Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Create with Kerpoof!

Kerpoof is a free Web 2.0 application created by Disney.  It allows users to create accounts in which they can make drawings, pictures, cards, storybooks and movies.  Teachers can create accounts for classes of students, who can then share their creations with each other, work on projects together, chat and send messages.

I introduced Kerpoof with a day to explore the easier features: drawings, pictures and cards.  My third grade students were very enthusiastic.  They enjoyed creating and sharing.  The chat and message features were very popular and afforded some great lessons in using good online etiquette.  There were times when I disabled these features as students were in the process of creating a required storybook or movie.  Teachers can view all posts and remove them.  Many of my students continue to use their accounts outside of school and continue to create and share.

Most of my third graders were able to successfully tell a story through a storybook or movie.  Each feature affords a variety of settings, characters and props.  Students can narrate in text boxes and create dialogue in speech and thought bubbles.  I found that the collections of settings and characters helped to jumpstart children's abilities to form a storyline.

The features in "Make A Movie" are sophisticated, yet accessible.  A tutorial guides users though the process of selecting characters whose images can be manipulated.  Characters have moves, emoticons and actions associated with them.  Actions, text in speech bubbles, music and special effects are directed through dragging and dropping onto synchronous timelines.

My students were very engaged by the Kerpoof activities.  They enjoyed being creators who could revise their own avatars, earn "Koins" to purchase additional tools from the store and interact with online peers.

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