Pic Collage


Age Scale:  9+

Device:  iPhone, iPod, and iPad

Quick Line:  Easy Artistic Summaries

What Educators Need to Know:

As you may have noticed by my current social media promotion, I absolutely loved using iMovie to produce trailers as a culminating project after reading novels.  If you didn’t catch it, see it here: http://theipodteacher.com/imovie-for-ipad/

But we recently finished reading The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss.  This sensitive autobiography is set during WWII as young Annie, a Jewish girl in German-occupied Holland, is forced to live in hiding.  Naturally, I wanted to be sure that our project matched the seriousness of the topic.

I asked the students to create “visual summaries” using the app Pic Collage.  They began by brainstorming words and phrases on paper for each of the main characters, setting, and events.  They selected the 30 most powerful ideas to represent with words and pictures.  [We learned quickly that users are limited to 30 items.]  Quick Safari searches yielded a Camera Roll full of terrific examples.  Pic Collage allowed them to “cut” them as if they were creating true collages from mixed media.

The results were stunning.  Now, I’m no art teacher, but I shared several examples of collage art and encouraged them to use the space wisely and create a focal point of some sort.  We also talked about smart text, color, and font selection.  Without too much guidance in this department, I thought they did an amazing job.  If we hadn’t run out of time, they would have written paragraphs explaining some of their choices.  Their final products were evaluated on content, appearance, and mechanics.

Check out one of my favorites:


Pic Collage is a free app available for all devices.  Many of my students downloaded it at home as it can be used for all sorts of projects.  There are a number of backgrounds, layouts, editing options, and text effects to meet the needs of just about any project.  In fact, the students are now using it on independent research projects regarding our current novel, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.  Pic Collage also offers “School Settings”.  You can disable a user’s ability to grab photos from the web from within the app as well as disable the social media and profile tabs.  Good thinking!  This app is easy and fun to use!

Price:  FREE