Posts Tagged Photostory

Cartoons – Make Your Own

I ran across through my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and have been playing with the possibilities.   It requires no fees and no sign in or account to be created.  Of course the first place I start when playing with photos is my kids.



The process of uploading pictures is very simple:

  1. Navigate to the picture and upload it.
  2. Crop or rotate the image as needed.
  3. Choose the effect you want (effects can be changed and modified with the onscreen menu).
  4. Save the new image to your computer.

But then I started thinking what else could be done?  How about cartoons?

Cartoons and Cartoon Strips

The students could take pictures of themselves in various expressions, poses, run the picture through the web page and turn the digital photo into a cartoon version.  Those pictures could then be inserted into a PowerPoint and captions added to make your own cartoon strips.  This would be a great activity to summarize an event being studies, or a book they are reading.  Maybe give them the pictures and have them write in their own captions.  Students could also take historical images and make them “cartoonized” to tell the story of the event.

When Printing – Choose to print the handout page with 6 slides per page.

(Sorry the text is very small in this image- but the story line is lacking a bit.  :) )

Cartoon Movies

I then took it another step by pulling the images into Photo Story 3.  Instead of a paper cartoon, why not a video?  Students would process their pictures and then bring them into PhotoStory 3 where they can add text, narration and music.  The images could be zoomed in or out in the movie and the still photographs have come to life.


Any other ideas for using in the classroom?

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Getting a New Perspective on the Written Word

October is Computer Learning Month

I had a dream last night that got me thinking about “perspective”  and how to give students different perspectives on what is being taught.  Our students are what some call “digital natives” and are wired differently than students of the past.  Think of all the ways they can get and send information in a moment’s notice.  So how can we tap into that part of their thinking and get them thinking about school and the subjects being presented from a different perspective?  How can we start to speak their  digital language?

With this thought in mind I bring you this post: Perspectives in Writing and Reading

So often as a history teacher I would present textbook reading as here it is and answer the questions at the end.  As I began to understand the importance of engaging students before, during and after reading, I used questions, discussions, paper and pencil, drawing, etc. to help get the students to see the information in a different way.

With technology I am amazed at what the other options can be!

To demonstrate some of the ways that a reading passage (fiction or non-fiction) could be presented using technology, I took the school’s weekly newsletter and ran it through several options.  These activities could be used as pre-reading hooks or as a post-reading assignment for the students.


The first is a web site called “Wordle.”  Wordle takes text and makes a word cloud out of it.  The more a word is mentioned, the larger it appears.  Think of it as a tag cloud for your reading.

Students could also upload their own writing and see what words they are using the most and how their writing is coming across.  For a list of ideas on this, please see the Tech Ed Know blog.


I used Inspiration 8 to create a web of the information as well:

Blurbs in Inspiration


Pictures are another great way to tell a story.  I took the same key words, found pictures to illustrate those words from flickr and made a short movie using photo story.


For Ridgeview Teachers: Here are a few wordles that come from history or literature.  If you are able to identify what text they come from and leave your guess as a comment to this blog, a prize will be awarded.   There will be a prize per entry, so you don’t have to know them all, just guess on one!  Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Entry 1:

Entry 2:

Entry 3:

Entry 4:

Ideas?  thoughts?  Suggestions?  Please share in the comments section.

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How to Podcast – sort of…

This post explains a work around to posting audio files when you don’t have the space to host and stream the files.

Back in the fall the US History teachers wanted to post student created audio files and videos quickly (24 hours turn around). We didn’t have a space to host these types of files for easy access.  I could handle the video portion with the help of TeacherTube.  But where to host the audio files easily?  We decided to try TeacherTube as well, but first needed to transfer the audio to video files.  Here is our solution:

  1. Gathered audio files (created with Audacity) saved as wav files.
  2. Created a splash page using a PowerPoint slide and saving the slide as a jpg.
  3. Using PhotoStory 3 – import the PowerPoint slide. (Note: take off the pan and scan option in customize motion – scanning across text slides can be annoying!)
  4. Import your audio file. 
  5. Preview the file to make sure the entire audio file plays.
  6. Save the project and save it as for best for playback on your computer.

We then uploaded all the video files and the “audio” files (now videos) to Teacher Tube.  This allowed us to embed the files into the student’s wiki pages. 

This started the school on the path to podcasting, even though this was technically not podcasting.  Now we have a blog space that can hos the files and provide the syndication needed to classify it as a “podcast.”

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