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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kerpoof is Closing - Here Are Some Alternatives

Kerpoof is closing on April 15th. This week I've had a few requests to share some alternatives to Kerpoof. The following resources offer many of the elements that Kerpoof offered.

Storybird provides templates and artwork for creating digital stories. To use Storybird you simply select a theme (layout) then drag and drop the drawings you like into your story. Once you've selected drawings for your story, you then write in the text of your story. Using Storybird, anyone can create great-looking digital picture book stories regardless of your drawing skills or lack there-of.

Little Bird Tales is a nice site intended for younger students to use to create digital stories. Little Bird Tales walks users through each step of creating a multimedia story. Users can upload images, draw images, or record from their webcams. Stories can be written with text or narrated by students using microphones connected to their computers. Watch the video below to learn more about Little Bird Tales.



Picture Book Maker allows students to create six page stories by dragging background scenes into a page, dragging in animals and props, and typing text. All of the elements can be sized an positioned to fit the pages. Text is limited to roughly two lines per page. Completed stories are displayed with simple page turning effects. Stories created on Picture Book Maker can be printed.

ABCya Animate from ABCya (disclosure, an advertiser here)allows students to create animated GIFs containing up to 100 frames. On ABCya Animate students build their animation creations by drawing, typing, and inserting images. Students can change the background of each frame, include new pictures in each frame, and change the text in each frame of their animations. The feature that I like best about ABCya Animate is that students can see the previous frames of their animations while working on a current frame. This helps students know where to position items in each frame in order to make their animations as smooth as possible. Students do not need to register on ABCya Animate in order to use the tool or to save their animations. When students click "save" on ABCya Animate their creations are downloaded as GIFs.

Crayola's online drawing canvas provides students with a blank canvas on which they can draw using virtual markers, crayons, pencils, and paints. Drawings cannot be saved online, but they can be printed. Pre-K Teachers looking for coloring pages can create their own or have students create their own using Crayola's Create & Color tool. Create & Color provides templates for creating custom coloring pages. You can pick a background template and modify it by adding speech bubbles and pictures. Coloring pages cannot be saved online, but they can be printed.

Stop Frame Animator from Culture Street is a neat tool for creating animated stop motion movies. Creating your animated stop motion video is a simple drag and drop process on Stop Frame Animator. To get started creating your stop motion video select a background scene  then drag your characters into place. While you have nine background scenes to choose from, the only characters you can use are wooden manikins. You can position the manikins' arms and legs in every scene. After choosing your scene and characters you can add some other props like chairs and beach balls. And if you want you can add sound effects and music to your video by selecting them from the Stop Frame Animator gallery.

Creaza Education is a great suite of tools that contains a video editor, an audio editor, a cartoon creator, and an excellent mind map builder. To access all of these tools create an account on Creaza Education then select "tools" after you sign in. Creaza Education offers a free plan with limitations on the amount of content you can create, the premium plans have variable pricing.


Creaza Education's movie editor is similar in layout to WeVideo and Pixorial. The movie editor provides you with some stock media clips and transition effects to get you started. You can upload your own audio recordings, videos, and pictures and store them in your account to use in all of your video projects. To create your movie just drag media elements from your library into the track for that media type. For example, if you want to use a video clip drag it to the video track. You can trim the start and end times for your video elements. Rearranging the sequence of elements in your video is just a drag and drop process.

Cartoonist is Creaza Education's cartoon creation tool. Creaza provides eight templates to get you started. The Manga, Crazy, and Norwegian Woods templates offer the most variation in settings and characters. The Historical Universes template is appealing to me too. The cartoon creation process is the same regardless of which template you choose. To create a cartoon drag items to each cartoon frame from the menus of settings, characters, and props. You can upload your own props and images to use too.

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