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Storyboardthat

Does someone remember reading comic strips during their childhood? I think that every adult can remember of at least one comic strip character that they used to like very much. The new tool that I discovered, basically help you create your own comic strip. The website is called Storybardthat and it provides you with a great range of characters, scenes, shapes, and bubbles that help you create your very personal comic strip. This tool even allows you to choose the colors of clothes, skin, and hair of your characters. It is a great tool that helps you create comic strips and what is even more wonderful is the fact that you have a lot of ways to personalize your characters and settings. Therefore, it allows you to create your comic strip based on your preferences. However, clarity is an important issue for such projects because comic strips are really short and straight to the point.

One thing that is particularly difficult to do in class is to motivate all your students at once. I think that having my students create comic strips can motivate girls as well as boys. Boys have a great tendency to read a lot of comic books. Consequently, allowing to create their own comic might motivate them even more. In addition, with the tool I explored there are also princesses, unicorns, and mermaids that students can choose from as characters. As a result, even the girly girls will be happy to use this tool because of the variety of characters that appeal to everyone. It can be used with older grade 6 students as well as with grade 1 students. The only difference will be in the complexity of the texts presented. Also, I particularly enjoyed this tool because it allows my students to practice dialogue. Comic strips are mainly made of dialogues and students will have to create somee in order to present their story clearly.

In addition, I could even use this tool to help me present small content matter or for giving examples to my students. The visual aspect of this tool is something that will appeal to my students as well as making them concentrate more on the subject presented. I think it is a “short and sweet” way to present or clarify some points. I would not use it as an everyday tool, however, I think I could use it from time to time for my students. I think it is something they will greatly enjoy.

I really enjoyed this task because it is easy to use with students and I think it is a dynamic activity that they will enjoy doing. Both boys and girls will be motivated to create their own comic strip and that is an important point to take into consideration for the well-being of the class. Overall, it is a great tool to use because really is polyvalent. I hope that you will at least try it yourself in order to really see the potential of this tool.

students-love-storyboard-that

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Weebly

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I am currently taking a university class where I need to create a WebQuest for my students. It basically consists of a website where you have your students do a web project. At first I was like, creating a website? I cannot do that! However, I found a tool that helped me a lot in creating the project. This tool is called Weebly. It is a website that allows you to create your own website in a simplified version. Let me tell you something it facilitates greatly your life. You can create pages easily, add pictures, texts, videos, and even your own documents. Consequently, adapting your website to school projects becomes really easy. And let me tell you, if I was able to create my website, everybody can create their own. In addition, I just discovered that you have the possibility to have a Weebly For Education that you can manage as a teacher. By creating a teacher account, you can password protect all your students’ websites for privacy. In addition, it also allows you to manage and moderate their websites. At first I struggled a bit with all the components of the websites, if you are like me, watch this video it will help you a lot.

Personnally, I used Weebly to create a special project for my students. Consequently, my students will need to be on a computer, go to my website and follow step by step the instructions to carry out the task. I loved to create my website because I think that students will particularly enjoy this type of project since it will be different from the usual activities we do in class. In addition, there are a lot more of ways to use this tool but I preferred to start simply with a project. Once I get better with the tool, I would really enjoy creating my own website where students could go and check for documents and information about what we do in class. Consequently, I plan of using this tool as a support of the teaching material we see in class. This website is the perfect example of what I want to do with my own website later on. It is well organized and information can be found easily. Also, there is a calendar where students can go and look up what is coming up in the months whether it concerns exams or projects. I believe that Weebly would be a great tool to create such a website since it is simple and effective.

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Dear Journal…

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I just discovered Penzu and thought I could share it with you. Penzu is like a web journal where you can write anything you want without having anybody finding out about it. You just need to create your own account and you are good to go. What I like about the tool is that you still have the possibility to personalize your journal by adding pictures, choosing your lock, and your font. Consequently, the writer has a lot of freedom to choose from what he (yes boys can also write their own personal journal) or she wants. When you start writing, the web page has the same appearance as a real journal page. Consequently, you really feel like you are writing your own journal. What is even nicer is that you don’t have to hide your journal from anybody anymore since Penzu offers privacy of content. Unless you want to share the content of your Penzu journal, nobody can find out about it.

You might ask yourself, yes this tool seems nice but how can I use it with my students. Well, let me tell you there are thousands of possibilities for you to use Penzu in your classroom. Personally, I would mostly use a journal like this with elementary students since they will be more appealed to it. However, I believe that Penzu can also be used for high school students if you would like to. The beauty of Penzu is that when you create your account, you have the possibility to create a “classroom journal”. Then, Penzu will give you a unique class code that you can share with your students. In their own Penzu accounts, students will simply have to add the code to join the classroom. After this, you can do anything you want with them. You can have students write essays on the tool or only use it to really write small journal entries about their day but all in English. Both possibilities allow your students to practice their writing skills in English. In addition, as the teacher you can go and check the students’ work, comment and grade them. Here is the website that helped me gather all the information about Penzu classrooms.

I can already picture some of you saying, but it is quite similar to Google Docs, why use it? I would prefer using Penzu with younger students since they will find it more engaging to work on than on Google Docs. Students will have the possibility to personalize their journals which a lot of students love to do. Consequently, students will be more motivated to write since they find the tool they are using more engaging. I hope I have convinced you to at least try out one time this amazing tool.

Here is a short video that can help you get started with Penzu that helped me understand the tool easily. Also, here is another blog talking about Penzu and education and why you should use it in your class.