The other day I was reading a post by Steve Dembo in which he mentioned teaching Kid Pix to get to PhotoShop. Kid Pix is okay for a paint program, but I actually use something different.
When I worked with the DEN I had a PC and they also gave us PhotoShop Elements. It was nice. However, there were so many tools in there that I could not figure out and therefore was a wasted program for me. Honestly, my brother used it more and often did the work that I could not do. Well last night I was editing a photo of my son and I wanted to do some "photoshopping". First, I don't have Adobe for Mac and two, I don't think I could have done what I wanted anyway. So I rack my brain thinking how can I get this job done. I have iphoto, but that's not really a photoshop type program. Then I look over and see my Tech4Learning Creative Educator Magazine and BAM it smacks me upside the head.
Use ImageBlender!! I was able to cut away the background and keep Joey in his batman costume and then add a layer with a really cool scene behind him. It was so easy, and I wasn't up until all hours of the night. The program has some other benefits, like the slide show feature. I have used it in the past to create my own stationary designs or logos. It's really a fun, simple program.
I guess I could use Photo Shop, learn all the tools and become a "pro", but I like simplicity when integrating, or in this case just using, technology. If I had to spend HOURS teaching the littlest tool to get a certain effect, I've lost too much time from standards.
Tech4Learning has another cool tool called Blue Armadillo. It's a batch conversion utility tool and it's free. They have some other great things that I have mentioned here before, such as Pics4Learning and MyT4L. Check those great tools out.
So do we need to teach Adobe products? Sure - in high school or even some middle school classes. However, if you want an easy to use program that will not cut into your time on task and still get great results, check out the programs from Tech4Learning.
The real unfortunate part is that Joey came downstairs (he couldn't sleep - it's was almost midnight!!) and didn't like the photo. He didn't want me to put it in a frame and cried. Therefore, I can't share with you the results of my fun with ImageBlender. I just can't do that to him. But I'll do another one later and share it!