digital images

Digital Images

Sources for Storing, Sharing and Editing Images

The Internet has made it very easy to store, share and edit pictures online. The challenge is to choose a site that will do all of these quickly and easily. Below are some standouts we would like you to try. For a majority of these sites, you must sign up for the product by establishing a login and password. Although these all are free sites, you may choose to upgrade to a premium or paid version which offers more options (e.g. storage, additional effects, groups, etc.).

Editing Images and Photos


While the majority of free photo editing programs require you to download the application and/or to register, FotoFlexer™ and iPiccy™ let you do all of the editing online without creating an account. You can save your edited photos to your computer or have them emailed (requires an account to be created). FotoFlexer is a very user friendly program. The images you edit can be saved as .jpg and .png file types. (If you would like an explanation of the various types of file types for photos, see this website). The program features a wide variety of editing options, including basic editing, special effects, decorations, etc.

There are several demo tutorials available on the web to learn about effects such as re-coloring hair, animating shapes, using smart scissors to cut an image out, or resizing.

To begin, you do not have to create an account. You just click on Get Started and Upload Photo. When you are done, you can save it or email it. This program has a very easy to use interface. Apply various effects to your image and use the Undo button to discard your changes.

Mobile: Fotoflexer is also available as an Android app. Fotolr and Be Funky are additional options for the iPhone and iPad. For additional iPad apps for photo editing, be sure to check out the 21things4ipads Photo Editing thing.

What Size Should I Use?

While searching for images, it is a good idea to keep in mind the size of the image (the number of pixels the images uses for its length and height). Small images (often called thumbnails) look grainy when enlarged. Large images (taken with multi-megapixel cameras) may make the image difficult to load and may take a lot of real estate on a screen or when attached to a document or email. This document is an example of some suggested sizes for images used on social media sites. If you need help resizing, click here for a document that shares suggestions for resizing in Microsoft Paint or Fotoflexer. Resizing images is a skill every educator should know. See Additional Resources for other options to resize images.

Model Copyright and Creative Commons

It is a good idea to take a moment to review the information on copyright and Creative Commons (Be Legal and Fair) for your work with digital images. It's important that we model digital citizenship by steering students toward the use of copyright free images. A fantastic source for copyright free images is Photos for Class. More copyright free image sites can be found In the Additional Resources section. Here is a guide to interpreting the use of an image with a Creative Commons license.

Showcase Your Images in an Online Slideshow with PhotoPeach!


PhotoPeach is an online slideshow maker, and using it is a snap! You can learn about it using this tutorial page. It has a lot of fun and easy features, but at the basic level, you can simply upload a few photos and select some background music to create an instant digital slide show. You can also add captions, create quiz questions on each of the slides, change the speed of the show, and manage comments.

Introduce Yourself Through a Talking Avatar!

Avatars vs. Photos


When dealing with social media and/or a personal webpage, a photo is frequently suggested as part of your account. The use of an Avatar or cartoon image is highly recommended, especially for students. Consider using Voki, where you can select and create an image and add personal characteristics (e.g. glasses, hair color, clothing, and a recorded voice). The use of an avatar can add interest, personality, and model safety for your web presence. Note: Voki is also available as an iPad app. 

Things to tell your students about using profile photos online:

  • Using an avatar instead of a photo helps protect students from someone online that might use the clues in a photo, such as a school emblem, age related images (sports team), school logo or name to identify them.

  • If using Facebook make sure they turn off the feature of tagging them by photo.

  • Some school districts have rules about posting photos. Be sure to check your Acceptable Use Policies.

  • Never post party pictures online as future employers and admissions office personnel do check online.

Check out additional resources for Digital Images

Learning Objectives

After completing this Thing, the educator will:

  • Know vocabulary and resources for digital photo editing

  • Understand how to upload, edit, and manipulate digital images

  • Make connections with technology standards and best practice

  • Transfer the learning to professional practice by using edited images as a non-linguistic representation within a lesson



21 Things Hands-On Activity and Assignment:

1. Create a simple slideshow with PhotoPeach that you can use to inform or instruct your students or parents.

A. Find three or more appropriately sized images on a topic you teach that are copyright free (from your camera or from a copyright free site). Make sure to credit both your own and the images from others.

B. Use Fotoflexer to edit the photos and add some special effects, such as captions, borders, sepia tone or black and white, etc.

C. Include music in your PhotoPeach slideshow. 

D. Embed or share the link to your PhotoPeach slideshow and personal avatar in your Digital    Portfolio.

2. Use Voki to introduce yourself on your classroom website or to present some classroom content in new and exciting ways! Post a link to this on your digital portfolio.

3. Take the very short survey giving feedback for this Thing.


Addressing the ISTE Standards For Educators

2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, 
evaluation, curation and adoption of 
new digital resources and tools for learning.

3c. Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.
3d. Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy.

5a. Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
5b. Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
5c. Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.

6d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.


1. Non-Linguistic Representations;
2. Identifying Similarities & Differences;
3. Cues, Questions, Advance Organizers

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