What is it? A digital coloring program available for both Mac and PC, Color It By Numbers lets students “color” using a mouse to control a virtual brush. A free, fairly limited version of the software can be downloaded at http://coloritbynumbers.com/ with more content available if you buy a license for $9.99.
How does it work? Students get to choose whether they want to do a traditional “paint” by numbers, or have the picture appear as they fill it in with paint. There's also an option to paint without the numbers. Students can choose colors by clicking the large brush icon on the paint icons that appear on the left side of the screen.
How hard is it to use? It takes a second or two to get used to the mouse motion required to “paint” a section, but once that happens, everything else is entirely intuitive.
How well does it work? It works well, but it's better characterized as a “click on a section and it turns a color” program as opposed to a painting program. It’s fun to use, and the pictures get very colorful, but the program’s lack of actual coloring lessens its appeal.
How do I use it in the classroom? Students could use Color It By Numbers as a fun way to learn their colors and some very basic number skills. The program definitely skews young and would work best for kindergarten or first grade. Because it's so easy to use, it is the type of program that a teacher could set up for independent student use.
Read about other products featured in the Tech in the Classroom series.
Tech in the Classroom is a recurring feature that examines widely available technology, software and gadgets and how they might be used in a school setting.