My favorite tool for online image editing, Picnik, was bought by Google a few years back. On April 19, Picnik was shut down so that its image editing tools could get wrapped up into Google’s master plan of having services such as Picasa (their image hosting service) and Picnik (providing the editing) all incorporate into their Google+ social network. My beloved little online image editor was sacrificed—a causality of Google/Facebook wars of the 2010’s.
That made me wonder what I would use instead of Picnik to teach my students photo editing. Sure, there are options out there; Aviary Suite or GIMP comes to mind. But most are trying to be Photoshop, and that is completely over the heads of my students. What I wanted was something more along the lines of Instagram: cropping, basic filters and effects, and above all, SIMPLE TO USE.
The market it seems is an ecosystem, and in the void created by Picnik, PicMonkey has taken hold. PicMonkey copies many of the features of Picasa and Instagram to create a simple, registration-free photo editor on your browser. No email needed for setup, no installing software. Just lots and lots of fun.
If you have a digital camera in your classroom, you will want to go to this site right now and give it a spin.