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Pixlr

Pixlr is a photo editing and graphic design tool that permits users to customize designs and modify pictures. From animations, presentations, and collages, to Instagram stories, you can create a wide range of creative projects with Pixlr. The application has won numerous awards and is considered a great alternative to the widely-known Photoshop. If you are looking for a way for students to showcase their knowledge creatively rather than via a standardized test, you might consider having them make a project on Pixlr to demonstrate their knowledge instead. It is a great tool for designing visual presentations, editing photography projects, or even making a professional business card.

Tool Snapshot

Price

Free (limited). Pixlr Premium: $7.99/month or $58.80/year. Creative Pack: $29.99/month, or $180/year.

Learning

Constructionism & Constructivism

Ease of Use

★★★★✩

Privacy

★★★✩✩ 

Accessibility

★★★✩✩

Class Size

Unlimited

Login 

No login required for the Pixlr X free version. If you want to save projects you need to create an account. Login required for the paid versions. 

ISTE*S

Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator, Global Collaborator

COPPA/
FERPA

Yes

Price

Pixlr is completely free and supported by advertisements. However, they have a Premium option and the pricing varies whether you pay monthly or annually ($7.99/month or $58.80/year). Their premium version comes with more editing options, overlays, stickers, texts, and templates, and it is advertisement-free. The Creative Pack ($29.99/month, or $180/year) comes with even more editing tools, overlays, and templates (this option would best suit a large and extensive art or graphic design class). 

Types of Learning

Constructionism: We chose this because students can use Pixlr to create visual projects to demonstrate their learning. 

Constructivism: We chose constructivism because Pixlr allows students to actively learn as they work with the photo manipulation tools. By using Pixlr in the classroom, teachers facilitate learning by providing students with the necessary tools. 

Ease of Use

We selected a four-star rating because everything is very straightforward and clear. Users can quickly learn how to operate Pixlr in under five minutes. The only instruction required is to learn how to upload photos from your device, and you learn from that point forward. Pixlr has a FAQ page and tutorials posted on their blog to further assist users on how to operate the tool. However, users may find the Pixlr E version more difficult to use compared to Pixlr X, as it requires background knowledge in photo editing processes. 

Privacy

We selected a three-star rating based on Pixlr’s privacy policy. They collect and share data including browsing, registration profile, financial information and billing details, personal information, and email address. They primarily collect data through the use of cookies. Pixlr shares data with third parties for advertising purposes, to contact consumers, or to check the functionality of their service. Pixlr is a Swedish company, so they follow the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They also uphold the United States Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), as they have a Children’s Privacy Policy specifically for Pixlr to be used in educational settings. Pixlr still collects data from children, including browsing data, registration profiles, and photos/content, but they explicitly state that none of their content is made available to the public. Children’s data is regulated through COPPA’s requirements. Teachers and school administrators consent to the child’s data being collected. Overall, both of their policies are clearly stated and easy to follow on their website. 

Accessibility 

We gave Pixlr a three-star rating for accessibility due to there being no accessibility statement posted on their website. However, the site itself received a great score on an accessibility test, having only seven errors. The greatest concern from the WAVE test, “a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities,” (via WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) was some text boxes have very low contrast, which might provide difficulties for users with visual disabilities. Most of the images on Pixlr have alternative text, titles, and aria-labels, but several were still inconsistent. The site can be used with screen readers or other forms of voice control functionalities. 

Class Size

As Pixlr is a free online tool, there are no class size restrictions since each student can use Pixlr on their device. You may use Pixlr in a small class of ten students, or a large lecture of over one hundred. 

Login

Although you can make an account and log in to Pixlr, which you might choose to do if you’d like to save your projects on their website, it is not required to do so. You may create a Pixlr log-in via Gmail, Facebook, or Apple. Alternatively, you can create a unique login by using your email and making a password.

ISTE Standards

1.4 - Innovative Designer

1.6 - Creative Communicator

Pixlr in a 3-Minute Video

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-buxP

Youtube Video Transcript

Pixlr & the SAMR Model

Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool. 

Here is an example of how Pixlr might fit within the SAMR model: 

Learning Activities

Math

Create a collage of examples of mathematics in the real world. Present the collage to the class, explaining each real-world use of mathematics. 

Science

Create a virtual presentation of a science experiment that you completed. Include real photos that you took demonstrating each step of the experiment. 

Use the collage function on Pixlr to create Punnett squares to show the genotypes that two individuals can create when crossed. Share your collage with a classmate and write a problem for your classmate to solve based on your Punnett square. 

Potato Battery Experiment
Example science experiment poster made on Pixlr

English/Language Arts

Create a one-page, virtual book report on a book of your choice. Include elements such as a brief author bibliography, summary, setting, characters, and themes. 

Design a new cover for a classic literature novel. Include quotes from the novel that you consider important to the themes. Design the back cover as well, including a summary of the novel in your own words. 

Sample cover of classic literature novel
Example book covers designed on Pixlr

Other

Resources

How to Use Pixlr

  1. Go to www.pixlr.com.
  2. Click “Start a design project” under Pixlr X.Screenshot of Pixlr
  3. Open an image or start with a template.
    1. To open an image, click the blue “open image” button in the top center of the screen OR click the “images” icon on the sidebar to the left of the screen.
      Screenshot of Pixlr
    2. Click “create new.” 
    3. To start with a template, click the “templates” icon on the sidebar.
    4. Click on a template, then click “use this template.”
  4. Once in the editor, use the sidebar on the left to choose between ways to edit your design.
    1. Possible edits include “arrange and style,” “animation,” “layout and template,” “add text,” “add element/image,” “crop and rotate,” “cutout,” “adjust and filter,” “effect,” “liquefy,” “retouch,” and “draw.”
  5. Explore these features and start designing!

Research

Grandon, M. (2019). Learner Use of Photo-Editing Software in ClassesJapan Association for Language Teaching (JALT)

Lesage, F., & Smirnova, S. (2015). “Keeping up” through Teaching and Learning Media Software: “Introducing” Photoshop. Canadian Journal of Communication, 40(2), 223-241.

Matrix, S., Hodson, J. (2014) 'Teaching with infographics: Practicing new digital competencies and visual literacies', Journal of Pedagogic Development, 3 (2), pp.17-27. 

Panjaitan, M. I., & Rajagukguk, D. M. (2020). DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTER-BASED PHOTOSHOP LEARNING MEDIA USING COMPUTER-BASED INTERACTION METHOD. Jurnal Scientia, 8(2, Feb), 37-41.

Authors

This page was created by Tori Crockett and Makayla Bumpus.

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