This week two blogs from the Free technology for Teachers blog struck my attention. One of them, which can be found at http://tinyurl.com/8e6qvks, talked about a website called Picture Book Maker (http://www.culturestreet.org.uk/activities/picturebookmaker/) which allows kids to develop their own storybook-like stories by superimposing characters, backgrounds, text boxes, and other props. I was amazed with the application in this website because of the good quality of the images and the great opportunities for developing creativity it offers not only to kids, but even grownups too. I myself lost track of time playing with it.
For 2nd grade students in my computer class, I have an activity where kids create a simple story and illustrate it with their own drawings in paint. Whit this tool, they can concentrate more on the writing part which they had more difficulty with and in lesser time they will be able to create a finished product that not only looks professional but that they can print or that we can email to their parents.
Browsing through the Picture Book Maker site, I also found out that the site offers also other very interesting web applications such as one where kids can make comic-like books in an also very professional way (http://www.culturestreet.org.uk/activities/superactioncomicmaker/ ). Comic books that can also be printed or emailed when finished. I thought this would be a very nice application to implement with older kids in 4th - 6th grades.
Another interesting RSS feed from Free Technology for Teachers was one that talks about a stop-frame animation application (http://www.culturestreet.org.uk/activities/stopframeanimator/) from the same creators of the previously discussed web apps.
The feed, that can be found at http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2012/09/create-stop-motion-animations-on-stop.html#.UF0O5I2PV2A details how students can select different backgrounds, wooden manikins, and props to develop their animation. For 7th and 8th grade students, this would be a great application to foster their creativity.
Using Web Tools in the Classroom