Teacher Talk: PicCollage in the Classroom

When we created PicCollage, we thought it would mainly be used as a digital alternative to scrap-booking, allowing users to capture their memories in unique, creative ways. But pretty quickly, we began seeing teachers from all over the world sharing their students’ PicCollage projects across social media and we realized what a great tool we’d created for the classroom! Since then, we’ve worked to make PicCollage classroom-friendly by adding school settings and even developing PicCollage for Kids, which can be used by kids of any age. Recently, we chatted with teachers from all over about how they use PicCollage in creative ways in the classroom to bring their lessons to life.

Stephanie Laird, an Instructional Coach at Mitchellville Elementary in Iowa started using PicCollage three years ago as a way for students to document their learning and demonstrate their understanding. Today, she works with teachers and students to incorporate PicCollage into their teaching and learning. She says, “I have worked with students from preschool through fifth grade who use PicCollage to share their ideas and voice with the world. The finished PicCollage product varies, but no matter the grade level, students are able to move from being consumers to creators.”

How do the students respond to the app? “They love PicCollage! It is an intuitive tool that they are able to independently use on their tablets. They also love how easy it is to share their finished collages with others via their blogs, portfolios, or Twitter.”

Stephanie finds that pairing PicCollage with other tech tools (including ThingLink, QR Codes, and Adobe Voice) allows students to enhance the images they’ve taken by adding their voice or other media. For example, when students are learning about a historical figure or event, they can create a PicCollage of photos related to the topic, and then narrate over it.

You can follow Stephanie on Twitter at @LairdLearning or on her blog.

Heidi Samuelson, a fourth grade teacher in the Bartlett City Schools near Memphis, Tennessee, says PicCollagequickly became one of my students most favorite apps to create posters and smash together with other apps to share the learning!”

For one project, her “‘Student on Watch’ took photos during an author visit then uploaded them to PicCollage to create a poster to share. The completed poster was uploaded to Seesaw and then shared on our class Twitter account. “PicCollage is such a versatile and easy to manuever app!”

You can follow Heidi on Twitter (@swampfrogfirst) and Instagram (@swampfrogs)  account as well as her awesome blog.

Jennifer Sanders, a first grade teacher at Merritt School in Elk City, Oklahoma, says,” I began using PicCollage in the classroom about 3 years ago when my school went 1-1 with iPads.  I love how PicCollage allows me to create collages of special events, class lessons, fun experiments, and even recess fun.”  In addition to sharing student collages on SeeSaw, Jennifer also sends special collages via text to individual parents (you know they love that! :)).

Here’s a great example of how her students used PicCollage to create a “book report” (and the adorable video she created to assign the project). Follow her on Twitter at @kinderjenni.
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Kristen Wideen, Instructional Coach in Windsor, Ontario Canada, has used PicCollage for over two years and even wrote a book on how to meaningfully incorporate iPads into teaching! She and her co-author Karen Lirenman noticed that their students gravitated toward a few simple, creative apps, including Pic Collage, to show what they had learned. Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom highlights 5 apps and includes them in the lessons that are in the book.
Kristen says, “I first started using PicCollage in 2014 in my 2nd grade classroom. I was looking for an app that was easy enough for my students to use independently and a way to take pictures of their work to upload to their personal blogs.  Students were able to take pictures of their math manipulatives showing different concepts and then were able to explain their thinking using the text option.”
She appreciates how PicCollage allows even the youngest learners to create shareable photo collages by importing images to meet a specific learning purpose. Once they’ve selected their photos, “my students easily manipulate the images’ size and positioning, placing images randomly in the collage or fitting them in a layout template. My students can also add text in a variety of colours and fonts.”  She notes that she uses PicCollage a lot with curriculum based scavenger hunts, where students look for 3D shapes and simple machines around the school playground. They’ve also taken pictures of their lunches and categorized them by “healthy” and “not healthy.” “The ideas and ways you can use PicCollage are endless!”

You can follow her on Twitter (@mrswideen) or her blog.

 

If you’re a teacher who loves using PicCollage in the classroom, we’d love to see what you and your students create! Comment below to tell us what you’re working on!

 

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