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Preparing graphics for e-learning – GIMP

Are you aware of GIMP?  Free, open source software for manipulating graphics?

Pretty much every teacher will need to add graphics to online courses, whether that’s Moodle or any other LMS.

GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for Linux, macOS, Windows and more operating systems.

It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes.

Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done.

You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.

I use GIMP a lot. Not because it’s the easiest editor to use, but because I can switch between macOS and Linux machines at any time, and still have the same familiar images editor.  I only need to learn and use one system.

GIMP is very powerful, and for many typical teachers its features are most  likely overwhelming and overkill. However, if you want to spend some time learning it, it’s going to cost you nothing but your time, and it’s going to be around for many years, so worth the investment in time.

In August 2018 GNOME Foundation announced that they received a $400,000 donation from Handshake.org, of which $100,000 they transferred to GIMP’s account.

There are some great tutorials available at: https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/

And if you are totally new to GIMP you might want to visit the quickies page: https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/GIMP_Quickies/

This has all you need to use the basics of:

  • Changing the Size (Dimensions) of an image (using Scale)
  • Changing the Size (Filesize) of an image
  • Crop an Image
  • Rotate or Flip an Image

Let’s be honest, for most teachers, 99% of the time this is all they want to do – size the image, optimise it (to make it display quickly), and maybe crop it.

The more advanced skills of controlling the colour, layering, combining, etc. etc. can all be learned later, if you need to 🙂

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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