I was so sad when I heard Picnik was closing its doors. Like Brooke Higgins mentioned in her post Wanted: free and easy photo editing, I loved Picnik and used it for photo editing and creating unique gifts and collages. I even paid for the full membership. When I heard the news the site was closing I started searching for a new quick, easy tool. On my iPhone I found a few apps I liked for editing my mobile images- Instagram, Pixloromatic , and Fun Camera, but I really wanted something I could use to edit photos on my desktop computer. Something easy, full of great features, and free! I wanted to add two more options to your toolbox, that may help you replace Picnik (Which is still around until April 19) as a favorite photo editing tool!
Pixlr- The same people who created Pixloromatic have a feature on their website called Pixlr-Express. Pixlr-Express is free! It does not require a log in. You just upload a photo, or take a photo using your webcam and you can edit it on the spot! You have access to your typical photo editing options- cropping, resizing, red-eye, sharpening, and more. It also gives you a few special color effects, a variety of filter overlays, frames, stickers, and the ability to add text to pictures. You don’t get a million options, but it is free and easy. It helps you enhance an image and save it in just a few quick clicks.
The other tool I recently discovered was Pic Monkey. This tool is very “Picnik like.” I did some research and found out it was actually created by some of the engineers from Picnik! Yeah for us!!!! There is no registration required for the basic features. However, to get the advanced features they do ask you to register. (I would recommend registering because there are tons of amazing advanced features!) Currently you can get both basic and premium features for free. The freebie deal will end in a few months and if you sign up now, you will get a coupon for a discounted subscription in the future.
Once you upload your photo, you see a very clean, user-friendly interface. Along with your basic editing tools of cropping, rotating, auto adjust etc., you get much more. The site offers 25 different special effects from the categories of Basic, Camera Look, Paintbox, Area, and Artsy. These features help make your snapshots look like masterpieces. In the touch-up section you can reduce wrinkles, add lip-gloss, change your eye color, and even reduce your weight. Pic Monkey provides a many, many overlays that help you increase the interest of your photo by adding accessories such at beach objects, comic bubbles, flowers, butterflies, and shapes! Along with text and frame options, Pic Monkey is an amazing resource for adding a ton of creativity to your digital images!
As I explored these tools, I thought about how students could use these tools to support the NETS-S of creativity and innovation. “Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.” How might you use Pixlr-Express or PicMonkey to encourage creativity and innovation in your classroom?
Carmen Marty is an Instructional Specialist with the eMINTS National Center.