TeachersFirst Edge - Digital Storytelling

 

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The Little Memory - Ivan Tse

Grades
2 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The Little Memory provides an online tool for diary writing and journaling. You can download the app for iOS devices, use it on a web browser, or download the Chrome ...more
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The Little Memory provides an online tool for diary writing and journaling. You can download the app for iOS devices, use it on a web browser, or download the Chrome extension and start to write! Upload pictures, tag your location, and share with other friends using social media links. Change settings to allow private or public viewing of any entries. Choose the star icon to save memories as favorites. Choose "stat" to see your statistics such as number of entries, current and longest writing streaks, and photos used. Earn photo credits by sharing memories with others. Click the World Memories icon to view entries by other users; however, these are not moderated.

tag(s): creative writing (160), DAT device agnostic tool (173), journals (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students to create their own private diary or journal. Use The Little Memory as a good option for students to use for prewriting and brainstorming before beginning writing projects. Create your own account and use The Little Memory as a tool for reflecting on lessons and classroom activities each day. If you have individual laptops for students, or are in a BYOD school, why not begin class with an entry each day. Have students keep a simple, yearlong journal of the highlights of their learning. Use The Little Memory as lesson "closure" writing a summary of each day's events. For young students who cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Hacktivity Kits - Mozilla

Grades
8 to 12
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What better way to learn than through making? Collaborate and make items for the web using these webmaker tools. These Hacktivity Kits are easy for anyone to organize a session ...more
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What better way to learn than through making? Collaborate and make items for the web using these webmaker tools. These Hacktivity Kits are easy for anyone to organize a session and learn about creating items for the Internet. Use these kits to facilitate classes that focus on webmaking. Each section includes what you will need to consider to prepare for using the kits. Kits include sample lessons, projects, and activities. Find documents (cheat sheet for HTML!) that can be printed in each of the Resources sections. Use activities that assess progress and even provide badges. Each kit has a Big Picture, Objectives, Questions, and all related material. Find a variety of kits: X-Ray Goggles, Popcorn, Thimble, Online Storytelling, Revolutions in Media, Make It Share It, and more. As the name suggests, the Hacktivity kits can be hacked as well. Choose the parts that work for your class and expand upon others when more resources are needed. Since the products are created for the web, the tools used to make them are web applications. The recommended browsers include Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Note: It is important that all browsers be updated to the latest versions in order to use the web application effectively. Be sure to click "View Additional Resources" for one page documents including readings, cheat sheets, checklists, how-to's, and FAQ's. Click "View All Hacktivities" for simple activities such as Icebreakers. Explore Hands on Hacking, to delve deeper into the material.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), images (268), stories and storytelling (33), video (265)

In the Classroom

Share this site and the possibilities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These kits would be good for gifted students interested in web creation. Use these kits in an advanced Technology class or club. Know a talented student who is interested in web creation (or think he/she might be)? Create a spark for web creation in the next generation! Share this link on your class website for students to explore on their own.
 

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PastBook - PastBook P.V.

Grades
K to 12
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PastBook is a wonderful site for creating online photo albums or scrapbooks. The tool was originally intended to create memorial books. Now you can create memory books and even choose...more
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PastBook is a wonderful site for creating online photo albums or scrapbooks. The tool was originally intended to create memorial books. Now you can create memory books and even choose a year to display. Choose "Start Now," to begin. Add a title, description, and pictures by uploading from your computer or social network accounts. Provide the text to describe images and a date if desired. When ready, choose "Create Your Book" to complete the book process. View finished books online or download for free in PDF format. Invite others to collaborate on your book through social networking links. Privacy settings allow only those with the URL to view your book. This tool is available on the web and iPhone. It will soon be available for any device. Sign-in using your email or FaceBook account. You can invite people via email or SMS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), images (268), photography (144), portfolios (23)

In the Classroom

Use a class PastBook account to keep track of the day-to-day happenings in your classroom (especially for younger grades). Consider creating albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Have students create portfolios for art and photography classes. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics. Set the scenes for novels or stories. Explain a specific science concept (using Creative Commons images AND proper credit). Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be an excellent resource. Learning support, speech, ESL/ELL, autistic support, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.

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Shotclip (Beta) - Shotclip.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create and edit professional looking videos in a three-step process using Shotclip. Down the app for your operating system. Use the storytelling guide to choose a template. Template...more
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Create and edit professional looking videos in a three-step process using Shotclip. Down the app for your operating system. Use the storytelling guide to choose a template. Template options include My Summer, Halloween Fun, blank templates, and more. Templates provide guidance for scenes or shots to include in your story. Templates also offer suggested length and music for each portion. Upload images, video, audio, add effects, and edit video as desired. When complete, publish and share to receive an email with a link to your video or publish directly to your YouTube account.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), images (268), movies (66), video (265)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. In lower grades, make videos together as a class. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. Create a video montage of images taken in the classroom. Use to show a process, explain an experiment, discuss data collected, create club or class movies about happenings throughout the year, and much more. Use this tool as a creative and easy alternative to boring slideshow presentations. Introduce the major points of a topic through images and added text. Use this site to make commercials, science fair previews, and animated shorts in any content area. Have students make "advertisements" for an organism or a literary character. Make a travel commercial for a country being studied or for cultural sites in a world language class. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Acapela.tv Talking Cards - Acapela Group

Grades
K to 8
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Acapela uses text-to-speech application to create short videos using your text. Choose from the thumbnails to begin and follow directions to add speech. Some videos also include an...more
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Acapela uses text-to-speech application to create short videos using your text. Choose from the thumbnails to begin and follow directions to add speech. Some videos also include an option to add an image. Options allow you to choose from several different languages. This is an excellent choice for ESL/ELL learners. When finished, share options allow you to send using email or social networking links. NOTE: Do NOT click on any of the "download" or "play now" links on the side or top of the page. Click directly on the video thumbnails for use. This site contains quite a bit of advertisements and links that lead away from the site. Demonstrate how to use and stay away from these links before allowing students to use on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (61), text to speech (17), video (265)

In the Classroom

Have students create their own short video using short stories or poems they have created. Create your own video to display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) giving your class directions for a project or announcing class events or projects. Have ESL/ELL students (or any student with special speech needs) copy and paste their work into a video to hear their words come to life.

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Maptia - A World of Stories - Dorothy Sanders, Dean Fischer, and Johnny Miller

Grades
6 to 12
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Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes,...more
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Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes, and storytellers. Stories focus on portraying an individual perspective of the location and why it matters on a personal level. Find a collection of inspiring stories by people and organizations who are making a difference in many corners of the world. When browsing through offerings, information includes a short synopsis along with the location featured and an estimate of time to read the story. Create an account to add your stories. Bookmark and save favorites for viewing at any time. Maptia works well for viewing in all browsers, but it is optimized for Chrome and Safari when creating stories.

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), narrative (19), photography (144)

In the Classroom

Share Maptia on your interactive whiteboard or projector to discover personal stories from anywhere in the world. Share with students as examples of personal narrative writing. Challenge students to create an account and add their own personal stories. To find even more stories like those under Causes see The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heros, reviewed here, and follow their ten steps for writing about people who make a difference. Create a class account and bookmark favorites. Share with students through a link on your class web page. Display photographs for use as a creative writing prompt.

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Mapwing - Redbug Technologies

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Turn digital photos into virtual tours with interactive maps, images, and comments using Mapwing. Create the tours for free. Basic tours offer up to 20 points of entry per floor ...more
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Turn digital photos into virtual tours with interactive maps, images, and comments using Mapwing. Create the tours for free. Basic tours offer up to 20 points of entry per floor plan/map. Each area becomes interactive and includes a comment option. Add hotspots to images to view close-up areas or link to websites. Share your tour using the tour's unique URL or use the embed code to embed into your website or blog. To understand the concept, explore tours already uploaded to Mapwing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (268), maps (295), slides (52), virtual field trips (55)

In the Classroom

Take a look at the already created tours available. You may find something very useful for your classroom. Share HOW to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Mapwing to create virtual tours of your classroom, school, or community. Create a tour of a future field trip location. Or if a field trip is not in the budget, take your students anywhere virtually using this tool. Create a virtual tour to share information about class pets. Challenge students to create a virtual tour to accompany research reports about states or geographic areas. Use at the beginning of the year for a new twist on "how I spent my summer" or beginning of the year introductions. Share this tool at Back to School night as you share your classroom (rules, schedules, and more) with families.

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Trading Card Creator - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 9
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts....more
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Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts. Follow the prompts to complete the information and choose whether to save as a draft or final. You can share via email or print.

tag(s): back to school (61), biographies (86), book reports (34), characterization (18)

In the Classroom

Use the main character in a story your class recently read and demonstrate this tool using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Social studies classes can portray a famous person or event in history. Science classes can develop trading cards for plants, planets, cells, or just about anything else you study. In a geography class, use cards to describe a place. Students can use trading cards to help them remember facts and vocabulary from any class. Teacher-librarians can encourage students to make trading cards about books or authors. Use cards at the beginning of the year for students to create a trading card about themselves. After sharing with classmates, post them on a bulletin board for back-to-school night.
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Sal, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Story Wars - StoryWars.net

Grades
3 to 10
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Story Wars offers an online collaborative writing tool and experience. Choose from stories that have already been started and write the next chapter, or begin your own story and allow...more
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Story Wars offers an online collaborative writing tool and experience. Choose from stories that have already been started and write the next chapter, or begin your own story and allow others to write new chapters. Owners of each story approve additional chapters before inclusion in their story. Our editors suggest previewing the story before sharing with your class, since site (or adult) moderation is not mentioned. At the time of this review, our editors saw nothing inappropriate.

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141)

In the Classroom

Use StoryWars to extend and modify student learning. Create your own class story starter then have students add on additional chapters. Enhance student understanding by asking each student to create a story and have other students add to their classmate's writing. Create a link to completed stories on classroom computers as a reading center for younger students. If your class has a pen pal or works with a "little buddies" class throughout the year, use Story Wars as an enjoyable writing project together. In science or social studies class, modify student learning by having students write nonfiction pieces for others to complete with historically or scientifically accurate information. Make recounting history or explaining science interactive and social! In world language class, promote written language and vocabulary development by creating cooperative stories. For English vocabulary development, have students use the words of the week in a new chapter of a continuing story.

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Rootbook - Rootbook

Grades
2 to 12
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Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) ...more
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Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) to the stories. Once registered (requires an email, player name & password), you can create your own stories to save. You can also save the bookmarks you add to other stories. Registering allows you to submit reviews of the interactive stories available on the site. Rootbook says they will soon have filters to monitor inappropriate language. Until then, read stories and branches prior to sharing with young people. Leave a comment if you find anything offensive, and they will remove it.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), interactive stories (31), narrative (19), writing (362)

In the Classroom

To use Rootbook and save work, students will need an email account. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail sub-accounts, explained here. This will provide anonymous interaction within your class, and you (as the Gmail account holder) will be able to go into each Rootbook account to check progress. Begin by choosing a story and reading it as a class. Give the students scratch paper to create storyboards and have them continue the story. Then collect the papers and have them write their continuation again on someone else's paper. Next, ask students to end the story and switch again, and write their ending on this new paper. Doing this will help younger students understand the "branching" story line. If students are sitting in groups of four, they can just rotate the papers around for this activity. When students want to create their story on Rootbook, be sure to have them upload an image for the cover first and plan the story using a graphic organizer! As subject matter for stories in any curriculum area, tell a science story, such as the life of a butterfly or a history story such as what happened (and could have happened) at the Boston Tea Party.

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Calameo - Jean-Olivier de Berard and Mathieu Quisefit

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft...more
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, and OpenOffice. Use the link editor to add YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, and SoundCloud content to your magazine. Share completed publications through a unique URL or embed directly into your website or blog. Calameo is available in many languages. Be sure to check Calameo's help links to find full features and suggestions for use. Use caution when allowing students to explore this site on their own, as some content may not be appropriate for the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141)

In the Classroom

Use this site to engage students in Writing for Digital Publication, an important part of the Common Core. In social studies or government class have individual students or small groups design magazines for the candidate of their choice. Remember those travel brochures your world language students used to make with glue sticks and scissors? Try this online tool instead. World language students can also create an interactive magazine telling a story in their new language. In science class students can design a booklet to explain cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Instead of a book report, try a digital magazine. Do an author study via a digital magazine. Create a poetry magazine. Have your ESL/ELL students create a bilingual magazine in English AND their native language. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. Create an ongoing Calameo magazine of class activities.

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Dropr - dropr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or...more
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or using your Facebook, Google, or Twitter login. Follow prompts to connect your Dropr account to several social networking options. Follow instructions to personalize your page using files from your computer or connected social networking sites. When finished, easily share your portfolio with the link, embed code, or share buttons.

tag(s): careers (146), portfolios (23)

In the Classroom

Have teens and older students upload work throughout the year to create their own "me-portfolios." Create portfolios (with permission) to share younger students' work with parents and students during conferences. Use this tool to show finished projects or to show changes in a project from start to finish. Make a work prototype site and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. Create a link to this tool on your class website for students to share projects and information. (Get parent permission before posting students' work!) Have students take ownership of their own portfolios to show progress and products across several years. Have older students build portfolios to share as part of career and college preparation. Art teachers will want to share this as a portfolio option for their students.

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Classroom Authors - Classroom Authors

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

tag(s): creative writing (160), descriptive writing (40), ebooks (35), process writing (42), writing (362)

In the Classroom

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

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Booktrack Classroom - Peter Thiel

Grades
1 to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Make reading a multimedia experience that today's students expect. Booktrack adds movie style soundtracks to favorite stories and books. You can add your own sound effects and music...more
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Make reading a multimedia experience that today's students expect. Booktrack adds movie style soundtracks to favorite stories and books. You can add your own sound effects and music to the stories and books you love, too. There are thousands of titles already available, both classic and contemporary; these include novels, poetry, and short stories that are in the public domain. Find them by clicking "Free to Use" and scrolling down a bit. Creation is possible on your PC or MAC; read and listen only on the iOS and Android mobile apps. There are several ready-to-go lessons at elementary, middle, and high school levels. When using on a computer, BookTrack works best in Chrome and may not function at all in some browsers. Watch the short tutorials to learn how to create a book with a soundtrack.

tag(s): book lists (127), book reports (34), DAT device agnostic tool (173), ebooks (35), guided reading (46), independent reading (121), reading comprehension (132), reading lists (77)

In the Classroom

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

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Visme - Hindsight Ineractive

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This free tool replaces PowerPoint and Flash to create powerful presentations, banners, Infographics, and more! The projects are viewable on any mobile or computer browser, including...more
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This free tool replaces PowerPoint and Flash to create powerful presentations, banners, Infographics, and more! The projects are viewable on any mobile or computer browser, including iOS. This tool is very simple to use and not as complicated as many other tools currently available. Choose your type of creation and then a specific template theme. The Navigation area is along the left side. Customize the various tools by clicking on an item in the Navigation such as Canvas, Slides, etc. The Stage area is found to the right of the Navigation, and various tools, grids, and texts appear above the Stage. Drag and drop items into the Stage and even include vector images. Presenter also includes a free image library and also allows searching Flickr Creative Commons from within the tool. Once placed in the stage, style images the way you want, including animation! Products created by this tool play on any browser or device or can be embedded in a web page or blog. Free accounts allow only three projects.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (268), infographics (54), multimedia (50)

In the Classroom

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

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Power Poetry - Power Poetry

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

tag(s): poetry (225)

In the Classroom

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

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Animated Cube Creator - Russell Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even ...more
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even iPads and other tablets. Click through the tutorial by clicking the numbers under the cube and learn the details! When you are ready to create your own, click the New button to begin. Edit using standard web tools and click on a different cube face number to continue editing. Save your creation with a password to retrieve later. Be sure to save the url somewhere you can find it! Some of the introductory videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): creativity (118), images (268), photography (144)

In the Classroom

Create a cube with various aspects of information about curriculum content to be shared with students. Even the non-readers could navigate a teacher-created cube if videos (or graphics) are included instead of words. Use a Brainy Box cube to give directions and examples to a specific project assigned to students. Create a cube about a particular person or event from history. Decide on the parameters for each of the sides of the cube before assigning. Create a cube to include specific information from characters in novels. Create a Brainy box to include related images or words. Students can brainstorm how these images or words are related. Assign a Brainy Box with student's favorite artwork and reasons chosen from their work through the year. Use a Brainy Box as a visual aid for student presentations. Challenge students to create their own Brainy Box on nearly any subject. Some additional ideas shared from Brainy Box: Produce a "Who" cube with an image and five key aspects of a character; Summarize a key topic with two facts, two images, and two videos; and Summarize a key event looking at different times in history. The possibilities here are endless! See more ideas in this review of a similar tool (3D Photo Cube) that creates a cube of still images.

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MapStory - MapStory Foundation

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

tag(s): interactive stories (31), maps (295), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

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

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Alice - Carnegie Mellon University

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

tag(s): animation (61), digital storytelling (141), video (265)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Plan ahead as you request that this application be installed on your classroom or laptop cart computers. Alice provides an opportunity to enhance learning for students by creating and learning how to problem solve. Subscribe to the teacher list to receive updates and integration ideas for Alice. The purpose of this list is to provide an easy way to ask questions and collaborate with the Alice teaching community. View and use activities to increase programming knowledge and the use of the Alice program.

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

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FanFiction - FanFiction/FictionPress

Grades
6 to 12
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Disappointed that your favorite book or TV series has ended? Satisfy your craving on FanFiction. Discover FanFiction stories written by up-and-coming writers based on your favorite...more
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Disappointed that your favorite book or TV series has ended? Satisfy your craving on FanFiction. Discover FanFiction stories written by up-and-coming writers based on your favorite comic, cartoon, movie, book, television show, or other genre. Read and vote for your favorites or even write your own. Whether you are a fan of fiction or like to dabble with writing, take a look at FanFiction. Fanfiction authors write new stories about characters from their favorite books (movies, TV series, etc.). Read to your heart's content and leave a comment without even signing in. To create and submit your own writing you need to sign up with an email. Click on the genre of your choice to get started! This site can be accessed in a variety of languages. Click the small "mobile forum" icon at the top to use on mobile iOs or Android devices.
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tag(s): creative writing (160), novels (23), short stories (24), writing (362)

In the Classroom

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

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