Image Editing

When you’re a professional image editor, you spend a lot of money buying some of the great image editing programs.  When you’re an amateur image editor, you may go out and buy the same software package in the hopes that it will make you the next professional image editor!

If you’re frugal with your dollars, you may head for an open source solution where there are spectacular products that can do the same sorts of thing.

The reality is, though, that it takes more than a piece of software to make you a genius image editor.  It takes great software, to be sure, but it also requires that flair for the artistic, the ability to see and blend colours, the ability to design with the end in mind, the elements of design and story telling through imagery, and so much more.  I profess, I have none of these skills.

In fact, my image editing reality is limited to some brightness and contrast adjustment, perhaps some creation of text to highlight key points of the image, maybe a little composition via layering, and some other things that would seem pretty primitive by people that know their business.  And, I may do it on a Windows machine or a Mac and I may or may not own the machine.  And, the requisite software may or may not be installed.  Oh, and I need an undo function!

That’s where a web-based solution is very desirable and into the mix.


Aviary has a suite of online multimedia tools and Phoenix, the image editor has all the functionality that I need.  (and, quite frankly more…)


Because the utilities are online, you save yourself a great deal of storage space on your hard drive and the hassles that come along when something goes wrong with the software, requiring a reload.  The products are web-based, and just work.

I’d be willing to bet that, for most of people’s editing needs, Phoenix more than fills the need.  At a price tag of free, it’s worth the time and effort to learn and share.

OTF / CUE PD Offering

This is a re-post of an entry that went out earlier this week for those who may have missed it.

The Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) is delighted to provide a unique professional development activity to OTF members.

OTF has contracted with Computer-Using Educators, Inc., an official Google certified Professional Development partner, to provide “The Google Learning Institute”, an intense one day of learning focused on Google applications.

Search, learn, share! Brought to you by Computer Using Educators (CUE), the producers of the Google Teacher Academy, the Google Workshop for Educators (GWE) introduces participants to innovative ways Google tools can be used in education. A full day of fast-paced presentations and hands-on activities includes experience with advanced search techniques, collaborative web-based applications, and inspirational instructional strategies. Google Certified Teachers share ways they’ve implemented tools such as Google Search, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Sites, and… even more. Participants who complete the event are given access to the Google Workshop for Educators Network, an online community focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google to drive student learning.  This workshop is designed for educators with intermediate or better computer skills.

Successful workshop participants are given access to the Google Learning Network for continuing support after the institute and an OTF/Google certificate of completion.

Join fellow members of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation for a full day exploring Google Search, Sites, Documents, Earth, and more.  This institute will be of particular interest to those educators who have been involved with OTF’s continuing series of computer based professional development activities.  This event will be capped at 75 OTF members, so please make your plans and register early to avoid disappointment.

Location: Humber College – North campus – Rooms J130, J132 and J140.

Date: Saturday, October 23 – 9:00-4:00

Accommodations: OTF will pay for hotel accommodation based upon double occupancy at:

Comfort Inn Airport North,
445 Rexdale Boulevard,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M9W 6K5

Participants will make their own reservations.  If you would like to stay at the Comfort Hotel Airport North and do NOT have a roommate, please contact Michelle Rouleau ( and she will facilitate this.

Registration Fee: $250 via Credit Card when you self-register at:
(Note that you may be able to use Board or local Federation PD funds)

Once you have registered online for the CUE Workshop, and received a confirmation email, please contact Michelle Rouleau at OTF by email to indicate that you are attending the event. OTF will need to know your Affiliate and the name of your Board. OTF will send out information regarding hotel accommodations, find you a roommate if you need one, parking at Humber, etc. This event is facilitated by Cyndie Jacobs: Director, Curriculum and Assessment. The email address of Cyndie Jacobs’ assistant is:

Meals: OTF will provide a continental breakfast starting at 8:15am and a light lunch

Note: You must be a member of OSSTF, ETFO, OECTA, or AEFO to register.

Pre workshop discussion plus details about a Tweetup on Friday night can be found by following @msjweir and the hashtag #OTFFEOCUE on Twitter.

links for 2010-09-11