting it to my blog. I had to save it as a PDF and then figure out how to get it into a different format to post here. That was tricky and the quality isn't so good.


VWB said...

i think you have become an image generator pro! the first one --what a sweetie!

(and the problems could be related to the size of the photo and what gets cut off possibly...sometimes you have to manipulate the pictues a little before putting in the generator so that it comes out in better form)

atxteacher said...

I agree that the issues I have were due to the size. It was tricky finding a photo with the face at the right angle. I think my biggest problem is that I needed to rotate the picture - and even the image generator site said to try to avoid it.

I also had trouble manipulating the speech bubbles on pictures. Probably just need more patience and more practice.