Education and Emerging Ed. Tools

In my previous blog, I mentioned talking with my son about what he would like to see happen in school in terms of technology integration. He was really focused on creating videos and other types of media. This was my jumping of point for investigating what types of web2.0 technologies I could find that would support students in the classroom. While I teach kindergarten, I didn’t just limit myself to what would be only appropriate for them, because I felt that would limit what I looked at. I did try to focus my search on the creation aspect of the tools though.

The first app I found is 3D Bear and I was intrigued by it, mostly because it is Augmented Reality, and frankly I am fascinated by the the whole AR concept. I can envision this being used at multiple grade levels. At young elementary grades students could use it to create alphabet stories using each letter as the basis for different scenes, It could be used in middle and high school to recreate story scenes or share a science concept.

Keeping in line with student creation I next looked at Storyboard That. What I liked about it was that students had the ability to click on the visuals they wanted to use and add them to the scene and they could customize the characters, to a certain point. The downfall was that the customizing was limited and I think that would be a deterrent for some students. The site gave some suggested lesson plan ideas based on grade levels which could be helpful for a teacher as they are starting to work with this. A little more digging around and I discovered that you could also make things like movie posters and infographics. There is some potential here. The image below I created in about 10 minutes.

Story Bird is a digital storybook platform where students can create and publish their writing. There are others similar to this one, but the other one I looked at I didn’t care for.  Story Bird has been around for a while and allows for collaboration and feedback. The site includes multiple lesson plan ideas and has an extensive collections of images to support the story writing. It just isn’t traditional stories formats available. They also offer templates for comic strips and and poetry.  Like any other digital writing platform I believe it provides opportunities for students to uses digital methods to share knowledge as well as providing an opportunity to be creative.

For the next two applications I went a little different approach. The first is Animoto. I found this on on the blog, Teach & Learn. I wouldn’t have thought of Animoto for classroom use because when you visit it is aimed at the professional sector. However,  it allows the user to create videos by dragging and dropping videos and photos into it’s online video editor. It also has a music library. This would make it possible for student to create their own video even if they don’t have something like Final Cut or other video editing software available to them at home.

For my last web2.0 tool I am going back to AI and sharing Narakeet. This used to be called Video Puppet.  With Narakeet you can convert powerpoint presentations into video presentations and by adding the script, it will add the voice over. The creator has the has the options of recording your own voice.  This could be really great for teachers during distance learning or even when they have a sub:). I can also see the benefit of this for students who struggle with speaking in front of the class, students with speech limitations or even ELL students.

When delving into the resources I found online I started discovering that there are a wealth of opportunities for students and teachers alike to make teaching and learning more engaging.


3D Bear.  Retrieved on October 16, 2020, from

Animoto. Retrieved on October 16, 2020, from

Narakeet. Retrieved on October 16, 2020, from

Story Bird. Retrieved on October 16, 2020, from

Story Board That.  Retrieved on October 16, 2020, from

50 Web 2.0 tools for Schools. (September 2, 2020).  Teach & Learn. Retrieved on October 16, 2020, from

6 thoughts on “Education and Emerging Ed. Tools”

  1. Narakeet is a new one to me. I can see someone who is very hesitant to edit video or do screen recording finding it useful.

    I really love Storybird as well, but it’s been around for more than 8 years. What to you makes it an emerging tool?

    1. I realize that it has been around for while, but I haven’t heard of it being integrating in at a wide scale level. I only learned about it in the last 2-3 years. In some ways I believe that the word emerging has some flexibility to it. How new something is, potentially comes down to when you have learned about it or possibly even once it has become more mainstream. Unfortunately, that point of view, can mean that by the time something is put into use it could very well be outdated and the next thing is already on the horizon.

      Like we read in the reading by Gupta it is hard to break into the education market. I think there are a lot of great products out there that educators learn of by word of mouth. Therefore, they aren’t necessarily precisely new when we learn about them, but they are new to us

  2. Melissa,
    What a great list – I’ve copied this for future reference. I’m really intrigued by using Animoto – since when I do have a spare moment, I love to play with photography. I think this is a great tool for storytelling and I’m wondering if I could create something around risk communication leveraging this tool. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have never heard of any of these resources! Thank you for sharing. Which tool do you think you are more likely to use in the classroom? Storybird sounds like something I would love to play around with for my unit project. I have used BookCreator in the past, but when I last used it – I found there were a lot of limitations with the free account. (Though that could have changed since it has been a while). The lesson plans and feedback part of that technology sounds really intriguing so I can’t wait to play around with it!

    1. I’m not real sure what or even if I would use these. I was thinking #D bear would be fun for the kids, but I am thinking it is more of a fun activity. I would need to spend some more time with it. My instinct is that they could use it to make their own AR alphabet flashcards. I also think there are possibilities with storyboard that! for working with sequencing. My main concern with that is that they would get upset that they couldn’t find the exact background that the want or create characters who look just like the story. I think I would need to have time to really play with the applications over a break to get a solid feel for them before considering implementing them with kindergarteners. In part because I would need to plan for the struggles they may encounter.

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