Creating photo collages using ICT can be useful for showcasing a selection of pictures alongside each other and for creating fancy backgrounds (e.g. for a desktop wallpaper or a slideshow margin).
I regularly use a program called Shape Collage to create collages of photos to put onto the school website and have used it occasionally in lessons too (see this example from a few months ago). Upon reflection though, whilst I find it easy to use to quickly generate a collage, the children seem to find it a little bit too fiddly to work with because there are lots of options and the interface isn't particularly 'intuitive'.
Today I taught Year 3 how to create a collage of photos using PowerPoint instead and they all seemed to respond much better to the software. Asking them to build up their work by repeatedly inserting and layering picture after picture seemed to help them appreciate the aesthetic value of overlapping each picture and realise how best to layer the pictures to highlight particular points of interest within them.
I blogged a few weeks back about simplifying instructions displayed to the children by breaking them down into just four manageable steps (see here). Since then I've found that all the lessons in which I've followed this 'Fantastic Fours' principle have always been good and this lesson seemed to carry on the trend with all the children have a clear understanding of what things they had to do and when to achieve success by creating a pleasing photo collage. Note how I've also included some extra, 'bonus' techniques the more confident children could try to do to progress their ICT skills and improve the appearance of their work even further.
You could quite easily do a similar lesson with your class applied to any curriculum topic that contains a variety of images that could be contained together - such as: castles in the UK, landmarks in a country or flowering plants to name but a few. The only preparation you really need to do is to re-size the images so that they are just fractionally smaller than a PowerPoint slide for easily being shrunk and positioned by the children - I did this by using the 'process multiple files' tool in Photoshop Elements to quickly set them all to 800x600 pixels in size and saved them as medium-quality JPEG files in a folder on the network for the children to access.
I allowed those who finished the collage in good time to attach their work onto Edmodo for their class mates to view and comment on - this is pretty straightforward to do and all PowerPoint files on there are automatically converted into a CrocDoc format for viewing online (i.e. the children don't need to open them in PowerPoint when at home). You might also like to save any completed collages as .PNG image files for putting onto your school website either directly or using a slideshow tool like PhotoPeach.
Photo collages are very simple to make in PowerPoint and look great for putting up on displays because they are so visually appealing. Teach your children how to make them - I can guarantee both you and them will be extremely impressed with the results!