It really coud be 60 sites in 60 minutes

Have you tried yet? It allows users to add ULRs either via copy/paste, a tag or popular search with Yahoo, Google, Flickr, YouTube, news search, RSS feeds or delicious, and then it creates a full-screen slideshow showing each URL. The default advance for each slide is 60 seconds but users can reset the timing to a desired pace or manually advance or go back to a previous slide. Add a name to the slideshow and it is ready for prime time. When the slideshow is finished, users can share via URL, email, social networking and bookmarking tools, or embed code. If a user wants to edit a slideshow, simply log back in to, click “Dashboard” and all of the slideshows are displayed.

If giving a presentation of a variety of resources and time is of the essence, could be a great tool. Embedding a slidshow onto a class website or wiki would also be a great tool to showcase websites or certain wiki pages created by students. To check it out, I made this slideshow which highlights cartooning websites I’ve been collecting.

Political Cartoon, Anyone?

ToonDoo is great, I love it for storytelling in many aspects of content, but this time it wasn’t quite right. My government students used the Library of Congress’ interactive exercise, “It’s No Laughing Matter” to learn about political cartoons and then, of course, the Cagle Cartoon Index to see and analyze on their own current cartoons. After that, I really wanted them to take a stab at creating their own political cartoons, black and white, pencil-sketched political cartoons. I was happy to find FunnyTimes Playground.

This website allowed by students to take a current issue and create via drag-and-drop their

own political cartoons. Sketches relating to current people and issues are available and, although my example does not show it, text and and callout bubbles can be added. No registration is required which is helpful and means any age can use this resource. The site does offer the opportunity to email the finished product to the cartoonist, but we had mixed success with that so I highly recommend taking a screenshot of the finished cartoon before closing the window. ¬†Happy ‘tooning!

“A” is for Animation

Telling stories, animating them, provides a different stage for student work. Over the past year, cartooning sites have exploded, ToonDoo was my go-to, especially once they made the “keep it private” option for cartoons (almost a problem for me a long time ago), but now there are so many more options: Kerpoof (K-5), MakeBeliefs Comix (multi-lingual too), BitStrips (free individual accounts and an “Education” option that isn’t free but has a free 30 day trial), PikiKids (with real images) and Read-Write-Think are some of the comic generators now. And not sure what to do with cartoons in the classroom? The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) have lesson plans, the Daryl Cagle site (great for education-friendly political cartoons) has a teachers’ guide section, and the National Association of Comics Arts Educators has ideas and lesson plans, study guides and more for using comics in the classroom.

And if interested in animating video, Muvizu is intriguing for making 3-D animations, scripting and more. I especially like that it allows a “gatekeeper” account to be set up by teachers or people who work with people under 13 years old so you have administrative control over the account. I have loved Xtranormal in the past, but it isn’t as easy with students as it has been in the past.¬†Memoov also looks like it has a lot of potential for making animated movies in the classroom.

A is for animation.