TeachersFirst Edge - Digital storytelling

 

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Piktochart - Ai Ching and Andrea Zaggia

Grades
9 to 12
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then use images in an Infographic to tell those words in a captivating way. Fill in the information about your presentation and ...more
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then use images in an Infographic to tell those words in a captivating way. Fill in the information about your presentation and choose a theme. Information will be added to the theme you choose. Add data, change images and icons, and add text. Save as a static image (JPEG or PNG) or in an HTML format to embed in a web page.
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tag(s): infographics (42)

In the Classroom

You will want to play with this tool before using it in class. For a good explanation of the infographic process using Piktochart, see this blog post. Use this tool anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types. Use to portray different sets of data about a topic in a new and unique way.

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Storyboard Generator - Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Grades
4 to 12
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Try out this interactive tool demonstrating storyboarding concepts. You can build your own storyboard using resources from the free media library. In the 'Choose Your Script' version,...more
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Try out this interactive tool demonstrating storyboarding concepts. You can build your own storyboard using resources from the free media library. In the 'Choose Your Script' version, select from three genres: horror, comedy or romance. This storyboard can then be published and saved, shared, embedded, or linked. In the 'Build your own' version, photographs can be uploaded or used from the Free Media Library to build personalized visuals using silhouette characters. Your created script that can be embedded, linked, or shared. Be sure to check out the many instruction videos included on the site for tips on creating storyboards. Registration with email is required to share and save storyboards.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (152), images (271)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to create and use a storyboard using this tool on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). View stories from the gallery for inspiration before attempting to have students create their own. Create a storyboard and share when teaching creative writing techniques or story mapping. Have students tell the story they have viewed. Challenge students to create a storyboard of readings recently finished in class as a review of characters and story plot. Use storyboards as the first step in planning larger projects from plays to videos.

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101 Questions - Dan Myer

Grades
2 to 12
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to ...more
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to skip a picture. Submit your own picture or video, and get points for the perplexity it inspires, or even join the top 10 lists. Save images to your favorites and classify by tags using your membership. Note that the public can participate so some responses may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Preview and monitor or have an adult operate the site together.

tag(s): creative writing (168), creativity (116), images (271), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Creative fluency begins here! Set up a whole class account. Use this site in language arts: discover main idea, details, cause and effect, or even an inspirational writing prompt. Find ways to group images together based on characteristics or attributes. Use in gifted or enrichment situations, for inspiration for problem-based learning. Sequence the images to find ways to form a logical plot. Find ways to make Perplexors out of the given image. In math, write short word problems to accompany images or videos. Find ways to illustrate vocabulary definitions with examples and non-examples. As a morning work challenge, find questions, details, or even other questions. As a writing challenge, look for the image that conveys the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. In science, submit examples to illustrate scientific concepts. Use to generate scientific method style questions based on the given image. In social studies, find images to convey feelings represented by the time being studied. Challenge students to make a historical statement or political statement by finding and adding to an appropriate image. ESL/ELL students can use this site to help acquire conversation/questioning skills. In world language class, have students generate questions in their new language, even if they do not post them. In art, find mood, theme, style, or self expression images. Be sure to monitor the blog content. Put similar content on your own classroom blog. Challenge students to create their own 101 question images or videos to share on your class blog, inviting viewers to respond with questions in the comments.

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Night Zookeeper - Joshua Davidson

Grades
K to 5
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Enter a fantastical online world in which you create your own magical animals. Read and create stories, play games, create fascinating (and funny) facts about your new animal, and more...more
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Enter a fantastical online world in which you create your own magical animals. Read and create stories, play games, create fascinating (and funny) facts about your new animal, and more while learning about animals. Explore creative writing and art activities. Read the story of the night zookeeper or listen by choosing the audio play button. Your completed animals can be uploaded to include with the story and suggestions are offered for describing the animals such as where does the animal live, and tell about what makes it special. You can also download a sample unit that includes literacy and art lesson plans. Simple registration of a username and password is required to access activities.

tag(s): creative writing (168), creativity (116), digital storytelling (152)

In the Classroom

Share this site on classroom computers for students to read and listen to the Night Zookeeper story then encourage students to create their own animal to be added to the zoo. Use the included graphic organizer to help students design their animal. Create a link to the site on classroom computers and allow students to explore and discover site activities. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of animals included in the zoo or imaginary animals vs. real animals.

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Mugeda - mugeda.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and...more
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and publish HTML5 animation. Basic tutorials guide you to create content with easy to follow instructions. Animation applications include; games, ads, cartoons, tutorials, or persuasive commercials. Use tablets, PCs, smartphones, or tablets. Note that HTML5 works on iPads and iTouches, where most Flash-based sites do not.

tag(s): animation (66), comics and cartoons (74), DAT device agnostic tool (166)

In the Classroom

Bring along Mugeda in your bag of tricks to capture and intrigue all of your students. Use Mugeda to illustrate class content, support debate, persuade, and entertain. The possibilities are endless! Add the creations to your website to share with your community. Use on school news programs to add student content without cost, and make information available for all levels of student abilities. Create commercials for your content or to convey information. In history classes go back in time to envision popular opinion that made history happen. Use during campaigns to promote your side of the debate. Science fairs will never be the same. Highlight projects to create anticipation. Send messages to students using the embedded tool. This programming tool has applications in all subject areas. Gifted students, ELL/ESL students, and remedial students will be captivated by this high interest way of expressing themselves.

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Storify - Xavier Damman and Burt Herman

Grades
6 to 12
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Create stories based on Tweets, photos, and videos. To create a story, go to the editor and create a headline and description. Then choose media to use for the search. ...more
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Create stories based on Tweets, photos, and videos. To create a story, go to the editor and create a headline and description. Then choose media to use for the search. Choices include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Instagram, and much more. You can search multiple social networks from one place and drag elements into your story. Re-order elements by dragging them and add text as needed. Storify lets you take those little bits of information shared over time and turn them into a story. The site also has a search element so you can explore Storify creations by featured topics or what is currently popular. Login is necessary to save and share Storify creations. As with any social network site used by the general public, adults should ALWAYS preview just before sharing with young people. The featured examples appear benign but could change any time.

tag(s): collages (17), digital storytelling (152), social networking (113), twitter (51)

In the Classroom

Use Storify to create weekly stories of tweets, pictures, and videos from your classroom that can be sent home to parents. Create a story of learning based on a collaboration between classrooms as a way to chronicle and reflect on the collaboration. Build a semester or year-long "story" of your class tweets and activities as a sort of online scrapbook that can be shared with families. Invite other classrooms to take part in writing a collaborative story 140 characters at a time using Twitter. Create a story for any classroom topic such as current events, American History, famous mathematicians, or astronomy. Search for tweets from a favorite author or politician to tell his/her story.

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Faces of Learning - Q.E.D. Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Discover a community about how people learn. Attractively packaged, the site encourages you to share your experiences and thoughts about what makes a learning environment and how you...more
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Discover a community about how people learn. Attractively packaged, the site encourages you to share your experiences and thoughts about what makes a learning environment and how you learn. Don't miss the self-assessment activity called "Your Learner Sketch" to discover strengths about your own learning and potential problem areas. This is a wonderful site to find others with similar experiences and concerns. After joining the website community, you can submit sketches and photos, add to blogs, and learn about other resources and activities. Record stories orally for others to hear. Explore stories via tags in a tag cloud. Explore links to other sharing stories experiences like Story Corps.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (35), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to do a project about learning and post their results here, if policies permit. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter so they can better understand the nature of learning and its challenges. Use the self-assessment with any class -- without joining the site -- as you talk about study skills and finding individual strengths for studying and learning. Consider letting students form study groups based on the results. This is an ideal activity for early in the school year.

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BoomWriter - BoomWriter Corp

Grades
2 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Encourage your students to do their best writing at BoomWriter. Once students submit their writing, share it with the class or a small group to create a book. Here's how ...more
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Encourage your students to do their best writing at BoomWriter. Once students submit their writing, share it with the class or a small group to create a book. Here's how it works: Provided with a "starter chapter," students continue the story by writing additional chapters. Students vote on chapters submitted (anonymously), and the chapters receiving the most votes are included into a book that students, teachers, and parents can choose to have published by BoomWriter. After registration, students can see and begin contributions to a project with teachers able to oversee each student's writing, comments, and edits of other students' work. When all contributions are complete, the class reads the submissions and votes. Writers' names aren't revealed until after the voting, thereby eliminating any "classroom politics" that could happen in the voting stage. There is a short video on the home page introducing BoomWriter and how to get started with the program.
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tag(s): creative writing (168), digital storytelling (152), interactive stories (33), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site to excite students as writers. Encourage students to read other students' writing for ideas about what makes a story interesting. Create a friendly competition within your grade level by starting a book and choosing a winner. Create new books as different writing concepts are introduced such as dialogue, foreshadowing, etc. to help making learning fun. Have students create online posters using Check This (reviewed here). Science and other curricula teachers could have students review a unit just studied by creating their own texts or story books on the curriculum topic.

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Write It - Scholastic

Grades
7 to 12
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At this publishing site for secondary students, you have many opportunities to learn the craft, view other writers in action, have work critiqued, and interact with other student writers....more
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At this publishing site for secondary students, you have many opportunities to learn the craft, view other writers in action, have work critiqued, and interact with other student writers. You can take a master class with featured writers that include conversations with authors discussing their challenges and triumphs. There is a chat forum to post work and get input from fellow students with suggestions for revision (participation in chat requires registration to the site; however, the chat logs can be viewed without registration). An online portfolio can be created after registration on the site. The "Authors in Action" section is a wonderful resource to view short videos of student authors performing their own work and is sorted by genres.
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tag(s): creative writing (168), descriptive writing (42), poetry (226), process writing (45), writers workshop (32)

In the Classroom

Share videos from the site with students when discussing the writing process. The master classes are perfect for use on interactive whiteboards or a projector as a way of starting classroom discussions on the writing process and different techniques and methods used by authors. Have students read their own finished works of writing and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. If you do Writers Workshop in your classroom, use videos and information from the site to demonstrate writing and critiquing methods.

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Issuu - You Publish - Issuu Inc. 2009

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Issuu is an online publishing tool where you can upload documents to be published in magazine, presentation, or paper format. Share your voice with the world. Then see who reads, ...more
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Issuu is an online publishing tool where you can upload documents to be published in magazine, presentation, or paper format. Share your voice with the world. Then see who reads, likes, or links your documents. You can integrate your publications or other's publications on your own webpage. Or simply use the site as a place to read others' publications. You can follow other publishers and bookmark the things you enjoy. You may want to preview anything you wish to share with your class, as the content is always changing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use this website to publish information for your students or by your students. Have older students create their own accounts to publish their papers, laboratory reports, and research projects. Have students read and evaluate the quality of different publications from this website to develop critical thinking skills. Use for polished projects in any subject area.

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Draw A Stickman - drawastickman.com

Grades
1 to 10
12 Favorites 2  Comments
 
Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving...more
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Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving mysteries, thinking creatively, and solving problems. To begin the adventure, you draw a simple stick figure and then bring him or her to life. Your figure is faced with several challenges; you must follow directions and draw several props for your stick figure to use. You will love the hero of the story (the character you created) and the villain (a dragon). Finished stories can be replayed or shared on Facebook, Twitter, or email. There is also an online gallery for students to explore and view others' creations.

tag(s): creative writing (168), digital storytelling (152), interactive stories (33)

In the Classroom

Aside from just fun practice at following instructions, Draw a Stickman would be a great fictional story prompt. Students have the bones of a story and can fill in details, vivid verbs, adjectives, etc. to tell the story. This would be a good practice activity with writing sequences of "first, then, and next." Students can elaborate on their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can write a moral for a story to add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class...how wide a variety of can come from the same basics? Share finished stories with a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can "read" the story. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Teach story mapping easily with this activity: On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), students can go through the stick figure story together, labeling the different parts of the story (beginning, problem, climax, resolution, ending). This interactive can help students identify story elements, including setting, characters and plot. This site would also be perfect for ESL/ELL students for practice in reading and following directions or for speech/language students to practice retelling a story from the visual prompts. Another idea: use this activity for verb/vocabulary practice in a world language class.

Comments

This will be a great fill-in activity when my students finish their assignments. I can't wait to use it! Beverly, TX, Grades: 6 - 12
Love this! So creative. I know the kids will love it too and I think the learning activities sound very promising too. Jeannie, MI, Grades: 0 - 5

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Docs Teach - The National Archives

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore collections of primary documents from US History enhanced with tools for teaching. This site adds the ability to manipulate primary documents to build informative and challenging...more
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Explore collections of primary documents from US History enhanced with tools for teaching. This site adds the ability to manipulate primary documents to build informative and challenging lessons. While a few of the documents and lessons are available for the casual visitor to the site, you need to register (and it's free!) in order to make full use of the amazing resources here. Once you have registered, you can access all the documents and use the activity builder to create lessons which use primary documents to teach sequencing, mapping, weighing evidence, interpreting data, and seeing the big picture. Please note that you do not HAVE to create anything, you can simply use what is already here. (And they do already have a lot to offer.) You will need to create a project if you want to package an activity that you can use now and again later.

tag(s): american revolution (88), civil war (144), digital storytelling (152), great depression (25), industrial revolution (25), primary sources (86), westward expansion (29), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

If you teach history or social studies, you know what a great emphasis is being placed on the use of primary documents in helping students develop an awareness of the perspectives of those who lived during a particular era. Use this site to develop sophisticated lessons using primary documents on US History with the activity builder. Use the ready-made activities (the majority of which are available once you've registered), on an interactive whiteboard or projector for the whole class or assign groups of students to work independently at a computer workstation or at home. These activities encourage higher order thinking among students rather than simply the memorization of facts.

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SuperLame - Superlame.com

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Super-hero your images! Use this image editor to add speech and thought bubbles to photos and images. Upload your image (such as a photo from your digital camera or a ...more
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Super-hero your images! Use this image editor to add speech and thought bubbles to photos and images. Upload your image (such as a photo from your digital camera or a copyright safe image), add a text balloon, insert a sound effect (like kaboom!), and change the background or border. Save to your computer or email to yourself or others (note that the image is deleted from the website after 24 hours.)
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tag(s): bulletin boards (16), comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (152), images (271), photography (160)

In the Classroom

This would be a great way to make comic strips using images from class! Use in any subject area and for any topic to add a twist to your digital storytelling project. Have students create a comic rather than a traditional book report. The main character or a minor character could "talk" about the book. Or have students create comic strips to go along with science topics, math concepts, historical figures, and more. Have students email you the images/comics. Share the finished products on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the saved images on a class wiki or make a student generated bulletin board of comics.
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obooko - Tony Stanton, Sarah Bainbridge, Tim Johnson

Grades
7 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Join the writers and readers of obooko, the free site to publish and read ebooks. Readers' Choice Awards of 2011 winner for free eBooks , obooko offers a platform to ...more
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Join the writers and readers of obooko, the free site to publish and read ebooks. Readers' Choice Awards of 2011 winner for free eBooks , obooko offers a platform to share your work and read the works of others. Become a reviewer and write comments on other ebooks. As authors, you retain all rights with no charges or contracts. This site is legal and does not infringe on copyright laws. There are numerous categories to choose from: Romance and Women, Crime, Religion, Thriller, Mystery, Teens, and much more! This site is not intended for children under 13. Some of the content may not be appropriate for the classroom. So be sure to preview.
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tag(s): creative writing (168), ebooks (43), mysteries (25), novels (24), poetry (226), religions (62)

In the Classroom

For your language arts class, obooko contains many examples of contemporary writing. Selections for critiquing and editing are readily available without hurting any class member's feelings. Look at examples for current ideas and places to begin brainstorming. Included are free templates for different types of writing. Have each member of your class become a published author! Use the titles as writing prompts or read only half of the story and have students finish it in their own way. Bring each student's story into the lives of many. Assign critiques using obooko. You might even create a school or class obooko literary magazine during poetry month.

Library/media specialists may want to select certain ebooks to load on school iTouches for students to read and review. Start an obooko reading club with these free options.

If you are uncomfortable sharing here or school policy prohibits it, have your classes create a similar website (wiki) with published pieces from your school or class. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Zinepal - Zinepal

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a magazine, PDF, or eBooks from any online content you choose. Select content from a blog or blogs, RSS feeds, or other websites. Enter the address of the site ...more
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Create a magazine, PDF, or eBooks from any online content you choose. Select content from a blog or blogs, RSS feeds, or other websites. Enter the address of the site where the content exists. Choose whether entire posts or previews are used in the creation of your ezine. Select or deselect the stories to be portrayed and choose fonts and sizes. Continue editing by customizing eBook or finalize your eBook when you are finished. Use this website to turn the chosen content into a printable PDF or an eBook that can be used with eBook readers. Email to your friends or provide the subscription feed. Broadcast your eBook through Facebook or Twitter. If you simply want to take online content with you when going somewhere "offline," Zinepal allows you to collect it all into on printable pdf. Note that the free version only allows up to 5 stories per book.

tag(s): blogs (89)

In the Classroom

Create an eBook for each student's individual blog or from a class blog. Create an eBook from a class wiki or other feed. Create eBooks about class projects, topics for units of study, sharing student work, and more. Share with parents or other classes. Make a class eBook on a current unit topic to be read on iPads or eBook readers. Teachers can make social studies topics into eBooks for reading practice in time-crunched elementary classrooms. Make the eBook yet another alternative for sharing projects and presenting information. For a high-level thinking challenge, have students create eBook collections of different political leanings to compare during an election year. By selecting and grouping content from multiple sources into one eBook, students can show relationships between disparate content. In world language class, have students collect and generate eBooks with cultural or recipe information in their new language.

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Flipsnack - Smartketer LLC

Grades
5 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use FlipSnack to create a free, online flip book from PDF documents. Create a Flip book when you want to embed a book, magazine, catalog, newspaper, portfolio, or other kind ...more
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Use FlipSnack to create a free, online flip book from PDF documents. Create a Flip book when you want to embed a book, magazine, catalog, newspaper, portfolio, or other kind of document into a website, wiki, or blog and have viewers flip through the pages interactively. Upload your pdf document and choose a title. (Choose carefully, since it is the title of the book.) Choose a template and customize by dragging elements and changing colors and then Publish. Now any content can become an online "book."

In the Classroom

Make a flipbook of a presentation as an engaging alternative to a web page or PowerPoint. Share classroom information such as rules and expectations in an easy to read format. Use for a great way to bring digital storytelling up front in your classroom. Make photosynthesis a story instead of bits of equations and information. Portray a time period in history or create books of different political or societal opinions. Create a flipbook with the viewpoints and personalities of characters in a story. Practice a different language by creating a themed flipbook. Lower grades can combine writing into a class flipbook to be shared online or read aloud. Any written assignment can easily be re-visioned as a flipbook! Make your literary magazone a flipbook or build new poetry collections during poetry month. Share all your flipbooks on individual laptops, or the interactive whiteboard or projector. Create simple flipbooks of Dolch words for beginning readers.

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Figment: Write Yourself In - Jacob Lewis and Dana Goodyear

Grades
6 to 12
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Figment: Write Yourself In is a terrific program for both readers and writers! Looking for something new to read? Want to get your student's or your own writing published? You ...more
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Figment: Write Yourself In is a terrific program for both readers and writers! Looking for something new to read? Want to get your student's or your own writing published? You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book. It's all free. If you or your students are aspiring authors you can register and publish your writing here. Figment also has contests where the community votes for the best piece of writing for a certain prompt. Books are tagged, so you can search by tag. The Figment library has all the genres listed for you to click on and search, a section for "newest additions," "recently updated," and "all the rage." For reading and listening, the only skill you will need to know is to know how to search the site. If your intent is to publish yours or your student's writing, you will need to register. Be aware that Figment is designed for ALL kinds of writers and may include some writing that is not "kid friendly." Click the Educators link in the footer to access newer features specifically for teachers.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), persuasive writing (55), poetry (226), short stories (25), writing (363)

In the Classroom

There are several ways you can use this site as a place to publish. Some may involve using other tools. For example, with younger students: Once your students have completed a piece of writing, have them submit it to the class using MixedInk reviewed here. The class can then collaborate by choosing ideas from any of the pieces submitted and publishing a "class" approved story, poem, etc. on Figment. With older students: Have them submit their poems, short stories, current event articles, or persuasive writing to MixedInk for peer edit and advice. After the class has collaborated on the writing, submit to Figment for a more general audience. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at "Figment: Write Yourself In" they will be able to publish them.

Students will need a screen name that is not their real name, and a password. See the Profile area for Scholastic's "You Are What You Read" reviewed here for several suggestions for creating a screen name. For younger students you may want to have a "class account" and supply the password. Be sure you and your students write their screen name and password down. Just make sure they sign their writing with their screen name. With older students you can use the same procedure as above, or students can sign up with their own email. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

If school policies and parents allow it, You may want to introduce your gifted student-writers to this site as a place where they can publish and get feedback from a broader audience. The safest way may be to set up groups as a teacher, including other student writers from other classrooms and grade levels. Gifted students interact well in multi-age settings, especially if they have common interests. Have the history buffs work together on accurate historical fiction related to the time periods you are studying or have your advanced science students write up their research collaboratively using Figment. They might even try their had at writing some science fiction based on concepts you are studying.

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PrimaryPad - Primary Technology

Grades
2 to 12
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Primary Pad is a web-based collaborative word processor perfect for students (both elementary and secondary.) The tool is straightforward and easy to navigate. Up to five people can...more
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Primary Pad is a web-based collaborative word processor perfect for students (both elementary and secondary.) The tool is straightforward and easy to navigate. Up to five people can simultaneously collaborate in real time on a single web document using a free, public account. Each contributor's text is highlighted in a different color. There is a side chat window that allows for dialogue. A free Primary Pad Public account allows you to save up to ten revisions of a document for 30 days. The "timeslider" feature replays the sequence of edits and the development of the text. This makes it easy to assess the contributions of each team member. Share and edit text files by importing them directly into a Primary Pad document. With a Public account, documents are read only files. Send private invites to people you want to have "read and write" privileges. It is possible to access Primary Pad in eighteen different languages. Once a document is complete, export it as a PDF, Word doc., and HTML file directly onto a desktop.

There is a free three-month trial account that allows files to be either public or private. After three months, you will be notified and asked if you'd like to continue your account as a paying customer. Paid accounts offer additional features. Such as the paintbrush tool, and the file switches into "Primary Paint" mode. The paint mode lets users draw, insert shapes, use background colors, capture a website screenshot and search for images on Flicker. Upload PowerPoint, PDFs, JPGs, GIFs or PNGs from your desktop and use them in a "Paint" document. Use the embed code provided to share the results of a Primary Pad document on a class or personal website. Share a document via url so designated individuals can immediately begin "real-time" collaboration. Send invitations out to participants through email or simply write down the URL.

tag(s): chat (53), writing (363)

In the Classroom

This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to be sure that all portions you plan to use are available when using your school's network. No login or account sign up is necessary for a "Public" account. You or students can simply click the "Create a Public Pad" button and start typing. Discuss acceptable uses and consequences before introducing the site. The downside of this is that anyone who has the link can access a document, and the work is not password protected. Make sure students understand not to share the link with anyone they do not trust or want contributing. Have students use initials or assign logical pseudonyms (Ex. MsGper2-12, MsGper2-13, etc.) for their user names. Keep your own record of their user names for accountability in case there are any problems. The free public pad option saves a single file for 30 days, so plan accordingly!

All academic subjects can benefit from "real-time" document creation. Student teams can communicate and create presentations after-school, when sick at home, traveling, or even in-class. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. In science class, have students draft their observations and results from an experiment together. Let students assume the persona and dialogue of a designated character from a literature study book and add an additional scene. Have students re-write a fable with another student(s). Develop a peer-tutor writing program with older students at a different school site. Provide immediate feedback to students as they write drafts. Use the "timeslider" to assess contributions each team member is making to group projects. Embed the finished product onto the school website for others to read. Writing teachers will love viewing and debriefing time-lapses of the writing/revision process using the slider.

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DIY Podcast - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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Create a podcast using audio and videos clips featuring NASA scientists! Follow the steps to create the podcast, including writing a production script, downloading clips, recording...more
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Create a podcast using audio and videos clips featuring NASA scientists! Follow the steps to create the podcast, including writing a production script, downloading clips, recording your narrations, and editing. Use a digital recorder, camcorder, or your computer to record the audio. Download a brochure or bookmark to remember the links for creating the DIY Podcast. Click on the links along the right side of the page for great resources such as the DIY Podcast Blog for some great ideas. Several examples along the side include creating a fitness podcast, lab safety, Newton's Laws, Rocket Science, and Solar Arrays.

tag(s): podcasts (54), scientists (69), space (213)

In the Classroom

Provide example topics to your class once they have tried this site, and let them go! Podcasts can be used in any subject area. In math, have students "teach" the class a new skill via podcast. Rather than a traditional book report, have students create a podcast highlighting the main character, plot, conflict, or storyline or a book. In current events, have cooperative learning groups create a podcast debating a current area of dispute. You could record your assignments or directions; you can record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have better readers record selected passages for your non-readers (perhaps older buddies). Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy! Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. Create great podcasts that can be shared on your wiki site, or blog!

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Protagonize - Taunt Media

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories...more
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories are available for others to comment on or add to. You can easily specify two endings like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series or leave the story's ending unfinished. Alternatively, choose to create different "chapters" of a story. Before writing, choose from many different story genres. If you prefer not to have outside input on the story, you can select "solo" writing. It is easy to change solo to collaborative writing, however. There is also an option to digitally link the chapters. The site is very flexible, and you can write poetry, drama, song lyrics, and writing exercises including role plays. Before writing, students set up "story guidelines" so that future contributors can see the parameters of the piece. Students can also view the work of others. Mature content is marked with a "Mature" marker. Students and other writers have an obligation to report inappropriate content. PDF format or RSS feeds allow the created work to be saved to another format.
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tag(s): creative writing (168), digital storytelling (152), expository writing (45), narrative (23), persuasive writing (55), poetry (226), six traits of writing (7), songs (53), stories and storytelling (33), word choice (27), writers workshop (32), writing (363)

In the Classroom

You may wish to set up a group or class account, so that you can keep a careful eye on what outside additions are made (use an RSS feed!) . Students would then need to sign their writing or their comments on other class members writing, with a code known by you. Or you can invite students through email, and then create a group on the program that would include your students; however this group would also be open to the public.

Create groups of students who would like to work together on a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story connected to a science or social studies topic. Have the students create the story guidelines and parameters. Once the students have started the story, have them use your projector and interactive whiteboard and get feedback from class members about the different directions the story could take. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

Have your students create "solo" stories, and then have them switch to "collaborative" to receive comments and input from other members in their writing group or class. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

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