Showing posts with label Pixton EDU. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pixton EDU. Show all posts

Friday, August 21, 2020

A Comics Activity as an Icebreaker

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is currently an advertiser on this blog. 

As the new school year begins you may find yourself looking for some new ways to conduct icebreaker activities. One thing you can try is having students create avatars for themselves then talk about their designs. Then after making those avatars you might have them design a little comic to tell a story. Pixton EDU offers tools for doing both of those things.

In Pixton EDU you and your students can create characters to represent yourselves. Once you've done that you can use Pixton EDU's free Truth-or-Lie activity. Truth-or-Lie is designed as an ice-breaker or familiarization activity for your class. In the activity students create a short comic strip in which they tell a truth or a lie. They then share those comics with  you and their classmates who have to guess if the comic represents a truth or a lie.



Pixton EDU is currently running a back-to-school offer. That offer gives you 15% off their annual premium plan with this link. To be clear, everything in this blog post can be done without the premium plan.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Updated - How to Create Virtual Class Pictures With Pixton EDU

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about using Pixton EDU to create a virtual class photograph for the end of the school year. When I originally set out to write that post, I had planned to include a video tutorial. The first video that I made wasn't great so last week I recorded a new version which you can now see right here on my YouTube channel or as embedded below.


The first half of the video above focuses on how to create a virtual class photo if you already have a Pixton EDU classroom created. The second half of the video shows you how you can create a Pixton EDU classroom and how your students can create their own avatars in your Pixton EDU classroom. For screenshots of the process, see this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Pixton EDU can be used for a lot more than just making avatars and virtual class photos. Here are five uses of Pixton EDU to consider.

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is an advertiser on this blog. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Five Tools for Creating Storyboards to Plan Videos and Presentations

Creating a storyboard is an excellent way to outline and plan videos, presentations, and written stories. In the old days this was done with paper and pencil. Today, storyboards can be created with a variety of digital tools. Here are five ways to create storyboards with digital tools.

Canva, which recently launched a new desktop app, offers a lot of templates for creating storyboards. Students can use Canva's library of clip art and pictures to illustrate the main points of their stories in the storyboard templates. Completed storyboards can be downloaded as PDFs and as image files.

Milanote is a tool that I described a couple of weeks ago as being part bookmarking tool and part storyboarding tool offers easy-to-use templates for making multimedia storyboards. Here's a short video of how it works.



One of the many "hidden" features of Google Slides is the option to change the layout of your slide print pages. You can use that option to create a simple, printable storyboard. Watch the video below to see how to do that.



Just like Google Slides, PowerPoint has lots of hidden features that people often overlook including the ability to design a simple printable storyboard. Watch the following video to see how to do that.


Pixton EDU can be used for a lot of purposes in your classroom. One of those is creating storyboards. Pixton EDU offers lots of pre-made templates and art work that you can use as-is or customize to create your storyboard. I like the idea of using Pixton EDU to design a storyboard to pitch a product or make a proposal.

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is an advertiser on this blog. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Create Virtual Class Pictures With Pixton EDU

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

As the school year winds down those of us who still have classes in June may be looking for some ways to replicate our typical end-of-year activities. One of those activities could be a class photograph. While you probably can't get your students together for a photograph, you can create a class picture in Pixton EDU.

Current Pixton EDU users probably know that each of the students in your classroom account can create his or her own avatar. Students can customize those avatars to look like themselves or any other way that they want to represent themselves. You can then arrange those avatars into a class picture.

To create a class picture in Pixton EDU you simply need to sign into your teacher account then pick the class for which you want to create a group picture. Once you've selected your class you can then choose "class photo" from the top menu. As soon as you do that a class picture that includes all of your students' avatars will be automatically generated for you. You can download the picture directly from your Pixton EDU account.

The other way to create a class picture in Pixton EDU is to go into your account and create a new comic. In your new comic you can add the avatars of yourself and your students to one comic frame in front of any of the backgrounds that you want to use. Once you have positioned all of the avatars you can save the comic and download your comic frame as an image.

Either of these methods can be used to create a nice virtual class picture featuring the avatars of all of your students. Consider saving the picture and using it in an end-of-year newsletter to parents and students.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Five Comic and Storyboard Activities With Pixton EDU

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Online comic creation tools like Pixton EDU make it possible for almost anyone to create great-looking comics and storyboards without having to be a master artist. Creating comics and storyboards with online tools like Pixton EDU is a good way for students to share creative ideas, to illustrate concepts, and to show their understanding of events. Those are just a few of the ways that students can use Pixton EDU. As we head into the summer (in the northern hemisphere) and as we get requests from parents for at-home learning activities, here are five ideas to consider sharing.

Create Your Own Coloring Pages
Use the premade settings, objects, and characters to design scenes in Pixton EDU. When you’re done you can use them with the standard color schemes. But if you want to make coloring pages from your story’s scenes, you can print the scenes as black and white outlines to be colored by hand. Pixton EDU has a feature that lets you remove the colors and leave just the outline.

Create Your Own Digital Greeting Cards
We’re coming up on graduation season and Father’s Day. Many kids find enjoyment in making their own cards instead of just affixing their signatures to a store-bought card. Utilize some of the content packs in Pixton EDU to create a digital card. There’s even a content pack for Father’s Day.

Develop Fan Fiction
Rather than writing another book report, have students write an alternate ending to a favorite book. Pixton EDU has some content packs about books that are commonly taught in elementary school and middle school. But you don’t have to limit your students to those books as the tools in Pixton EDU could be used to create a fan fiction piece for just about any story.

Make Animal Stories
My kids, like many kids their age, love to watch baby animals. And now that spring is here (for those of us north of the equator) baby animals like ducklings, goslings, calves, and fawns may be spotted by curious kids. Capitalize on that curiosity and encourage kids to create stories about the animals they see. Pixton EDU has some animal content packs that can help students develop those stories.

Pitch a Product
Do you have a middle school or high school student who enjoys watching Shark Tank or Dragons’ Den? If so, encourage them to craft a pitch for their own products or services. Pixton EDU has presentation content packs. Utilize the idea of Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin books and have students create simple storyboards to explain their products or services. It just might be what launches the next million dollar app or at least a kid’s summer job.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Five Elementary Lessons You Can Do With Pixton EDU

Disclosure: Pixton is currently an advertiser on this blog. 

For many years I’ve promoted the idea of using comics as a way to get students to develop fiction and nonfiction stories. In fact, I’ve hosted webinars in which I explained how I’ve used comics as the basis for getting students interested in telling history stories. For more than a decade Pixton has been one of the tools that I’ve used to help students develop fiction and nonfiction stories in comic form.

One of the things that drew me to Pixton many years ago was the wide variety of artwork that students can use to develop their stories. Even people like me who are not good at drawing can create great comics by using Pixton’s backgrounds, characters, and speech bubbles. Pixton EDU bundles many of those elements into thematic content packs. Those content packs can provide inspiration for stories while also giving students a variety of artwork with which to craft their stories. Let’s take a look at five elementary school lessons inspired by the content packs available in Pixton EDU.

Real World Mathematics
Pixton EDU offers a content pack called Math Shopping. In that pack are customizable backgrounds, characters, and prop items that can be used to tell stories of using mathematics concepts to make good choices while shopping. My thought was to have a little fun with this and have students illustrate examples of “bad math in the real world.” For example, I might tell the story of the time my local McDonald’s was advertising apple pies for .49/each or $1.00 for two.

Digital Citizenship
It is never too early for students to start learning and developing good digital citizenship habits. One way to help students recognize good and bad digital citizenship is to share some stories as examples. Pixton EDU offers a content pack about bullying that could be used in telling stories of good and bad digital citizenship habits.

Solar System
Use the Pixton EDU Solar System content pack to write a little solar system travel narrative. That narrative could be based on facts like the first moon landing or first Canadian to stay in the ISS. Students could also create a narrative that combines facts like distances between planets with fiction elements like putting themselves in a lunar building.

Spelling
Learning to spell is full of tricky little rules to learn. It’s also full of handy rules of thumb like “I before E except after C.” Using the framework of a comic and the tools in Pixton EDU is a good way to have students illustrate those rules. Or use those same tools to create little stories in the style of “A is for Apple.”

Social Norms and Manners
There is a lot that kids learn in school that never appears in a grade. Many of those things could be classified as social norms or manners. You can use many of the content packs or just use the blank templates in Pixton EDU to illustrate some of those norms and manners. Better yet, have students use those packs to create a story to illustrate using good manners.

How to Get Started With Pixton EDU

You can register on Pixton EDU by using your G Suite account, your Microsoft account, or by using any email address and selecting a password. Once you’ve registered as a teacher you can create classrooms on Pixton EDU. Your classroom will be assigned its own unique URL that you can direct your students to in order to join your class. Students can join with G Suite accounts, Microsoft accounts, or by directly registering on Pixton EDU.

The advantage of having students join your Pixton EDU classroom is that you can see all of their work in one place. Additionally, you can send students feedback directly from your Pixton EDU classroom.

The best way to get familiar with using the Pixton EDU creation tools is to jump in and start customizing your avatar. Fortunately, Pixton EDU walks you through that process as soon as you register on the site. Likewise, your students will be guided through customizing their own avatars when they join your classroom.

After you’ve gotten the hang of customizing your avatar, you’ll be able to quickly customize characters as you make comics in Pixton EDU. Then you’ll be ready to start working with and customizing elements of any content packs. The Truth or Lie content pack is a free and fun one to use before moving into some of the project ideas that were suggested in the first half of this article.