EC&I 834

Useful, or not so much?

So I looked at a couple of different options and shut them down right away. Photobabble looked like a cool option, but I already use SeeSaw  that you can use voice over on and Flipgrid whereby students hold up a picture (test, work, etc.) and talk about it. Smore flyer creator looked like something I could use to have students create a project with, but we already use Adobe Spark and we make excellent videos and posters with it.  We also use PosterMyWall which works great for my students. Powtoon looked like a very cool site.  I thought I could have students use this to create messages for Health, Career Guidance or Religion.  I set about to try it out and had some of my students try it too.  They always seem to catch on quicker than me.  If they are able to try it with me, I then have a few helpers in the group. So three kids started with me.  One student made an entire story about how to help with stress. She liked using the site but found it did not save well and she had to retype a few times.  Retyping for kids who have no keyboarding skills is treacherous.

Two of my boys thought they would made how-to videos.                                       Cass’ help 

I thought I could have my students create book talks or book reports using this template

As the boys tried to share their ideas, they had difficulty saving their creations.  They started over twice and I called it quits.  This turned them and me off of the site.  Saving should be the easiest part the process.  Having to restart and restart is off setting.  I thought that this is a different option for my students.

The idea of the site is pretty cool.  There are a number of options to use for presentations as it is a presentation tool.  I do not think I would use it from much other than book reports.  It has has a very limited number of templates and you cannot upload any of your own pictures or images.  It does have a blank template but you have to use the material provided thus limiting the end result.  There is a time limit on the free presentation material and a cost if you go over the time limit.  As a teacher, I am always looking for free…free just about anything.

I think there is probably something better out there.  What I would like to know is who has time to find it.  I admit I am not at all good with looking for new ideas.  I will try out a number of things but seem to fall into using what I think is good and then get stuck there.  Ideas anyone?

2 thoughts on “Useful, or not so much?”

  1. Hi Colette, I have had similar issues using Powtoon. We use Brightspace at Saskatchewan Polytechnic which has many tools already embedded within it. I did try VideoScribe and did not mind it too much. Do you think that might work as it seemed user friendly and the trial version is free?


  2. Reading the start of your blog… I was reminded of the sheer volume of apps that are out there for use – there are 3 billion apps that can be used to annotate images, but each has its own small tweek that separates it slightly from the others. Oftentimes, unfamiliarity with an app leads to issues down the road (like saving or downloading the final files).

    Trying to balance overuse of a single app with skimming the surface of many apps is key in the classroom, and something that I always struggled with.

    I once introduced students to 5 variants of PowerPoint (mostly because I was tired of the transitions between slides). We never really learned the true capabilities of things like Prezi or even Google Slides. Trying to ‘fix’ this, I then taught students the ins and outs of Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Access). I had students completing inked artwork with a mouse in Word, and making navigable timeline PowerPoints with hyperlinks and embedded websites. Which way was better? I am still not sure – students got different pieces from each method.


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