TeachersFirst Edge - Digital storytelling

 

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Classroom Authors - Classroom Authors

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1 to 12
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Classroom Authors uses four easy steps to publish an e-book or a printed book: writing, editing, proofing, and publishing. Teachers create an account and a project. Have students join...more
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Classroom Authors uses four easy steps to publish an e-book or a printed book: writing, editing, proofing, and publishing. Teachers create an account and a project. Have students join the project with a code. Every student with the project code will have a chapter to create. Student accounts require email, but they can use a parent email address or an "+" extension of the teacher's email address, for instance, myemail+studentname@myschool.org. All students invited to the project can be working on their section, on multiple computers, at one time. Adding content is as easy as using a word processing program and uploading images to the gallery. Drag and drop the images into the chapter. Students can view the entire book, but only edit their own chapter. Teachers have complete control over editing, style and leaving comments. There are default templates so the books created are professional looking. Customize to give the book your own look. Classroom Authors is not only a vehicle for publishing; this tool will fulfill the Common Core Standard requirements for using technology for collaborating and writing across the curriculum. The best part of this site: it is EASY to use! Classroom Authors uses ePub to format e-books and offers one free printed book for each published project that has 10 or more students collaborating. Beyond that, there is a cost for printed books. E-books are FREE.

tag(s): creative writing (171), descriptive writing (44), ebooks (43), process writing (46), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Research proves publishing improves writing skills. Use Classroom Authors for class newsletters, an anthology of student written stories, and creating "choose your own adventure" type stories. Use this tool for research or opinion pieces in world language classes, science, math, or social studies. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at Classroom Authors they will be able to publish them.

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Comics Head - Next Wave Multimedia

Grades
4 to 12
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Create one frame cartoons or entire comic books -- easily! Start by uploading a funny picture and create a comic from that. You can create your comics anywhere from any ...more
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Create one frame cartoons or entire comic books -- easily! Start by uploading a funny picture and create a comic from that. You can create your comics anywhere from any device and access them from the same device or any other. The drag and drop interface ensures ease of creation. Choose from a variety of options for characters, layout options, backgrounds, props, captions, and special effects. Choose options to use and drag and drop them onto the comic page. Simply undo or delete objects, move objects backward, forward, add text captions, and zoom in and out of the page. Register with the site (email required) to save, share, and print out creations. You can create a single page comic or full book length comics. You can download as a pdf or even share as an ebook! Some of the instruction videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Mobile apps are available, including "lite" (free) versions.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), DAT device agnostic tool (173), digital storytelling (152)

In the Classroom

In classes with younger students, use a whole class account under teacher control. In a BYOD classroom, let students set up their own accounts and use the app versions. When studying characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use the dialog box (bubbles) to explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or school news! Create a political cartoon. Why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments. Let your creative (or gifted) students take the comics even further by making them into entire books!

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Booktrack Classroom - Peter Thiel

Grades
1 to 12
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Make reading a multimedia experience that today's students expect. Booktrack adds movie style soundtracks to favorite stories and books. You can add your own sound effects and music...more
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Make reading a multimedia experience that today's students expect. Booktrack adds movie style soundtracks to favorite stories and books. You can add your own sound effects and music to the stories and books you love, too. There are thousands of titles already available, both classic and contemporary; these include novels, poetry, and short stories that are in the public domain. Find them by clicking "Free to Use" and scrolling down a bit. Creation is possible on your PC or MAC; read and listen only on the iOS and Android mobile apps. There are several ready-to-go lessons at elementary, middle, and high school levels. When using on a computer, BookTrack works best in Chrome and may not function at all in some browsers. Watch the short tutorials to learn how to create a book with a soundtrack.

tag(s): book lists (133), book reports (37), DAT device agnostic tool (173), ebooks (43), guided reading (45), independent reading (129), reading comprehension (119), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Click "Teachers" and scroll to the bottom of the home page to find free lessons. Work together with your music teacher to find classical music selections that make great background music. Have students choose a story and create a "read aloud" with music and sound effects. Challenge students to capture the feel or tone of current events articles, science articles, or poems they have created. Use music and sound effects to enhance historical events or battles in social science. At the end of literature circles, have students select the best events in a story and put music and sound effects together with them. Watch the short tutorials to create your class and to create a book with a soundtrack. FanFiction users may want to put sound effects or music to their own writing. In the library/media center, share BookTracks to interest students in some of your "old" books!

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AnMish (Beta) - anmish.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Create, save, and share your personalized animations using AnMish technology. Register using your email to create an account and begin making an animation. Upload your own picture or...more
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Create, save, and share your personalized animations using AnMish technology. Register using your email to create an account and begin making an animation. Upload your own picture or choose from puppets and celebrities such as Prince Charles or Hillary Clinton. Use the record button to record a message for up to 30 seconds. Choose a title and make the animation public or private. Save to complete the process. Share using the provided embed code or use social networking links. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom.This tool has public Favorites on the home page so might be best used under direct adult supervision.

tag(s): animation (65), comics and cartoons (69), digital storytelling (152)

In the Classroom

This site includes the ability for the general public to submit their own animations. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. You may want to limit use to whole-class activities or prohibit accessing the public portion of the site. Set up the class account and give them the url to the create page. (Talk about how to avoid inappropriate content as part of digital citizenship lessons.) Have students sum up debate ideas using animated characters or present simple concepts from researched material to introduce to the class. Use for book report stories, to create fictitious stories, or present ideas in an engaging format. Challenge students to use this site to tell the history of political figures, historical figures, or historic events. Use this site to teach about chemical properties, scientific figures or discoveries, or great moments in Science through animation. In language arts class, use this tool to apply concepts of narrative patterns or characterization. Teachers of gifted may want to assign students to create an entire animated series. Have ESL/ELL or world language students create animations to practice new vocabulary. Have students compose monologues to be delivered by animated characters.

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Timemapper - Open Knowledge Foundation Labs

Grades
6 to 12
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This free tool maps dates, information, and locations specified on a loaded spreadsheet into a timeline format. See the Examples on the middle portion of the page to see the ...more
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This free tool maps dates, information, and locations specified on a loaded spreadsheet into a timeline format. See the Examples on the middle portion of the page to see the results! You need a Google Docs/Drive account to create a timeline. Work anonymously or log in using your Twitter account. Click "Get Started Now" to read the details and create your spreadsheet, using a template Google Doc spreadsheet available by clicking where it says, "this template." Read the 1-2-3 steps AND the FAQ lower on the page to understand the steps and the reasons why you might want to create a free account using your Twitter login (not required). Once published with the url loaded into the Timemapper form, data from the spreadsheet is displayed in Timemapper in a slide style format. Data can include images, citations, locations, and more. Move along the timeline at the bottom of the screen or advance through the screens. Locations are pinpointed on a map that displays alongside the timeline. Click on individual locations or see them highlighted as you advance through the screens. Use the embed code to place the Timemapper in your wiki, site, or blog. You can also share it by url. Note: Timemappers cannot be made private.

tag(s): timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Create Timemapper timelines to introduce material in any subject. If your school uses Google Apps or Docs/Drive, your students (or groups) can create their own very easily. Map specific battles in history (World War II or the Revolutionary War, perhaps?) Map significant scientific discoveries in the progress of understanding about cell theory or genetics. Follow the works of various writers, artists, or musicians. Follow the life of famous people or noteworthy events such as elections, the Olympics, or even local history!

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Visme - Hindsight Ineractive

Grades
7 to 12
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This free tool replaces PowerPoint and Flash to create powerful presentations, banners, Infographics, and more! The projects are viewable on any mobile or computer browser, including...more
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This free tool replaces PowerPoint and Flash to create powerful presentations, banners, Infographics, and more! The projects are viewable on any mobile or computer browser, including iOS. This tool is very simple to use and not as complicated as many other tools currently available. Choose your type of creation and then a specific template theme. The Navigation area is along the left side. Customize the various tools by clicking on an item in the Navigation such as Canvas, Slides, etc. The Stage area is found to the right of the Navigation, and various tools, grids, and texts appear above the Stage. Drag and drop items into the Stage and even include vector images. Presenter also includes a free image library and also allows searching Flickr Creative Commons from within the tool. Once placed in the stage, style images the way you want, including animation! Products created by this tool play on any browser or device or can be embedded in a web page or blog. Free accounts allow only three projects.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (275), infographics (48), multimedia (63)

In the Classroom

Use to create educational slideshows and Infographics to introduce and interest students in a topic of study. Use to generate questions prior to the discussion of topics. Create a multi-image slideshow where students brainstorm how the images are all connected. Have students create projects for class using this easy to use tool. Be sure to include this tool on your blog, wiki, or public page for easy student access. You may want to consider allowing your older students to create their own accounts, depending on school policies. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Create a project site for students to upload images and videos found when studying any subject. Find images with various shapes when discussing geometry or shapes in nature. Find pictures of plants or animals for a science unit, etc. World language students can create digital photo stories to narrate using new vocabulary. Present teacher professional development or an end of year display for the school media center.

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Penflip - Collaborative Writing and Version Control - Loren Burton

Grades
6 to 12
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your...more
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your web browser! Click on "Share" at the bottom of the right menu to copy/paste the address into an email to your collaborators. Clicking on "Contributors" gives options to add users as editors or delete them as contributors. Once revisions are made and submitted, the contributor is notified via email of any future changes to that piece. When reviewing suggested changes, you can delete the changes you don't want and accept others. Accepting changes will merge these into the master (your original project). Penflip calls any writing a "project" whether it's a book, a short story, a poem, or a research paper. The free version makes all projects "public," but you have the choice to refuse pending revisions by clicking on "Contributors" in the right menu and clicking the minus symbol, deleting that contributor.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (171), editing (70), process writing (46), proofreading (25), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in the peer review process by allowing them to collaborate using Penflip! Teachers and students can use Penflip to make comments in a side box or directly in the writing. All suggested revisions are in a different color with the original wording left complete. Penflip is the perfect place for students to put their writing and get feedback. Student peers can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color-coded so the author knows what has been contributed and what is original. This tool will fulfill the Common Core Standard requirements for using technology for collaborating and writing across the curriculum. Students will save time and learn from each other when working in small groups on projects or research papers in world language classes, science, math, or social studies. The best part of this site: it is EASY to use!

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Powtoon - powtoon.com

Grades
K to 12
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description....more
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description. Modify slides by changing text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Change styles easily by choosing a different style within the program. Select from the royalty free music options offered by Powtoon to enhance your presentation. Share the finished presentation via social media buttons on your page to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular pages or export to YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then using YouTube may not be your best option. Use the embed code provided to easily embed in your website or blog -- or simply share your Powtoon using the URL provided. Exports are not included with the free membership plan. Email is required to register and use Powtoon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (65), digital storytelling (152), movies (72), multimedia (63), slides (64)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own PowToons. Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. The possibilities are really endless, and students will come up with hundreds more uses. Flip your classroom using PowToon presentations. Use PowToon to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to share information with the class when a substitute is in your classroom. Embed your PowToon creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a PowToon on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use PowToon to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create PowToon book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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Power Poetry - Power Poetry

Grades
8 to 12
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together...more
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together to process their emotions using poetry. Find challenges to write about social issues or to write a poem in only 140 characters. There are tips for writing FanFiction poetry. Find many supportive community members to encourage you to develop your voice. Poets are free to write about any subject; however, there are site guidelines to prevent hate speech and other inappropriate content. Join with a username and email address. On your profile, there is the option of sharing your first name and last initial, profile picture, and a short biography. You can message each other within the site, but this feature can be disabled from account settings.

tag(s): poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Encourage your most avid writers to submit their poetry to this site. Use your whiteboard or projector to show them the "Take Action Guides." There you will find many issues of concern to youth today. Most students will enjoy uniting multimedia, poetry, and activism in one place. Challenge your students to write a poem in 160 characters or 140 characters (the length of a text message or Tweet respectively). Counselors may want to encourage disenfranchised students to join the site and write about their deepest feelings. This is a supportive community that encourages students to develop their own voice.

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Writing Reviser - SAS Curriculum Pathways

Grades
6 to 12
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to ...more
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to use the features and how to revise your writing. You do have to join to be able to see anything beyond the general demo video. Once logged in, you can paste in an essay, explaining your intended audience and purpose. There is automated feedback about organization, style, and grammar. See statistics about your writing and discover things to improve and revise. You can delve into very specific aspects of your writing, such as verbs, pronouns, cliches, sentence variety, power sentences, and much more. The explanations are a little bit text-heavy, but they are very helpful. There is also free access to the Writing Planner and Writing Drafter from this tool. Explore the entire writing process at your fingertips!

tag(s): editing (70), process writing (46), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Give students the benefits of immediate feedback. Use this formative tool to help students focus on their purpose, audience, structure, and use of language (sentence economy, variety, power, and clarity). Start with whole-group instruction by projecting the demo, and work on one strategy at a time. Suggest individual areas for each student or let each one decide on an area of personal writing "need." You might want to start with Sentence Power (verbs). Show students the "About" and how to change "was" to an active verb. Allow students time to work on their own sentence power before moving to the next revision strategy or letting them choose another. Once the students know the program, use it for peer conferences or at home on their own time. Once you set up your account, enroll your students with your school. Their parents can also set up an individual student account. In 2014, SAS plans to develop a teacher "dashboard."

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Quotes Cover - QuotesCover.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Design and create beautiful images from quotes using Quotes Cover. Copy and paste any quote into the toolbar. Follow the steps along the way. Choose from e-cards, wallpaper maker, prints...more
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Design and create beautiful images from quotes using Quotes Cover. Copy and paste any quote into the toolbar. Follow the steps along the way. Choose from e-cards, wallpaper maker, prints for posters, and other options. The print section offers many size options from business cards to large posters. Edit and personalize using tools provided such as fonts, colors, custom background pictures, and drawing tools. You can download the finished image as a png file or share it on various social networks.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): firstday (26), images (275), posters (40), quotations (25)

In the Classroom

Create posters with students' favorite quotes, book titles for a bulletin board, All About Me information, or whatever your imagination produces! Have students include a poster as part of a research project or choose a favorite quote from class reading materials to "cover" a book talk. Create a poster with a quote from any figure in history and personalize it using Creative Commons images. In primary grades enter sight words and other basic vocabulary to create word posters. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. Have students create a poster for Back to School night to share with parents. Use this tool for students to make posters of the class rules they agree upon during the first week of school. Create quote images to use as Facebook "cover" photos for a famous person or fictitious character. Locate inspiring quotes from Quotesome, reviewed here, to use with this tool. World language teachers and students can create clever vocabulary or sentence posters to help master the new language.

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Popcorn Maker - Mozilla

Grades
4 to 12
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Remember the PopUp video (of VH1 fame?) This tool will "mashup" content to any video. Enter the embed code of a YouTube video to use or search for a video ...more
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Remember the PopUp video (of VH1 fame?) This tool will "mashup" content to any video. Enter the embed code of a YouTube video to use or search for a video directly within Popcorn Maker. Drag and drop the video into the screen. Add layers of any live content to the video. Add photos, maps, links, social media feeds such as Twitter, Wikipedia pages, and more. Use this tool to remix the "remixes" of others! Unfortunately, you cannot mix two videos, and videos must come from YouTube. Due to the range of content types, endless combinations are available for remixing. Access Help from the small multi-line rectangle icon next to the log in space for great directions and ideas. If your school blocks YouTube, you could create a remix at home, but this tool will not work in the classroom without YouTube.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), images (275), video (275)

In the Classroom

Depending on the age you teach and your school policies, you may want to use a class account with a teacher-controlled email address to create with Popcorn Maker. Use a video from a presidential debate and add layers that fact check the statements made or view the media consensus at the time. Use this tool to create a video of a science experiment while creating pop ups of relevant information. Create a remix of a popular play or story that includes pop ups of information about the characters. Include their motivations or give the reactions of the readers with each story. Do you have a snippet of a discoverer? Add layers that show map routes, legends, unintended consequences on local peoples, etc. Use videos of sports teams to overlay stats, congratulation tweets, and more. Use world language videos with overlays of translations, dictionary references, and help in understanding. Analyze commercials (for example, foods targeted at children) with facts about the food and relation to diet and health. Create elevator pitches and upload to YouTube. Invite classmates to overlay the pitches with comments and suggestions. Use student created or existing YouTube videos that help to explain math and science concepts. Further enhance their helpful potential with overlays that elevate the learning. Pose a problem in the form of a YouTube video and invite students to remix the video to include possible solutions. Students can create presentations using this tool and show their reactions to current events or other world problem. Allow other students to remix and comment upon the presentation and add their own thoughts. Share the remixes on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If permitted, share the links to students' remixes on your class website or wiki. Teachers of gifted will love the creative (and critical) challenges this tool offers.

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MapStory - MapStory Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and...more
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and collaborate. You can help to improve understanding of worldwide issues over the course of history. MapStory is much like Wikipedia. It is a global database to tell stories over time using maps. View fascinating maps such as trends in US poverty, the spreading of diseases such as the Swine Flu, and the increasing use of the US Postal Service. View many topics from endangered species to economic development -- anything you can place on a map! By clicking on the "play" button, you can see the change over time through an unfolding story. Hover over the tabs along the top of the toolbar to select a category of stories. Be sure to also notice as maps scroll across the top of the screen. Click on maps of interest and view tools for saving in favorites or embedding in a site. Search the site for StoryLayers. The StoryLayers are data that have been uploaded to the site to apply in maps. Be sure to check out the YouTube videos which explain how to use this fascinating site. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share with your class, if needed. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): interactive stories (31), maps (292), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Find great MapStory maps to introduce a concept or explain a portion of the concept that may be difficult to introduce in class. Use one to show initially, eliciting thoughts and questions from students. Because it is an open database, maps could contain errors. Have students be on the lookout for any possible errors. Students can fact check, research, and rewrite information as needed. Consider creating an assignment that shows a change in information over time. This project would be applicable to any subject area. Consider creating a class account to maintain the MapStories created by your students. Imagine new information being added every year with new updates to the map! World language (or world cultures) classes could collaborate to create a map story about a specific culture.

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Alice - Carnegie Mellon University

Grades
6 to 12
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Alice will have your students in wonderland as they use this innovative 3D programming environment targeted to middle and high school students. Be the director of a movie or the ...more
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Alice will have your students in wonderland as they use this innovative 3D programming environment targeted to middle and high school students. Be the director of a movie or the creator of a video game. 3D objects appear in an on-screen virtual world imagined by the creator and move around according to the directions you give by dragging and dropping tiles. The drag and drop technique provides a more engaging programming experience for first time programmers. Alice provides exposure to object-oriented programming. Alice has practical value for students to learn how computers think. The instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. While using Alice, programmers are able to immediately see how their animation program runs and the behavior of the objects in their animation. Manipulate camera angles and lighting to make further enhancements. Alice is a revolutionary method to teach programming, especially to first-time learners. It allows students to understand programming concepts, a 21st century skill.

tag(s): animation (65), digital storytelling (152), video (275)

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. Alice provides an opportunity for students to create and learn how to problem solve. Subscribe to the teacher list to receive updates and integration ideas for Alice. The purpose of this list is to provide an easy way to ask questions and collaborate with the Alice teaching community. View and use activities to increase programming knowledge and the use of the Alice program.

Students quickly catch on to Alice when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools as well as the drag and drop interface. Have students use a storyboard to organize their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. Build games to review curricular material for assessments. Have students create videos or digital stories to bring a subject to life. Teachers of gifted can turn their students loose to create animations about individual interests or research projects.

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FanFiction - FanFiction/FictionPress

Grades
6 to 12
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Disappointed that your favorite book or TV series has ended? Satisfy your craving on FanFiction. Discover FanFiction stories written by up-and-coming writers based on your favorite...more
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Disappointed that your favorite book or TV series has ended? Satisfy your craving on FanFiction. Discover FanFiction stories written by up-and-coming writers based on your favorite comic, cartoon, movie, book, television show, or other genre. Read and vote for your favorites or even write your own. Whether you are a fan of fiction or like to dabble with writing, take a look at FanFiction. Fanfiction authors write new stories about characters from their favorite books (movies, TV series, etc.). Read to your heart's content and leave a comment without even signing in. To create and submit your own writing you need to sign up with an email. Click on the genre of your choice to get started! This site can be accessed in a variety of languages. Click the small "mobile forum" icon at the top to use on mobile iOs or Android devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (171), novels (23), short stories (25), writing (367)

In the Classroom

It is amazing how students will polish their writing for an authentic audience! Demonstrate how to use FanFiction with your projector or interactive whiteboard. Show students the different genres and have them read a selection or two from an amateur writer to see how it works. Have student pairs or trios work together on a piece for a favorite book. There is also a miscellaneous category you could use to have students add a different ending or write from a different point of view based on any short story you use in class. They can also submit in the poetry category. Use 121 Writing reviewed here to proof student writing and make suggestions (verbally if your choose to) before they submit to FanFiction. For students to develop and polish their writing skills, use a program such as Slick Write reviewed here. Create a FanFiction account with a class email and have students work on their piece using a nickname or acronym. Since FanFiction can be accessed in several languages, this program would work well in an ESL/ELL classroom.

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Tour Builder (Beta) - Google

Grades
5 to 12
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Put any story on the map using Tour Builder (by Google). A Gallery shares examples. You would be wise to preview the Gallery before sharing since these are created by ...more
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Put any story on the map using Tour Builder (by Google). A Gallery shares examples. You would be wise to preview the Gallery before sharing since these are created by the general public. To create a tour, choose locations, add text, images, and videos to create a story to share with the world. Add up to 25 items to each pinned location. Options include three different types of storylines. You can decide how others view your story/tour and how your story will progress. Linear tales move the story along a line. The hub option tells the story from a central location. You can disable lines completely so stories are not tied to a specific sequence or timeline. Finished stories default to private view. You may share privately with friends and family or make public for anyone to view. The Google Earth plugin and a Google account are required to use Tour Builder. Some of the introduction/explanation videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), maps (292), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Create a simple tour to share (or find one in the gallery). Share the tour on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create tours of events from history, famous battles, scientific discoveries, biographies, and much more. The possibilities are endless. Create a timeline of famous people or a hub of locations related to a topic such as toxic waste sites or habitats for a certain animal. Tour settings for Shakespeare plays or an author's life. Tour Van Gogh's painting sites or map landforms such as glaciers. Have students who have Google accounts build a Tour of important events in their lives (or use a teacher-controlled account). In world language classes, create cultural tours in your new language. Scroll through the gallery for ideas on how others have used Tour Builder. You may just find some neat tours to share in the gallery.

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Twitter Magnets - twittermagnets.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Have fun creating sentences or short messages (like tweets) using drag and drop words at Twitter Magnets! Twitter Magnets calls them poems, though the length limit is a real challenge...more
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Have fun creating sentences or short messages (like tweets) using drag and drop words at Twitter Magnets! Twitter Magnets calls them poems, though the length limit is a real challenge for poets! Choose from the words offered. Drag and drop the magnets into the message area at the bottom -- up to 120 characters. The tool keeps a character count for you. Need different words? Click the swap words link for new choices. Click submit to view your message/poem and decide whether to submit to Twitter Magnet's Twitter feed or not. You can also link to send from your own Twitter account. Note that clicking to see the Twitter Magnets feed will show you "messages" and poems created by the general public. Steer clear or preview to be sure these are appropriate in your setting.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), microblogging (40), poetry (225), twitter (44), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Create a message or "poem" of the day as a class to send from your class Twitter account. Use as a center activity or have student groups create their own messages about what you have learned today in any subject area class. Have ELL students create simple messages to reinforce language skills. If you don't have a Twitter account, just have students create offline messages. Take a quick screen shot, then write, illustrate, and share on your classroom bulletin board! Generate creative messages as a class to use as writing prompts. Have students tell the story (or nonfiction news account) about what caused the message. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. You can also use this site as a tool to teach about digital citizenship and the etiquette of tweets.

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Medium - Ev Williams

Grades
10 to 12
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Medium is a site for sharing personal writing and stories. The focus is on the actual writing, rather than the extras like images, widgets, and other website clutter. You can ...more
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Medium is a site for sharing personal writing and stories. The focus is on the actual writing, rather than the extras like images, widgets, and other website clutter. You can use images to illustrate your point; however, the focus remains on the words. Upload your writing, and then link with other similar ideas to become more collaborative. One unique feature is the "get help before you publish" button. This allows others to engage and offer suggestions before publishing your work. If using the site for reading, options include following writers and finding articles with similar content through the use of tags. At the time of this review, a Twitter account is required to sign up for a Medium account. This tool is intended as a community for sharing among serious authors, not as a "school tool," so adult supervision is recommended. Not all topics are appropriate for the classroom. So be sure to PREVIEW.

tag(s): creative writing (171), independent reading (129), persuasive writing (56), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

Medium is similar to an ever changing and updating magazine. Talk about the etiquette of interacting as authentic writers, not "just a student." Use Medium to find and share interesting pieces of writing with students for independent reading or class discussions. Each article shows a suggested reading time, making it easy to choose a length that is appropriate for your needs. Have students create and share their writing using Medium as a resource for finding a broader reading audience. Have students locate and read articles of interest on Medium and write and post a response of their own. Common Core requires teens (grades 10-12) to write, respond, and revise based on input from a digital audience, and Medium could be an ideal tool for such interaction. If you are new to Twitter or looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Cube Creator - Read Write Think

Grades
2 to 12
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own...more
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own Cube. Follow prompts to create the cube. The planning sheets help you collect information before making the actual printable cube. Once you have entered all your information, print and follow directions to assemble the paper cube. Follow links to find lessons that use this interactive as well as suggestions for other uses. There are lessons for grades 3-4 up through grades 11-12. Note: Read Write Think has added the capability for students to save their work to continue later. In the last paragraph of the Overview, there is a link to watch the video: Saving Work With the Student Interactives.

tag(s): biographies (91), firstday (26), mysteries (24), printables (38), summarizing (15), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Use the Cube Creator for virtually any lesson or activity. Try printing on heavier card stock so cubes are durable. Create a cube to practice math problems, describe habitats, outline important story events, and much more. Have students create a cube and share with other students to practice retelling, summarizing, adding synonyms, or review for tests. Have each of your students create an All About Me cube for parents to view at Open House or to get to know each other during the first week of school. Have others guess which cube belongs to which classmate. Create a cube review game where others must answer the question that comes up when you "roll" the cube. The possibilities are endless. Challenge your gifted student(s) to create a "Who Am I?" cube about a famous person they research. Use the Bio Cube option with one variation: DO NOT include the person's real name. Share the cube as a game for the rest of the class to guess (and then create their own similar cubes). Your gifted students may also come up with new ways to Create Your Own Cube that could become a class game! Invite them to try their creativity.
 
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Recite - Piccsy.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Turn a quote into a masterpiece using Recite. Type or copy/paste any quote into the text box. If you don't have a quote, choose from the extensive library available on ...more
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Turn a quote into a masterpiece using Recite. Type or copy/paste any quote into the text box. If you don't have a quote, choose from the extensive library available on the site. Choose a template from the many options below the quote box. Click Create to view an image of your finished product ready to share or print. Share using social media tools provided for Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, and more or download the image to your computer. Other options include a permalink to use on any website or email using the link provided. There is the option to purchase your quote/image, but this review is only for the free portion of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (275), posters (40), quotations (25)

In the Classroom

Create printable quotes for back to school, testing strategies, or words of wisdom for your classroom. Make a student's day by creating a special quote for him or her birthday or other special occasion. Have students invent their own mnemonic devices that they share as "quotes" using this tool. Use this tool for students to make posters of the class rules they agree upon during the first week of school. Create quote images to use as a Fakebook, reviewed here, "cover" photo for a famous person or fictitious character. Locate inspiring quotes from The Quote Garden, reviewed here, to use with this tool. World language teachers and students can create clever vocabulary or sentence posters to help master the new language. Ask students to create their own quotes for use in class projects or for the "Star of the Week" in your class. Make a special "thank you" quote for the parents volunteers in your classroom. In primary grades, enter sight words and other basic vocabulary to create word posters.

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