Image Processing for Teachers

What is Image Processing?

"Digital Image processing is the technology that allows scientists to manipulate images in order to bring out features and properties that had been previously difficult or impossible to perceive."

Using image processing software, digital images can be displayed and manipulated in a variety of ways. The user of the software can set a scale and measure lengths, areas, or angles of still or animated scenes. Colors can be changed to emphasize items of interest or reveal hidden features of an image. The speed and path of hurricanes from satellite images can be calculated. Three dimensional visualizations of topography from contour maps can be constructed. The tools of image processing are real world tools that allow students to explore digital images from scanners, digital cameras and video, government CD-ROMS and the internet.

Origin and Development of Image Processing for Teachers Project

The Image Processing for Teachers (IPT) project began in 1990 at the University of Arizona in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Richard Greenberg and Robert Strom, two scientists already familiar with the software (NIH IMAGE ) and its applications from spacecraft research, wanted to develop a program for classroom (K-12) use. They were given a three year development grant and a four year dissemination grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue this project. The following are some of their beliefs on which their project was formed.

1. Manipulation of images rather than language-based programs would motivate students to get involved with math and science and benefit students from multicultural backgrounds with limited skills in linguistic code.

2. The areas of science in which image processing technology is applied are fields that are exciting to students and could integrate all subjects in the school curricula. These fields include astronomy, space exploration, human physiology, meteorology, enviromental science, bio-medicine as well as many others.

3. Digital image processing software supports the constructivist theory of learning. It is used to explore and discover. It nurtures the investigative processes of science in students. Multiple solutions to real-world problems are possible and encouraged. If used in the classroom as designed, the behaviorist theory of learning as it applies to science and technology would have to be abandoned by the teacher. It is not the standard computer-assisted instructional package that is programmed for step-by-step learning. The computer does not beep when you get the right answer. This program offers an opportunity to explore data that has yet to be explored by the scientific community and thus opens the door to true scientific discoveries on the part of the students.


IPT (Image Processing for Teachers) At this website, you can request more information about the IPT project, get the latest news, join the listserve of teachers using this software, get some helpful hints on writing a grant proposal, meet the IPT community, download sample activities as well as the software needed, and pick up an image of the month. NIH Image software is public domain software.



Center for Image Processing in Education. Future workshops for learning IPT Image software are listed. HIP products are described. HIP is the acronym for Hands-On Image Processing and is the brand name under which CIPE sells IPT materials. They have recently developed new products that can be purchased without attending a week-long training session.


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Prepared by Monica Hartman for ED626 Class Presentation on November 25, 1996