Group Name: Teach.0 Season 13

Learners:
Diana, Corey, Charlie, Jennifer, Mary, Amanda
Group 2 - Comic Tools, Collage Tools and Map Tools

*This url is the correct link for this topical listings of the 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story
We included the following information in review:
  1. ease of use
  2. site support
  3. appropriate for what audiences
  4. is there an educational version
  5. strengths, weaknesses
  6. ideas for use

Our Reviews


Name of Tool
URL
Review of Tool
Reviewed By:
Glogster
www.glogster.com
This site allows users to create posters or collages for just about anything. You can embed voice threads, videos, and pictures into the posters. Glogster advertises their product as a way to engage, inspire, excite, and connect students to their learning. They have won several awards to include: Discovery Education, Top 100 CALPT, EdNETs Best for 2011, Teacher Select, AASL Best, and ISTE.
  1. Ease of use: The tool can be a little tricky when you are first starting to use it but once you learn it can be a lot of fun. There are templates created already for use or you can create your own. I had a difficult time changing my avatar picture.
  2. Site support: There is a Frequently Ask Questions section.
  3. Appropriate for what audiences: As a class you could use this site with elementary students but they will need to learn how to use the site. As students get older they can use this tool on their own or at home to create their glog masterpieces.
  4. Is there an educational version: Yes, there is an educational version. It is $29/year for use in your classroom.
  5. Strengths, weaknesses: This tool allows students to be creative and show what they have learned in a unique and fun way. The downside is that it can take some time for some students to feel comfortable using all its features.
  6. Ideas for use: Students can use the tool for book reviews, reports for any class, time-lines, and poems to express themselves. It really can be used for just about anything your creative mind can come up with.
Jennifer Kelley
Wayfaring
www.wayfaring.com
Wayfaring is a site that allows you to create your own personal maps of virtually anything you can think of to make a map of. This site advertises their product as a way to create, share, explore, and connect. You will need to create an account to use the tool. Once a map is created, you can embed the map into your own blogs or websites. I have seen this feature used in some blogs that I have visited and found it to be a wonderful tool to have your readers visually see what you may be speaking of.
  1. Ease of use: This was my first time using this site and it did take me a little while to navigate the site properly. Once you figure out what each of the tools are used for, the map making process is much easier to use.
  2. Site support: There does not appear to be a site support but the use of the tool is pretty straightforward. As you begin to create your map, instructions are given in a step-by-step manner.
  3. Appropriate for what audiences: You could use the tool for whole group instruction for higher grades in elementary school but older students could use it for their own use.
  4. Is there an educational version: I did not see an educational portion to this site.
  5. Strengths, weaknesses: This product is a great way to map out areas of anything you are trying to teach your students and it will give them a visual picture of what you are trying to show them. The weakness of the site is that it is not appealing visually. It is basic for its needs but for children it doesn’t have cartoons or catchy visuals to draw them to the site.
  6. Ideas for use: Teachers and students could use this site to create maps of areas such as Civil War Battlegrounds, the escape route John Wilkes Booth after shooting President Lincoln, bike routes in any area, a route that maybe a fictional character took in a book a student is reading, etc. (the possibilities are endless).
Jennifer Kelley
Toon Doo
www.toondoo.com
Toon Doo is a site that allows you to create cartoons and books. The site advertises they are the world’s fastest way to create cartoons. To get started, you will need to create an account and then the fun begins. You could spend hours on this site just creating characters before you enter them into your stories. Toon Doo is a great way to get your students to use their imagination and create their own stories.
  1. Ease of use: The program is easy to use. You have multiple templates to create your own toon. You can choose already created scenes and characters or choose to doodle on your own and draw whatever comes to mind.
  2. Site support: There is site support. If you click the icon “etc” it will take you to frequently ask questions and answers.
  3. Appropriate for what audiences: This site can be used by anyone. Pre-kindergarten all the way up to adults can enjoy this tool. I had so much fun creating my own characters.
  4. Is there an educational version: There is an educational site for mulit-user registration and it is about 10 cents per user per month. It offers a safe, private area for kids to use their imagination. Teachers are able to monitor and moderate as needed.
  5. Strengths, weaknesses: You can add your own images to the site and create virtually anything. Kids don’t have to know how to read to use. The site uses icons as well as words for navigating. The only weakness I found was you may have a hard time getting your students to stop being creative and get off the site.
  6. Ideas for use: Students can learn to write their own stories while they create quality piece of work. You can use the tool to have students create a cartoon about a story they have heard to show sequence of events or main idea. Students can write their own stories or poems and illustrate as they go. This is another format for kids to show their creative expression but not feel like it is a school assignment.
Jennifer Kelley
Bubblr
http://www.pimpampum.net/bubblr/archive.php
Bubblr is a tool that allows you to search easily and quickly for images in Flikr that can be used to create a comic strip. You can search and view published comic strips or you can create your own. Images are searched by topic and to use one you have chosen you simply drag the image you want to your frame. Once the image(s) are in place 3 types of bubbles can be used to input speech, thoughts, or narrative text. There are many possibilities for the activities that can be generated from the site, but a popular thing to do is to “recycle” a published comic strip by replacing the bubbles with new text, and by adding more or different panes to the strip.

1. Ease of Use: Bubblr is very easy to use as everything takes place on one page. The images are easily searched by topic, and they can be panned through at the top of the page. When you find one you want you simply click on it and drag it to a pane where you want to drop it. The bubble options are also easily dragged from right below the panes to the frame where text can be inserted. The bubbles can also be easily moved or deleted. To post a finished comic strip you simply click publish, then add a title and your name. The images can also be used in a classroom as they are searched only by creative commons.
2. Site support: There are directions embedded in the program. There are no FAQs nor a how-to page.
3. Appropriate for what audiences: This site could be appropriate for most grade levels as it only involves a few simple steps. There does not seem to be any type of filter for the content that can be found in the published comic strips, however, so students would need supervision in viewing them.
4. Is there an educational version: There is only one easy to use version.
5. Strengths, weaknesses: This site is very easy to use as I created and published a comic strip of 3 panels in about 5 minutes. Also, all of the images are used with creative commons licenses so they can be shown in a classroom. There is also a lot of room for the creativity of students to choose what images and text to add to the frames. The downside is that it is a simple program where you can only choose from 3 types of bubbles, and there are no animations or transitions between frames.
6. Ideas for use: This tool could be used to create comic strips representing actual or student versions of novels, historical events, chemical reactions, word problems, sporting events, or any other sequential project a student could think of. Teachers could create strips as entertaining reviews of important information for a specific content, as a fun way to present house-keeping information, or as a way to share information in a story form with images.
Corey Graybill
MapSkip
http://www.mapskip.com/index.php
MapSkip was created to allow users to build short stories about any place in the world. Users can navigate to any place in the world and find an existing spot with a story, or create a new one. For each place, a user can add a story that includes a title, year it took place, and the text for a story. Users can upload up to 3 jpeg images, one audio file, and a URL for a YouTube video. Visitors can comment on stories that have been posted. When viewing a photo, it can be shared via a link or sent via email. A feature has also been created that allows automatic language translations via Google.#

1. Ease of use: This tool can be difficult to use as a user needs to be familiar with the locations of places of interest to them throughout the world. A user also has to be familiar with uploading images, audio files, and URLs. Several users have also commented on some of the tools not working within the site for them.
2. Site support: There is an about page as well as a user guidelines page and an embedded help page that provides small descriptions about how to use the tools.
3. Appropriate for what audiences: Middle and high school students who would need to be able to navigate the site, research a place/story, and be able to upload jpeg, audio, and URLs. They would also need to know how to search blogs and leave comments. I did see, however, that it was being advertised to elementary school students as well.
4. Is there an educational version: No, but it is free to use and a teacher can create an account for their class. As a result, all of the stories that his/her students create can be connected. The stories can be browsed on MapSkip by place, person, or media.
5. Strengths, weaknesses: Some teachers have used the site to explore the life and times of certain historical people and have been able to get students to present their research on that person in a fun and engaging way. There is also a blog site embedded in the main page where blogs can be posted and commented on. The creators of the site are also committed to keeping users from being bombarded by ads. Unfortunately, many of the users I have found on the site are advertising their own businesses instead of sharing their interesting and exciting life stories.
6. Ideas for use: Teachers can use the site to teach students how to tell stories. The tool can also be used to get students to learn about places, historical events, and people connected with those places and events, especially ones local to them. Students can then use what they have learned to create a story with both visual and auditory components to report it to others. Students can also be asked to do scavenger hunts to learn about places. Entries can include images taken with digital cameras, artifacts from the local historical society, links to newspaper articles, or video interviews of older residents telling about how it used to be.
Corey Graybill
VoiceThread
http://voicethread.com/
Voicethread is a “cloud based application” that allows a teacher to upload many different types of media; images, videos, documents, and presentations. It is a tool that was created so that people could have conversations around media. These different types of media are kept in one place so that students can access it at different times. The media can then be presented like a slideshow that is either embedded into a website, or is sent via e-mail. Viewers can comment via telephone, text message, microphone, by typing directly, or with a webcam.

1. Ease of Use: VoiceThread appears to be very easy to use. You can upload all of your media to one place and all of the tool buttons have explanations. There are also several ways to add comments and the media is presented in a linear fashion as a slideshow.
2. Site Support: The site presents several presentations that explain how to use VoiceThread as well as ideas for how it can be utilized. They also provide links on their home page for support, contacting VT, a VT blog, a how to page, as well as guides.
3. Audience: The site was created so that it can be utilized in K-12, Colleges, and businesses.
4. Educational Versions: There are versions that can be used by all K-12 grades as well as by colleges and universities.
5. Strengths and Weaknesses:
The site allows for conversations and editing to be done in real time all on one page. The creators wanted VT to be differentiated so that users with learning disabilities and different means of learning and communiting could utilize the site. For example, video commenting was added so that deaf students can sign their comments for the different media that they view. It was also created for K-12, College, and for businesses. Within each category you can register as an individual, a school, or as a whole department at a college, or as a state.
I cannot say that I find any weaknesses as it is easy to use and differentiated.
6. Ideas for use:
Voicethread could be used for video, image, and text critiques, reflections, project collaboration, presentations, topic discussions, or even debates of both sides of issues with comments/ questions from viewers in real time.
Corey Graybill
Mixbook
http://www.mixbook.com/
Mixbook is a fun and relatively easy way to create collages and photo albums. The site offers users a choice between photo albums, cards, and calendars. Connecting with Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and their own Mixbook blog, Mixbook allows users the opportunity to share their creations with the click of a button instead of printing them out.Furthermore, you can either choose a theme, or start with a blank book.

1. Ease of Use: When you choose to start a project using Mixbook, a browser page functioning as a workspace will appear. From there you can choose a theme, layout, background and stickers. When selecting photographs to include in a project, the user can choose to upload pictures from instagram, Facebook, Flickr, photobucket, Picasa, and smugmug. Being able to upload from other picture websites or social media websites makes it easier to use photos from other people's albums, just remember to ask!

2. Site Support: Mixbook has about, help, and contact pages to walk users through how to use the website. The website also lists the types of services they offer including products for weddings such as albums and guestbooks, baby memory books, yearbooks, and the list goes on.

3. Audience: Mixbook is intended for a wide audience; if you have a computer, and pictures on that computer or on another website, you can use it. However, the website heavily markets toward engaged couples or recently married couples and those couples expecting a child. They also target people looking to make scrapbooks about their travels.

4. Educational version?: While there is no specific educational version of Mixbook, it does offer educators ideas about how to use it in a way that highlights educations. Teachers can make class calendars, homework calendars, class progress books. Students can use Mixbook to create storybooks. Mixbook also offers discounted rates to educators who would like to have their work printed and shipped to them. Finally, you can contact an education specialist who works for Mixbook via e-mail.

5. Strengths and Weaknesses: This website has a considerable amount of strengths when it comes to offering users a way to express themselves and share information creatively. Users will save money on craft supplies and will not waste paper by sticking to sharing work digitally. Students who are not as artistically inclined on paper might find themselves a niche in using online scrapbooking as a way to share photos and artistically display them without winding up with gluey hands. Students can also focus on descriptive writing skills when captioning photos. My main concern is that there is not teacher-specific version of this, so while they do find ways to support using Mixbook in a way that is educational, students and teachers may not be able to share their work easily without embedding it on a separate blog page. Mixbook also requires high speed Internet to function and load fully. Students without adequate internet access may find it difficult to use the site.

6. Ideas for Use: Storybooks can help students share information about historical figures or focus on their creative and descriptive writing skills. Teachers can assemble a Mixbook and e-mail it to parents to share what students have been doing in class and on field trips. Educators might also share what their students have been working on throughout the year with colleagues and even incorporate it as a part of their teaching portfolios.
Mary Pazmany
Kerpoof
http://www.kerpoof.com/

Kerpoof is an educational tool designed for children grades K through 8. Its focus is on the creation of animated film, cartoon drawing, and cartooning to share classroom content. Their Make a Pic feature is what qualifies Kerpoof as a comic tool; students can create a comic frame by fame when using Kerpoof.

1. Ease of use: The home page is pretty self-xplanitory; teachers can access lesson plans and the educator pages while students can get started on their artwork by choosing one of the activities such as making a movie or making a picture. However, when it comes to using the activity features, it is essential that users have high speed internet. Slower versions of the Internet such as DSL or dial up will make it very difficult for students to draw or complete activities.

2. Site Support: Before even reaching the “contact us” page, teachers and students can find support in several other ways. Kerpoof offers a FAQ page for teachers and students as well as a page listing the top ten questions that are asked. There are how-to tutorial movies on how to use the Make a Movie and Make a Picture features. There is a page of tips and tricks for short cuts, earning Koins, and cheat codes. There is also information available for parents about Kerpoof and a guide for teachers.

3. Audience: Kerpoof is geared for educators and students. Although there is a info page for parents to read through, Kerpoof caters to students in grades K through 8 and their teachers. This is evident on the homepage.

4. Educational version?: This is an educational tool. Although students are free to draw and make movies at their leisure, Kerpoof is designed specifically for education. How do we know? The homepage has a several links just for educators. The site provides teachers with links to lesson plans that incorporate Kerpoof in social studies, English, science, etc. State and national standards are cross-referenced with activities so that teachers are more comfortable with using Kerpoof as a teaching tool.

5. Strengths and Weaknessnes: One of Kerpoof's most poingnant strengths is that it has already aligned standards for teachers. Educators do not have to find ways for Kerpoof to be relevant in terms of connecting to standards; it is already done for them! Kerpoof also allows students who are not the best at drawing or other messy arts to create a picture or tell a story in an interactive, artistic way. However, one down side to their Draw a Picture feature is that one really needs to have some kind of tablet to get the best results.

6. Ideas for Use: Comics, cartoons, drawings, etc. are great ways for students to demonstrate what they have learned about a concept. Students can create cartoons illustrating what happens in a chapter book. Students can also create movies and stories about famous people, places, and things.
Mary Pazmany
Mapwing
http://www.mapwing.com/
Mapwing is a little different than some of the other digital mapping tools available. While many of the tools seems to link photographs with places on a map, Mapwing offers usesr the ability to create virtual tours. One can view or build tours of countries, buildings, towns, cities, etc. If you are trying to sell your house, create a virtual tour for prospective buyers to peruse. Trying to decide on a college but can't make the flight out to see it? Mapwing is great for creating virtual tours of college campuses!

1. Ease of Use: Mapwing is relatively intuitive. The website has three tabs at the top of the page that directs users to exlore, create, or get help. When you first embark on creating a virtual tour, the website walks you through the steps to creating a tour. The finished product can be embedded on a webpage or blog, or you can send it to your contacts via e-mail.

2. Site Support: The website includes a community forum for users to ask questions. Users can also e-mail any questions to the moderator(s). Mapwing also offers tutorials on creating a map, providing comments on other maps, adding images, and any component necessary for creating an excellent virtual tour.

3. Audience: Mapwing serves the needs of any individual who wishes to show viewers what a place looks like. People who are selling a house, exploring other parts of the world, becoming oriented with a new office, and the like can use Mapwing to create a visual representation of a floor layout or geographical location.

4. Educational Version?: While there is no specific education-related account information, the product Mapwinf offers can definitely be used in an educational setting. There are examples of classroom projects exploring the coral reefs around the world, exploring school campuses, and tours of media centers.

5. Strengths and Weaknesses: Mapwing is great for students and teachers who wish to share images and take viewers on a digital journey of where they have been. However, there are two major limitations with using Mapwing: one is that the basic account only allows 20 locations points for a map or tour, the other is that the only way to share the maps is by embedding them on webpages or blogs or via e-mail. Mapwing does not offer users the opportunity to share their products on social media websites.

6. Ideas for Use: The virtual tours created on Mapwing would be great for taking students on tours of other parts of the world. Students can work in groups to make maps of the ancient world or create blueprints of a castle that they could be "building" as an interdisciplinary project. School districts can showcase new rennovations to their schools or show contractors and parents what needs improvement and where.
Mary Pazmany
Picasa
http://picasaweb.google.com/
Picasa is both a site and an application which allows users to store and organize photos among other more complex activities. You can organize, upload, share and edit pictures, and create collages, movies and maps using pictures. It allows you to store the same information online and share it with friends or the public according to privacy settings as well as work with some of the tools both in the application and online.

1. Ease of use: As a map tool, Picasa is not very intuitive, at least initially. There are no clear directions or systems in place, so it involves a lot of troubleshooting at first. You must make sure to geotag everything personally and combine it into an album. If more than one picture shares the same location, there is no indication on the map that there is more than one. As a collage tool, it is incredibly easy. Simply go to Create in the menu and select Picture Collage. Then it opens up a new collage tab showing the file. There are different settings according to the style you want with a brief explanation: Picture pile, mosaic, etc. If you need to change out pictures or get more, it is quite easy and doesn’t lose your work. However, you need the application, not just the website, to create a collage.

2. Site support: The application provides a direct link under the Help menu option to the Picasa forums and to the help page with directions on how to use the program and fix any problems.

3. Appropriate for what audiences: Due to its learning curve with maps, it is more appropriate for high schoolers though definitely usable as a collage tool with middle schoolers as well. Most effective for the those with Windows or Chromebook as there are better, more suitable options for Mac users.

4. Is there an educational version: There appears to be no educational affiliation on the site or in the application. The application and website are free.

5. Strengths, weaknesses: While it offers a convenient application and web tool for storing, sharing, and editing pictures, as well as for creating collages, the map tool isn’t particularly useful or intuitive. There are better ones out there. The other tools for creating collages and movies are simple and easy to use so long as you have the application. Once the collage is created using the collage creator, you can use the other application tools to change colors, tones, and add text among other things. The one plus side to the maps function is that it works on the web, not just the application. It also allows you to add functions and tag people in the pictures. However, only the captions are visible unless the user decides to see the full size photo. Though it does offer the option to leave comments, again, only visible when viewing the full size photo which requires the user to move away from the map view. Also, it usually prompts the user to use GoogleEarth for map related needs. The major downside to the collage tool is that it requires the application and cannot be completed online.

6. Ideas for use: Students can use the collage tool to create projects, especially posters (there is even a poster option separate from the collage), for class. The map tool, while not the best, could still be used for creating geographically related stories and even dialogue by using captions and comments as well as allowing the user to tag people in photos. Students could use the tool to comment on different places visited on perhaps a field trip or to relate personal experiences.
Diana Barley
Google My Maps
https://maps.google.com/
Google My Maps is an easy and simple tool that can do more than what you might use it for. The main function of Google Map is known for providing excellent directions and navigation. However, there is so much more you can do with it. After reviewing Google Map for a while, I think I could say that this can be a virtual scrapbook that you can keep track on where you have been and what you have observed at special places and ordinary places.

1. Ease of Use: Google Map is just very simple and easy. The difficulty level is not that high in my opinion. Everyone can figure out how to get the directions, but one might need to sit down to study a little bit of how to use some of the other functions that Google Map has to offer. Also, to be able to use the full functions of Google Map, one needs to create a Gmail account.

2. Site Support: As a part of Google, one can find the support system as needed; however, I did not see any direct link to “Contact Us” or demo-videos. Google is fairly good at updating necessary software regularly.

3. Audience: Google Map opens its arms to everyone. As I mentioned earlier, I could see and consider Google Map as a virtual scrapbook to keep the data of where you have visited. It could also work as a future planner. One can mark where they want to visit and what they want to see. Students can use it to find historical places and make study notes using Google Map for any history related classes. Students who are interested in math can calculate length of the distance and play with those numbers. Google Map can be used for anyone who is willing to try it out.

4. Educational version: There is no separate Educational version. Teachers should not have much trouble introducing Google Maps to the students. It is a tool that students can use in the future as well. As the new educational form, Common Core is directing the education system to prepare students for the real world experience. I think teachers can use Google Maps as one of many tools to give an opportunity for the students to develop real-world skills.

5. Strengths and Weaknesses: One issue that I might see with Google Maps is that to be able to use the all the functions of it one has to create a Gmail account. I am sure that at College level it will not be a problem for a teacher to ask the students to create an e-mail account. I am not sure how the parents of K-12 will take when their students are asked to create e-mail accounts. Also, another weakness I found was that there were no easy demo-videos. It could make things go easier for the first time users in my opinion.

One of the strength of Google Maps is that this will be a tool that students can use in the real world. Google seems like it is one of the most used search engine. I think using Google Maps to teach students will expose them to learn about one of great tools that they can use.

6. Ideas for Use: I could certainly use this for music classes. For music history classes, I could have the students to locate where their favorite musicians performed or born. I could also have the students to identify the musicians from different areas. Google Maps can be also used as their daily log. They could simply write down where they went and visited and write down what they observed and learned.

I could see a great potential for the Google Maps. It could be used for a lot of personal purposes and educational purposes for both the teachers and the students.
Charlie Im
Pikistrips
www.pikistrips.com or
www.comeeko.com/ps

Cached version
This site allows users to take photos and organize them into a comic strip. You can also share these strips and photos with friends and even have them printed on items such as t-shirts, hoodies, bags, and mugs among other things.

1. Ease of use: It is impossible to use. I had to access the site through a site called Wayback Machine, which caches versions of websites going back several years. The last working cache of the website was dated October 2011. At this point, the website gives an error, stating it is unavailable. Also, according to downforeveryoneorjustme.com, the website is completely down.pikistrips down.PNG

2. Site support: According to the cached site, the website did have a FAQs page.

3. Appropriate for what audiences: The site would have been most appropriate for high schoolers and even some college age students looking to start a small digital printing shop, which appears to be an option. The high schoolers would enjoy the social aspect and the ability to create apparel for themselves and friends.

4. Is there an educational version: No, but the service is free to everyone. Though, naturally, ordering an item costs.

5. Strengths, weaknesses: The greatest weakness, obviously, is that the site is down and looks to be for good. Even when I cleared my cache and cookies as others suggested, and even tried different browsers and checked via downforeveryoneorjustme.com, it was established that the site will not be coming back up any time in the near future. Though, according to forums discussing the subject, strips already created appear to not be affected, which is a strength. Also, you can add speech bubbles and other effects to the comics.
The only other weakness is that one must use already created medium, it simply provides a means of organizing, editing, sharing, and printing photos and images.

6. Ideas for use: If the site were still working, I would have students use it to imagine how scenes might play out or adapt work or even create stories of their own depending on the class and project. It could also be used to tell a more factual story or share information in a more fun and interesting way. For example, they could use the tool to create a comic explaining an idea, like metaphors, using characters and examples of their own, adding a visual element and other effects.

It is a shame the site is down, I was looking forward to using it in depth and even considered how it could really be used in the classroom. Sadly, it is not longer a viable choice.
Diana
Barley
Vuvox
www.vuvox.com
Vuvox is a site offering a variety of services depending on your needs. It is divided into three options: Vuvox Express for galleries, Vuvox Studio for presentations, and Vuvox Collage for creating interactive collages. It allows users to utilize provided images as well as upload their own images, video, and audio to add to the collage. In the collage, you can edit images and move them around through rotation, overlapping and other means. You can even cut out portions of pictures to create frames. Also, you can add a soundtrack or video to the collage that viewers can watch, listen to, and even pause and play accordingly.

1. Ease of use: In terms of creating a picture only collage with perhaps some audio as a soundtrack, it is relatively easy. However, video is almost impossible at this stage, since the tool is still in Beta, at least for collage. Other services like studio were able to incorporate the video with ease, but despite trying multiple formats and file sizes according to what the site claimed it accepted, using video was almost impossible. And, I wouldn’t really recommend using video, since it interferes with the flow of the collage which is set to play and scroll for users to read and watch and even listen to. When playing video, everything else must pause. Also, the video quality has to be very low to work with the software.

2. Site support: They have a FAQs page and a means of contacting for tech support, though it is difficult to navigate, and only one of the links to FAQs works. They offer a few videos to guide the user in making a collage, but nothing in depth.

3. Appropriate for what audiences: Users should have at least an intermediate understanding of technology to use this site. It is slightly more complex than other services because of the choices it offers when creating a collage. Also, there are many formatting issues with pictures, video, and audio. They are specific regarding what works at this stage, making them less than ideal for younger or less experienced audiences.

4. Is there an educational version: No, but the service is entirely free.

5. Strengths, weaknesses: One of its greatest strengths is the ability to link to photostoring and sharing sites such as SmugMug, Flickr, and Picasa. This way users can easily access all of their uploaded photos without having to upload them to this site as well. The interface for working with photos is fairly self-explanatory and allows for a range of choice when editing, which is nice. Most importantly, they allow users to cut sections from photos, allowing for framing which goes hand in hand with the ability to layer images by moving them backwards and forwards in relation to the other images. Also, there is an option to save without publishing, so more complex collages that need more time, are saved without losing information. The allowance for a soundtrack is another great addition that can enhance the final product. The greatest weakness is that can be a bit difficult to use when working with anything other than photos. Audio is slightly more difficult to work with and video is very finicky. The site is still in beta, so all of the different features are still being worked on; not everything is completely cleaned up and ready.

6. Ideas for use: This software, despite its difficulties, would be very useful for presenting ideas much like in a presentation. It would also be a good way to present thumbnails of portfolio pieces for art students or a good way to tell a story almost like a comic strip. Students can insert not only pictures, video, and audio, but text as well. It offers a variety of options according to student needs. For science, students could make a collage of instructions for experiments or show different processes, like the water cycle.

Once they work out the kinks with video, I can see the site becoming incredibly useful for a multitude of projects though in its current state, it is still an interesting choice for creating a "moving collage". I played a little with the other options, Express and Studio, and found Studio relatively easier to use and more clean in some ways though still a little rough around the edges since some tools were still missing (they said coming soon), and it was a little more difficult to navigate.
Diana
Barley
Storify
http://storify.com/
Storify is an online story building tool that anyone can use as they desire. Storify can be viewed as a blander that can combine various media tools such Facebook posts, Tweeter posts, Youtube video, and more. The users of Storify have the control to place the resources that they found in any order. The users who create a story through Storify will annotate each resource and the program will help the users to create a slideshow like a film.

Ease of Use: Storify was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. First, to be able to use Storify, one needs to create an account or integrate a Facebook account or a Tweeter account. Students who do not own either account can create a Storify account without any problem. Anyone who is trying to use Storify should watch an online demonstration video or read “how-to” before they begin.

Site Support: At the bottom of the website, Storify provide “Guided tour” tab which will take the viewers to the page that explains how to use Storify most effectively. However, there still is no demonstration video that you can view. One might be able to search how to use Storify on Youtube. There is also a link that users can click on, “Help”. This page does a little bit more than “Guided tour”, but still can cause some confusion.

Audience: I would say that Storify would be more suitable for computer users who are comfortable with trying new programs. For me, the program was not too hard once I started to play around with it. However, it might took some time for me really get the value of this program.

Educational Version: There was no educational version that I could locate. As I mentioned, this program can be used for anyone. It will just take some time for the users to get use to the program. If a teacher is trying to use this program for educational purpose, he/she might need to ask the students to create a Storify account rather than connecting it to their Facebook accounts or Tweeter accounts.

Strength and Weakness: The strength of Storify is that it reinforces the students to be familiar with existing technologies and social networking systems. Through using this program, students can also learn to create their own stories using resources from everywhere online. Students will need to be careful about what information that they use and where they find the information. The weakness of this program is the fact that there are not a lot of support systems to help the first time users. The instructor also needs to be careful about having the students to sign in with their Facebook accounts or Tweeter accounts during the lessons. Students can be easily distracted by those social networking systems.

Ideas of Use: There are few ways that instructor can use this program. This program is close to another style of PowerPoint. It just gives the better flow between the slides because it is like a short film. Teachers can use Storify with their students to create bibliographies about important historical figures. Teachers can also have students to use this program to create stories about their own lives compared to their famous role models. This program can be beneficial because it is reinforcing the students to practice how to research on their topics. It could be useful in any classes that require research project.
Charlie Im
Pixton
http://www.pixton.com/
Pixton is a fun and very interesting online program that can be used in many different ways. Pixton is an online program that you can use to create comic strips online using tools that they provide. Through using this program students can learn to organize their ideas into a sequential order and create their own product. I really enjoyed learning about this program.
Ease of Use: This is a great program that anyone can use. Anyone can create their virtual online characters to create stories. It can both educational and entertainment for both the teachers and the students. However, using this program in classroom settings could take up a lot of times if the instructors are not be careful about the time. The program is easy to use and browse through. It might be a slight problem for students who are expressing their artic skills without thinking about the time limit. This program is open for everyone and can be definitely used for all ages and can be one of great learning tools that can get the most students’ attention.

Site Support: One of the many reasons why I liked this site and the program was that there are many support systems that will guide through the first time users and the users who have questions. There are many demo-videos presented for the users. “Help” tab at the top of the website also directs the users to the support page that will answer the general and technical questions related to Pixton. I do not think you will have a hard time if you look around support pages.

Audience: Pixton is open for anyone who wants to create some comic strips. When you get the first homepage of Pixton, you will see that Pixton has various version users can use to maximize their usages. Pixton has educator’s version, student’s version, and more.

Educational Version: Yes! Pixton has educational version. It even has teacher’s versions and student’s versions. There are so many ways you can incorporate this program into your lessons. The basic functions are the same, but depend on the version, some contents can be changed.

Strength and Weakness: The strongest aspect of this program is that it is fun and exciting to use. Students can create their own characters and build comic strips! How can that be not fun for them? The tools provided for the users are easy to follow and get started. There are instructional videos that one can watch to figure out how to start. The website is simple and easy to navigate through.
The weakness of this program is the amount of time that could that for the students to accomplish their requirements for different assignments. Even though the tools are easy to use and changes can be made easily. The amount of time it could take can vary greatly.

Ideas for Use: Pixton can be used in various ways in different subjects. In English class, students can create stories based on their journals or stories that they have read. In science classes, students can walk with other students to create comic strips that introduce science technical vocabulary words. In music classes, students can create stories that will fit the sound of music that they heard before in classes.

Our Screencasts...





Jennifer Kelley Glogster Screencast


Corey Graybill MapSkip ScreenCast


Diana Barley Picasa ScreenCast

Creative Commons License
Using Picasa by Diana Barley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Charlie Im: Storify Review



Mary Pazmany: Mixbook Screencast

This screencast on how to create a mixbook would be beneficial for both teachers a students. Teachers can use Mixbook to share what is going on in their classroom such as field trips, class projects, etc. Students can use Mixbook to create picture and text based projects as a means of creating a narrative.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbU8PDDNh_4&feature=youtu.be

This is a screencast to show how to use Wayfaring to create maps with points of interest. This would be a great tool when teaching geography or history. Students could find locations on a map and add notes about specific historical events in these locations. Educators can use Wayfaring to share information about resources in their area or field trip ideas.