I have just been experimenting with Picnik.
This was the image in the beginning, and then I changed it to this.
It's a great fun e-learning tool to use. Picnik is wonderful because it is free and easy to use. There are a lot of ways to edit images within Picnik. Some of these include crop, resize, exposure, colours, sharpen, red-eye, rotate and auto-fix. In the image above I probably used every editing tool in the application. Learners would
enjoy manipulating images of themselves, as well as images of animals, places and different things. There are also many other image manipulation software packages available.
There are arguments against digital manipulation which state that it causes the image to become fake. "When photography was first invented, its overwhelming power came from the fact that it recorded nature more realistically than any other art form had ever done before. Because of this, people trusted it and believed it portrayed 'reality' and 'truth'" (Lodriguss, 2006). It is important to note that image manipulation has been
occurring ever since photography was invented. The creation of Photoshop and Flickr applications didn't begin image manipulation. The image on the right is a
"Fairy" photograph from 1917 from Cottingley, England by Elise Wright and
Frances Griffiths. Image manipulation software, however, do provide an easier means for this manipulation and allow almost anyone the chance to do so. "Changes can be made to images that are undetectable, so much so that there is now discussion that photographs will no longer be allowed as evidence in courts of law" (Lodriguss, 2006). This is where the teaching of critical visual literacy can be incorporated into learning experiences. "Visual critical literacy helps students to develop an informal and critical understanding of the nature of how meaning is shaped in words and/or images... students are encouraged to decode, interpret, question, challenge and evaluate" (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2009).
Critical literacy also develops higher order thinking skills (Eken, 2002). This process would fit into the Learning Design Framework for ICT Learning Environments (Oliver, 1999). Learners would be able to create their own image manipulation for their peers to critically evaluate. The task would be authentic through the use of a fictional Magazine Editor person who wants an image to be more aesthetically pleasing. Learners would be able to use many resources including the computer and image manipulation software. Finally, learners would receive support from the learning manager, librarian and teacher aides to complete their tasks (Oliver, 1999). There are so many skills, knowledge and abilities which can be incorporated into the design of learning experiences. I feel confident that I would have the potential to utilise this learning experience very effectively.
Eken, A. (2002). The Third Eye: Critical Literacy and Higher Order Thinking Skills. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=KLSPWJtDXfVkfmnbFYWhrhQKcdQ68MpTshSSCjsVfKrRcs98r7m4!945283895!766828861?docId=5000672657
Lodriguss, J. (2006). The Ethics of Digital Manipulation. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.astropix.com/HTML/J_DIGIT/ETHICS.HTM
NSW Department of Education and Training. (2009). Strategies for teaching critical visual literacy in PDHPE. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/secondary/pdhpe/crosscurriculum/literacy/simple.htm
Oliver, R. (1999). Learning Design. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm