Annotate your images
Type of technology: Assorted Apps
SAMR Model Rating: Modification
Grade level: All
Subject area: All
Description of apps: Assorted Sites and Apps
Have you ever tried to give tech support over the phone, or tried to explain something detailed? If you have, you know how you point at imaginary computers, windows, and drop down menus to someone on the other end of the line who has no idea what you are doing. It is not an effective way to share information.
There is a solution, one you have probably seen used many times, and that is annotating images. Images help explain directions, or point out special features in a picture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well what if you use a picture, and a few words? It’s magic!
There are a number of ways that I have used this in my class, or can imagine using it in the future.
- Give visual directions for a task
- Create tutorials or step-by-step directions
- Give students feedback on a digital project
- Ask students to make an annotated graphic of a process, for example photosynthesis
There are a number of free programs on the iPad or on a computer that I like to use:
- Microsoft Word: The ability to draw text boxes, draw shapes, and position them in front of an image makes this an ideal tool to make annotated images that are imbedded in your document. Of course, this is not a free program, but I think it is worth the formatting power that it harnesses.
- Google Drawings: Since Google Docs does not allow the use of text boxes or shapes, you have to make the image in Google Drawings, and then import them. They are very easy to create, and simple to transfer between Google Apps.
- Skitch: A free iPad app that allows you to easily import a picture from your camera roll, or take a photo and then add arrows, text, emojis and more!
- Canva.com: Free web-based application to make beautiful graphics. Imagine beautiful pictures, accented with text to announce an event, an assignment, or a motivational message for an upcoming assessment.
I recommend grouping your image, text and shapes together when working in Google Drawings or Word (see above). This makes moving or resizing your image much easier. This can easily be done with a click and drag over all elements, and then a right-click. Select “group” to lock them together. If you decide that something needs to be changed, click the image and right click again. This time you’ll see “ungroup” as an option. You can also group selected images by holding down the shift key while selecting elements instead of dragging them all together.
An annotated image has great power, and can save you a lot of time in explaining or describing something in class over and over. Place them in docs, on NEO, or in an email and let the picture do the talking.