TeachersFirst Edge - Digital storytelling

 

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Thinkport tools - Maryland Public Television and John Hopkins University

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site provides sample student activities and "how to" instructions for students to create timelines, museums, pattern makers, and more. Explore the tools to give students ownership...more
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This site provides sample student activities and "how to" instructions for students to create timelines, museums, pattern makers, and more. Explore the tools to give students ownership over their learning. Create your own activities or use the sample activities given with each tool. Use the Timeline Builder to easily create a simple but customizable timeline. Examine text for better understanding with the Annotate It! tool. Build spatial sense with the Pattern Builder that combines art and geometry in a fun to use tool. Create your own Museum is a great learning tool to decide what to showcase in any type of museum.

tag(s): museums (49), patterns (85), reading comprehension (116), timelines (62), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use these tools for any subject area and for any content. Be sure to look at the sample activities that are great to use as is or can stimulate thinking into your own projects. Use the timeline as an introduction to the first year by discussing their summer activities, major events in a students life, inventions or technology that made a difference in their life, events in their favorite book, and more. To understand content in perspective, create a timeline to be sure students understand why some events happen at particular times. For example, our understanding about biology greatly changes after the invention of the microscope. A great sample activity to Create your own Museum is the celebration of neighborhoods which can create a greater understanding about different people. Create a museum for each different kind of biome that showcases what would be found there. Create a museum for a time period in history but created by a specific group of people. View each of the museums and note the differences in what is portrayed using the lens of that various segment of the population. Create writings or blog posts portraying the differences in the museums and why these differences exist. Even young students can make a simple timeline of their own life of the life cycle of a butterfly to build the concept of linear representation of time.

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Bookemon - Bookemon, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
42 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing....more
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Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing. This is the ultimate in "digital storytelling." Click "Explore" to browse many "public" examples on the templates page of books created by others. Take advantage of the free apps that make Bookemon even easier to use with any device! Use Bookemon Reader to READ books you created in Bookemon or Bookemon edCenter (available for both iOS and Android). BookPress for iOS devices only allows you to CREATE books from scratch, including using photos from your iPad/iPhone. InstaPress (for iOS only) offers options to make books from documents, pdfs, etc. to be shared on mobile devices as eBooks. Here is an example of a book created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors. Once you set up free membership in this site, students (or teachers) can select to create from a blank start or using templates provided. You can also create a book starter of your own as an example so students can follow the prompts you have created. The book creator allows you to upload your own images and to create books from a Word document or PowerPoint file you have already made. EdCenter users can collaborate on books.

After you save and publish the work, share the URL so people can read the entire thing online, either among an audience of "just my friends" or publicly. They also offer the embed code to place your books in a class or school web page, wiki, or blog. The easiest option is to copy the address of the new window displaying the interactive book. There is an option to have the book printed for a fee, but this is not required. You can also read books created by others (if they make them public). Use the fully-public option to create learning materials for classes to access year to year for at-home review or reading practice.

This site requires a simple registration. Teachers can set up an edCenter for their school or class in accordance with school policies. See more detailed suggestions "In the Classroom" below and in our sample book! Newer mobile device options include players to view your books on iPads and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), writing (358)

In the Classroom

SKIP the profile and friends areas to get to the book creator to play with the tools a bit. Before you get too involved, create an edCenter to minimize advertising and create books in your own teacher-friendly class environment. Use the edCenter to register students and establish privacy settings for your class. No student emails are required.

On the Create Books page, choose from using a blank book, starting from a file, or using a template. Choose "school" to see projects from other classes or a sample created by you or a student team working in advance along with you. Explore ready-made themes (seasonal, topical, etc.) or use "open theme." Choose book dimensions (match layout shape to any uploaded files, such as PowerPoint slides). Enter settings and description of your book (editable later), including who is allowed to "see" it: everyone, just friends, or private. Again choose a "theme" - more of a category where Bookemon will list your completed book. A logical option is "school." Experiment with tools to upload files (within file limits), add images, add text, etc. Written help is offered as you go, but there is no video demo. SAVE often. Turn margins on to avoid chopping content. To share the book, you must "publish" it (i.e. finalize).

Once published, locate the book under "My Books" and use options to share (by email--and see the URL to copy from there), "Make a new edition" to create a new version--also useful for treating the original as a template for later books), Post to Other Sites offers embed codes. The BEST option is to click the book COVER which opens a new window without ads or "stuff," and copy the ADDRESS of that window to paste into email, etc. You can also mark that clean window view as a Favorite on a classroom computer!

Use your edCenter settings to manage social networking features. This will avoid the "public" Bookemon features such as opportunities to share address books, use social tools such as Facebook to share your books, etc. Teacher-controlled edCenter accounts are probably the easiest option for managing within school policies.

With younger students, have them begin their work in PowerPoint then upload for whole-class books. See an example, created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors . The example is full of ideas for classroom use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. (By the way, the correct answer to the problem in the sample book is c. 27.) Another idea: have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

Use the mobile device features offered in your BYOD classroom to make and share books, PDF's, and more. Tip: Use this site for a guided introduction to social networking as a class, an excellent teaching opportunity for digital citizenship in the context of a project.

This is one of the best creative tools for gifted students to go above and beyond regular curriculum. Don't let the "juvenile" appearance fool you. Even older students can write and include images to create and share books of any length. Any independent research or writing project can become an interactive book. Even advanced science experiments and lab reports can be shared online using this tool. Once you have one book, you can use that as a template for others. Inspire your gifted students to create literary magazine or even a personal online "portfolio" of writing, artwork, or photography presented in interactive book form.

Comments

This is one of my all time favorite creative tools. Very versatile. Great for making "buddy books" or for teacher-created learning "books." Make one as a whole class to summarize a science unit in primary grades. I even use it personally to make fee online "gifts" for children I know. I did purchase one print version, and it looked great. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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MixedInk - MixedInk, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these...more
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At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these tips tips to accomplish this. Mixed Ink is a general site for all kinds of writers, but this review directs you to the educator area. You can use MixedInk for any writing assignments, debates, speeches, student council proposals, editorials, and whatever else you can think of. All of MixedInk authorships are tracked automatically and color-coded. Students can comment on submissions and rate different versions to identify the best. There are at least two demo videos, and these can be embedded on your website for student reference. This program uses Java.

tag(s): persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), six traits of writing (8), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Remember the fun activity where students are given a sentence starter and told to write the introduction to the story, students then pass their part of the story to someone else, and the next person writes the next part of the story? Well, MixedInk is this fun activity on steroids! It is so powerful! You can assign your students to write about anything and they can collaborate together, on something as serious as an inquiry project.

If you are using the Six Traits writing program, reviewed here and here this is the perfect place for your students to put their writing and get feedback. Students can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color coded so you will know what has been contributed and what is original.

If you work with a few gifted students in ANY subject and want them to push their ideas beyond the basics, set up a separate class in Mixed Ink (even if the students are not actually IN the same class). Include gifted students from different classes you and other teachers have -- or even students from other schools if you know their teachers. Challenge them to collaborate on higher level thinking questions, writing challenges that require more research to support their arguments, or real world problems such as convincing a legislator to support a new bill. Have them use Mixed Ink to collaborate on their draft and argue among themselves about the best support for their thesis. For a more creative option, have them write a continuing "story" with each student contributing the next episode-- perhaps using terms and concepts your classes are studying. Imagine them composing "A Month in the Life of a Flea" during your study of insects. Of course, they will need to have email addresses to register, and you will want parent permission for online interactions with students outside you own classroom.

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Kizoa - Kizoa

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create animated slide shows from uploaded pictures or those on Facebook. Use this free online image suite to store and organize photos. Edit photos using a variety of effects. With...more
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Create animated slide shows from uploaded pictures or those on Facebook. Use this free online image suite to store and organize photos. Edit photos using a variety of effects. With this easy to use uploader, store photos in your own online library. An excellent idea for backup of photos or to share photos with friends by sharing a link. Create slideshows from your library of photos. Add effects and pieces of music to enhance your photo slideshow. Use the online software to send links to friends. Use the embed code to add to blogs, wikis, or sites in order to share the content. With the paid premium version, burn your slideshows to DVD.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160), slides (63), video (253)

In the Classroom

Users must have knowledge of finding and uploading photos as well as navigating this easy to use site. Take time to play a little with this site and learn about all the functions and effects.

Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a minicast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions; record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events; make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News;" have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!); have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages; allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic minicasts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. an Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): stories and storytelling (32), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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ThumbScribes

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to ...more
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Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to choose, and you can be public or private. When using ThumbScribes privately, you will invite your students via email to join in the writing. Scribes are collaborative works, created and passed between ThumbScribes' authors, where each adds a new section to the story, poem, novella, etc.

tag(s): poetry (227), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to collaboratively write a story, poem, or novella using Thumbscribes. Use ThumbScribes in conjunction with Story Writing Tips for Kids (reviewed here), to have students write create a story together. Write a story or poem about a topic being taught in science, a current event, math concept, biography of a hero, or nearly any other subject area. Create a class book at the beginning of the school year to collaboratively share what your students did during the summer months.

Through the "Sneak Peak" you can read any public poem, story, etc. In order to write or "co+create" you will need a screen name and e-mail. Once you've signed up, you can start by creating a new scribe. All you need to do is click on the "Start Writing" button at the top of the page.

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Bitstrips - Core Matrix

Grades
3 to 12
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Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the...more
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Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props and settings. Several actions are available: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, typing dialog into the bubbles, scaling items in the frame, rotating items, and more. There is a "Bitstrips for Schools" link; this feature does offer a 30-day free trial, however it is fee-based after 30-days.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of something you just read in class. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon about the characters and plot. You can also have your students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant or the planets.

Register and play with the simple tools to choose how many frames, settings, people, dialog bubbles, and props. Save your work to come back later or you may "publish" right away. You have a choice about whether others are allowed to view and "remix" your work. You also have the option to edit work or embed it in a website, blog e-mail or wiki. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy, (since you own the master account).

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Zooburst - zooburst.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a 3D digital pop-up book that can be seen without the 3D movie glasses. Be sure to check out the Gallery to view great examples. Use ZooBurst's editing tools ...more
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Create a 3D digital pop-up book that can be seen without the 3D movie glasses. Be sure to check out the Gallery to view great examples. Use ZooBurst's editing tools with public domain (or Creative Commons) pictures or clipart to create your book. Create an account, choose a title, and read their instructions. Take your idea, manipulate with the simple to use tools, and add text, images, and animation. Edit the angle of the pop-up, speed of the pop-up, and even view your creation from a variety of angles. Use the left side panel to search the web for an image by simply entering a search term. Upload a picture from your computer easily. Click on the picture to add to your book. Drag and drop these elements into various positions in the book. Use the right side panel to change size, rotation, and color of the images. Add a chat bubble to the pictures and fill with text. Use the text box below the book to describe the scene on the page. Add new pages or switch between pages through use of the bottom window. Easily save your book and find your creations in the My Stuff link along the top. For those interested in Augmented Reality, here is a screencast that shows it in action.The free version of the tool currently allows 10 books up to 10 pages each. A free iPad app is available. Premium memberships offer more features--at a price.

tag(s): creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

Create a Zooburst book to embed in a wiki, blog, or site to provide back to school information about your class or teaching team. Introduce the teacher(s), subjects, curriculum content, contact information, sites to view, etc. Use for creative writing in any subject area. Have students: make a book to recreate a historical event (or create an alternative ending), explain a scientific term in simpler words, write their own story, or explain how a math concept can be applied in the real world. Create a book and read it to the students during story time. Use Zooburst to create an introductory story for a new concept or unit. Use as a means for students to deliver presentations, reports, or explain complex concepts. You can put together a story using digital pictures from around your school and share it with your students during story time. Or have students work on stories in groups or individually to exercise their creativity, and maybe produce the next classic children's book.

If you have a gifted one or two in your class, set up a free class Zooburst account for them to create extensions of the curriculum in Zooburst: a Civil War tale, a modern day restaging of a Shakespeare play, a biography of a famous scientist or author.

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Six Word Stories - Pete Berg

Grades
5 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by...more
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Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by Ernest Hemingway, the site collects the writings of amateurs and professionals. Readers can search it by theme or by genre or author (including famous ones). Links include places to try similar endeavors including 2-sentence stories and fifty-word stories. Please preview: at the time of this review, there was one inappropriate comment with a curse word.

tag(s): writing (358)

In the Classroom

Have a contest and challenge your students to submit the best 6-word story after finishing a novel, play, or poem. Try creating some together on interactive whiteboard, brainstorming first to generate possible words from which to choose, then dragging to rearrange them into a meaningful story. Make a six word story "sidebar" at the side of your class where students can work together with a partner on the IWB to generate new stories as summaries for an act of a Shakespeare play or in response to a sonnet. In a journalism class, try this for a twist on headline writing. Introduce poetry writing by having your students try their hand at expressing an emotional experience in just 6 words. ESL/ELL students often create unusual combinations in writing; why not have them display their creativity here in an acceptable form? Share this site with world language teachers also.
 
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Photo Timelines - LIFE - Life Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site allows you to view, create, and share interactive timelines. Browse timelines from the 1900s (or before) through the present on various topics and current events. Scroll to...more
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This site allows you to view, create, and share interactive timelines. Browse timelines from the 1900s (or before) through the present on various topics and current events. Scroll to the bottom of the page to search by decade. A series of pictures centered around a theme in a specific time period accompanies a short summary of what is happening in the picture. There is also the option to create your own unique timeline and share it by URL or by embedding in your class blog, wiki, or web page. Click "Log-In To Life" to get started creating your own timeline. To create a timeline you MUST register at the site. Login requires a Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Yahoo account.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

If you only plan to VIEW timelines, no extra skills are needed. Step by step directions are provided. You will also need to choose a username to create your timeline.

There are many uses for the ready-made timelines: use your interactive whiteboard or projector to learn about historical events, research literature, learn about different decades and events throughout the world, and more. Have students create timelines for research projects using Photo Timelines. Use this tool to make a timeline of your class,''''?,"'''? school year for younger classes who are just learning the graphical representation of time. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel, interspersed with the ways themes appear throughout the novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Elementary students could even interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents,''''?,"'''? generation for Grandparents' Day. Why not create a timeline highlighting students' family events for a special gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or other holidays? You may need to assign students to do some investigative work first (years of births, marriages, vacations, etc.). In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students can learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and photo digitization while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review history and cultural developments.

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Penzu: Write in Private - Alexander Mimran and Michael Lawlor

Grades
4 to 12
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Penzu offers a FREE service to write journals or diaries online with exceptional privacy options. As an added benefit, you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. There...more
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Penzu offers a FREE service to write journals or diaries online with exceptional privacy options. As an added benefit, you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. There is a very short demo video on the home page. On Penzu you can keep everything completely private or share selective posts by email or URL. Perhaps share selections on a class wiki page? Don't have a wiki? See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for practical management and safety tips for a class wiki. Note: Premium service is available, but this review is for the free version.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), homework (44), journals (21), writing (358)

In the Classroom

A class journaling program has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions using a topic from current events, current social issues, independent reading, literature, and more. Any class using a journal can use Penzu. For example, science lab write ups or the problem of the week in math. Penzu can even be used for homework. Just think, no more lugging heavy boxes full of notebooks around! In language arts have students journal daily and harvest from their musings and ideas to create a short story or a poem. They can even use Penzu to develop their brainstorms and rough draft. Once they are ready to present a final project have them use Bookemon reviewed here reviewed here or Glogster reviewed here to share with their peers and others and possibly add other media. For social studies classes, students can write posts and ideas about famous people or daily life in a time period being studied, then create a "diary" for the famous person in Bookemon or a poster about daily life in Glogster reviewed here. See more ideas for student blogging/journaling at TeachersFirst's Blogging Basics for the Classroom. Share journals with parents as appropriate by URL. Be sure to respect student privacy before sharing.

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Pictures of the Floating World - National Gallery of Victoria

Grades
5 to 12
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At Floating World your students will do more than create a video of their own story. They will learn about Japanese history and culture through the explanations of the classic ...more
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At Floating World your students will do more than create a video of their own story. They will learn about Japanese history and culture through the explanations of the classic Japanese art work. There is a demonstration video to show students how to make their own movie and a pdf file to download 64 cards so students can work together to rough out story ideas before starting their animation. On each page of the site you will also find a button marked "Add this page." This allows you to build a useful resource to map out a story.

tag(s): art history (69), drawing (78), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

You will have to know how to type and drag and drop the images, backgrounds, and sounds you want in your animated story.

When saving the video you are also asked for your name. You will want to give the students a code to use instead of their name.

Use this site to make animated short stories in any content area. Have students create new events for a literary character or tell the story of a famous person. Post student work to your classroom website or blog for students to use at home for review and for parents to view. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard at school.

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Expedition Lit Trips - Thomas Cooper

Grades
8 to 12
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Expedition Lit Trips is a version of Google Lit Trips (reviewed here) where students read books that depict various historical and modern expeditions...more
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Expedition Lit Trips is a version of Google Lit Trips (reviewed here) where students read books that depict various historical and modern expeditions and produce a "geographical book report" with Google Earth technology. Learn more about Google Earth in this TeachersFirst review. Objectives may include collecting and analyzing various historical documents in order to understand the relationships between the time and place that writers' described and their significance on today's world. Students use modern technology, (Google Earth), to learn about and map, the explorations of literary and historical figures, or authors, and even poets. There are many sample projects to look at from this Wiki page, with all the "soup to nuts" detailed directions, ideas, templates, links to tools, and supports to get you started and guide you throughout the various layers. If you are not familiar with Google Earth, there is a link provided right at the bottom of the page that enables you to download a free Google Earth Pro license for your school and watch tutorial videos to guide you through all the amazing features.

tag(s): earth (228), literature (275), maps (288), setting (11)

In the Classroom

Integrate technology with your study of the achievements and adventures of great nonfictional or fictional men and women to discover and navigate what it was like to live and work in a particular place and period of time, or research themes and challenges that were influenced by various locations and cultures during different historical periods. Start by projecting on your whiteboard some of the student pages to explore and inspire your class to make their own "trips" that fit your curriculum. Some of the many samples include a Google Map created to correspond to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and projects such as the one created to accompany John Krakauer's Into Thin Air. The ideas work well for both individual or groups and are perfect for teaming up with colleagues in other departments to work on as an interdisciplinary project. All the resources and "how to" information that you will need are accessible directly from the site, so you will not have to hunt for anything.
 
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Motivator - Big Huge Labs

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own motivational posters easily and simply. Choose a random picture (one from Flickr or Facebook) or use one already on your computer. Choose colors and other options as...more
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Create your own motivational posters easily and simply. Choose a random picture (one from Flickr or Facebook) or use one already on your computer. Choose colors and other options as well as the type of text to be used. Enter your text and preview the result. Once complete, save to Flickr, your computer, or print. Remember you can use a saved image in PowerPoint shows and on a class wiki, as well as blogs and other sites.
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tag(s): collages (17), images (265), photography (160), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Make sure students are aware of copyright laws. Use this site to encourage proper use of photographs that students have the authorization to use. Model including appropriate photo credits on the posters. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

Younger students can use this tool together as a whole-class activity or simply enjoy the posters their teacher creates. Have students create a picture about a unit topic with a caption using new terms learned. For example, create posters about predators and prey or classifications of animals. Students can create a poster of a study skill or learning activity that helps them learn. Create a caption that explains how the student learns the best. Every subject area can use this resource to create interesting presentation posters for display or as springboards to talk about what was learned. For example, in Biology, students could create a poster about a cell part with a clever caption about the importance of the job. In Literature or History, students can create posters about the perspectives of others in the story or at that time of history. Rather than a traditional research project, have cooperative learning groups use this site to show their knowledge in any subject area. Ask students to apply concepts such as constitutional rights by illustrating them in poster images with captions. Teachers can create bulletin board images, as well. Have a classroom motivation poster competition to start off the school year! Share the winners on your class wiki or in a PowerPoint presentation at back to school night/open house. As special occasions approach, have students bring in or take a digital picture they can make into a poster as a family gift with their own inspirational saying. Create a portfolio of 6 word stories, utilizing a powerful picture and 6 words to demonstrate the concept that was learned. Assign students the task of placing their project on a blog with a larger explanation of their understanding of the concept used in the picture.

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MagCloud - Hewlett-Packard Development Company, LP

Grades
K to 12
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Use this free service to create magazines from your Flickr account. Authorize MagCloud to access your flickr account to pull album pictures into a magazine. Registration on the site...more
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Use this free service to create magazines from your Flickr account. Authorize MagCloud to access your flickr account to pull album pictures into a magazine. Registration on the site is required using an email address though verification is not required. Magazines can be printed for a fee or shared and viewed online for free. Click Browse after creating your account to view already created magazines. Search using search terms and by clicking on popular topics. Click Publish to begin creating your own magazine. Enter a title, subtitle, description, and category. Next, create an issue title, decide whether it will be public or private, and choose tags. Connect with your Flickr account, choose your Flickr album, and create the album easily. Setting your album to public allows others to view and buy (which can provide income as well.) Set Bind/price to choose bindings and price. Check the box if you wish free download to iPad.
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tag(s): flickr (7), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users must have a Flickr account and be able to navigate the authorizing of flickr as well as choosing an album to publish. Be sure to create titles in Flickr since these are imported as well.

Be sure to check district policy about creating student accounts and publishing student pictures and/or other material before using this tool. Note that by choosing Public in creating the magazine, the magazine is viewable online. Check your District policy. When browsing existing magazines, note that these may not be monitored and check for possible classroom-inappropriate material (though none was detected at the time of the review.) Consider creating a class Flickr account for students to upload class and group pictures.

Use a class Flickr account to keep track of day to day happenings in the classroom (especially for younger grades). Create albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Uploaded photos can easily be manipulated into an online album. Art and photography classes can use the magazine format as a portfolio. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics, set the scenes for novels or stories, or explain a specific science concept. Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be a great resource. Special ed teachers, speech teachers, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.

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Ed.Voicethread Digital Library - Voicethread LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Unsure of classroom uses for Voicethread? On this site, teachers share successful projects that use Voicethread. Choose from the subjects along the left side. Read articles sharing...more
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Unsure of classroom uses for Voicethread? On this site, teachers share successful projects that use Voicethread. Choose from the subjects along the left side. Read articles sharing ideas, challenges in the use of Voicethread, and a sample Voicethread to view. New to Voicethread? Check our review of Voicethread here.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142)

In the Classroom

Find great project ideas from educators who have used Voicethread in the classroom. For example, in Math find great projects about measurement, probability, and problem solving. In Science, view stories about Astronomy. View projects about Ellis Island and the Reconstruction along with other Social Studies examples. Find great projects on these subjects as well as Language Arts, Foreign Language, Information Technology, Professional Development, and Performing Arts. Have a great project using Voicethread? Join the community and submit your as well.

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Show my street - showmystreet.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this easy site to find any address on satellite view. Show My Street uses Google Street View. Type in an address. As you type, street views that begin to ...more
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Use this easy site to find any address on satellite view. Show My Street uses Google Street View. Type in an address. As you type, street views that begin to match the address will appear. As you continue to type, the street views continue to change. (This is actually a really great way to see other places.) Zoom in on your address using the same tools found in Google Maps. Share the location by clicking on the Twitter, Facebook, or link icons.
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tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Have students choose any place, then post the link to it on a blog, wiki, or website, and write a description of it. Describe what they would see out of their window, create a story about what they hear or see, or describe their family and what's inside of the house. Research the history of the area to determine how it may have been different in the past. Of course you will went to avoid posting personal information on the web, but students could write fictional stories or keep personal information out of their writings. Describe the wildlife (plant or animal) that exists in their area. Describe the community of people in the area or an important neighbor and why they are important. Create a persuasive essay why their house (or school) is the best, friendliest, etc. in the area. Use tools to determine the distance between houses or to local historical places, places of interest, etc. Use the image as a powerful tool for writing.
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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

Grades
K to 12
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously...more
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously insert photos, text, and edit from separate computers. Authors can select from a wide variety of thematic designs, layout options, stickers, and backgrounds or design their own. Upload personal photos, scanned illustrations, or free public domain images directly into the image library. Inserting photos is a simple, intuitive process that requires a click and drag. The text comes in a variety of font options, and sizes. A complete transcript of the writing appears below the book. Viewers can enjoy the reading the book without needless advertising or redirection to another site. It is also possible to copy a book and easily create a customized edition for individual students. There is always the option to purchase books directly from the Mixbook. Go directly to this site and immediately create your masterpiece.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Use Mixbook to create collaborative projects, yearbooks, or to give writers workshop publishing a professional flare. History teachers may enjoy letting students photograph a re-enactment of a scene from the past and then write accompanying text. Combine yearly research reports with this multimedia option. Have students create collaborative projects that access fantastic photography collections from sites such as the Library of Congress . Primary school teachers can photograph student illustrations of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes and create "class" books. Project these books onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and revolutionize shared reading. Create parent education books that communicate how to help with their student's reading at home, or explain the stages of project-based learning. Students can also author books in a foreign language. Mixbook is useful for all areas of the school curriculum. Remember to embed student books into the school website for family and friends at home to enjoy.

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Bookr - pimpampum.net

Grades
K to 12
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Use this resource to quickly and easily create a book from a series of flickr pictures. Click on the fields on the front of the album to add a title ...more
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Use this resource to quickly and easily create a book from a series of flickr pictures. Click on the fields on the front of the album to add a title and an author (both required to share the finished product.) Enter a flickr user name to view that user's (or your) entire album. Drag a picture into the field of the page. Change to full page for the picture or to create a border around the picture. Add or remove pages by clicking the + or - buttons in the lower right. Change pages by clicking on the lower right hand corner. When finished, click publish. Share your creation by entering an email address. Copy and save the url of your book to find later. Start over by clicking "Recycle" which will overwrite your previous album. Click "view archive" to view the albums of others.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Bookr is so easy to use. Be sure to check out this review to learn how to get your own collection of photos to use in your album.

Use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. Use Bookr to create animal books, what I did last summer, places I would like to visit, vocabulary albums with definitions and related pictures, and more. Here is a link to a nice grade 1 example. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. Another idea, have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

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