tech inquiry

Reflections on Gimp in the classroom

Note: the feature image is from

Our tech class is beginning to wrap up. It is hard to believe that it is almost over. After months of working with GIMP I feel like I barely have scratched the surface. It is true that if I continued to spend more time working with it, my skill set would become more refined. However, I am not sure that I am willing to put in the effort. A bunch of things that I have learned will be transferable back to Corel PhotoPaint.

Gimp is nice because it is free and has powerful features but it is tricky and unintuitive to work with. In all honesty, I don’t think that elementary school students would be able to work with this program to achieve their desired results. A program like Pixlr ( is much more simple to use and would probably do everything that a student would want (I am going to try editing a photo in Pixlr and see how it compares).

I appreciate being given the opportunity to learn about GIMP in a focused way. It has been a project on the back-burner for so long. I am a bit disappointed that I don’t love the program. Open source programs do suffer when compared to their sleek, polished, powerful company built counterparts. GIMP maybe a good solution for someone who has technical skills and needs a photo-editing program to be a stopgap until they can afford a licensed suite. But I am not planning on getting rid of PhotoPaint anytime soon.

As a final experiment, I am going to compare Pixlr, Microsoft Paint, and ( These are simple programs that my students will have access to. Will they be more kid friendly, yet powerful enough to produce my vision? I can’t wait to find out!


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