In his webinar at the recent International House Teachers’ Online Conference, Shaun Wilden mentioned

Muzy is one of my many “takeaways” from Shaun’s session – and for want of a better description is an online photo collage generator.  You can select from a number of different layouts, add your pictures in, give it a title and then you’re done!

There are a number of different ways that you can add your pictures – you can select them from your facebook account, upload them directly, take a webcam shot, paste in a URL or there’s an in-built google image search feature.

Obviously all of these options seem to pay little attention to issues of copyright, though you may want to focus on it more.  There are a number of royalty free image sites as well as sites like ELTPics where the images are available under a creative commons licence.  Another great image resource is the Wikimedia Commons, which describes itself as a database of “freely usable media files”, though I’m not sure what, if any attribution requirements they have.

In Shaun’s webinar, he suggested using the Muzy Photobox app to create FCE and CAE style picture speaking tasks, so the other day my learners did just that – which perhaps predictably resulted in a selection of grisly images with the two questions “How do you think the idea of dying affects the way you live?” and “Which of these ways would you prefer to die?”  It was though, the outcome of a useful lesson in which the learners did some in depth analysis of what’s being asked and what’s being looked for in a picture task, before creating their own versions.

In order to get hold of the images once you’ve created them, the learners will be asked to either sign up to Muzy or to share via their facebook or twitter accounts.  We just used the Snipping Tool feature of Windows 7 to cut and past the images into a word document.

While the photobox app is the one that comes up when you first go to muzy, there are a number of other apps on their website which play with the idea of combining words and images.  There’s a comic style editor which is easier to use, but not as versatile as Superlame, a meme generator, a text as photo app and perhaps simply, but most relevantly to ELT, there’s a picture and text writing app.  Though why you wouldn’t just use a word document I’m not sure.  Perhaps if you wanted to post the results to a class blog, it might be easier this way.

Anyway,  definitely a tool worth investigating!