Aviary (http://aviary.com) offers a free suite of online media editing tools that rivals the pricey software suites many of us are using in our schools. As educators, we know that student achievement comes with both practice and practical applicaiton, and yet, most students do NOT have access to these same tools at home, and likely never will. If students are to incorporate the tools we teach at school into their daily lives, it’s time to start teaching with tools that are more accessible. The Aviary suite includes:
- a layer-based image editor (Phoenix) – png, gif, jpg, tif,
- a vector illustrator (Raven) – svg, eps
- a swatch editor (Toucan) for creating color schemes using color wheel tools or an image uploaded for inspiration
- a image mark-up tool (Falcon) in tandem with a image capture browser plug-in called Talon is great for labeling and highlighting.
- audio remix editor (Myna) (download as mp3, wav or embed)
- a music creator (Roc) with 50 instruments that allows you to create loops
- an visual effects editor (Peacock) that Aviary calls a “lab,” this tool provides powerful and sometimes complex tools for experienced artists or a playground for people who want to tinker.
The creators of Aviary software have committed themselves to making powerful tools available to artists in all genre, in an effort to grow both interest and contributions to the creative commons. Images published by the community of members are largely available for REMIX. These tools promote visual literacy in action and offer a generation of learners the opportunity to participate as media authors as well as audience.