AutoCollage for school events-parental engagement
One of the Microsoft tools which I have been wanting to test drive for a few months is AutoCollage. This product came directly out of one of the Microsoft Research Labs in Cambridge and uses a range of sophisticated technology to recognise faces and pick out the most interesting bits out of a collection of photos before blending them into a photo collage. Clearly this has huge potential in education with schools taking hundreds if not thousands of photos a year from trips, extra curricular activities and special days which then need organising in some way to be displayed.
This Bank Holiday weekend was a perfect opportunity to test AutoCollage with a group of photos. The Bisterne Scarecrow Festival was starting and when my nephew and niece found out there was a Peppa Pig Scarecrow there was no stopping them. Off we went on an 4 mile tour of 28 scarecrows sites taking photos of each one, most with my nephew in. When I returned home I downloaded the trial version of AutoCollage and pressed a button with the following result.
The image above was my first attempt with AutoCollage and in only one click I had a great result. When I looked there were actually 44 photos so a quick tweak on the AutoCollage interface to specify the number of photos you want involved produced this:
AutoCollage looks like a fantastic product and I am planning to use this on our SharePoint site alongside the picture gallery. I think it will be particulalry useful on the Parent Gateway to keep parents engaged in the many activities and events a large secondary school runs. The really good news is AutoCollage is absolutely free if you are using it for an educational purpose. You can go to the Innovate Teachers Network to download it now.