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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Five Ways to Digitally Celebrate Your Students' Year

The end of the school year is here or soon to be here which means it's a great time to reflect on what your students have done this year. Here are five ways that you can create some digital celebrations of the year.

Make a video. Animoto makes it very easy to cobble together a set of pictures and add some music in the background to show off what your students have created throughout the year. Try to use pictures from the fall, winter, and spring to show how much your students have changed. If Animoto is too basic for you try WeVideo or Pixorial to create longer videos that include your voice-over commentary.

Create collages about the year. Pic Collage is a free service for quickly creating picture collages on your iPad or Android tablet. The app does not require you to register or connect a social network profile in order to create a collage. If you do connect a social network profile to Pic Collage you can pull in pictures from those accounts. Otherwise you can upload pictures that are stored on your device or take new pictures using the Pic Collage app. The Pic Collage user interface is easy to use. Just tap the blank canvas to import pictures from your device, from a social network profile, or by taking a new picture. To arrange the images in your collage just touch and drag them. You can expand or contract the images by pinching on them.

Collaboratively create a slideshow about the year. If you're working in a school that uses Google Apps for Education create a Google Drive slideshow and have each of your students share one favorite memory of the year on one slide.

Collaboratively create a classroom portfolio. Silk is a free service for creating webpages organized around a theme or topic. Silk is intended to be a place where you can share collections of materials as well as write text directly into your webpages. Your Silk dashboard provides a place to organize your materials into collections and sub-collections. Your collections can include documents, videos, images, charts and graphs, and links to other sites. Take a look at a sample Silk site here. You can create multiple sites within your free Silk account. Your Silk sites can be public or  private. Creating collections on your Silk site can become a collaborative activity by inviting others to be editors or administrators on a site.

Invite distant relatives to virtually celebrate with you. As an uncle who lives far away from my nieces I know that I would be thrilled if I was able to virtually attend my niece's preschool "graduation." Skype and Google+ make this possible. 

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