TeachersFirst Edge - Digital storytelling

 

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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 (86)

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 (151), graphic design (36), images (274), infographics (48), stories and storytelling (33)

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 (46), images (274)

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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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 (38), expository writing (43), persuasive writing (57), plagiarism (37)

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 (167), local history (14), virtual field trips (52)

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 (123), creative writing (167), dickens (13), literature (273), poetry (221), shakespeare (104)

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 (167), journals (22), writing prompts (94)

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 (167), text to speech (18), writing prompts (94)

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 (167), digital storytelling (151), writing (368)

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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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 (39), creative writing (167), social networking (111)

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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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 (86), posters (39)

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 (64), emotions (37)

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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inklewriter - Joseph Humfrey and Jon Ingold

Grades
4 to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create interactive, choose your own adventure (branching) style stories with inklewriter. This site is ideal for anyone to create a story and then share with others via a unique URL....more
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Create interactive, choose your own adventure (branching) style stories with inklewriter. This site is ideal for anyone to create a story and then share with others via a unique URL. These stories allow for others to create their own path or choose an existing one. Begin by choosing to read stories or create your own. Type parts of the story including the title, author, beginning, introduction, and add sections as needed. After each paragraph is the option to create different outcomes of the story, offering choices the reader makes. The site contains excellent tutorials for getting started with stories. When finished, share the URL for your story using Twitter or Facebook or copy the URL to share and bookmark as you wish. Of course, your "story" need not be fiction! You could also write an opinion piece with branches for people to ask click on questions about facets of your argument! NOTE: When you click to begin writing, you should click SIGN IN and choose to make a new account. Do this before you start writing in order to be able to save. The tool will then save your work as you go along. Although you do not HAVE to sign in before you start, it is risky to sign up later! Here is a sample to show just ONE way to use Inklewriter besides the obvious use for storytelling. Inklewriter has also made it easier for teachers to sign up students WITHOUT student email addresses. Read the directions about how to do this on the landing page by scrolling down and finding "Sign-up and email addresses."
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tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (151), narrative (21), persuasive writing (57)

In the Classroom

View stories on the site together to understand the components of the site and discuss how different choices in characters and settings lead to different story outcomes. (Be sure to preview stories before sharing, since there is "public"' content.) Watch the tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Use a graphic organizer to "map out" the story before writing. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar using the site. Assign a group of students to create an interactive story each week to share on your classroom website or blog. Have students create a story map before beginning a story on inklewriter; use a tool such as 25 Language Arts Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. Create class stories to teach about literature, geography, reading comprehension, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Inklewriter to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. A graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must! Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. If you work with students who struggle, scaffold with a template for them to organize their thoughts.

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Snapguide - Heavy Bits

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Looking for an easy to use "how to" guide? You must visit Snapguide! Find various topics: Sports & Fitness, Technology, Cooking, Music, Arts & Crafts, Gardening, and countless others....more
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Looking for an easy to use "how to" guide? You must visit Snapguide! Find various topics: Sports & Fitness, Technology, Cooking, Music, Arts & Crafts, Gardening, and countless others. You can view all of the content of this site without joining. Create your own "how to" guide on any topic. It's a "snap" to create the directions with pictures. Use your computer or iOS device to create a guide. Download the app onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to create a guide for explaining anything! Each page contains a picture and text to explain the parts for your guide.

tag(s): computers (100), crafts (42), directions (19), fitness (49), makerspace (8), photography (159), sequencing (30), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

Share the ready-made snapguides in various classes: family and consumer science, music, art, photography, science, computer, and more! Create your own snapguides to share with your class on any subject matter. ESL/ELL and other special needs students will learn better seeing the photos along with the instructions. Use Snapguide to explain a lesson or a project that has multiple directions. Use Snapguide for directions for parents. Create a snapguide for your students when leaving plans for a substitute teacher. Students can also create their own snapguides to use as presentations and even for sequencing practice. These re the perfect prompts for writing and giving informative, how-to speeches. Students can explore the guides available and follow directions or even evaluate their effectiveness. Have cooperative learning groups create their own snapguides to share a new topic with the class. Encourage students to use Snapguide to illustrate their math solutions, discuss the completion and science behind a lab experiment, or show cause and effect.

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Widbook - Flavio Aguiar

Grades
K to 12
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others...more
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others to make contributions to your books. Create a profile on the site to begin your book or collaborate with others (or you can skip this step). Books you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook members can add content and or comments to your books. You can change setting to allow comments and additions on a book or not. Likewise, you can search for others' books and contribute to their books. The only way to share your books is with others logged into Widbook or other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).

tag(s): creative writing (167), descriptive writing (42), expository writing (43), paragraph writing (16), persuasive writing (57), process writing (47), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Create books on any subject for your students to review or learn. Set up a whole class account or use individual accounts with those 13 and older if school policy allows it. Challenge students to create a book as a multi-media presentation instead of a typical book report. This would be great to use for a student/star of the week presentation. Each week add a student's information. Do this together as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link (and log in) on classroom computers for students to view the book when they wish. Use this tool for groups to collaborate on science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool with a whole class account, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. Have students create a book as an end of the year culminatng/review project.

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Playfic - Andy Baio and Cooper McHatton

Grades
4 to 12
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the...more
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the tutorial on the home page that also teaches you how to navigate the stories themselves. By clicking on the "Learn More" when you're signed out, or the "About Us" when you're signed in, you can view the "cheat sheet" that will certainly make your first creative attempt at Playfic more enjoyable. Experiment with Playfic games created by others and time yourself. if you get stuck, you can look at the source code. Create your own Playfic for any topic that interests you, whether it's fiction or not. Note that there is no moderation on games created by others, so preview before sharing with young people.

tag(s): creative writing (167), creativity (121), digital storytelling (151), gamification (81), mysteries (23), puzzles (203)

In the Classroom

"Gamification" of learning is a hot topic in 21st century learning. Use this simple tool to make it happen. Use for any digital storytelling: fact or fiction. In social studies, have students create an interactive game based on life during the Depression or any historic era. Have them create a "Where in the world is ..." for geography. World language students could make a simple game (in the language they are studying) about daily life. Gifted students will love creating games on their favorite topics, so make this a research-and-create-a-game approach for independent projects. Science students could make a game about what might happen in certain weather or life as a fossil. Have your language arts students create mystery or survival stories or even a different ending to a story you've read together. Warning: all stories are PUBLIC and your students will be able to view other's stories. You'll either want to have a class account or monitor this closely.

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LiveTyping - Online Text Recorder - LiveTyping Studio

Grades
3 to 12
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LiveTyping is a text recorder that records as you type. It records absolutely everything entered, typos, deleted letters, new versions... etc. When finished, click "Enliven" button...more
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LiveTyping is a text recorder that records as you type. It records absolutely everything entered, typos, deleted letters, new versions... etc. When finished, click "Enliven" button to replay what you typed. Use links to view the text as a picture link (animated gif format), obtain code to place in a website or blog, or code for use in a forum. Options include choices of font type and size, typing speed, and size of image. Note that the link to "Truly Lives" displays what others are typing or have typed. These may not be appropriate for young people, so avoid this area. Play a sample here.
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tag(s): editing (71), note taking (39), paragraph writing (16), process writing (47), sentences (49)

In the Classroom

Use LiveTyping on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as an interesting way to demonstrate editing or improving sentence/paragraph writing. Type or copy/paste in text, make editing changes, then "Enliven" to save the image or to replay the finished product. Have students do the same to show their own editing/revision process. Teach about different types of sentences (simple, compound, complex, etc.) by typing with this tool and sharing the examples on your class web page, showing how to combine sentences or improve sentence variety. Compose paragraphs and improve the topic sentence LIVE with "instant replay" for students to see how the writing/thought process can work. Then have them make their own in class or for homework. Use the codes provided to embed or save completed examples on your class website, wiki, or blog for students to view at home. Use different examples for students to use as a resource for editing decisions. During poetry month or a poetry unit, challenge students to write a haiku "live" or to add figurative language to a simple line of poetry "live" as we watch.

Demonstrate note-taking or composing a "main idea' sentence as a class after reading a passage and share the final product as an example. What a great tool for science or social studies literacy for Common Core!

Teachers could share tonight's homework assignment using this engaging tool and share it on the class web page in hopes that students might actually DO it!

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The Art of Storytelling - Delaware Art Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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At The Art of Storytelling you can view artwork from the from the Delaware Art Museum and interact with the artwork, create your own art, and tell its story. Tell ...more
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At The Art of Storytelling you can view artwork from the from the Delaware Art Museum and interact with the artwork, create your own art, and tell its story. Tell a story about a piece you are viewing or you can read a story about the piece but written by someone else. Use the tabs at the top: Experience a Story, Tell a Story, or Picture a Story. Experience a Story is where you read stories written by others inspired by the artwork. Choose a story by genre, most recently told, and most recently pictured. Tell a Story has you pick the artwork that inspires you and create your own story. Picture a Story is where you interact with the artwork and change it, then write your story. At the left, choose Kids Only for kids to record the story they write.

tag(s): art history (74), creative writing (167)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans to spark class ideas. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard to introduce and explore with your students. Create a class story about one of the works of art. What a great learning center this would make on a class computer! For older students, flip your classroom and briefly introduce the different sections you want them to explore at home. Have them choose one of the writing sections and come back to class with questions, ready to work and share.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ePub Bud - ePub Bud, a not for profit organization

Grades
K to 12
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EPub Bud is a multifaceted site where you can create and share your writing, read ebooks published by others, participate in activities, and join or create groups. You can read ...more
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EPub Bud is a multifaceted site where you can create and share your writing, read ebooks published by others, participate in activities, and join or create groups. You can read and create ebooks for and on any device. EPub Bud uses the standard .epub file format. Go to the page titled "How To Read These ePub eBooks" to see all the different readers and browsers and recommendations for how to read the ebooks. This is perfect for those with more than one device requiring different formats or when sharing eBook resources with others. Use many formats such as doc, PDF, HTML, and more to convert. Also, see their Upload/Convert page. ePub Bud, developed for children's books, also has adult books. You can learn to create books that include audio, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ebooks (43), independent reading (130), literature (273)

In the Classroom

What better way to publish for an authentic audience than to have your student's short stories, research, children's books, and novels published here? Use for students to "publish" their own works easily. Write and collaborate using Google Docs, download the document, and then convert using this tool. Use in elementary reading to make instant ebooks from their own writing or from vocabulary words in upcoming units. Use for whole-class collaboration and create a book to share on eBook readers. The books you or your students create can also include audio and video. Offer this site to students who use digital devices to read. You can use this resource to convert eBooks for sharing in a class using a variety of devices. Since there are also adult books on ePub Bud, you will want to supervise any downloading of books by students to read in your classroom. ESL/ELL and learning support students may benefit from being able to hear or see books in a different way. Use these texts in language arts to analyze or manipulate on your interactive whiteboard to teach reading comprehension skills, parts of speech, transition words, vocabulary study, and writing style. Teacher librarians can encourage students to share student-written eBooks or book reviews in the school media center on almost any type of device.

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iPiccy - iPiccy.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This tool is a terrific online photo editing and paint app. No account or registration is necessary. Upload a picture or find the URL of a photo from online or ...more
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This tool is a terrific online photo editing and paint app. No account or registration is necessary. Upload a picture or find the URL of a photo from online or Facebook. Re-size, flip, rotate, crop, or alter the exposure, saturation, and contrast. Use additional features such as fix image, smart blur, and reflections. Use even more effects such as a cartoonizer, artistic painting, or wanted photo. You will love the retouch section which features the standard red-eye and blemish fix, along with teeth whitening. Add captions or text to the pictures with a wide selection of fonts. You can also create collages, but you must enable local storage of images on your computer. The Painter section includes standard pen, brush, erase with a sponge, and burn effects to allow for drawings on the pictures. Once completed, download the finished picture to a computer, post on Facebook, share by url, or upload to Flickr. Here is a sampleof adding text to an online image without even creating an account.
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tag(s): images (274), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Use this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or sites. Encourage students to use on images for projects or presentations. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Use caption bubbles for the photos themselves to tell the stories. Have students annotate or label Creative Commons online images of cells, structures of an animal, and much more, sharing the results (with an image credit) on your class wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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