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New Teachers Online: How-To Articles: Use New Technology to Reinforce Instruction
Working with Images on the Internet
Peggy Maslow

When I first started inserting images into my own web pages, I never understood that I could change the megabytes (size) of those images that took so long to open when I used my home computer modem. Using Adobe Photoshop, I knew how to crop, rotate, and adjust contrast and brightness. I knew how to improve the photo or image but not how to reduce the number of pixels so the image would load in less than 7 seconds. I wish someone had told me sooner, so this column is devoted to how to reduce the loading
time of images after you have edited them.

Most images that you save on your hard drive from the Internet are already at 72 dpi, dots per inch, but there may some that are not. If you use a digital camera or scanner it is possible the image will have a higher number, or more dots per inch, and therefore be slower to open. So using whatever program you use to edit your images you need to reduce the dpi to 72.

However, if you want to print a photo, you want the dpi to be about 200 for greater clarity. Therefore, you may want to have two separate images folders, those for printing and those for inserting in  web pages or sending over the Internet as attachments.

Another way to insure that the image opens in less than 7 seconds is to change the dimensions of the image and then save it in the web page folder. When I upload photos from my digital camera they are usually 22 by 18 inches, which is enormous. I change the dimensions to a rather small size, 4 inches by 6 inches, or whatever size I want on the web
page where I will insert the image. Change the size or dimensions before you insert the image. This way the image will load quicker than if you shrink it after it is already inserted on your web page.

The next way to help the image load faster is to reduce the number of colors to 256. Any more colors are really unnecessary on the Internet.  Also, when you save the image in the web page folder, there is an option in some editing programs to save the image for web page use.

As far as purchasing software that is especially designed for editing images, the industry standard is Adobe Photoshop, but there is also Macromedia Fireworks, which is about two hundred dollars cheaper. If you purchase software for educational use there is a substantial discount. Also, I recommend purchasing a digital camera, which can cost as little as $100, although I recommend a camera that is about $200.

My class took photos of students dressed as different characters, which the class used on their online newspapers based on the literature we were reading. Examples can be found at http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/fklane/pmaslow/witnesschris.htm and

Using my suggestions can save your viewers time when opening images on your web page. Use your software, digital camera, and have fun experimenting.


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