Showing posts with label Kerpoof. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kerpoof. Show all posts

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Webinar Recording - Empowering Elementary Learners With Technology

Earlier today I posted a list of alternatives to Kerpoof which is shutting down on April 15th. Shortly after I posted that list Beth Holland at Ed Tech Teacher emailed me with the recording of a webinar she recently facilitated in which many digital storytelling tools, including Kerpoof, were featured. The webinar was designed for elementary school teachers. The video of the webinar is embedded below as is the slide deck from the webinar.

 If you want a copy of these slides, open the editor (gear icon) then select "make a copy" from the "file" drop-down menu in Google Slides. Click here for directions. 

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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guest Blogger: Mrs. L's Rocketlaunchers - A Learning Portal

Hello! Hailing from cold but beautiful Northeast Ohio, my name is Hedy Laverdiere and I am the Lower School Technology Coordinator for Lawrence School, a private school in Broadview Heights, Ohio, serving children in grades one through twelve with learning differences. Teaching is my third career, following a home/web-based business as well as a former career as a software trainer. As I’ve put the cart before the horse my entire life, I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Ed Tech through Ursuline College. My position as a technology coordinator entails providing technology resources for our teachers and students, working with them integrating tech into the curriculum, as well as professional development. I have tons of free resources and tech integration ideas for you to use with your students and fellow teachers.

My website, which our students, as well as others, use as a tech integration portal from its Launchpad, is Mrs. L’s Rocketlaunchers, which, in brief, provides links to educational websites, games, multimedia, resources, student projects, blogs, and podcasts. I hope you’ll bookmark it in your classrooms, computer labs, and recommend for home use for your students. We also welcome classroom collaborations for blogging and webcams!

Mrs. L’s Rocketlaunchers
Mrs. L’s Rocketlaunchers contains several sections including Mission, with links to blogs, the LAUNCHPAD, our educational portal, the Toolkit on how to blog, podcast, and vodcast, Techno with links to teacher website templates, and BEYOND, with resources and links for teachers. The LAUNCHPAD is primarily used by students ( and is set as the default webpage in our computer labs and teacher pc’s, which have projection in the classrooms. A link to Google provides access to quick searches.

The LAUNCHPAD is organized by content areas of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, as well as Art, Health, and Music. Links to Celebrations, Holidays & Seasons, Documents, ePals login page, Lessons, Lions Lair, Multimedia, Research, Typing Skills, and Webquests, among a few others, are accessible. Clipart is purposely used with a text descriptor to assist younger students in locating sites as directed by their teacher. For example, first graders can be directed to “click on the blooming tree for Holidays & Seasons.” Each link subdivides into other categories. For example, the link for Language Arts has branches for Reading, Writing, Phonics, Spelling/Grammar & Punctuation, and Working with Words.

Through Rocketlaunchers, students can access their Kerpoof student accounts under Multimedia, Kerpoof. Kerpoof is an engaging site with tools to create storybooks, cards, pictures drawings, and multimedia movies. Teachers can create a regular account at Kerpoof. After login, teachers can return to the Home page, click on For Teachers, then Teacher Tools to request a Teacher Account. Upon approval, teachers can setup student accounts in moments, providing amenities usually reserved for fee-based accounts.

Student Work in the Lions Lair – Podcasts, Languages Online Flash Gamemakers, and Classblogmeister Blogs
The Lions Lair link is Lawrence School’s student project area, with links to our students’ podcasts, the ROAR Radio show, classroom blogs, Study Fun (teachers assign Flash games, created by gamemakers from Languages Online, as homework or classwork), and a few other projects. ROAR Radio is created using open source Audacity and podsafe music with how-to links located under the ToolKit. A $20 headset with mic or microphone was our sole expense, though I am fortunate to have my site hosted for free.

Assistive tech is at play here as well, as Languages Online allows for audio within its Flash games, very helpful for students with dyslexia or other reading differences. Languages Online provides five gamemakers (samples I’ve created are linked): a Sentence gamemaker, Memory games, Matching games, Tetris, and Comprehension gamemaker.

I am currently exploring an interesting website called YackPack. YackPack is an online communication interface that allows a teacher and students to interact via audio messaging. I foresee a variety of applications for it, such as an online class, connecting with an absent student, as well as assistive tech uses. For example, a student exhibiting difficulties with reading and/or writing could respond orally to a teacher’s homework posting.

Our students (visit one of our class blogs) have just begun blogging using Classblogmeister, a phenomenal classroom-oriented site run by David Warlick. If you are moving towards blogging with your students, I highly recommend it, especially due to its highly-responsive and active Classblogmeister tech support forum on Yahoo groups. A members only Ning group is also available for teaching and learning.

I appreciate this opportunity through Richard and his wonderful blog, Free Tech 4 Teachers, to share with you, and as always, look forward to his future writings. Thanks, Richard! Feel free to email me with comments or questions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Kerpoof, kids create and connect!

Kerpoof is a very exciting web application guaranteed to get elementary school students excited about school! Kerpoof lets kids create pictures, write stories, and make animated movies and then share their work with other students online. Kerpoof has a fantastic method for controlling who has access to a child's work through password protection. If someone wants to see a student's work they must get the password from the student's parent or teacher. Teachers or parents are the only people who can create sharing groups and only those invited into the group and given the password can share work with group members.

Applications for Educators
Kerpoof could be used to have students create animated storyboards or time lines.
When I heard about Kerpoof my first thought was, what a great way to have elementary students create projects and share them with students in other parts of the country or world. According to Kerpoof's press release they are currently developing the program in French, German, Spanish, and Russian.
Kerpoof has a great teacher resource page full of ideas about using Kerpoof in the classroom. Kerpoof's teacher resource page even has story pages you can print out for students if your students don't have access to computers in the classroom or if you would like to have students practice off-line before going online. Below I have embedded a demo video from Kerpoof.