The end of the school year is getting near for many of us. It is at this time of year that I frequently field emails from readers who are searching for good ways to create digital showcases for end-of-year events and final meetings with students and parents. If your students have been keeping digital portfolios with a tool like SeeSaw, you already have an easy way to make collection of highlights. Otherwise try one of the following options that I highlighted last week on Free Technology for Teachers.
Make a Digital Collage
Adobe Spark Web Page is part of the Adobe Spark suite of tools. With Adobe Spark Web Page your students could create a simple web page to showcase their personal highlights of the school year. Adobe Spark Web Pages are displayed in a simple linear view. The pages that students create can include pictures, text, and videos.
For the last five or six years Canva has been my go-to online tool for making graphics and collages. Canva offers tons of free templates for making collages that you can post online and or download as PDFs to print. Canva can even make people like me who have no graphic design skills look good.
Pic Collage is a free app that I have had on my phone and iPad for many years. The app provides lots of free, customizable templates for making collages. To create a collage simply open the app, choose a template, and import pictures from your phone or tablet’s camera roll. You can pinch and zoom to change the size of your pictures, you can add digital stickers, and you can draw or type on your collage.
Create an Audio Slideshow Video
Sharalike is a free video creation tool that I’ve been using for the last four years. It can be used in your web browser, as an iOS app, or as an Android app. All three versions let you bulk upload/ import a collection of pictures then drag and drop those pictures into the sequence in which you want them to appear. Once you’ve arranged your images you can add music from Sharalike’s library of free, royalty-free music. Sharalike will then create the video for you. I’ve successfully uploaded as many as 45 pictures at once to Sharalike to make a video. The only downside to Sharalike is that you can’t download your video, you have to watch it online.
Adobe Spark Video is designed for making audio slideshows. You can download your finished video as an MP4 and or share it online. There is a nice library of free, royalty-free music that you can use. And you can mix some of your existing video clips into your audio slideshow video. The downside to Adobe Spark is that you can’t do a bulk upload of images and have those images instantly rendered as individual slides. You have to manually place each image on each slide. Fortunately, you can import a folder from Google Drive, Google Photos, and Dropbox.
For making an audio slideshow video, I consider WeVideo and iMovie to be equals (both have many more uses than making simple audio slideshow videos). If I’m using a Chromebook or a Windows computer, WeVideo is my choice. If I’m using a Mac or an iPad, iMovie is my choice. Both services will let you add pictures in bulk, both have a good selection of templates to follow, and both will provide options for adding free, royalty-free music to your audio slideshow video.
There is a Google Slides called Photo Slideshow that you can use to import a Google Drive folder full of images and have each image added to its own slide. After you have imported all of your pictures you will need to make sure that they appear on the slides without being off center or cropped in weird ways. Once your Google Slides are arranged you can add audio to your slideshow in one of two manners. If your G Suite domain has the new audio option in your Insert menu, that’s the way to go. Otherwise, use the method I have outlined in this video. After adding your music set your slideshow to automatically advance (see screenshot below for directions).