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What it is: You may have noticed that iLearn technology has a brand new look. In the past, I have used iWeb to create and update my blog. However, as I added more and more posts, my MacBook Pro started getting bogged down by the enormity of it. I needed a solution… enter WordPress. WordPress is a free online blogging tool that makes my life simpler because it is easy to use and can be edited and updated online. Now my blog is portable! I can update anywhere that the mood strikes (provided that I have Internet access). I also have some new features. Check out the categories! If you are looking for a specific technology idea, narrow it down by searching through the categories. My RSS feed is also working…finally! So much to celebrate. Check out WordPress for your own blogging needs. How to integrate WordPress into the classroom: WordPress makes it easy to create your own classroom blog. Blog about your classroom. Parents will love to read a daily synopsis of what their child has been working on in class. Turn your weekly newsletter into a blog. Parents and students can access past newsletters quickly and easily with the WordPress categories. You can also use classroom blogs to blog about different themes and units you may be studying. Working on a space unit? Use the blog to continue classroom discussions. Students can leave comments right on your blog! Create a blog about a book that your class is reading together. You can write posts about different characters, genres, etc. and your students can leave their comments about each. This is web2.0 at its finest! Tips: Don’t be discouraged if you have never blogged before. WordPress will guide you every step of the way with print outs and online tutorials and guides.    

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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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