Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moving Beyond Powerpoint!

This session focused on web based applications an elementary school uses beyond Power Point.

At the start of the session, the presenters put this quote up on the screen.
"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." John Dewey
It really says it all doesn't it?

Teachers need to stop saying "Hand it in." and start saying "Publish it." ~Alan November

One of the first web based applications the speaker discussed was Wix.  Wix is a website builder where teachers can build websites easily.


Another free program students can use is Voicethread. I've used Voicethread in my classroom for a community project in my classroom as well. Students created a "Hotspot" video on Voicethread.  They took five pictures of their favorite spots in their own community.  On Voicethread, they talked about why these places were their favorite and why they were important to their community. Other classmates were able to log on and comment about their classmates' videos. Our entire third grade level created "Hotspot" videos and commented on other class video projects. This year we expanded it to another campus in our district as well as other schools across the globe.  It's been a great community project to learn about communities around the world and how they are similar and different from our own community.

These teachers have used Voicethread in their classroom to share poetry. Their students were able to read their poetry on Voicethread and hear their classmates' comments on their poetry. Voicethread offers free educator accounts.  You can set up accounts easily for your students and have up to three free videos at a time for each student account.


Another program they talked about using with students is Prezi.  They mentioned that the students found this online presentation tool easy to use.


Students also use Animoto for their final products.  I also use Animoto in my classroom. You can apply for an educator account.  It normally takes two weeks for them to validate your educator account. You can then set up student accounts for each of your students very easily.  They can then make Animoto videos easily by uploading pictures, adding text and music, and then adding the final touches to make their movie.


Kerpoof is a great resource for students to use in the classroom as well. It has 'Make a Movie', 'Make a Picture', 'Spell a Picture', 'Make a Storybook', and more according to various grade levels. Kerpoof also has a teacher scholastic page with lesson plans for teachers.

Kerpoof Scholastic:

Some of the lesson plans available on the Scholastic site include:

  • all Tales: Exploring Fact and Fiction (grades 4-5) (PDF)
  • The Planets (grades 3-6) (PDF)
  • Poetry Partners (grades 2-4) (PDF)
  • The Plot Thickens... (grades 3-6) (PDF)
  • Biz Movie Sneak Peek (grades 3-8) (PDF)

This session provided some great resources and was very beneficial!

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