TeachersFirst Edge - Digital Storytelling

 

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Family Tree Creator - DNAweekly

Grades
4 to 12
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Quickly build your family tree, without registration, using the Family Tree Creator. Follow prompts to add family member names within the labeled boxes. This site is a no-frills way...more
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Quickly build your family tree, without registration, using the Family Tree Creator. Follow prompts to add family member names within the labeled boxes. This site is a no-frills way to see a detailed view of your family history. You can add names, dates of birth, and dates of death to each entry. Include an image, if available, with each item included on the family tree. Within each entry is an option to add parent's or sibling's information. When finished, download to your computer or share your link using the unique URL for your ancestry tree.

tag(s): family (60), immigration (71), migration (61)

In the Classroom

Use the Family Tree Creator as a research project for students to explore their family heritage. Use the creator as a guide to family characters within novels with complicated storylines or create a family tree to trace European kings' and queens' lineage. If students don't have images to upload, use an avatar creator such as the Free Anime Avatar Maker, reviewed here, or Bitmoji, reviewed here, to create a likeness to upload. Extend learning by asking students to interview living relatives using an audio file creator such as Vocaroo, reviewed here, to record conversations. Add additional information to a timeline created using Timeline Maker, reviewed here, that offers a simple format for creating personalized timelines. Include students' completed family trees, interviews, timelines, and additional research information in a multimedia presentation like Sway, reviewed here.

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Google Slides - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Google Slides is the presentation tool component of the Google document collection. Use Slides to create slide presentations that include images, animations, embedded videos, and much...more
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Google Slides is the presentation tool component of the Google document collection. Use Slides to create slide presentations that include images, animations, embedded videos, and much more. Create your slides or choose from pre-made templates to fit your needs. Share slides for others to view or adjust settings to allow collaborators to edit presentations in real-time. Slides automatically saves your work to your Google Drive using auto-save, making it easy to share and save all updates across any device. Slides works with PowerPoint, offering you the ease of uploading a PowerPoint file to Slides or importing any Slides presentation to PowerPoint.

tag(s): multimedia (51), slides (54)

In the Classroom

Discover the many features of Google Slides to create presentations, interactive stories, and much more. Create a class poetry presentation by asking students to create individual slides, then put them together in one slide show as a class poetry book to share on your class website. Deliver blended or flipped lessons using Google Slides by adding links to videos, websites, assessment information, games, and other learning activities. Find many more ideas for classroom use at the archive of a recent OK2Ask webinar: GoogleMania - Student Activities for Google Slides, reviewed here, or the OK2Ask webinar: GoogleMania - Choose Your Own Adventure with Google Slides, reviewed here, or the Ok2Ask webinar: GoogleMania - Google Slides Tips & Tricks, reviewed here.

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Adobe Spark Video Creator - Adobe Spark

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Spark's video creator. Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start from scratch. Add videos, slides,...more
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Spark's video creator. Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start from scratch. Add videos, slides, text, music, and more to your video. Easily rearrange, change themes, and add components until satisfied. When finished, publish your video to share or download it to your computer.

tag(s): digital storytelling (145), multimedia (51), video (271)

In the Classroom

Consider using videos in your classroom in a variety of ways. Upload your slide presentations and add audio to create flipped and blended learning experiences for your students. Ask students to create videos as an alternative to book reports or written presentations. Share videos on your class website for students to access when away from the classroom. As you ask students to create videos, use a bookmarking site such as Padlet, reviewed here, to share and organize information for students to use when researching. Include Adobe Spark Videos as part of a larger presentation using Book Creator, reviewed here. Embed your video along with images, text, drawings, and other media into your digital book creation. Book Creator is a Chrome app.

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Popped - Carbon Studio LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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Popped brings a social media feel to story writing and planning. Write a story or screenplay the same way you text. Create an account and select to begin a new ...more
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Popped brings a social media feel to story writing and planning. Write a story or screenplay the same way you text. Create an account and select to begin a new project, either as a story or movie. Add two characters, upload an image for each character, and your title. Add additional characters at any time as you write the story. Use the edit feature to move text up or down within the story, change the character associated with the text, or delete items. Before creating a story, use Popped's timeline feature to create an outline for your work. When complete, publish your work and share it using the provided links. Be sure to look at options found on this site to turn off mature content since submissions aren't moderated.

tag(s): creative writing (151), digital storytelling (145), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Popped is an excellent tool to help students manage and create storytelling projects. Ask them to use this site to plan original pieces of fiction or to retell events in history through the eyes of different participants. 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. Use Buzzsprout, reviewed here, as a podcasting tool that offers options such as scheduling episodes for specific dates and times, adding chapter markers to episodes, and adding links, lists, and formatting to your show notes.

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ZineLab Digital Zines - ZineLab

Grades
6 to 12
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Build, save, and share interactive magazines with ZineLab. Use the included templates to add many forms of content including images, video, maps, and text. After creating an account,...more
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Build, save, and share interactive magazines with ZineLab. Use the included templates to add many forms of content including images, video, maps, and text. After creating an account, select to begin creating your magazine. Watch the tutorial to get started or select items from the dashboard to upload and use. Uploaded images are limited to 2mb in size. When finished, publish your zine and share using the URL created. Free accounts allow you to access basic templates and create up to six zines.

tag(s): blogs (78), digital storytelling (145)

In the Classroom

Before using this site, share the tutorials and how-to information with students to get them started. Modify learning for your tech-savvy or gifted students to create a screen recording tutorial using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, or an explainer video using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, to share on your class website or blog for students who need additional help on any features. If image files are too large, reduce them using Web Resizer, reviewed here. Once students are familiar with the site, create magazines using student images to share class projects or use available images found in ZineLab to create and share research information.

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ZapWorks - Zappar Ltd.

Grades
8 to 12
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Create and publish augmented reality (AR) experiences with ZapWorks Studio and ZapWorks Designer. Sign up for a personal account to receive five free experiences. Use the studio tools...more
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Create and publish augmented reality (AR) experiences with ZapWorks Studio and ZapWorks Designer. Sign up for a personal account to receive five free experiences. Use the studio tools to add digital objects to your world or create portals into worlds developed using your imagination. For an easier introduction to the world of AR, try ZapWorks Designer. Designer uses drag-and-drop features for creating experiences using images, video, audio, and more. When finished, publish to the Zappar app.

tag(s): augmented reality (8), coding (81), graphic design (42)

In the Classroom

Get to know ZapWorks through the many robust tutorials and guides found on the site. Share ZapWorks with students interested in design, computer coding, and virtual and augmented reality. Redefine classroom technology by offering students the opportunity to create an augmented reality experience as an alternative to a book report, research project, or multimedia presentation. In science class ask students to create a project demonstrating the water cycle, for literature have students produce their vision of the setting of a book, or use the site to create an animated business card featuring a famous character from history. As students become proficient in using the site, modify classroom technology by asking them to share their expertise with others by creating explainer videos using Biteable, reviewed here. Post these videos on your class website for students to access both at home and at school.

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FlexClip - Patrick Ma

Grades
K to 12
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Upload your images and videos to FlexClip to create quick and easy videos. Create your account, then use the storyboard to add pictures and videos from your computer. Customize your...more
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Upload your images and videos to FlexClip to create quick and easy videos. Create your account, then use the storyboard to add pictures and videos from your computer. Customize your video by uploading a music file or record using your computer's microphone. When finished, save your video and download to your device.

tag(s): editing (80), images (273), video (271)

In the Classroom

Use FlexClip even with young students to create videos for many topics. Ask students to share pictures demonstrating the before and after of a science experiment, then add student voice recordings to explain the experiment. Modify and enhance learning by asking students to use FlexClip to create short videos, then include them with other images and videos as part of a multimedia project or digital portfolio. Seesaw, reviewed here, is an easy to use tool for creating and personalizing digital portfolios. The following tools are great for transforming learning and creating multimedia projects: (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark for K-12, Animatron, Sway, and Beautiful.AI.

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Hiveword - Zecura, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Hiveword offers a set of integrated writing tools. Use the Novel Organizer to organize characters, setting, and plotlines as part of your ongoing story writing process. Use the Knowledge...more
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Hiveword offers a set of integrated writing tools. Use the Novel Organizer to organize characters, setting, and plotlines as part of your ongoing story writing process. Use the Knowledge Base as a search engine featuring over 40,000 articles all about the craft of writing. Other handy tools on the site include random character name and location generators.

tag(s): creative writing (151), process writing (41), writers workshop (34), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Your students don't need to write novels to take advantage of the many features of this site. Start out simple and use the character name and location generators as inspiration for creative writing projects. Share an article a week from the Knowledge Base on your class website as part of your writing lessons. After sharing articles, ask students to revise their work within Google Documents or Microsoft Word by adding highlights and comments to share changes. Enhance classroom technology and their learning further by asking them to keep a blog using Penzu, reviewed here, documenting what they are learning about writing. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Take advantage of the Novel Organizer to help students develop portions of any writing project. Ask them to take a screenshot of their story organization from Hiveword to include with their final project draft.

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Edward - Isaac Lyman

Grades
6 to 12
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Stop dreaming about your first novel and start writing it with Edward, or take advantage of Edward's organizational tools even if you aren't working on the next Great American Novel....more
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Stop dreaming about your first novel and start writing it with Edward, or take advantage of Edward's organizational tools even if you aren't working on the next Great American Novel. Create an account using your email address to begin your first document. Choose from starting a novel, script, essay, or blank document. Use Edward's dashboard to plan, outline, analyze, write, and more. Select features within the analysis tool to find the most commonly used words, track usage of specific words, and see a computer-based sentence based on your work. Free accounts allow you to use the full interface, export to PDF or save on your computer.

tag(s): creative writing (151), digital storytelling (145), editing (80), essays (24), plays (28), process writing (41), writers workshop (34), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Use Edward as an excellent tool for helping students manage and organize any writing project. Instead of hand-written outlines, ask students to use Edward and share a screenshot of their project before beginning to write. Ask students to share with peers and help each other begin to organize writing. As students work toward completion of writing assignments, ask them to use Peergrade, reviewed here, to upload their work and enhance classroom technology use and their learning by collaborating with peers to make final revisions. As students move along within the writing process, include each piece as part of the overall assessment instead of just the final project. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.

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Notebook.ai - Indent Labs, LLC

Grades
8 to 12
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Notebook.ai is a story planning tool for writers. After registering, choose from different sections of the site to begin creating different portions of your fantasy world. Options include...more
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Notebook.ai is a story planning tool for writers. After registering, choose from different sections of the site to begin creating different portions of your fantasy world. Options include universe, character, world, creatures, governments, and much more. Free accounts allow you to build up to five universes with unlimited characters and items. Upload up to 50 mb of images to use within your stories. The default setting for all story tools in Notebook.ai is private, turn on the public setting to share a link with others to view.

tag(s): characterization (16), creative writing (151), descriptive writing (41), digital storytelling (145), stories and storytelling (34)

In the Classroom

Although created for fantasy storytelling, Notebook.ai contains many features for teaching story writing. Ask students to create an account and choose an option such as the character builder. This section includes many ideas for building features for your character including describing his history, looks, and social profile. The same idea is built into the other areas to help develop descriptions of locations and surroundings in a story. Consider displaying this site on your interactive whiteboard during story writing lessons to introduce these ideas of character and scene building into student writing activities. Have students begin rough drafts using Google documents, then share with peers for peer editing activities. Ask students to highlight well-written portions of their story, and add questions and suggestions for improvement. Upon completion, enhance classroom technology use and learning by having students share their stories in weekly podcasts shared onto your class website. Podcast Generator, reviewed here, is an easy to use tool for creating and sharing podcasts.

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Poem Generator - Masterpiece Generator

Grades
4 to 12
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Quickly create several different forms of poems using the Poem Generator. Choose from over a dozen different options to begin your poem. Follow the prompts to add a topic and ...more
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Quickly create several different forms of poems using the Poem Generator. Choose from over a dozen different options to begin your poem. Follow the prompts to add a topic and words to include. To create and complete your poem, select the "Write me a poem" link. Some formats require additional steps before generating the final piece of poetry. To view different poem creations using the same word prompts, choose refresh for a new poem.
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tag(s): parts of speech (67), poetry (222)

In the Classroom

Use the Poem Generator to introduce students to different forms of poems through exploration and use of the generator's features. This site is also a great tool to use when teaching parts of speech. Challenge students to identify the features that indicate different types of poems. Create a class Padlet, reviewed here, with columns for each type of poem and ask students to share their creations in the appropriate column. After students have time to experiment with the Poem Generator, challenge them to create poems without using this tool. Enhance classroom technology use by adding a picture of their final project to ThingLink, reviewed here, and ask students to add audio recordings including their reading of the poem and a short discussion sharing the features that identify the poem as belonging to a specific genre. Transform classroom technology use by having students publish their poetry using Book Creator, reviewed here, to make a class book with all of your students' poetry. Be sure to have each student include an audio recording reading their poem!
 

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One Met. Many Worlds - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
5 to 12
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One Met. Many Worlds features a collection of 500 works of art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asks viewers to engage by pairing pieces and providing an interesting ...more
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One Met. Many Worlds features a collection of 500 works of art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asks viewers to engage by pairing pieces and providing an interesting descriptive comparison. Scroll through the site and choose two images, provide a short text description for each, then share using the link. The Met encourages participants to respond playfully, poetically, and creatively.

tag(s): images (273), painting (59), parts of speech (67), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site to encourage creativity, teach adjectives, and study art at the same time! Share images on your interactive whiteboard and explore together. Ask students to enhance their learning by finding images then creating collages using PhotoCollage, reviewed here, to add descriptions or compare features. After creating collages, encourage creative writing in your students by asking them to use their collage as inspiration for a writing project. Modify learning by trying StoryLab, reviewed here, a choose your own adventure story creation tool where students can feature the chosen images.
 

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Apester - Moti Cohen

Grades
6 to 12
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Create free online storytelling tools with Apester. Choose from several options including polls, quizzes, stories, and more. Use Apester's templates to add or change images, text, and...more
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Create free online storytelling tools with Apester. Choose from several options including polls, quizzes, stories, and more. Use Apester's templates to add or change images, text, and other options. When finished, publish then share using the link created. Use the embed code to embed into your website or blog. After sharing, Apester provides statistics including the number of views, interaction time, and times shared.

tag(s): digital storytelling (145), polls and surveys (45)

In the Classroom

Use Apester's tools in a variety of ways. Create polls to assess understanding before or after any lesson, use the poll as an exit ticket after class, or have students create polls for use in multimedia presentations. Use the countdown poll feature and ask students to predict upcoming events in novels and stories. Ask students to use the story feature to retell events in history, share scientific information, or feature their original writing. Challenge students to redefine their learning and integrate their Apester creations into a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Blabberize, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Vizia. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics to assess multimedia projects along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, here.

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PeoplePlotr - PeoplePlotr.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Create interactive family trees or hierarchy representations using the drag and drop features of PeoplePlotr. Features include options for embedding images, videos, and text within...more
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Create interactive family trees or hierarchy representations using the drag and drop features of PeoplePlotr. Features include options for embedding images, videos, and text within plots. After registering using your email, use your dashboard to begin. In addition to the visual tree, options include adding and viewing information in a timeline format. Follow the steps to fill in the information (only the title is required) and choose the link to create your plot. From this step start adding information to your family tree. Share with others using your unique URL. PeoplePlotr limits free accounts to one plot with 15 people and no embedding on your website.

tag(s): family (60), graphic organizers (43), timelines (54)

In the Classroom

If your students have a school email address use this information to sign individuals up to create their own plot. View examples on this site to get inspiration for creating plots in several different ways. Create family trees of story characters to help visualize family legacies, have students create a hierarchy chart representing government leaders, or have students research their own family tree. After completing timelines, ask students to use the information learned to enhance their learning by creating an explainer video sharing their timeline or hierarchy details. Biteable, reviewed here, is a very easy to use video creation tool.

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Elementari - Nicole Kang and David Li

Grades
3 to 12
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Create interactive digital stories with Elementari. Features include drag and drop text, illustrations, and shapes. Choose from image filters and a variety of fonts to personalize the...more
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Create interactive digital stories with Elementari. Features include drag and drop text, illustrations, and shapes. Choose from image filters and a variety of fonts to personalize the look of your story. Other tools include the ability to animate illustrations or text, and to create interactions by touch. Use interactions to play a sound, go to a new page, or animate a feature. After creating your account begin by selecting the option to write your story. Follow the prompts to add images, backgrounds, audio, and more. When finished, preview your story then publish. After publishing, share using social media links or the provided embed code. You can also create a class with 30 students. Students do not need email to use Elementari. Students with existing accounts can also connect to your classroom. Students can choose an avatar from the ones provided and cannot upload any pictures. Teachers must approve stories before they can be published. Be sure to check out the Curriculum Guide!

tag(s): creative writing (151), digital storytelling (145), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Offer students the option to share their writing using Elementari by adding illustrations and sounds. From the home page find the upload button at the top of the page. Upload up to 10 5mb images and 10 mb audio files. Create stories together, as a class, as you move through a unit or topic. Enhance student learning by adding images and ideas your students suggest. Use in a flipped or blended classroom to deliver course information. Assign several student groups a different topic and extend their learning by having each group create their own version as they learn more about the topic. Challenge gifted students to modify the "standard" class text with the additional material they discover, by going deeper and learning about related topics. In lower grades, create teacher-made digital stories for students to use as a learning tool.

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Beautiful.AI - Beautiful Slides, Inc

Grades
6 to 12
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Build dynamic, animated presentations easily with Beautiful.AI's smart templates and designs. Use your images or choose from the site's database of millions of stock photos and icons....more
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Build dynamic, animated presentations easily with Beautiful.AI's smart templates and designs. Use your images or choose from the site's database of millions of stock photos and icons. Beautiful.AI places images automatically in the most visually appealing place on a slide; however, it also offers additional choices for placement. Use the share option to add collaborators, or share through public and private options. Export finished presentations as a PDF or PowerPoint when completed.

tag(s): slides (54)

In the Classroom

Share Beautiful.AI with students to use for presentations as an alternative to Google Slides or PowerPoint. Use this tool for your flipped or blended learning lessons and student multimedia presentations. Challenge your writers to create short stories that include their artwork, and publish with slides. Beautiful.AI is a great resource for your BYOD classroom.

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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 (151), writing (355)

In the Classroom

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

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Sinespace - Sine Wave Entertainment Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular...more
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular regions created by 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. The free basic plan includes one region with ten concurrent users. At the time of this review, Sinespace works on PC that has Windows/Mac/Linux. Though they are working on Android and iOS versions.

tag(s): animation (62), coding (81), computers (109), digital storytelling (145), STEM (217)

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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Imagine Forest - Imagine Forest

Grades
K to 6
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Imagine Forest offers tools to create and publish stories from anywhere. Start by creating your free account to access the many resources found on the site. Begin writing right away...more
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Imagine Forest offers tools to create and publish stories from anywhere. Start by creating your free account to access the many resources found on the site. Begin writing right away by uploading one of your own images or find inspiration by exploring the site. Choose the Activities link to earn points through writing challenges. Choose the Write link to create your own storybook using an image provided by Imagine Forest or uploading your own. Other activities include options like Fill in the blank stories, Character Creator, and a Rhyming Dictionary.

tag(s): creative writing (151), digital storytelling (145), writing (355), writing prompts (75)

In the Classroom

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

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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 (173), video (271)

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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