TeachersFirst Edge - Digital Storytelling

 

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ZapWorks - Zappar Ltd.

Grades
8 to 12
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Create and publish augmented reality (AR) experiences with ZapWorks Studio and ZapWorks Designer. Sign up for a personal account to receive five free experiences. Use the studio tools...more
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Create and publish augmented reality (AR) experiences with ZapWorks Studio and ZapWorks Designer. Sign up for a personal account to receive five free experiences. Use the studio tools to add digital objects to your world or create portals into worlds developed using your imagination. For an easier introduction to the world of AR, try ZapWorks Designer. Designer uses drag-and-drop features for creating experiences using images, video, audio, and more. When finished, publish to the Zappar app.

tag(s): augmented reality (5), coding (76), graphic design (41)

In the Classroom

Get to know ZapWorks through the many robust tutorials and guides found on the site. Share ZapWorks with students interested in design, computer coding, and virtual and augmented reality. Redefine classroom technology by offering students the opportunity to create an augmented reality experience as an alternative to a book report, research project, or multimedia presentation. In science class ask students to create a project demonstrating the water cycle, for literature have students produce their vision of the setting of a book, or use the site to create an animated business card featuring a famous character from history. As students become proficient in using the site, modify classroom technology by asking them to share their expertise with others by creating explainer videos using Biteable, reviewed here. Post these videos on your class website for students to access both at home and at school.

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FlexClip - Patrick Ma

Grades
K to 12
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Upload your images and videos to FlexClip to create quick and easy videos. Create your account, then use the storyboard to add pictures and videos from your computer. Customize your...more
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Upload your images and videos to FlexClip to create quick and easy videos. Create your account, then use the storyboard to add pictures and videos from your computer. Customize your video by uploading a music file or record using your computer's microphone. When finished, save your video and download to your device.

tag(s): editing (78), images (268), video (265)

In the Classroom

Use FlexClip even with young students to create videos for many topics. Ask students to share pictures demonstrating the before and after of a science experiment, then add student voice recordings to explain the experiment. Modify learning by asking students to use FlexClip to create short videos, then include them with other images and videos as part of a multimedia project or digital portfolio. Seesaw, reviewed here, is an easy to use tool for creating and personalizing digital portfolios. The following tools are great for transforming learning and creating multimedia projects: (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark for K-12, Animatron, Sway, and Beautiful.AI.

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Hiveword - Zecura, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Hiveword offers a set of integrated writing tools. Use the Novel Organizer to organize characters, setting, and plotlines as part of your ongoing story writing process. Use the Knowledge...more
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Hiveword offers a set of integrated writing tools. Use the Novel Organizer to organize characters, setting, and plotlines as part of your ongoing story writing process. Use the Knowledge Base as a search engine featuring over 40,000 articles all about the craft of writing. Other handy tools on the site include random character name and location generators.

tag(s): creative writing (160), process writing (42), writers workshop (36), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Your students don't need to write novels to take advantage of the many features of this site. Start out simple and use the character name and location generators as inspiration for creative writing projects. Share an article a week from the Knowledge Base on your class website as part of your writing lessons. After sharing articles, ask students to revise their work within Google Documents or Microsoft Word by adding highlights and comments to share changes. Enhance classroom technology and their learning further by asking them to keep a blog using Penzu, reviewed here, documenting what they are learning about writing. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Take advantage of the Novel Organizer to help students develop portions of any writing project. Ask them to take a screenshot of their story organization from Hiveword to include with their final project draft.

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Edward - Isaac Lyman

Grades
6 to 12
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Stop dreaming about your first novel and start writing it with Edward, or take advantage of Edward's organizational tools even if you aren't working on the next Great American Novel....more
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Stop dreaming about your first novel and start writing it with Edward, or take advantage of Edward's organizational tools even if you aren't working on the next Great American Novel. Create an account using your email address to begin your first document. Choose from starting a novel, script, essay, or blank document. Use Edward's dashboard to plan, outline, analyze, write, and more. Select features within the analysis tool to find the most commonly used words, track usage of specific words, and see a computer-based sentence based on your work. Free accounts allow you to use the full interface, export to PDF or save on your computer.

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), editing (78), essays (21), plays (31), process writing (42), writers workshop (36), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Use Edward as an excellent tool for helping students manage and organize any writing project. Instead of hand-written outlines, ask students to use Edward and share a screenshot of their project before beginning to write. Ask students to share with peers and help each other begin to organize writing. As students work toward completion of writing assignments, ask them to use Peergrade, reviewed here, to upload their work and enhance classroom technology use and their learning by collaborating with peers to make final revisions. As students move along within the writing process, include each piece as part of the overall assessment instead of just the final project. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.

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Notebook.ai - Indent Labs, LLC

Grades
8 to 12
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Notebook.ai is a story planning tool for writers. After registering, choose from different sections of the site to begin creating different portions of your fantasy world. Options include...more
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Notebook.ai is a story planning tool for writers. After registering, choose from different sections of the site to begin creating different portions of your fantasy world. Options include universe, character, world, creatures, governments, and much more. Free accounts allow you to build up to five universes with unlimited characters and items. Upload up to 50 mb of images to use within your stories. The default setting for all story tools in Notebook.ai is private, turn on the public setting to share a link with others to view.

tag(s): characterization (18), creative writing (160), descriptive writing (40), digital storytelling (141), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Although created for fantasy storytelling, Notebook.ai contains many features for teaching story writing. Ask students to create an account and choose an option such as the character builder. This section includes many ideas for building features for your character including describing his history, looks, and social profile. The same idea is built into the other areas to help develop descriptions of locations and surroundings in a story. Consider displaying this site on your interactive whiteboard during story writing lessons to introduce these ideas of character and scene building into student writing activities. Have students begin rough drafts using Google documents, then share with peers for peer editing activities. Ask students to highlight well-written portions of their story, and add questions and suggestions for improvement. Upon completion, enhance classroom technology use and learning by having students share their stories in weekly podcasts shared onto your class website. Podcast Generator, reviewed here, is an easy to use tool for creating and sharing podcasts.

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Poem Generator - Masterpiece Generator

Grades
4 to 12
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Quickly create several different forms of poems using the Poem Generator. Choose from over a dozen different options to begin your poem. Follow the prompts to add a topic and ...more
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Quickly create several different forms of poems using the Poem Generator. Choose from over a dozen different options to begin your poem. Follow the prompts to add a topic and words to include. To create your poem, select the "Write me a poem" link to complete. Some formats require additional steps before generating the final piece of poetry. To view different poem creations using the same word prompts, choose refresh for a new poem.
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tag(s): parts of speech (69), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Use the Poem Generator to introduce students to different forms of poems through exploration and use of the generator's features. This site is also a great tool to use when teaching parts of speech. Challenge students to identify the features that indicate different types of poems. Create a class Padlet, reviewed here, with columns for each type of poem and ask students to share their creations in the appropriate column. After students have time to experiment with the Poem Generator, challenge them to create poems without using this tool. Enhance classroom technology use by adding a picture of their final project to ThingLink, reviewed here, and ask students to add audio recordings including their reading of the poem and a short discussion sharing the features that identify the poem as belonging to a specific genre. Transform classroom technology use by having students publish their poetry using Book Creator, reviewed here, to make a class book with all of your students' poetry. Be sure to have each student include an audio recording reading their poem!
 

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One Met. Many Worlds - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
5 to 12
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One Met. Many Worlds features a collection of 500 works of art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asks viewers to engage by pairing pieces and providing an interesting ...more
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One Met. Many Worlds features a collection of 500 works of art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asks viewers to engage by pairing pieces and providing an interesting descriptive comparison. Scroll through the site and choose two images, provide a short text description for each, then share using the link. The Met encourages participants to respond playfully, poetically, and creatively.

tag(s): images (268), painting (62), parts of speech (69), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site to encourage creativity, teach adjectives, and study art at the same time! Share images on your interactive whiteboard and explore together. Ask students to enhance their learning by finding images then creating collages using PhotoCollage, reviewed here, to add descriptions or compare features. After creating collages, encourage creative writing in your students by asking them to use their collage as inspiration for a writing project. Modify learning by trying StoryLab, reviewed here, a choose your own adventure story creation tool where students can feature the chosen images.
 

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Choice of Games - Choice of Games LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Choice of Games includes tools for creating and playing text-based games (think of it as similar to a choose your own adventure story). Try making games by following the directions...more
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Choice of Games includes tools for creating and playing text-based games (think of it as similar to a choose your own adventure story). Try making games by following the directions to download the script source. Include simple commands using text options for players. This site includes tutorials to get started and add more complex commands. Explore the games archive to play games created by other users and to get inspiration for your creations.

tag(s): coding (76), creative writing (160), DAT device agnostic tool (173), gamification (81), interactive stories (31), STEM (199), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your students on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and explore one or two of the games together. Create a short story together to learn about how to use the different story-writing options. As students begin creating games using this site, consider having students create explainer videos to modify their learning using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and to demonstrate tools that need a more detailed explanation than what is on the site. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Choice of Games 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 idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Redefine student learning by having them include their text-based game as part of a collaborative multi-media presentation created using Sway, reviewed here. In addition to their game, ask students to include their written documents, images, and video creations.

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Apester - Moti Cohen

Grades
6 to 12
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Create free online storytelling tools with Apester. Choose from several options including polls, quizzes, stories, and more. Use Apester's templates to add or change images, text, and...more
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Create free online storytelling tools with Apester. Choose from several options including polls, quizzes, stories, and more. Use Apester's templates to add or change images, text, and other options. When finished, publish then share using the link created. Use the embed code to embed into your website or blog. After sharing, Apester provides statistics including the number of views, interaction time, and times shared.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use Apester's tools in a variety of ways. Create polls to assess understanding before or after any lesson, use the poll as an exit ticket after class, or have students create polls for use in multimedia presentations. Use the countdown poll feature and ask students to predict upcoming events in novels and stories. Ask students to use the story feature to retell events in history, share scientific information, or feature their original writing. Challenge students to redefine their learning and integrate their Apester creations into a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Blabberize, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Rooclick. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics to assess multimedia projects along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, here.

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PeoplePlotr - PeoplePlotr.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Create interactive family trees or hierarchy representations using the drag and drop features of PeoplePlotr. Features include options for embedding images, videos, and text within...more
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Create interactive family trees or hierarchy representations using the drag and drop features of PeoplePlotr. Features include options for embedding images, videos, and text within plots. After registering using your email, use your dashboard to begin. In addition to the visual tree, options include adding and viewing information in a timeline format. Follow the steps to fill in the information (only the title is required) and choose the link to create your plot. From this step start adding information to your family tree. Share with others using your unique URL. PeoplePlotr limits free accounts to one plot with 15 people and no embedding on your website.

tag(s): family (59), graphic organizers (41), timelines (59)

In the Classroom

If your students have a school email address use this information to sign individuals up to create their own plot. View examples on this site to get inspiration for creating plots in several different ways. Create family trees of story characters to help visualize family legacies, have students create a hierarchy chart representing government leaders, or have students research their own family tree. After completing timelines, ask students to use the information learned to enhance their learning by creating an explainer video sharing their timeline or hierarchy details. Biteable, reviewed here, is a very easy to use video creation tool.

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Elementari - Nicole Kang and David Li

Grades
3 to 12
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Create interactive digital stories with Elementari. Features include drag and drop text, illustrations, and shapes. Choose from image filters and a variety of fonts to personalize the...more
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Create interactive digital stories with Elementari. Features include drag and drop text, illustrations, and shapes. Choose from image filters and a variety of fonts to personalize the look of your story. Other tools include the ability to animate illustrations or text and to create interactions by touch. Use interactions to play a sound, go to a new page, or animate a feature. After creating your account begin by selecting the option to write your story. Follow the prompts to add images, backgrounds, audio, and more. When finished, preview your story then publish. After publishing, share using social media links or the provided embed code. You can also create a class with 30 students. Students do not need email to use Elementari. Students with existing accounts can also connect to your classroom. Students can choose an avatar from the ones provided and cannot upload any pictures. Teachers must approve stories before they can be published. Be sure to check out the Curriculum Guide!

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Offer students the option to share their writing using Elementari by adding illustrations and sounds. From the home page find the upload button at the top of the page. Upload up to 10 5mb images and 10 mb audio files. Create stories together, as a class, as you move through a unit or topic. Enhance student learning by adding images and ideas your students suggest. Use in a flipped or blended classroom to deliver course information. Assign several student groups a different topic and redefine their learning by having each group create their own version as they learn more about the topic. Challenge gifted students to modify the "standard" class text with the additional material they discover, by going deeper and learning about related topics. In lower grades, create teacher-made digital stories for students to use as a learning tool.

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Beautiful.AI - Beautiful Slides, Inc

Grades
6 to 12
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Build dynamic, animated presentations easily with Beautiful.AI's smart templates and designs. Use your images or choose from the site's database of millions of stock photos and icons....more
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Build dynamic, animated presentations easily with Beautiful.AI's smart templates and designs. Use your images or choose from the site's database of millions of stock photos and icons. Beautiful.AI places images automatically in the most visually appealing place on a slide; however, it also offers additional choices for placement. Use the share option to add collaborators, or share through public and private options. Export finished presentations as a PDF or PowerPoint when completed.

tag(s): slides (52)

In the Classroom

Share Beautiful.AI with students to use for presentations as an alternative to Google Slides or PowerPoint. Use this tool for your flipped or blended learning lessons and student multimedia presentations. Challenge your writers to create short stories that include their artwork, and publish with slides. Beautiful.AI is a great resource for your BYOD classroom.

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StoryLab - Adventure Cow

Grades
2 to 12
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Write a story and create interactive choose your own adventure games with StoryLab. After signing up using email and verification of your account, begin a story with the start page....more
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Write a story and create interactive choose your own adventure games with StoryLab. After signing up using email and verification of your account, begin a story with the start page. Add links to items in your story to direct readers to different parts of the adventure. Be sure to watch the tutorial videos and visit the help pages for step by step directions on creating and sharing your games.

tag(s): creative writing (160), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Share StoryLab with students as an alternative to traditional story-writing projects. Because StoryLab features may not be intuitive to all users, consider sharing this site with a few tech-savvy students first and let them be the experts to help other students in creating books. Have older students create choose your own adventure books to discuss events in history. For example, when learning about Civil Rights, have students share options for what might happen if Martin Luther King hadn't been assassinated. Use these stories as a basis for student podcasts about moments in history and how different events shaped and changed history. Podcast Generator, reviewed here, includes features for recording and sharing podcasts.

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Sinespace - Sine Wave Entertainment Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular...more
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular regions created by users in the site. Sign up using your email to access creation tools and choose your avatar. Use tools to personalize your avatar and build your virtual region including vehicles and home backgrounds. The free basic plan includes one region with ten concurrent users. At the time of this review, Sinespace works on PC that has Windows/Mac/Linux. Though they are working on Android and iOS versions.

tag(s): animation (61), coding (76), computers (99), digital storytelling (141), STEM (199)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Plan ahead as you request that this application be installed on your classroom or laptop cart computers. Share Sinespace on classroom computers and allow students to create and explore on their own. Consider sharing with "tech savvy" students first and let them learn how to create within the site's program. After some students become experts, share Sinespace with other students to begin learning how to work within a virtual environment. Use an infographic creation tool like Canva, reviewed here, to create and share tips for using Sinespace. Once students learn how to perform specific functions, ask them to create an explainer video for other students use using My Simpleshow, reviewed here.

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Rocketium - Rocketium.com Technologies Private Limited

Grades
3 to 12
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Create videos in just minutes without any design experience using Rocketium. Create an account using your email to begin adding content to your video. Upload images and videos, and...more
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Create videos in just minutes without any design experience using Rocketium. Create an account using your email to begin adding content to your video. Upload images and videos, and add captions following prompts on the dashboard. After adding content choose from theme, filter, and music options then publish your video. After publication, use links to share your video, upload to YouTube, or download to your computer. Free accounts allow you to create up to 10 videos per month including 20 images and 30 seconds of video.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), video (265)

In the Classroom

Use Rocketium to create videos for any multimedia presentation. Ask groups of students to create a video to explain science concepts like causes of earthquakes, demonstrate problem-solving methods in math, or share events leading up to World War 1 in social studies classes. Have older students create videos for younger students sharing book talks and reviews. Use Rocketium with any grade level to create and share explainer videos.

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Timelinely - Daniel Levin

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive video experiences with Timelinely. Just paste your YouTube video URL to get started and bring up your video to annotate. Select any portion of the video timeline...more
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Create interactive video experiences with Timelinely. Just paste your YouTube video URL to get started and bring up your video to annotate. Select any portion of the video timeline and add images, maps, links, and more to the annotation box. Edit and add as many highlights as you like, then publish when complete. You need to create a free account to publish your work. Share using social media links or the Timelinely URL provided after publication.

tag(s): video (265)

In the Classroom

Create flipped learning lessons for your blended learning classroom using Timelinely to provide questions, additional links, or notes to any video. Ask students to use Timelinely to share information learned through videos. Include annotated videos with any multimedia presentation. Sway, reviewed here, offers many tools for including images, video, and more as part of online presentations.

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DesignCap Poster Creator - PearlMountain

Grades
K to 12
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Create free posters in three easy steps without registration using DesignCap. Begin by selecting a template from the many offerings on the site. Use the tools to edit your posters ...more
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Create free posters in three easy steps without registration using DesignCap. Begin by selecting a template from the many offerings on the site. Use the tools to edit your posters features including text, images, and background. Upload your images to use or choose from clipart available in DesignCap. When finished, share to social media using the provided link, download to your computer, or print your project. Registration isn't required; however, it gives you the ability to save projects to your online account.

tag(s): images (268), posters (40)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free resource to create posters for any topic. Have students design poster book covers to summarize stories read. Include posters with student blogging projects as part of an online portfolio. Replace paper pen by asking students to write blogs sharing information learned using a site like Edublog, reviewed here. Edublog offers tools for creating class and individual blogs. Extend classroom technology use by asking older students to create posters of different cultures and countries, then include them in a virtual field trip using Google My Maps, reviewed here. With Google My Maps students can embed images and videos onto their pointers and shapes for any given location. Challenge science and math students to create posters demonstrating an understanding of topics using their own words and images.

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Biteable - Biteable

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Biteable claims to be "the world's simplest video maker," and they may be right. Choose from many animated features, color combinations, and photo scenes to personalize videos. The...more
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Biteable claims to be "the world's simplest video maker," and they may be right. Choose from many animated features, color combinations, and photo scenes to personalize videos. The wide assortment of templates include options to create ads, infographics, and more. Drag and drop images, add text and choose colors and sound onto the video timeline. When complete, publish and share on YouTube or social media sites with the provided links. Free accounts offer 1GB of storage and five video projects per month.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (141), infographics (54), multimedia (50), video (265)

In the Classroom

Add Biteable to your technology toolbox for use with multimedia reports and presentations. Learn how to create and personalize videos together by sharing the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and demonstrating the available features. As students become familiar with Biteable, ask them to use this site to create videos explaining and showing specific features available on the website. Be sure to have students create a storyboard to help make the video creation go smoothly. Do this either with paper and pencil or try using a digital storyboard like the Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or SuperNotecard, reviewed here, where you can turn your notes into a storyboard! Use this site to create introductory videos for any classroom content. Replace the paper version of a travel brochure, ask students to use the travel templates on this site to make a video sharing information about any location. Instead of having students write a report on healthy living use the healthy living infographic template to share interesting facts and information about nutrition and wellness. In your finance class use the electronics templates and ask students to create a video advertising a product or a new store. This site is incredibly versatile and offers options for use in any classroom setting!

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Plotagon Story - Plotagon AB

Grades
6 to 12
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Create animated videos and emojis with Plotagon. Use Plotagon apps for computers or mobile devices to write, record, and share your story. Follow the directions to download the app...more
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Create animated videos and emojis with Plotagon. Use Plotagon apps for computers or mobile devices to write, record, and share your story. Follow the directions to download the app to begin. Follow the prompts to choose backgrounds, sounds, and add text. Plotagon Story includes four preinstalled characters and two preinstalled scenes, and you can download additional characters and scenes for free. When complete, publish your video to YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, share using the URL, or save to an mp4 file on your computer or on your Plotagon account.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (61), DAT device agnostic tool (173), digital storytelling (141), video (265)

In the Classroom

Use Plotagon to create animated videos for use as an interesting introduction to new content. Allow students to create their own animated videos bringing characters from a novel they are reading to life with voice recordings of their script. Bring creative writing projects to life or retell historic events through animation, redefining student learning. Be sure to have students create a storyboard to help make the video creation go smoothly. Do this either with paper and pencil or try using a digital storyboard like the Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. Have students include their Plotagon as part of a larger multimedia project using Sway, reviewed here. Sway provides tools for creating interactive presentations including images, videos, and more.

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Fake Text Message - iFakeTextMessage.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Fake Text Message is a tool to create images that appear to be screenshots of text messages. Use the editing tools to include a name, a series of messages, show ...more
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Fake Text Message is a tool to create images that appear to be screenshots of text messages. Use the editing tools to include a name, a series of messages, show time, battery life, and more. When finished editing, choose the link to create your image then share it using social media links or download to your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), writing prompts (87)

In the Classroom

Use Fake Text Message to bring lessons to students through their digital world. Ask students to create made-up text messages between book characters or world leaders during a crisis. In math, have students create a conversation discussing methods for solving a difficult problem. Take advantage of the editing tools such as battery life and signal strength indicator to demonstrate urgency in different situations. Have students include images of text messages created into a Google document as part of a written report. Take your text messages to a different level and have students create podcasts incorporating text messages using a tool like Podcast Generator, reviewed here.
 

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