TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 27, 2019

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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OK2Ask: Digital Storytelling 101 - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from September 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Digital Storytelling can begin very simply and become more extensive if...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from September 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Digital Storytelling can begin very simply and become more extensive if you choose. Easy steps will bring success when you start your first digital storytelling project. Use digital storytelling as a formative, or summative assessment that includes 21st Century Skill practice. This strategy supports students as you engage them, enhances your instructional cycle, and extends your students' knowledge as you connect to the real-world. Participants will: 1. Develop an understanding of the digital storytelling process; 2. Understand how digital storytelling can be used in the classroom; and 3. Learn about tools that can be used to implement digital storytelling. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), professional development (196)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (162), digital storytelling (147), writing (364)

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 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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Adobe Spark in K-12 - Adobe

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K to 12
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Adobe Spark offers this version of it's popular presentation tool, reviewed here, specifically for education. Use Spark to create web pages, video...more
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Adobe Spark offers this version of it's popular presentation tool, reviewed here, specifically for education. Use Spark to create web pages, video presentations, and graphics using the available templates and graphics tools. The Education version provides enhanced data privacy, the ability for students to log in with an existing school id, and school administration of accessibility features. In addition, Spark for Education includes many lessons for all grade levels. Spark is available through your school's Adobe Admin Counsel if your IT team already uses Adobe products. If not, follow directions on the site to set up and begin using this tool.

tag(s): blogs (77), creative writing (162), multimedia (52), posters (42), video (266)

In the Classroom

Use Spark for Education to create videos of student presentations for any subject. Create videos of images taken during science experiments and class field trips to share on your website. Modify student learning by asking students to create infographics explaining facts and information about states, countries, planets, and more. Have students create interactive posters, book report covers, invitations, and flyers to promote school events. Spark offers many possibilities for graphics and redefining student learning by having students create multimedia presentations in all classrooms.

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Color, Draw & Paint - ABCya!

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K to 4
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Engage in digital storytelling using the many features included in Color, Draw & Paint. Choose from the included tools to spray paint, draw, add stickers, and more. Be sure to ...more
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Engage in digital storytelling using the many features included in Color, Draw & Paint. Choose from the included tools to spray paint, draw, add stickers, and more. Be sure to watch the tutorial for a complete overview of the features. When finished, save as a PNG file to your computer or print.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), drawing (74), painting (62), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Share how to use this site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector then allow students to explore on their own. Have students create drawings to demonstrate math problems, share science experiments, or draw scenes from a story. Include students' drawings in a digital portfolio like Seesaw, reviewed here. Seesaw offers tools for uploading images and creating an audio recording to share their reflections on their work.
 

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Digital Storytelling Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and...more
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and will work on all devices in both web browsers and apps. Find tools ideal for all grades. Use digital storytelling in all subject areas to assess, collaborate, share results, and more. Find options in the resources for student projects. View and learn from the professional resources shared.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Find an abundance of digital writing tools to use in your classroom. Share sites on your interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to create their own projects using tools on this list. Rather than a unit test, have students create a book demonstrating their understanding of concepts. Bring out creativity with these engaging 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. Follow the site's prompts to add video, text, images, and audio to your book. When finished, publish and share your book...more
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Create beautiful, multimedia digital books with Book Creator. Follow the site's prompts to add video, text, images, and audio to your book. When finished, publish and share your book using the site's web-based reader for access on any device. Be sure to follow the short tutorial after signing up to learn about the many features for creating, storing, and sharing your books. The free plan offers one activity library with storage of up to 40 books. BookCreator 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 and links to help explain the art work. At the time of this review, Book Creator only works with Google Chrome or the iPad app.

tag(s): collaboration (55), digital storytelling (147), ebooks (33), preK (281), reading comprehension (131), writing (364)

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.

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WriteReader - Children As Creators - WriteReader

Grades
K to 5
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The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures,...more
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The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures, and voice recordings. Adults/Teachers have their own space on the page to write comments and make corrections. The interface is so simple even a young child can use it successfully after some adult guidance. Register with email or your Google account and find a downloadable Teachers Guide, a Parent Letter, and a Lesson Plan online to get kids started with WriteReader. Click "Add a class..." and enter students manually, or students can join the class with a class code. Languages available are US English, UK English, Dansk (Danish) and Svenska (Swedish). WriteReader has upgraded their page templates which supports older students. There is also an introductory video that will help everyone get started. This video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), reading strategies (58), writing (364)

In the Classroom

WriteReader is so simple very young students can use it successfully after a demonstration using a whiteboard or projector. 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. At the beginning of the year have students draw and annotate stories to tell about their summer and share 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? ESL/ELL students especially will benefit from hearing the letter sounds as they are beginning to write in their new language.

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Tolks - tolks.io

Grades
K to 12
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next,...more
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next, add dialogue, by deleting the text in the default box, then preview and edit or save. Simple! Share your Tolk using the URL or links to Facebook or Twitter.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147)

In the Classroom

For younger students, consider creating a class account for Tolks. Have students create Tolks to discuss literature, such as a conversation between characters or descriptions of feelings. Create Tolks to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector as lesson starters or display at the end of a lesson with characters discussing essential information from a lesson. Upload images of shapes and have students compare and contrast features. World language students can create simple conversations in the language they are learning or label pictures for vocabulary. You will find many uses for Tolks in your classroom! Counselors may want to have students create a Tolk to share information that may be difficult to discuss in person. Of course, be very careful not to share private information.

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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. Besides a thorough FAQs page, WordsEye also has a YouTube page with several other explainer videos. 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; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), images (272)

In the Classroom

Turn on your students' creative side with WordsEye! There are SO many ways to use WordsEye in classrooms: ESL/ELL students can create sentences, and correct them if the image doesn't look correct. Have ESL/ELL 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 UtellStory, 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 Thinglink, reviewed here, and tell the story around the image. 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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Odyssey - CartoDB

Grades
6 to 12
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Build interactive, map-based stories without coding skills using the Odyssey open source library. Click Create Story to begin and follow the prompts to choose a template for slides,...more
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Build interactive, map-based stories without coding skills using the Odyssey open source library. Click Create Story to begin and follow the prompts to choose a template for slides, scrolling, or an animated story template. Add story content, images, links, and more within the "sandbox." When finished, publish directly to GetHub, download, or share as iFrame to embed directly into your blog or website.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), gamification (82), images (272), interactive stories (31), maps (296)

In the Classroom

Most users will find a bit of a learning curve to working with Odyssey, click on the three bars on the left top of the home page to find the Quick Start Guide tutorial for using the site. Share this site with tech-savvy students so that they can become experts and help others become familiar with using the site. Use Odyssey for creating map-based stories based on works of literature, important events in history, or mapping scientific discoveries. Odyssey is perfect for use with gifted students when creating multimedia presentations.

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Add Text - FlamingText.com Pty Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change ...more
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change the color of the text or elect to add more text. Share using FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ (available with G Suite), or the URL given. At the time of this review, all images in the Gallery were appropriate for the classroom. However, we recommend to preview the images before you share with younger students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (115), DAT device agnostic tool (169), digital storytelling (147), editing (79), images (272)

In the Classroom

Use Add Text to add captions to images to create memes or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyrics?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class webpage, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Help ESL/ELL learn English by labeling the images. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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My Storybook - myStorybook.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started ...more
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Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started using clipart from My Storybook, upload your images, or use their draw tools to create your own artwork. Click the text box and change the font, font color, and size. Add more text and pages for your book, too. Saving and sharing require an email address. Share by sending the URL to several social networking sites or via email. There is a way to create an ebook or PDF, but those options aren't free. Read storybooks created by others by clicking the menu icon and then Library at the top.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Show students creation possibilities by viewing a few of the books from the library using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Create a class book to begin. Start with a storyboard. If you usually do this with pen and paper, replace these and use an online tool such as SuperNotecard, reviewed here. Using a storyboard and My Storybook is an effective way to teach students about story elements, dialogue, character development, and more. World language classes can label images, or tell a story in the language they are learning. Work together to complete biographies of famous people. Challenge students to tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using My Storybook. Art students can create a story around their artwork. Autistic or emotional support teachers can create stories demonstrating interpersonal behavior skills. Digital storytelling is an amazing way for students to internalize any subject or concept. It also is an excellent assessment tool.

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Gretchen, FL, Grades: 3 - 8

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Story Maker - ABCya

Grades
K to 6
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Create simple and easy stories using ABCya's Story Maker. Without registering, draw a picture using the many drawing tools provided. Type the story, and add pages for a longer...more
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Create simple and easy stories using ABCya's Story Maker. Without registering, draw a picture using the many drawing tools provided. Type the story, and add pages for a longer story. Once finished, print in PDF format. This tool is so easy Pre-K students can use it. Since all pictures are hand drawn your older artists will love it, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), drawing (74), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Story Maker is so simple very young students can use it successfully after a demonstration using a whiteboard or projector. Use this tool to design simple projects using student drawings to tell the story. At the beginning of the year have students draw and annotate stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Students of any age love to draw, so why not expand their learning by having them draw their impression of a message to the reader from a story and then explain it in writing on Story Maker?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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100 Word Challenge - J. Skinner

Grades
2 to 12
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The 100 Word Challenge provides weekly prompts and will publish your writing to an audience. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. So, ...more
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The 100 Word Challenge provides weekly prompts and will publish your writing to an audience. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. So, write 100 words in response to the prompt on your blog, and then send the URL for the entry to 100 Word Challenge. There is a page with screen shots telling you exactly when they release the Challenges and how to get them published. Be sure to read the information about Team 100 WC, since you must have at least one adult volunteer to make a comment (100 words or less). It is also important for you read Allowing Comments on Your Blog Posts. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics.

tag(s): blogs (77), digital storytelling (147)

In the Classroom

Share the weekly prompts on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Replace paper and pencil writing journals and have students respond to the prompt on your classroom blog. If you teach younger students or resource students, you may want to apply to the 5 Sentence Challenge, instead of the 100 Word Challenge. They are both available at the same URL. The benefits of participating in a blog like this go beyond just writing. Submitting your students' writing to either of these Challenge blogs will provide the all-important publish piece that students need in order to feel accomplished and to do their best. They can also build cultural understanding through reading the responses from others to the same prompt. If you would like your students to write their blogs more than once a week, you might want to visit Thought Questions, reviewed here.

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