TeachersFirst Edge - Digital storytelling

 

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UtellStory - utellstory.com

Grades
1 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
 
UtellStory is a multimedia storytelling and sharing community. Easily create and share stories with audio, image, video, and words. Create an account using email information or login...more
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UtellStory is a multimedia storytelling and sharing community. Easily create and share stories with audio, image, video, and words. Create an account using email information or login with Facebook to begin. Upload slide(s) from your computer, create a text slide, or insert YouTube or Vimeo video links. Free accounts may make up to 24 slides. Arrange slides in your preferred order after upload. Add background audio or change background style. Record your own audio for each slide or choose from existing mp3 files on your computer. Insert when finished. Audio in the free version is up to 30 seconds per slide. Preview and make changes as desired. Save to your account and return if not finished. When complete, choose from publish as a story or publish as a topic. Publish as a topic allows others to share and add to the story. Share your story using your custom URL, embed into your website or blog using the code provided, or share using social media buttons provided. This site could be used with all ages. However, with younger students, an adult would need to offer a lot of support. At the time of this review, all of the stories on the homepage were "kid-appropriate." However, be sure to preview before you share! The educator tools for managing student registrations are not free.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), images (265), multimedia (57), slides (63)

In the Classroom

UtellStory is a great way for students to create and share short stories about things that they photograph. Have students take pictures during field trips to use in an UtellStory report about what they saw and learned on the trip. Photograph steps of a science experiment. Or have students search for Creative Commons and Public Domain images to use as part of an audio slideshow biography about a notable person in history or tell the story of the water cycle or other process. Try using 4 Free Photos, reviewed here, or Compfight, reviewed here, to find free images. Create a UtellStory to use for review of classroom topics or to demonstrate how to perform different steps in a math problem. Have students create UtellStory presentations demonstrating learning in any subject area such as Civil War Events, different characteristics of animals, etc. Create a UtellStory for your elementary classroom: upload a picture that each student has drawn and have students narrate the picture in their own words.

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Szoter - szoter.com

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Szoter is an online tool for annotating images stored on your computer or screenshots from your computer. Use this site directly on the web or download the Adobe Air version ...more
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Szoter is an online tool for annotating images stored on your computer or screenshots from your computer. Use this site directly on the web or download the Adobe Air version that runs on your desktop. Launch then choose from options to annotate such as load local image, capture camera image, make screenshot, or load image url. After your image loads, choose from editing options such as scaling image, drawing tools such as lines, arrows, and circles, and add text. When finished, save to your computer or publish and share to Twitter, Facebook, or copy the url provided.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), images (265)

In the Classroom

Capture a screenshot of websites or software and annotate with directions for student use. Have students label and identify objects in an image. Label parts of a plant, continents, landforms, etc. Practice new words in a different language by asking students to label and identify objects in that language. Create a storyboard using several annotated images as a story starter. Art students can annotate images to point out design elements or annotate images of their own work to talk about the creative decisions they made. Share annotated Szoter images on your class website or blog to tell about a field trip or class event.

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Telescopic Text - Joe Davis

Grades
2 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking to write with more detail and description? Telescopic Text is a humorous way to demonstrate the art of elaboration. Type a short simple sentence (or line of poetry). Click ...more
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Looking to write with more detail and description? Telescopic Text is a humorous way to demonstrate the art of elaboration. Type a short simple sentence (or line of poetry). Click on a word or phrase and add a little bit more detail. Through this site, you will learn how to identify words or phrases to expand on, creating passages that are more meaningful. Once the sentence (or more likely a paragraph) is complete, replay the writing process. The text can be either "unfolded" (opened up) or "folded" (narrowed down). It is just as easy to reverse the writing process. Start with a long piece of text, and practice how to eliminate words or phrases. This site presents the writing process as a lighthearted play of words. Telescopic Text is an opportunity to generate writing ideas. There is a published library with a few examples posted that are for teacher use. Anyone can write his or her own text without having to register. Register to be able to save, manage, and publish your writing! Be sure to check out the "How to Use" portion of the site for a complete explanation.

tag(s): descriptive writing (41), elaboration (2), paragraph writing (17), parts of speech (68), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site to support a mini-lesson about word choice, meaning, elaboration, or the importance of using detail and description. It would also be a way to build imagery into a poetry writing lesson. Project this site onto an interactive whiteboard or projector for whole class or small group exploration. Use the examples already posted or create your own to demonstrate how the tool works. After the mini-lesson, have students work in small groups to create a telescopic text (or poem) of their own. This website lends itself to a powerful mini-lesson or to craft lessons that will really "stick".
 

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BlogBooker - BlogBooker and LJBook.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Turn your blog into a PDF book featuring all your blog's entries and comments. This tool works for the following blog tools: WordPress, LiveJournal, and Blogger. Creating the PDF book...more
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Turn your blog into a PDF book featuring all your blog's entries and comments. This tool works for the following blog tools: WordPress, LiveJournal, and Blogger. Creating the PDF book is simple. Export your blog by following the directions given for each specific type of blog and then upload the file to BlogBooker. All your content and comments are assembled into a high-quality PDF file. Note that this process can take a few minutes or longer depending on the size of your blog. This is a great way to print your BlogBook or make an archive/backup of the blog. It could also be useful for students and educators as a way to save a blog as a portfolio item. At the time of this review WordPress, LiveJournal, and Blogger were all 100% FREE!
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tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Print your BlogBook to share with your class. Use as a way to have an archive or back up of the class blog. Keep the PDF files for use in portfolios to show student work. Challenge students to create their own BlogBook about a subject they are learning in class. All three tools are free and fairly simple to use. In primary grades, the teacher would need to do most of the Blogbook work. Secondary students could create their own BlogBooks independently or in small groups.
 

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The Noun Project - The Noun Project

Grades
K to 12
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images...more
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images that do not change or become fuzzy when you resize them. Communicating visually is powerful and easy using symbols like these. Move beyond language and cultural barriers in learning and communicating by using these symbols. You must set up a free account to actually download. Note: Many programs cannot use the file format (SVG) but some programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, can. Don't have a program to open the image? Download the image, then upload to the Media Converter (reviewed here) to convert the image. No need to open the file- just convert! Note that the use of these vector images is FREE if the artist(s) attribution is easily viewable and accessible (linked back to the artist's page on the Noun Project site). Many images are in the public domain with no attribution required. Ethical use would still give credit. If you do not want to attribute each time it is used, icons can be purchased for unlimited use instead. Be patient. This site is often SLOW to open and offers slow downloads because of the larger image files.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (142), graphic design (35), images (265), infographics (42), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

The symbols are useful for autistic support, emotional support, ESL/ELL, and even in world languages. Use these vector diagrams for creating infographics and pictograms in any content area. Use a site such as Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Challenge students to tell a rebus-style story using simple symbols only. This is a fun and imaginative way for students to think creatively. Use these symbols to create classroom signs. Teach students digital citizenship along with creativity by learning to give credit for resources used as they explain. Try using icons like these in the navigation area of a wiki or class website instead of words to increase the accessibility to others. Be sure to include this site as a list of resources for students to use on your wiki or class website. Students can access images to tell their story or to relate/teach content to others. Encourage students to create their own symbols for use in telling a story (great if students have access to programs that can create vector images). Special ed teachers may want to use these symbols on communication boards. Note: since file downloads are slow, you may want to download a collection for your specific lesson or project outside of class time and offer the files to students locally in a shared folder or on a class wiki. Teachers of non-readers will find these symbols useful in making classroom rules or signs.

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Shutter Cal - ShutterCal.com

Grades
K to 12
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password,...more
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password, and user name. Click on the date, upload an image, add a caption, then submit. ShutterCal resizes the image and places it into the calendar. Share your calendar using the unique url provided. Embed into your website or blog using the code offered under the "My stuff" link. Premium features allow your calendar to be private; however, that isn't included with the free membership. This is a public site that isn't moderated. So preview any other calendars you plan to share.

tag(s): calendars (44), images (265)

In the Classroom

What a wonderful way to share your school year! Create a ShutterCal calendar to embed into your classroom blog or website. Forget a day? No problem, just click on the date and upload as usual. Have your student of the week be responsible for taking pictures for that week's calendar (and for uploading if savvy). This is a public site and content is not moderated. Take precautions when allowing students to view other calendars. In primary grades, a teacher can prepare a calendar for parents to access at home and have children talk about what they have learned. During science units, document the plants you grow or the labs you do using images on a daily calendar. Speech/language or ESL/ELL teachers can create calendars together with students to provide ways to practice oral language retelling events. Teacher-librarians can create calendars with a book a day or research questions shown as images.

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Meograph - Meograph.com

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create multimedia stories, maps, and timelines! Easily create a timeline of any event that includes images, videos, and map locations. Create points on the timeline by adding what,...more
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Create multimedia stories, maps, and timelines! Easily create a timeline of any event that includes images, videos, and map locations. Create points on the timeline by adding what, when, and where information. Use the record button to narrate events or insert images from your computer or YouTube videos. Share completed timelines on Twitter, Facebook, embed onto a website or blog, or share using social media links on the site. Create pure narratives to tell a story about anything as long as you can place it somewhere and assign it a date. Don't miss the video that demonstrates how to create a story (on the homepage). Best part: you can start without even signing up! However, to "save" your work registration is necessary. Want to learn more? View this Vimeo video.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), multimedia (57), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Consider creating a class account for easier access. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects or use the site as a whole-class activity using a teacher-created Meograph to spark discussion. Create Meographs that introduce new topics and content for great student discussion. In lower grades, use a teacher or whole-class creation done on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use pieces of the timeline to brainstorm questions, initiate research, and learn more about the topic. Meographs are an interesting way for students to tell stories about a project, research, or as a class activity. Use to showcase fun items such as "what I did on my summer vacation," "the story of my dog," and more. Create Meographs from the point of view of a literary character or historical figure telling his/her story. Encourage students to use Meograph to connect a variety of events together in history by creating a timeline or tracking the various discoveries about DNA that have led to present day understandings. Remember to teach about copyright, since using copyrighted images in a Meograph would not be "fair use" due to unlimited distribution. Look for images in the public domain or with Creative Commons licensing and model giving attribution for them. See TeachersFirst's Copyright and Fair Use collection for safe sources and more information.

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Gone Google Story Builder - Google

Grades
2 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Enjoy creating original stories on Story Builder. Then watch them come to life. Enter character names and begin writing. Choose a character from the dropdown list, and enter some dialogue....more
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Enjoy creating original stories on Story Builder. Then watch them come to life. Enter character names and begin writing. Choose a character from the dropdown list, and enter some dialogue. Continue to choose different characters and dialogue until your story is complete. Not happy with what you wrote? No problem, edit stories at any time in the process. When finished, add music from the list of choices offered or continue without music. Preview your creation at any time using the preview link on each page. When the story is complete enter a title and your name to receive a unique url to share your story. Check out our example Story Builder) created in less than 5 minutes! Note that you cannot return to change your "story" once it is complete.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17)

In the Classroom

Use Story Builder to retell a moment in history or a social studies or science concept. Share some samples on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students or groups of students create their own Story Builder to retell a story or tell a story from a single character's point of view. Assign student groups to tell a story related to your curriculum. Create a Story Builder at the beginning of a unit with what I want to know questions, or use for the end of a unit as a review. Share student Story Builders with a link on your website or blog. In math class have students explain a procedure using Story Builder. Use Story Builder to create drama scripts or to demonstrate writing skills. Have "Annie Adjective" add colorful words to a draft while "Pete Punctuation" proofs for errors. Have students collaborate to create their own "live" edit sessions using an anonymous student draft you provide or from their OWN writing. By naming the character who is making changes, they can show what they are emphasizing, such as Sam Support adding supporting details when writing informational texts. Teachers of gifted could challenge students to create "epistolary" tales using this tool. Once they discover it, your gifted students will come up with new ways to share projects using this tool (and a little humor).

Engage student and parent attention about important announcements by giving a link to s Story Builder where you explain a project or plans for a special PTA event. Write it as a Q/A session, and they will watch the whole thing!

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OuiWrite - Peyton Fouts

Grades
6 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This is a writer's dream come true! OuiWrite will format papers, resumes, book reports, blog entries, letters, and bibliographies into MLA, APA, or Chicago Style and create footnotes....more
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This is a writer's dream come true! OuiWrite will format papers, resumes, book reports, blog entries, letters, and bibliographies into MLA, APA, or Chicago Style and create footnotes. All you have to do is come up with the content. Actually, OuiWrite will even help with the content. While typing the paper, OuiWrite automatically searches for the content and finds sources. These sources can then be cited or added as a bibliography automatically. OuiWrite has other nifty features: templates for different types of papers and bibliographies, a dictionary and thesaurus, a plagiarism checker, and a genius button. To use the genius button, highlight a word, click on the genius button and OuiWrite will find sources for what you are writing as you write and cites them automatically. All you have to do is think about your topic. Of course, if you simply dump in citations and suggested content, your paper will read like a cutting collage, so the thought that pulls it together is what really matters!
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tag(s): citations (34), expository writing (44), persuasive writing (55), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

As teachers, we need to be aware that such a tool exists, since savvy students may compile a "paper" without a logical thought pattern simply by clicking to include suggestions from OuiWrite. The best strategy for such a tool is to show students how to use it well. Take the drudgery out of writing formal papers by emphasizing thinking over mechanics. Whether teaching beginning research or seniors in high school, introduce them to OuiWrite. For younger students, seeing all the formatting and citing done correctly, from the beginning, makes sense whether it is the body of the writing or the bibliography. With either age group, give lessons about each part of a paper or letter. Demonstrate on an interactive whiteboard and think out loud as a group to pull together ideas, sources, quotes, and more to support an argument and build a paper. You can use it, too, when you write for your graduate program. Since you can choose from MLA, APA, or Chicago Style, you do not have to worry about memorizing punctuation and double checking the format. OuiWrite will do that for you and take the stress out of formal writing.

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Peek: Create Your Perfect Day - Ruzwana Bashir and Oskar Gruening

Grades
5 to 12
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Visit Peek and "Create Your Perfect Day." Register using email and a password. Pick a city or area to visit. Start planning your day using the prompts provided for morning, ...more
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Visit Peek and "Create Your Perfect Day." Register using email and a password. Pick a city or area to visit. Start planning your day using the prompts provided for morning, afternoon, evening, and night activities. Choose from pictures provided based on your input or upload your own. When finished, publish to share your "perfect day" via it's unique url or through social media sharing links. This site is part of a travel website. The main page includes many activities (with prices). Avoid the homepage and go directly to "Create Your Perfect Day."
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tag(s): creative writing (166), local history (13), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Although this is not a typical "educational" site, the possibilities for classroom use are unlimited. Have students create their perfect day using the site as a story starter or creative writing prompt. Use the site to plan a virtual field trip anywhere. Have students create a day in the life of a story character, famous person from history, or in the career of their choosing. Retell any important date in history using Peek as a guideline. Teach budget planning by having students research and plan a perfect travel day. World language or world cultures classes can use this to create a day focused on the cultural riches of the country they are studying. Language students can write about it in their new language. After students create their perfect day, create an online folder or wiki page with links to all of the "perfect days" for other students to use as writing prompts (creative or informational). Share all students' perfect days on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to create a perfect day for visitors to your school or community.

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Docs Demo: Master's Edition - Google

Grades
9 to 12
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Try collaborative writing with great authors using this Google Docs demo. You write a few words, and then a great writer intervenes, writing along with you in his/her own inimitable...more
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Try collaborative writing with great authors using this Google Docs demo. You write a few words, and then a great writer intervenes, writing along with you in his/her own inimitable style. The writing "collaborators" might delete some of your words and change to their own vocabulary or phrasal selections. A writer might add an adjective or change your verb to a more colorful and literary one! Writers include Emily Dickinson, Dostoyevsky, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe. Your completed document will often have parts by several of the famous dead authors, color coded so you know who is who. You can save and send your document, if you sign into your Google account.

tag(s): authors (120), creative writing (166), dickens (13), literature (275), poetry (227), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask high schoolers to identify exactly what makes the famous writer's intrusions specifically his/her own. Challenge students to write their own passage that will be edited. Once edited, have students save, print, or email their document. Take it a step deeper and have students explain WHY a specific author would have made a specific change. Have them find the original passage where the author used a certain phrase or quotation and explore its context there. Use this site during Poetry Month for students to create their own poems, to be edited by a famous author (or poet). Have pairs of students collaborate on creating a piece of writing and share after saving using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here.
 

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mailDiary - mailDiary.net

Grades
3 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Check out this online journal with a twist. Each day the site sends an email with questions about your day to prompt you to write. Respond to the email with ...more
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Check out this online journal with a twist. Each day the site sends an email with questions about your day to prompt you to write. Respond to the email with your entry for automatic posting. Images can also be added to entries. Personalize the site using your choice of color and fonts. View entries as a PDF for easy printing as desired. Register with an email and unique name for your diary.

tag(s): creative writing (166), journals (21), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Create a diary with a message to your students each day. Have students keep a diary of their first week at school. They can re-read this at the end of the school year. Have students keep a diary of a famous person for a character in a story that you have been reading in class. Ask students to write a diary about a picture that you have sent to them. Have students write diary entries from the point of view of soldiers, presidents, scientists, and more. Prompt a giving diary during the holiday season with students writing about what they GAVE to someone else each day.

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I Fake Text - iFakeText.com

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
iFakeText is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Write a name, then choose an operator and write text in the provided box. Click ...more
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iFakeText is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Write a name, then choose an operator and write text in the provided box. Click the link "Create your Screenshot" to view the picture. Have the operator READ the text message (great for non-readers). Take a screenshot or share via different social networking platforms or via a link.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), text to speech (16), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have two characters from a book or two famous people text each other. Create short poetry using this tool. Provide some opening text and ask students to write their guesses of the other person's answers. Have students practice a dialogue or questions and answers. Create a fake text of a conversation and have students use inference skills to state what happened before and after the conversation. You could even use it as a writing prompt. Teach important texting etiquette using this tool. Use a fake text on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display word definitions in a fun way. Use this site with your ESL/ELL students (or those learning to read) and have the site READ the text to the students. The ability to use the "text to speech" makes this an easy tool for any age student to try! Tear down the boundaries of delayed reading. Create fake texts of homework or project reminders and post them on your class wiki or web page.

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Storyboard That - Aaron Sherman and Clever Prototypes, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
20 Favorites 2  Comments
    
Find an easy, interactive tool to create storyboards at Storyboard That. Choose between three and six frame storyboards, and build a storyboard using the free library with drag...more
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Find an easy, interactive tool to create storyboards at Storyboard That. Choose between three and six frame storyboards, and build a storyboard using the free library with drag and drop technology. Before you begin, you may want to look at the example storyboards for business and teachers. With a free account, you can save three times a day, print, and embed your storyboard. To share and save storyboards, you must register with an email. Only the introductory video uses Flash.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to create a storyboard using "Storyboard That" on your interactive whiteboard (or use your projector and screen). As you and your students create a class story, show them the different selections of characters, settings, dialogue boxes and more. Show them how easy it is to edit anything in the frame. Have your students use "Storyboard That" for anything from brainstorming for a video story they want to create to a final copy of a story, report, or poem. This is a highly engaging way to teach your students about story elements, dialogue, character development, etc. Challenge students to create a storyboard of a book or short recently finished in class as a review of characters and story plot. World language students can create storyboards and label the images, or tell the story in the language they are learning. "Storyboard That" has a growing collection of lesson plans and you can also contribute yours. Math teachers can use the interesting storyboard characters to explain word problems and capture reluctant student's interest. Have your students complete biographies for famous people. Tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using this easy program that produces entertaining results. Autistic or emotional support teachers can have students storyboard interpersonal behavior skills.

Comments

david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12
As of January 2013 teachers can now create a private classroom where their students data is secure and the teacher has more control. -Aaron (Founder/CEO of Storyboard That) *Editor's Note: this feature is available as part of the Classroom Portal Section which is a paid add on. This review highlights only the free portions of the site. Aaron, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Page Flip-Flap - Pageflip-flap.com

Grades
K to 12
24 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Turn your Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book with page-turning effects. Choose a file from your computer, add your email, and wait for your flip book to ...more
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Turn your Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book with page-turning effects. Choose a file from your computer, add your email, and wait for your flip book to show up in your email. Upload documents, images, photos, and even videos. You can zoom in, search, browse, and print. Share the finished product via url, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or embedded into a website or blog. Although this site does require an email, they promise not to email you with anything other than you "ready to go" flip book.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book reports (36), digital storytelling (142)

In the Classroom

Transform PowerPoint presentations into a flip book as an alternative to traditional presentations. Create a book featuring student work for any project such as biographies, book reports, math illustrations, and more. Lure your weaker readers into practicing sight words or learning support students into writing more when they see the results as an online book. Use this in art class to create a book to share about one of the genres of art. Create a book each quarter to share on your classroom website or blog featuring student work. Demonstrate how to create a book and allow students to share books for classroom projects. Share interactive books created online for students to read at learning centers. Create a lesson via pdf files and share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Scan/convert and save students complete research projects. Upload the pdf's as a way to share all information. Create a class book, or newsletter, including images, and upload the pdf "book" or newsletter to PageFlip-Flap. Include the url on your website to share with friends and family. Challenge students to create their own books (in cooperative learning groups) about a specific topic being taught in class. Have upper elementary or middle school students create online "little buddy books" they can share online with lower grade classrooms. If your interactive whiteboard program generates pdf files from in-class activities, why not share them in flippable form on your class website for review or absentees?

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Fakebook - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you ...more
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Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you if you do not select one.) Of course you will need to use a Creative Commons or other copyright-safe image. You can also use autoselect from a websearch, edit the profile, and your page is almost ready. You must add at least one post and one friend to save work. Choose "save" from the options on top right side of the page, enter a password, and your unique url for your Fakebook page appears. Be sure to copy and save this link as it is the only time it is given in the setup process. Here is an example created in less than a minute. Page creation is quick and easy with a small learning curve. Flash is needed only to watch the introduction video, not use the site/tool. There is a downloadable Word doc "startup guide" for those who prefer written, illustrated directions.
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tag(s): book reports (36), creative writing (166), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Engage and create interest in classroom learning with Fakebook. This site is wonderful for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Fakebook page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Have students create a timeline of any historical event (the page should be named for the event). Use Fakebook to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, then share with students while studying the material. To use Fakebook to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. For a unique twist is science class, create a Fakebook page for a periodic element or another science topic. Use the page to describe "the life" of that atom or element. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Fakebook page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Share a Fakebook page with students to demonstrate proper netiquette and social sharing. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make Fakebook one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. We could pretend that they do not know what Facebook looks like, but we would be deluding ourselves!

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Infinite Canvas - Microsoft Live Labs

Grades
K to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this virtual canvas to montage online images, create image-only comic strips, slideshows, and more. NO membership is required! Choose Create, then add images for your "canvas"...more
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Use this virtual canvas to montage online images, create image-only comic strips, slideshows, and more. NO membership is required! Choose Create, then add images for your "canvas" presentation using image URLs. To add multiple images, use a semi-colon after each URL. All added images will appear according to the sequence in which you have added the URLs. At the time of this review, Infinite Canvas does not support uploading images directly. You can use any online image, so place your images on a web services such as Flickr, Photobucket, ImageShack or Imgur. Browse such services to fetch interesting Creative Commons licensed images. Note that there is no way to add text unless it is an online image. After you have entered the image URLs, click Save and enter your "Comic Name", "Comic Passcode." Author's name, and Save again. Remember your passcode, or you will not be able to save edits. You can prevent projects from showing in the public pages by unchecking the "Publish to Directory" box, but you will need to SAVE the url on your own so you can find it again. This might be a safer option for content created by classes or students. Note:There are many publicly created comic strips/presentations on the main page. Several are not classroom appropriate. Please preview any that you plan to share with students or direct them to the tool itself, bypassing the shared projects.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (265), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Map your entire lesson, chapter, or unit visually on one canvas. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students to help them visualize as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great review if you were doing this on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or you could post this to your wiki, web page, or even give students the URL of the Infinite Canvas for them to review as needed. However, you do not have to stop there. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create visual timelinesor photo montages of events relevant to the curriculum. Have students create an Infinite Canvas for different events, and then post the link of their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Infinite Canvases. Speech/language teachers, ESL/ELL teachers, or world language teachers could create "comics" to have students discuss orally as a way to practice vocabulary and language skills. Art classes can collect images to illustrate a design element or a period in Art History. Create a visual "name it and claim it" montage of paintings for students to identify the artist or time period.

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Checkthis - Checkthis

Grades
K to 12
23 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more....more
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Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more. An optional account lets you save your poster creations, customize URLs for the products, and return to edit later. If you wish to simply share a non-editable version, click Share and choose "no edit." Choose to share by email to see and copy the URL. Here is a sample. Every poster you create has its own URL, customizable if you create an account. You can also share via Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Develop your own "poster" in a few clicks. Check This offers a wide variety of uses for no cost. Be aware: There could be questionable posters and/or comments on the homepage or by clicking "explore." Please preview before sharing this site with students.

tag(s): blogs (88), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Checkthis can be used for school, personal, or family use. No class blog? Use Checkthis to create a free instant blog without memberships. Use for students to create their own personal posters. In lower grades, create posters together featuring class rules, sight words, and more. Share the finished products ad links from your class web page for parents and students to access together from home to reinforce concepts. Projects, written work, posters, blog posts, etc... become "published" with the unique URL given when you simply push the Publish button. Keep student portfolios under a whole class account so you can easily review and update from any computer (even from home). Students can read your comments and reflect. Create a class poster/page about famous inventors, habitats, natural resources, authors, scientists, parts of speech, science experiments, role-plays, character sketches, or math riddles. Have students illustrate idioms or vocabulary and terms using posters (in English or a world language). Have students (or groups) make health, nutrition, of fitness posters. Add each student's URL on your class website to share all student work without space limitations. Enhance writing portfolios with sound, video, and website links. Keep guided notes in your own space so you won't lose them. Share your lesson plans, ideas, and suggestions in an easy to find place, your own account! Create pages for after school clubs to keep current information. Add a parent blog to encourage communication between your class families. Your room parent will appreciate his/her own web page. Have each student create study pages for any content area. The sky is the limit for what each page includes. Your gifted students will love being able to publish a quick blog or poster and receive comments from gifted students in other classes or schools. Set up a blog hop using Checkthis in collaboration with other teachers you find via #gtchat in Twitter.

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Stripgenerator - Stripgenerator

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create simple and easy cartoon strips. Add frames, characters, balloons for speech text, and other items. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a comic strip. Share ...more
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Create simple and easy cartoon strips. Add frames, characters, balloons for speech text, and other items. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a comic strip. Share by url or embedding into your wiki, blog, or site. You can create a comic strip as a guest but must register to be able to save. If you plan to share this site with students, you must preview. There are unmoderated "latest" comics on the home page.
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tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), emotions (35)

In the Classroom

Because of the public content, be SURE to tell students to go directly to the creation tools (and not to explore the public strips). If you cannot monitor/trust individuals, use a whole class account and have one group at a time work where you can monitor. Instead of writing boring summaries, why not assign a rotating scribe to summarize class through a comic strip. Make a class wiki collection of the comics created throughout the year. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.

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Inanimate Alice - Kate Pullinger

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
    
If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of ...more
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If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of eight and follow her episodic story into her twenties, when she becomes a world class animator and designer for a huge company. Your actions and choices take the story forward. As a little girl, Alice likes to draw and create games on her handheld device. She animates her imaginary friend, Brad. Visit the About link to learn more about this intriguing and interactive story. There is also a Teach With Alice page. The American Association of School Librarians recognized Inanimate Alice as a 2012 Best Website for Teaching and Learning.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

This polished site offers a Starters Activity Booklet (immediately available for download) and a Teacher Education Pack available through registration with an email address. These are comprehensive lessons aligned with Reading Literature: Common Core State Standards in language arts. From the makers of Inanimate Alice: "... the level of interactivity starts out low in episode one, increasing with each subsequent episode in order to reflect Alice's own growing abilities, we've found that we can take an audience unfamiliar with multimedia fiction with us. Educators like Inanimate Alice because of this; students from primary to post-graduate level find the work engaging."

You can use this site with younger children on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Older students will enjoy exploring the story on their own using headphones or earbuds. Have older students work in small groups, completing the lessons provided. Be prepared for lots of "on task" chatter from your students about this delightful site.

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