TeachersFirst Edge - Digital Storytelling

 

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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 (16), creative writing (121), descriptive writing (38), digital storytelling (144), stories and storytelling (42)

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 and complete your poem, select the "Write me a poem" link. 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 (40), poetry (190)

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 reading of their final project to Voxer, reviewed here. 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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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 (52), graphic organizers (49), timelines (50)

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. Typito, 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 Elementari's free 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 1 class with 35 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 (121), digital storytelling (144), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Create stories together, as a class, as you move through a unit or topic. Enhance student learning by adding ideas your students suggest. Use in a flipped or blended classroom to deliver course information. Assign several student groups a different topic and extend 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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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 (121), writing (317)

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 members of 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 (62), coding (89), computers (106), digital storytelling (144), STEM (266)

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 Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, reviewed here.

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Imagine Forest - Imagine Forest

Grades
K to 6
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Imagine Forest offers free Writing Resources, tools, and ideas to create stories. Begin right away finding inspiration by exploring the blog. Example ideas from the blog are Creating...more
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Imagine Forest offers free Writing Resources, tools, and ideas to create stories. Begin right away finding inspiration by exploring the blog. Example ideas from the blog are Creating Comic Strips and 70 Fantasy Writing Prompts. Explore the Story Crafts for PDF downloads of craft patterns for stories like Red Riding Hood, Pirate Treasure Island, and others. Though Imagine Forest is not accepting new accounts, you can still access the free resources found on the site and the ideas in their blog.

tag(s): creative writing (121), digital storytelling (144), writing (317), writing prompts (58)

In the Classroom

Imagine Forest is a must-have resource for elementary teachers of writing. Even your most reluctant writers will enjoy the ideas included on the site. Share how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector then allow students to explore on their own. Challenge students to set daily goals using activities found in challenges. Publish and share student work to create your own classroom library of student-created books. Ask students to create books for any content area studied during class, be sure to upload and include images taken during activities for students to use in their books. Create a classroom chart for students to share accomplishments like badges and points earned while using the site.

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Fake Text Message - iFakeTextMessage.com

Grades
2 to 12
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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 ...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.
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tag(s): creative writing (121), digital storytelling (144), writing prompts (58)

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. Use a text sequence as a prompt for creative writing. 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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Google My Maps - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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You may already be familiar with Google Maps, reviewed here, but Google My Maps takes working with maps a step further. Use Google My Maps to create...more
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You may already be familiar with Google Maps, reviewed here, but Google My Maps takes working with maps a step further. Use Google My Maps to create custom maps with features you add. Add points or shapes to any location, use the embedded search to find places then save to your map, import information from spreadsheets, and customize your map with colored icons and your uploaded images and videos. Collaborate on your project just like you would with Google Documents, then embed maps into your website or blog.

tag(s): maps (207), virtual field trips (79)

In the Classroom

Share Google My Maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector to create virtual trips for many situations. Create a trip to biomes around the world, visit places mentioned within books, map out battlefield locations for different wars, or find and save different kinds of landforms on your map. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Embed completed maps onto your class webpage or blog for students to view when reviewing for tests or quizzes. Have older students complete their own Google My Map project to create their own virtual field trips. This site is perfect to use in conjunction with TeachersFirst Reading Treks, to follow the adventures of characters in the featured stories. Not ready to create your own maps? Use the explore feature on the site to find many examples of maps made by others.

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MapHub - Zsolt Ero and Gergely Matyus

Grades
4 to 12
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Create personalized and interactive maps with MapHub's user-friendly features. Explore the featured maps to find examples of maps, then make your own. MapHub's short tutorial provides...more
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Create personalized and interactive maps with MapHub's user-friendly features. Explore the featured maps to find examples of maps, then make your own. MapHub's short tutorial provides an overview of features. Add and personalize points on your map by choosing from different icons and color combinations. Give your icon a title and description; MapHub also provides many choices for map backgrounds. Connect points of interest using lines or define with polygons. When finished, download your map or share using the provided link or embed code.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), maps (207)

In the Classroom

Use MapHub for personalized lessons in using maps and defining locations. Create a map to share on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to highlight landforms, state capitols, or locations within a novel. As you teach about events in history such as the Civil War add markers to your map to share locations and information from that event. Add notes to your icons sharing information from each location. Include a link to this map on classroom computers or embed onto your class blog for students to view from any device. Add URLs to additional resources within your descriptions of points on a map. This allows you and your students to create visual presentations with access to multiple resources. Flip your classroom to create an interactive lesson using MapHub. Have students view your map as an introduction to a new unit. Instead of a traditional book report or class presentation, have students use MapHub to create an interactive map sharing their learning.

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Spotify for Podcasters - Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman

Grades
1 to 12
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Spotify for Podcasters. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create ...more
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Spotify for Podcasters. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. Choose a name when finished, then upload your content as a finished podcast. For ideas on what to include in your podcast, listen to other podcasts shared on the site by members.

tag(s): communication (136), DAT device agnostic tool (144), digital storytelling (144), podcasts (79)

In the Classroom

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Looking for even 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, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and 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. Challenge students to 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," encourage and extend learning and have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to 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. Challenge your Shakespeare students to 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 mini-casts without needing any additional tools.

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Book Creator - Red Jumper Limited

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful multimedia digital books with Book Creator. Scroll down the landing page to the bottom menu, and click the "Help With Getting Started" title. Note: This points out...more
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Create beautiful multimedia digital books with Book Creator. Scroll down the landing page to the bottom menu, and click the "Help With Getting Started" title. Note: This points out how you need to change to the "teacher sign in" (the default is for students). This is a wonderful tool with many features. Reading the short Getting Started Overview first and watching the beginning videos would be best. Then, you can go to the Resources tab from the top menu, where each grade level has a video, and you'll find example books created by students. Under Resources, you can also search by subject to find suggested ideas and books designed for a specific subject. Next, click Resources from the top menu to find the "Teach your first lesson toolkit" with lesson plans, remixable student templates for different age ranges, and a teacher guide. You can also choose Remixable Books to get you and your class started. When finished, publish and share your book using the site's web-based reader for access on any device. Once you have mastered the basics, click on Features to see the magic of using the pen and discover all the features of the graphic organizers, comics, and more. By clicking the "more" you will can embed documents on your page(s). These documents can be narrated and interactive! The free plan offers one library with up to 40 books storage. Book Creator presents a variety of levels for technology use depending on teacher requirements for the project or even student ability; it allows for adding narration, videos, text, using your webcam, and adding links to help explain the artwork. When creating your book, click on the big + in the upper right corner to add text, audio, images, your camera, and the pen; you will also see The lowercase "i" (for inspector), which offers colors, comics, paper type, and more. There are other apps, but you must have a premium account. You can use Book Creator on iPads, Macs, Android devices, PCs, and on these browsers: Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Chrome. Teachers need to provide an email to create an account. However, students do not need emails to make their books. Once ready, follow the site's prompts to add video, text, images, audio, and more to your book.
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tag(s): collaboration (88), DAT device agnostic tool (144), digital storytelling (144), ebooks (39), literacy (110), preK (259), reading comprehension (143), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Create books 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 classroom to deliver course information. Assign several student groups a different topic and redefine their learning by having each group create their own multimedia versions as they learn more about the topic. Students can combine their books later as a class book. Make a digital bookshelf of all the versions for all to use. 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 e-books for your young readers, perhaps adding audio - your own voice reading the text. Find much more information and ideas for using Book Creator in any classroom by exploring the Book Creator Toolkit for Schools and Districts available here.

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StoryTimed - storytimed.com

Grades
9 to 12
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StoryTimed is a shared story writing site. Contribute to two different types of stories or start your own. Contribute to a Closed Book story by adding to the last posting ...more
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StoryTimed is a shared story writing site. Contribute to two different types of stories or start your own. Contribute to a Closed Book story by adding to the last posting without knowing how the story evolved from the beginning allowing for stories to take twists and turns based on author's knowledge of one piece of content. Open Stories allow authors to view stories from the beginning as they create a cohesive tale from start to finish.

tag(s): creative writing (121)

In the Classroom

Create your own story on StoryTimed for your class or classes to write. Make both closed and open stories for student contributions with the same opening. Have students compare and contrast the finished stories and discuss how knowing the full story makes a difference vs just having a piece of information. Use an online tool such a Canva, reviewed here, to create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast your finished products. Use examples of writing from the site for students to edit and view different styles of writing.

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ToonyTool - ToonyTool

Grades
2 to 12
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ToonyTool has a simple canvas to quickly create a single-frame comic, a cartoon strip, or an animation. With ToonyTool, you can add a dash of humor to get the message ...more
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ToonyTool has a simple canvas to quickly create a single-frame comic, a cartoon strip, or an animation. With ToonyTool, you can add a dash of humor to get the message across. Start your canvas and choose a single comic, a comic strip, or a video from the tab in the upper left corner. Choose one of their background pictures, or upload one of your own. Create a title or type part of your message in the Meme text bar. Choose a character or two, add a prop, and select speech bubbles to type a message. Everything is easy to move around by just dragging and dropping. At the bottom of the page, find tools to share and edit your comic. Share via print, download, email, or online. There is no registration required.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (54), communication (136), creative writing (121), digital storytelling (144), summarizing (22)

In the Classroom

There is a multitude of ways to use comics/cartoons in the classroom. For instance, create one-page discussion starters to help students keep up with current political issues. Use comics to show sequencing of events, for example, explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or current event! When studying about characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use comic strips for literature responses. Another idea - why not use the comics for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and feelings. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialogue strips as an alternative to traditional written assessments; summarize through a comic. Challenge students who move through other assignments more quickly to create a cartoon for review of a topic studied in class. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year using Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator includes features for students to easily create digital books using their own text, videos, and images.

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bulb - Bulb, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Use bulb as a portfolio tool to showcase your work, share ideas, and ask for feedback. Sign up with your Google, Microsoft, or Clever account or enter your email. With ...more
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Use bulb as a portfolio tool to showcase your work, share ideas, and ask for feedback. Sign up with your Google, Microsoft, or Clever account or enter your email. With a free account you get all of the standard features, and can choose to publish ten portfolio pages and upload up to 2GB of content. After creating your account, click to take a tour, then in 140 characters tell members who you are, create a cover image (optional), and then choose to create a page or a collection (multiple pages). You can also create groups (with or without Google), and lots more. Click symbols at the top right of your name to get help, search, create pages or collections, and more. On the home page in the top menu bar, look at projects students and teachers have created. bulb is easy to use due to its drag and drop interface. Besides creating text, you can embed images and videos, and integrate with your Google Drive. bulb offers educators a special account that integrates your LMS, has a teacher dashboard, and dedicated manager and tech support for a very minimal fee per year.
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tag(s): multimedia (43), portfolios (21), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Use bulb for student portfolios in any subject. Set up an account with your teacher name, email, password, and some basic information. Once you and your students' accounts are set up, share how to get around bulb on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector to get students started. When you (or your students) create group pages, anyone you invite can publish to the group. However, students will also have their own account and can keep pages private. Science teachers could have students write up their lab reports in a portfolio, and history teachers could set up portfolios for student report writing. Have teens and older students upload work throughout the year to create their own "me-portfolios." Create portfolios (with permission) to share younger students' work with parents and students during conferences. Use this tool to show finished projects or to show changes in a project from start to finish. Make a work prototype site and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. Create a link to this tool on your class website for students to share projects and information. (Get parent permission before posting students' work!) Have students take ownership of their own portfolios to show progress and products across several years. Have older students build portfolios to share as part of career and college preparation. Art teachers will want to share this as a portfolio option for their students.

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Knight Lab - Northwest University

Grades
K to 12
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Knight Lab offers a variety of tools for storytelling and promoting quality journalism. Choose the Projects tab to find all available options sorted by categories of Storytelling, Beta,...more
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Knight Lab offers a variety of tools for storytelling and promoting quality journalism. Choose the Projects tab to find all available options sorted by categories of Storytelling, Beta, and Prototypes, Experiments, and Past Projects. Projects include examples and full instructions for using the tool in any classroom.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), images (263), maps (207), timelines (50)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-have for anyone who teaches writing or assigns writing projects. Bookmark this site for use throughout the year with any writing project. Focus on one tool a month to learn more about the features available. Assign a tool to different groups of students and let them become the experts. Enhance students' learning and modify classroom technology use by asking the groups to create a "How to" video for their tool and to share with their peers. For this, try using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, or RecordCast Screen Recorder, reviewed here. Work with peers to assign projects across subject levels using tools from this site to compare and contrast images, create interactive timelines, build story maps, and much more.
 

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EasyWrite - Deekshith Allamaneni

Grades
K to 12
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found ...more
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found in the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language. At the time of this review, EasyWrite worked best with Chrome or Mozilla FireFox.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), editing (90), multilingual (67), process writing (38), vocabulary (236), writers workshop (31), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Have students use EasyWrite to retell difficult text in an easy to understand way. Retell Shakespeare passages in simple English or breakdown complicated directions into simple terms. EasyWrite is perfect for use with ENL/ESL or special education students. Choose any complex or difficult text and break it into simpler terms for easier understanding. Do this by adding a free browser extension to classroom computers and devices. Use a tool such as Grammarly (at the time of this review worked for Chrome, Safari, Edge, and FireFox), reviewed here., or After the Deadline, reviewed here. Turn the theory of EasyWrite upside down - have students paste their writing projects into EasyWrite. If there are only a few highlighted words, have them develop more interesting and complex writing passages. Have students take a screenshot of their original work to include with a final draft.

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WordsEye - WordsEye

Grades
K to 12
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Create 3D scenes using descriptive sentences to make images. WordsEye is a must see tool! After signing up with email or a Facebook account, use WordsEye on the web or ...more
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Create 3D scenes using descriptive sentences to make images. WordsEye is a must see tool! After signing up with email or a Facebook account, use WordsEye on the web or iOS devices. There is an intro video that shows exactly how easy it is to use WordsEye. Click the blue WordsEye World text at the top of the page to find a thorough "About" page (with how-tos and FAQs). WordsEye also has an Instagram page with several other explainer videos, just click Word's Eye World on Instagram at the top of the page. Keep scenes private, publish to the gallery, or create a permalink (URL). A nice feature is that WordsEye will automatically credit you with any scene someone else uses or modifies (and vice-versa). If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), images (263)

In the Classroom

Turn on your students' creative side with WordsEye! There are SO many ways to use WordsEye in classrooms: ENL/ESL students can create sentences, and correct them if the image doesn't look right. Have ENL/ESL and world language students set up their own visual dictionary. Challenge students to create images and then use them with the class as a writing prompt. Tell them they have to create a story, not try to recreate the sentence that produced the image. Show your students how to embed media transforming their work into a true digital story using a multimedia presentation about class content with their created images and sentences and Presentious, reviewed here. Digital storytellers can use the 3D images for the reader to see what is happening in the story. Alternatively, they can upload their image to Google Drawings, reviewed here, and tell the story around the image. Google Drawings allows you to annotate an image with links to videos, text, websites, and more. Not familiar with Google Drawings? Watch an archived OK2Ask session to learn how to use: OK2Ask Google Drawings, here. Share the link for this tool with your school's art teacher as an excellent tool for use with art projects, and post the link on your website for students to use at home. Since registration is via email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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WriteReader - WriteReader

Grades
K to 5
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The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves reading skills by writing. With WriteReader, kids create their books, including text, pictures, and voice...more
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The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves reading skills by writing. With WriteReader, kids create their books, including text, pictures, and voice recordings. Adults/Teachers have space on the page to write comments and make corrections. The interface is so simple that even a young child can use it successfully after some adult guidance. Open the Features tab on the top menu to see an index to all features categorized by Literacy Development, Easy Book Creation, Publishing and Sharing, and Teacher & Student Management, all with several links to explore. Click the Resources Center tab on the top menu to select Lesson Plans, Templates, Writing Prompts, Videos, and more. The basic plan offers 60 books and all the essential features. Register by email or your Google account. After logging in, use the menu bars in the upper right corner and find Guides, which has a Parent Letter, a Quick Start Guide, a Template, and a few other get-started items. For creating student accounts, you can enter students manually, or students can join the class with a class code. WriteReader has upgraded its page templates to support older students. US English, UK English, Dansk (Danish), and Svenska (Swedish) are available. There is also an introductory video on the landing page that will help everyone get started. This video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. WriteReader has added new premium features such as Read Aloud, Voice Search, Book Templates, and several others. For these, you must pay.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), literacy (110), multilingual (67), reading strategies (99), science of reading (33), writing (317)

In the Classroom

WriteReader is so simple that very young students can use it successfully after a whiteboard or projector demonstration. While creating their books, students will be able to add images, multiple pages and delete pages, include voice-over, use color on the pages, view one page at a time or the entire book, and toggle between letters' names/sounds or no audio. Use this tool to design simple projects using student drawings to tell the story. Have students draw and annotate stories about their summer at the beginning of the year and share them with classmates. Students of any age love to draw, so why not have them draw their impression of what the message to the reader was after hearing a story and then explain it in writing? Nonreaders and ENL/ESL students especially will benefit from hearing the letter sounds as they begin writing in their new language.

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Kindle Direct Publishing - Amazon Kindle

Grades
K to 12
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"Hey, I could write a book about that!" Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to write and publish a book for use on Kindles. Download the software in PC or Mac ...more
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"Hey, I could write a book about that!" Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to write and publish a book for use on Kindles. Download the software in PC or Mac format to begin, then follow the directions to convert PDF's and add interactive content such as image popups, audio, and video. When finished, publish the book to be included at Amazon's Kindle bookstore (with parental permission, of course).
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tag(s): digital storytelling (144), ebooks (39)

In the Classroom

If your class uses Kindles, the possibilities are endless. Publish interactive short books for all content areas and set the price to free. Students can then download and view books on their devices. Put together groups of student projects to create a complete book for all to use when reviewing material at the end of any unit. Share with gifted students for creating a book as an in-depth investigation into any area of the curriculum.

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