TeachersFirst Edge - Digital storytelling

 

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StoryLab - Adventure Cow

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

tag(s): creative writing (167), writing (365)

In the Classroom

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

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Kapwing - Eric Lu and Julia Enthoven

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K to 12
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Kapwing is an online video and photo editor for creating and sharing short videos for personal and online use. Use Kapwing directly from the website without downloads or passwords....more
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Kapwing is an online video and photo editor for creating and sharing short videos for personal and online use. Use Kapwing directly from the website without downloads or passwords. Among the many available features this site offers tools for adding text, including filters, change images to video, and much more. Begin by choosing a tool from the drop-down box at the top of the homepage. Upload media from your computer using the provided boxes and choose from options to personalize content as you wish. When complete, save to your computer or create an account with Kapwing to store videos and photos.

tag(s): editing (74), images (284), social media (28), video (278)

In the Classroom

Use Kapwing even with young students to add text to any image, create collages, and edit video. Ask students to create a collage with two pictures demonstrating the before and after of a science experiment. Add text to images to create captions when sharing class projects. Ask students to use Kapwing to create short videos, then include them with other images and videos as part of a multimedia project or digital portfolio. bulb, reviewed here, is an easy to use tool for creating digital portfolios.

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Amazon Storywriter - Amazon

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6 to 12
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Storywriter is a free screenwriting tool for creating screenplays provided through your Amazon account. Features include auto formatting, offline access, sharing features, and use across...more
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Storywriter is a free screenwriting tool for creating screenplays provided through your Amazon account. Features include auto formatting, offline access, sharing features, and use across multiple devices. Import an existing PDF into Storywriter or begin writing directly into the program. Storywriter saves each draft version to help document progress of your work. When finished, invite others through email to view your work or download to your computer. An Amazon account is required to use Storywriter.

tag(s): creative writing (167), plays (32), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Share Storywriter with students during lessons on screenwriting to learn how to format work when writing plays. Ask students to use this site to create plays describing historic events - for example, the first moon landing, or as a creative writing project. Before starting the play, have students map out their ideas using a tool like Story Map, reviewed here. Share student's final work by recording their play and sharing with parents and others on a video sharing site like SchoolTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Snappa - Nosco Media Inc

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K to 12
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Snappa is an easy to use graphics editor. Use your own images or choose from Snappa's large library of over 500,000 royalty-free, licensed for commercial use images, 200 fonts, and...more
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Snappa is an easy to use graphics editor. Use your own images or choose from Snappa's large library of over 500,000 royalty-free, licensed for commercial use images, 200 fonts, and 70,000 graphics. After choosing your image size use the site's templates to begin a design, or start with a blank canvas to create your own. Use the tools on the dashboard to change backgrounds, add effects, personalize text, and more. When complete, download to your computer or share to your connected social media sites. The free plan provides five downloads per month and limited templates. At the time of this review, the majority of templates are free.

tag(s): graphic design (38), images (284), posters (41), slides (68)

In the Classroom

Use Snappa to create graphics for any class presentations. Ask students to create a graphic (i.e poster) for an "all about me" introduction at the beginning of the school year, then include these graphics in an online book using Book Creator, reviewed here. Create graphic book covers as book reviews. Include graphics in multimedia presentations created using Sway, reviewed here, or Adobe Spark, reviewed here.

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Crello - Depositphotos

Grades
K to 12
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Crello is a visual editor for creating social media images, banners, animated designs, and more. Choose from Crello's extensive library of templates and photos, or use your own. Select...more
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Crello is a visual editor for creating social media images, banners, animated designs, and more. Choose from Crello's extensive library of templates and photos, or use your own. Select the type of media to create to begin a project, open your workspace, and personalize different features. Check out the How to Guide in the lower left corner of the page. Create an account using email to download and share finished projects.

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), graphic design (38), images (284), infographics (53), posters (41), slides (68), social media (28)

In the Classroom

Share Crello with students as a tool for creating posters, infographics, and other visual media for any project. Begin by displaying this site on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrating how to use the different features and discussing how to find the free materials available. Have students create a screencast using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, to demonstrate how to use the different features of Crello and include their screencasts on your class website for student use at home and at school. Instead of a book report, have students create a simple webpage (use WebNode, reviewed here,) and include a banner or poster created using Crello to share their ideas. Ask students to use this site to create an infographic sharing nutrition facts, events in world history, or any other information learned in class.

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Sinespace - Sine Wave Entertainment Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular...more
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular regions created by users in the site. Sign up using your email to access creation tools and choose your avatar. Use tools to personalize your avatar and build your virtual region including vehicles and home backgrounds.

tag(s): animation (61), coding (66), computers (101), digital storytelling (154), STEM (189)

In the Classroom

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

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Color, Draw & Paint - ABCya!

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

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), drawing (77), painting (66), preK (286)

In the Classroom

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

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Webjets - Webjets Ltd

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K to 12
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Curate, organize and share web content with Webjet. Create your account and begin working with your Webjet desktop. Use links at the bottom of your workspace to add lists, mindmaps,...more
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Curate, organize and share web content with Webjet. Create your account and begin working with your Webjet desktop. Use links at the bottom of your workspace to add lists, mindmaps, folders, and more. Drag and drop content from your computer and add to your workspace. Install the bookmarklet onto your computer browser to automatically push information into your inbox. Webjet operates on a system using "cards." After creating cards, personalize content by changing backgrounds and adding information. Collaborate with other users by sharing cards and allowing them to edit information. Free accounts offer up to 200 cards, 2 collaborators, and 100MB of uploads.

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), microblogging (39), organizational skills (121)

In the Classroom

Use Webjet to organize and curate content for any unit. Share video and website links, upload notes, and create mindmaps for student review. Ask older students to create their own Webjet to organize information for large projects and when collaborating with other students. Webjets is perfect for creating and curating career research information. Include a link to a curated Webjet board as part of a larger multimedia project shared using a digital storytelling tool like Adobe Spark, reviewed here.

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Pixorize - Pixorize Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Annotate and share images using Pixorize. Register and create your account to begin using this site. Choose to create or start annotating to upload an image. Use the tools found ...more
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Annotate and share images using Pixorize. Register and create your account to begin using this site. Choose to create or start annotating to upload an image. Use the tools found on the dashboard to size your image and add markers. Choose from different shapes of markers and place anywhere on the image, once added type your annotation in the provided box. When complete, be sure to go to file and save your image. Viewers see annotations when hovering their mouse over areas chosen in your design. Use the share link to share the URL or share using social media links. Be sure to watch the video tutorial for complete directions for using Pixorize.

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (154), images (284), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

Create annotated images for introducing new content in your classroom, share images on your interactive whiteboard to review together. Use Pixorize to create images together with students, add information in real-time to any image on your whiteboard using student descriptions and prompts. Have students create their own images to describe story characters, scientific processes, or as a mini report on facts about a state. The ideas are endless!

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Rocketium - Rocketium.com Technologies Private Limited

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

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (177), video (278)

In the Classroom

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

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Timelinely - Daniel Levin

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

tag(s): video (278)

In the Classroom

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

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DesignCap Poster Creator - PearlMountain

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

tag(s): images (284), posters (41)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free resource to create posters for any topic. Have students design poster book covers to summarize stories read. Include posters with student blogging projects as part of an online portfolio. Easyblog, reviewed here, provides free, easy to use blogging tools for younger students. Ask older students to create posters of different cultures and countries, then include them in a virtual field trip using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Challenge science and math students to create posters demonstrating an understanding of topics using their own words and images.

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Meme Buddy - Mike Bodge

Grades
4 to 12
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Create memes using your computer or mobile device with Meme Buddy. Meme Buddy works with Google Assistant to build a meme using your instructions for adding an image and text. ...more
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Create memes using your computer or mobile device with Meme Buddy. Meme Buddy works with Google Assistant to build a meme using your instructions for adding an image and text. Change options as you like until your meme looks the way you want. Save to your device to share as desired. Be sure to watch the video for an overview of how Meme Buddy works.

tag(s): creativity (118), DAT device agnostic tool (177), digital storytelling (154), images (284)

In the Classroom

Use Meme Buddy to quickly create memes on the fly. Share a meme on your interactive whiteboard as a discussion starter for the beginning of your lesson. Ask students to create a meme as a one sentence summary of the day's activity and use as an exit ticket. Meme Buddy translates information into other languages, create a meme in a different language as an anticipatory set for learning about a foreign language. Foreign language teachers will love creating memes to teach phrases to students!

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WriteWell - WriteWell

Grades
5 to 12
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WriteWell is a set of clear and easy to use writing tools designed to help with the writing process while making the process fun and engaging for users. Start by ...more
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WriteWell is a set of clear and easy to use writing tools designed to help with the writing process while making the process fun and engaging for users. Start by searching for templates for any particular type of writing or select from content links on the home page. Each writing template includes a complete example, description of how to write in this format, the option to download the template, and a link to begin work in the online app. Creating an account isn't required to use the tools in WriteWell; however, it does offer many options for saving and sharing your work.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (167), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (40), letter writing (19), paragraph writing (17), persuasive writing (57), process writing (48), writers workshop (34), writing (365)

In the Classroom

WriteWell is a must-have for all teachers. Use this site for your own professional use in graduate work. Share a link on your class website for student use at home. Share the steps and information within any template as a guide for teaching different writing styles. Have students enhance a previous project by using tools within WriteWell, then have them compare and discuss the differences. If the students wrote the document in Google or Word, have students highlight and add comments sharing changes to their text. Include before and after documents in an online student portfolio like bulb, reviewed here. Bulb allows you to embed videos; ask students to upload a short video discussion of their revisions to any document. As a culminating activity, have students create a video tutorial of different styles of writing using a video creation tool like My Simpleshow, reviewed here.

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Biteable - Biteable

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

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), infographics (53), multimedia (62), video (278)

In the Classroom

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

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Plotagon Story - Plotagon AB

Grades
6 to 12
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Create animated videos and emojis with Plotagon. Use Plotagon apps for computers or mobile devices to write, record, and share your story. Follow the directions to download the app...more
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Create animated videos and emojis with Plotagon. Use Plotagon apps for computers or mobile devices to write, record, and share your story. Follow the directions to download the app to begin. Follow the prompts to choose backgrounds, sounds, and add text. When complete, publish your video to YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, share using the URL, or save to an mp4 file on your computer or on your Plotagon account.
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tag(s): animation (61), DAT device agnostic tool (177), digital storytelling (154), video (278)

In the Classroom

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

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Fake Text Message - iFakeTextMessage.com

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

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (154), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

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

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Google My Maps - Google

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

tag(s): maps (294), virtual field trips (55)

In the Classroom

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

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Beautiful Audio Editor - Creative Tools

Grades
K to 12
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Beautiful Audio is an in-browser audio editor that works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Use the editor to import or record audio files to edit. Use the toolbar to ...more
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Beautiful Audio is an in-browser audio editor that works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Use the editor to import or record audio files to edit. Use the toolbar to add effects, drag and reorder audio, and split or delete sections of your file. Easily save completed projects to Google Drive or your computer. Be sure to visit the "Docs" section of this site for an overview of available features. Beautiful Audio recommends using the editor for files under 300mb or 45 minutes in length to avoid crashes leading to project failures.

tag(s): editing (74)

In the Classroom

Record your class singing or reading their compositions to share with parents on your website or blog. Record and edit sound to be included with PowerPoint presentations. Use with a creative writing project to record stories for selected images. Share with students to use with multimedia projects to create background audio or original audio presentations. View the features of the site on your interactive whiteboard together with your older students, then allow them time to explore and experiment with the available features. Instead of having students share a written speech as an oral presentation, ask them to use Beautiful Audio to record their presentation and add original features to the soundtrack. Include this recording as part of a multimedia presentation using a site like Sway, reviewed here. Sway offers tools to create interactive presentations available for all devices.
 

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MapHub - Zsolt Ero and Gergely Matyus

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

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), maps (294)

In the Classroom

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

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