Jigsaw Easter Eggs version 1.0

A conversation during a recent #XPLAP chat (Tuesdays at 10pm EST) focused on hiding digital Easter Eggs. One of the side conversations made me think about the a card trick that was shared a few months ago. I forget who (and I would live go give credit so if you read this Tweet at me) came up with a clever system of printing images on clear sheets like old projector transparencies. By creating a series of layers the teacher could create Combo Cards that would form a unique image when stacked on top of each other.

This got me thinking of different ways this concept could be used digitally. This first is a simple Jigsaw Combo.

This would start by creating the full image you would like to break into pieces. I am a fan of mtgcardsmith.com to create Item Cards with special powers. This idea would work for creating pieces of treasure maps, hiding segments of a larger message, or making “fog of war” in a Battle Board. This is the image I made for this proof of concept.

Breaking Up the Image using Google Draw

I am sure there are other ways to break up the image into the Jigsaw Pieces. For this example I wanted something pretty simple and that most will have access to. I created this card with MTGcardsmith and then uploaded it into a Google Draw. Once in Google Draw it is fairly easy to break the picture up into pieces.

This is the Starting Image. I recommend that you select File –> Make a Copy and make as many copies of the main picture as you would like jigsaw pieces. This will save you time as you will not need to keep making new Draw images.
Double Click on the image to open up the Crop Option.
You can also do this by right clicking on the picture and selecting the cropping tool.
Move the cropping frame to make the new puzzle piece.
The Cropping tool will remove the area that you do not want in the picture but it will not adjust the frame. Notice the triangular hashmarks in the lower right hand corner of the picture frame. Click on the triangular hashmarks and drag the frame to the size of the new cropped image.
This is what the final puzzle piece looks like.
Download the image by selecting File–>Download–>PNG (my preference). This will save the new image into your Downloads. This image can be uploaded into Sites or Slides as a PNG image.

Once the Jigsaw puzzles are made I also made a “tempate” that students will earn showing what pieces need to be located. This might be a prize won in a contest, a reward for finishing an assignment, or a permanent power granted through a ranking scheme (Skyrim Perk Points). I haven’t really thought this part through yet but this is what it looks like. I might blur out the card description.

Hide the Easter Egg Pieces and have Students Reassemble the Overall Image

I have a Google Site that my students are used to and most of my Easter Eggs will be hidden there but there are many options. The goal in hiding these Easter Eggs is that students would be able to “Save the Image” off of the Google Site and then rebuild the card in their own Google Draw.

The first step would be to have students create their own Google Draw. If they have the Template they could upload that into the Google Draw. I made the template with the main image Transparency set to about 80% so they should be able to darken the image. They can then upload the images they find into the template. For something like a Treasure Map the teacher could hide pieces of the treasure map and students could piece together the map as they find the pieces. Maybe the teacher would need a clear boarder to show what parts of the map were the “edge pieces”.

You can download the Template and create your own Google Draw with it. If you want to test this theory out go to my Jigsaw Easter Egg Example Google Site and see if this works. Let me know any suggestions or clever approaches you can think of!

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