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Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime

What it is:   Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime is an incredible look into the life of Benjamin Franklin.  I learned about this awesome site from @kylepace on Twitter (a great educator to follow if you aren’t already).  Students can play, listen, watch, observe and have fun learning about Benjamin Franklin’s life and legacy.  Students can explore Franklin’s life by different  themes such as Franklin’s character, B. Franklin Printer, Franklin at Home, Doing Good, Franklin at Home, and World Stage.  This feature breaks Franklin’s life down into manageable pieces for students and provides a well rounded understanding of who Franklin was and why he is an important figure in American history.  As students explore the timeline, they will find quotes, stories, videos, and audio about Benjamin Franklin.  I wish there was an interactive timeline of every historical figure like this one!  History would have been so much easier for me to understand. How to integrate Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime into the classroom:  This interactive timeline would be great for use with a whole class and Interactive whiteboard.  Students could take turns visiting the whiteboard to ‘discover’ a new fact about Benjamin Franklin.  Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime could be set up on classroom computers for students to visit as a center during a unit on Franklin.  In a computer lab setting, students could be assigned a theme or time period of Benjamin Franklin’s life to explore and share later with the class.  Make it even more fun by creating a time machine atmosphere where students can travel back in time to learn about Franklin…stamp their time travelling passports as they ‘journey’ from one period of Franklin’s life to another.  This site is an outstanding way to capture students interest in Franklin and American history.    Tips:  Show students the help/tips section for a key to understanding the different symbols on Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime in your classroom.

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PowToon: AMAZING free animation tool

Posted by admin | Posted in Create, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 16-08-2012

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What it is:  I have discovered my new favorite creation site.  Holy wow this is a cool tool.  Basically, it makes you (and your students) look like rockstars when they present.  You know all of those super cool animated videos that tell a story through drawings on a whiteboard?  Now you can make those all on your own with a super simple drag-drop tool.  Meet PowToon.  It is awesome.  I’m a little addicted to playing with video creation…no joke.

PowToon has a great mission: “to address all the frustrations that people have with power point and keynote and add animation and killer design.”  You don’t have to be super tech savvy or design skills to create spectacular animated presentations.   The goal here is to help people communicate in a way that conveys ideas.  Best of all…it is FREE!  Woot!  Also, PowToon loves education, they want to help teachers and students create great content that is visually engaging, captivating and fun to make.

Right now PowToon has 5 design styles (with more coming).  Added with your student’s creativity, these animations are going to be fabulous.  Finished videos can be shared all over: YouTube, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, exported or embedded.

PowToon is currently in Beta version. Sign up for an early look at this super cool creation tool.  I got my invitation within a few hours.  #bam

How to integrate PowToon into your curriculum: PowToon is a fantastic way to share ideas and story.  Communication is a vital skill.  The ability to express ideas and story in a succinct, clear manner is crucial.  Today, students have another facet of communication to learn…visual communication.

PowToon would be a great addition to the design thinking routine.  Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to “prototype” an idea.  Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain processes, tell stories, or present research.  The possibilities are really endless and students will come up with hundreds of other creative uses.

Teachers can use PowToon to create animations for students.  This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion.

Tips: The PowToon Interactive Tour and How to Create series are very helpful to watch prior to creating your first animations.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using PowToon in your classroom!

Comments (3)

I love PowToon! It was really fun and easy to use. I created this PowToon to lead in for my presentation to teachers about screencasting in the classroom:
http://youtu.be/bPNsFS_dOFU
I did not buy the HD download. I just noticed a YouTube option when I was in my video manager, to enhance the video and selected it. I think it improved the quality a bit.

I have been “playing around” with Powtoon as well! Thanks for more ideas on using it in the classroom!

Can’t wait to get the app.

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