I’ve previously written about Prisma, free app that lets you turn your photos into manga. When I first learned about it in the spring, I thought it could be a very attractive tool for reluctant writers to use — they could create their own web comics. TechCrunch showed an example. Recently, NPR published an update on the app.
Hstry is a new online tool for creating timelines that’s on The Best Tools For Making Online Timelines list. They’ve recently added the feature of being able to have multiple people collaborate on the same timeline, so I’m also adding it to the collaboration Best list.
eMargin is a free tool developed by Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom.
You can upload any text and have students annotate it, and the same text can be annotated by a closed group. In addition, you can “upload” a web address and annotate it, as well. The lay-out can be a bit funky with websites, but it’s still workable.
It has many projects in multiple subject areas, along with very cool online tools for students to use when doing the research. The site also has lesson plans for teachers to use when introducing students to the site.
A site like this offers real purposes for student learning. I’m amazed that I hadn’t heard of it before today when Stephen F. Knott sent the tweet about the Civil War project. Further exploration led me to all the site’s other features.
WebReel lets you create a “reel” – a slideshow – of links to web addresses. You can also write a description of each site in the presentation. It would be an easy tool to use if teachers or students were creating webquests or internet scavenger hunts, which is why I’m adding it to The Best Places To Create (And Find) Internet Scavenger Hunts & Webquests. It’s still in beta, so you need to request an invitation. However, I don’t think you’ll need to wait that long to receive one.
OpenStax provides free online textbooks and the ability for teachers to create virtual classrooms and have student annotate the text (along with other features). It’s limited to college instructors now. However, it appears they are expanding to K-12, starting with an AP pilot and you can apply to participate. I first heard about it by an announcement of research they were beginning to analyze student online highlighting of text and try to identify how to enhance that strategy for learning. I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.
Map Channels lets you create animated driving directions of Google Street View that you can embed. I’m not sure how generally useful it will be, but this feature will be helpful in my favorite lesson of each year – A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits. In that lesson, students compare our local school neighborhood with the wealthiest community in Sacramento. Often, we can visit both neighborhoods on field trips. Some years, however, we “visit” the wealthier one via Street View, and a tool like this makes it easier. Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip.
It’s very simple – students read a book of their choice, call a number and leave a message telling a short story how it impacted their life. The site’s creator then picks three of these stories each week to (literally) type them out and publish a video with the typing coordinated with the voice message.
Here are a couple of examples:
All the voice messages seem to be embedded on the site, too, and visitors can vote on which ones they think the site should turn into videos.
It’s a pretty neat idea, and I especially like that the voice messages are embedded. That way, even if a video is not made with them, students can still see that their message is posted.
Even if you don’t have students call the number, though, the videos can be used as good models. Students can easily create their own versions of these kinds of “book trailers” by a website like Little Bird Tales or the KnowMe phone app.