After Day 1 of Digital Storytelling with Storybird in first grade I decided to seek out other tools. My thought was that if I tried a few different ones with the students I would be able to get five times the amount of work done. I can learn just as much about a tool by trying it with one class as I can by trying it with five classes. Testing five tools in the same time frame seems efficient.
On Day 2 I started searching for alternatives. I used VoiceThread for several projects a few years ago. I logged back in and was disappointed to see that using it with student accounts would cost a fee. Understandable, because that’s the current business model. I’ve used Animoto, but I thought for this project it probably wouldn’t be the best for first grade. We have Pixie installed, but the students have used that in the past. I did a quick search for storytelling tools and came across ZooBurst and KerPoof as possibilities. I’ve heard of ZooBurst before but when I looked at their pricing information it said that an individual teacher could only make 10 free books. I could have students work in pairs, but in triads was not wise so I continued to search.
KerPoof Studio was where I landed. I cannot tell you enough good things about this tool. I haven’t read much about it. I just started to use it. There could be a dark cloud somewhere, but I’m not seeing it yet. It was named an AASL Best Website for Teaching and Learning in 2011. I don’t know how I missed it! I read through those lists and try things, but I must not have needed this tool at that time.
KerPoof is great because of these features (and probably more!):
- free to teachers
- easily create class groups setting student names and passwords
- assign students to classes without using email
- option for storytelling, drawing pictures, or making movies
- so easy to use
- kids love it
Here’s a video podcast from the Charlotte Meck tech department that walks through a LOT of information about the tool. If you’re trying KerPoof in one window, you may want to let the podcast play in another and just listen and click back and forth as needed to see what the narrators are showing.
I decided to try KerPoof on another class or two. I’d still like to experiment with more tools, but I feel like I’m on a magic cloud with this one! Coming next in the Storytelling Tools Adventure is Little Bird Tales! Stay tuned…..