Pic Collage is one of these apps and it is a regular go to for educators because of its ease of use and polished finish.
Younger students can use Pic-Collage to do a 2d shape search around the clasroom, or a beginning sound search; and teachers often use Pic-Collage to create Anchor Charts for their classroom.
I’d like to show you another cool way to use Pic-Collage, one which encourages students to think like designers and become digital illustrators.
I was hit by a wave of inspiration one day after my class and I watched a video showing how Eric Carle made his iconic pictures. I wanted to know if there was a way we could do that digitally.
To introduce my students to this new technique, I decided to integrate it with our lesson on visualising. Our class were huge Beatles fans, so what better song lyrics to practise visualising than Lucy in the sky with Diamonds.
The students were so excited as we sat around my record player and and I played them my Sgt Pepper's Album.
After we had listened to the song a few times for enjoyment sake, I gave them a copy of the lyrics so they could follow along. Once we were comfortable with the song, and the students were singing along, I asked them to choose one part of the song they would like to visualise and create in Pic Collage.
Once the students have sketched their image, I ask them to list, in order from background to foreground, what objects will appear in their image.
This helps them get into the mindset of creating a collage, which needs to built from the back to the front.
So in this case my design will need:
The secret to emulating the look of Eric Carle’s collages is the textured paper he uses. His images are not simple collages comprised of plain coloured paper; rather he paints random patterns on thin tissue paper, and then uses those to create his collages.
This pattern will act as the background for our collage, so we need to ensure we set it as the background to prevent accidental removal of the image. We simply long press the image to reveal the popup menu and then select "Set to Background"
The next items we want to add are the clouds. So we repeat the websearch for whatever colour pattern we would like the clouds to be. I chose a variation of the orange pattern for my clouds.
The cloud can be easily moved, rotated and resized using simple two finger gestures that the students will already be familiar with.
To create the other objects, the students simply need to repeat their web search for different coloured patterns and cut them to the desired shape.
An important thing to note is that it is easy for the kids to accidentally flick an element of their collage into the rubbish bin. Always let the students know that they can retrieve their object by pressing the undo button (backwards pointing arrow) at the top of the screen.
The finished image
Once the students have finished their designs, exporting them are easy, they can save them to their camera roll, email them, message them etc. A relatively new effect Pic Collage have implemented is allowing us to export animated versions of the images. These look great if you are compiling all the images into a short video.
If you can see yourself using this technique in your classroom, please share your ideas in the comments below.