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Piki Kids Comic Creator

  What it is:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an online comic creator for students.  Students can upload pictures from their computers, or search Flickr for images to use in their comic strip.  The comics are very flexible so students can make them uniquely their own.  Students can choose the number of panels, the look of the panels, color choices, and much more.  When students are finished creating their online Piki Kids comic, they can save them to a gallery, or print out.   How to integrate Piki Kids Comic Creator into the classroom:  Students love reading comics, there is something about the interaction with a comic that makes even struggling readers willing to try.  I find that the same is true with writing.  Many kids who struggle to write would dread writing out a story or series of events after reading a book.  But, introduce a comic and suddenly those kids who don’t like writing are writing full stories.  Piki Kids Comic Creator is the perfect way to get your students writing about anything.  Studying dinosaurs?  Have the kids find some clip art of dinosaurs that they can upload to Piki Kids and have them write about what they are learning comic book style.  Learning about the Civil War?  Have the students retell the story as a comic strip.  You will see creativity that you didn’t know your students possessed!  Comic strips are also an excellent place for students to “write” a book report after finishing a book.  Comics can be used in science to show processes (like plant cycle…give those plants a voice!)  Comics can be used in math for students to create word problems for fellow classmates to solve.  Use comics in character education, after teaching a lesson, students can illustrate, comic-style, what that might look like.  From the technology side of things, Piki Kids Comic Creator is a great place to teach kids skills like uploading to a website, searching flickr for pictures, changing font, size, and color.     Tips:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an excellent tool.  Be aware that there are adwords on the website.  I use these as an opportunity to help my student spot advertisements and talk about why sites include ads on websites.  Everything can be a learning experience!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Piki Kids Comic Creator in your classroom.

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Custom Guide

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2009

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What it is:  Custom Guide is a website that offers free quick reference cheat sheets for using technology (operating systems and applications).  The guides are two sided and remind me of Cliff Notes.  Custom Guide allows you unlimited distribution rights and they make great support handouts. References include: Microsoft Access, Excel, FrontPage, Internet Explorer, InfoPath, Office, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, SharePoint, Visio, Windows, Appleworks, Mac OS, Entourage, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Photoshop, Elements, and Firefox.   My one problem with Custom Guide is that it is REALLY outdated for Mac guides.  I suppose that for some schools this would be okay since it can take a while to adopt newer technology and some of us are working with dinosaur computers and software, but for me it is no good.  Custom Guide also offers free online learning with interactive tutorials and you can even create your own custom courses.

 

How to integrate Custom Guide into the classroom:  Custom Guide would be very useful for the computer lab setting.  Print out and laminate the most used applications and operating system sheets.  Bind with a single ring and keep next to each computer.  As students have questions or issues, they can consult their cheat sheets for the answers first.  This is also nice for non-computer teachers who are using the computer labs or classroom computers with students.  The cheat sheets give them an added level knowledge quickly and easily.  If you are a computer teacher or a teacher who is known for using technology in your classroom, you undoubtedly get frequent questions about how to use applications from your colleagues.  I don’t always have time to sit down and give mini lessons, having these cheat sheets on hand could be a big help for those times.  

 

Tips: Even though the Mac Custom Guides are a bit outdated, the guides they do have are very handy.  When you sign up for a free account, you can ask for updates to be sent to you when they add a new guide.  In the mean time, Apple has some great support guides for their products.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Custom Guide in your classroom.

Comments (2)

[...] to Kelly Tenkely and her iLearn Technology blog, I’ve just learned about Custom [...]

I just checked out Custom Guide and this is a great website for people who don’t know much about the software and technology that is out there right now. It is especially helpful in explaining how to use this type of technology in a manner that is easy to understand and very clear.

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