Using In the Classroom

The last day before winter break a student shared how they were manipulating photos with Microsoft Paint. My response, “There is a FREE On-line Website which works similar to Photoshop.” I shared the Pixlr website ink with the student.  This site comes in handy when I’m at  school where Adobe Photoshop isn’t  installed on my district supplied laptop. I use the Pixlr site to manipulate pictures or create original clipart. Following is a list of ideas to integrate Pixlr Editor into the classroom.

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Ways to Use the Pixlr Editor In the Classroom

  1. Clipart
  2. Google Slide Backgrounds
  3. Buttons for websites
  4. Header for blogs and teacher websites
  5. Creating Timelines
  6. Make Graphic Organizers
  7. Math equations
  8. Create Mimes
  9. Avatar creator
  10. Comic strips bubbles
  11. Fancy Title graphics
  12. Create motivational quotes with a graphic background
  13. Create custom icons
  14. Create characters for a story
  15. Math Equation Cards to be used with IWB (Interactive whiteboards)



GAfE Image Options Used for Photocopies

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone but I still use a printer and photocopier at school. Pretty amazing in the move towards a paperless society! This is still a challenge in areas where internet services is limited. Yes! I mean students may actually have NO Internet connection at home! This makes it necessary to print and photocopy worksheets for students. In a case like this is when I find the Image Options setting to be handy.

The image option setting makes it possible to change the color of clipart. It also allows the user to turn the graphic into a black and white line drawing. This will use less ink and provide a clearer image for the worksheet. The image option is found in Google Docs, Drawings, and Slides

Image Options

Avoid Copyright Issues by Empowering Students to be Creative

Lately I’ve noticed two topics mentioned over and over in my Twitter feed as well as in some educational articles. It seems both copyright issues and how to engage students with being creative are hot topics. Sorry for this old cliche but, “Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Understanding copyrights along with the Teacher’s Act and Fair Use is complicated due to the internet and public sharing. The question keeps arising what is meant by “Within the Four Walls of a Classroom”? In this post I’m not going to talk about the issue itself. Instead I’m going to suggest supporting the students creative thinking skills by showing them how to use Google Drawing to create clipart. This way one can avoid the whole copyright issue by supporting the students creativity.

  • Go to Google Drive
    • Click New
    • Scroll down to more
    • Then click on Google Drawings

Open Google Drawing-2

  • Layer shapes to Create Images
    • Insert a shape
    • Change the color
    • Adjust the border
    • Create a second shape
    • Move to back

Create clipart

  • Keep repeating above steps until the clipart is finished


Create Clip Art Creativity

  • Download Google Drawing as a png or jpeg to use clip art with computer or web based programs

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  • You can use the Scribble Tool to draw freehand style

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 11.10.30 AM

  • Don’t forget about using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D or CMD+D for duplicating shapes


Having Fun Manipulating Clipart Color

I like using the Google Drawing and Presentation Slides image options tool.  This tool allows the user to change the color of the clipart from a wide variety of choices. It also lets the user adjust the brightness, contrast, and transparency.

Changing Color of Clipart

I especially like the transparency feature. The transparency feature allows me to place a textured clipart layer behind a solid colored shape. This creates an interesting effect.  Here is a shape with a textured underlay.

Changing Color of Clipart-2

NOTE:  The above shape was made from these two shapes:

  • The underlay shape

Changing Color of Clipart-3

  • Top layer shape

Changing Color of ClipartTIPS:

  • To use a solid shape you created in Google Drawing download the image as a .png and then re-upload it as an inserted image. This will allow you manipulate the solid colored shape with the image option tool.
  • When using clipart found in an internet search make sure is okay to reuse and manipulate the image. Most Creative Commons and Open Clipart Sources will state if the creator permits the clipart to be used in this manner. The sites generally provide guides on how to attribute the source.