Pixntell – Create Narrated Photo Slideshows in a Snap

Pixntell is free app that allows users to quickly create and share a narrated slideshow of pictures. Just add photos, record narration and share newly created videos via DropBox, FaceBook, YouTube or email. You can even apply special effects to photos if desired. The app couldn’t be simpler to use!

Common Core App

Uses in the classroom

The Common Core is filled with writing, speaking and listening standards that can be incorporated into learning experiences through the use of this simple tool in the classroom, especially if a script writing element is included. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Students can take snapshots of work samples and write a script to demonstrate learning, then narrate and share the final project for use as an authentic assessment tool. 
  • Students can capture photos of everyday classroom learning activities and write a script to record reflections about the experience.
  • Teachers can use the tool to front-load the learning by creating a photo slideshow for viewing as homework prior to class, to provide a starting point for classroom instruction.

Get Pixntell from the iTunes Store


Promoting Visual Literacy

Visual literacy is a 21st Century Skill that requires students to interpret, use and create media in ways to encourage critical  thinking, decision-making, communication and learning.  With easy access to copyright-friendly digital images and a growing number of web 2.0 resources for manipulating them, it’s certainly worth offering students the option of conveying a message visually.  Let’s take a closer look at one way to design effective learning experiences to promote visual literacy.

It’s always a good idea to start with an Essential Question to drive the learning experience. Students can work in pairs or individually to create images that answer the question visually, then all of the work can be published online for an engaging culminating activity to allow students to share knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of the whole.

BigHugeLabs is a good web 2.0 resource to start with. This free and user-friendly site has an array of tools that are perfect for jump starting classroom learning projects that focus on visual literacy. Students can use the tools without logging in to an account and they can choose from a variety of options including

Mosaic Maker combined with Motivator
  • mosaic maker 
  • motivator
  • magazine cover
  • movie poster
  • captioner 
After the images are created there are plenty of ways to publish and use them in the classroom for a culminating learning activity. Assigning an engaging learning task related to the Essential Question to be discovered through the sharing of projects will give students an opportunity to bring it all together and develop a big-picture understanding. Here are a few suggested tools to use for a culminating activity:
  • PinterestCreate a Pinterest Board specifically for the purposes of displaying and evaluating the projects. 
  • VoiceThread: Upload the images to VoiceThread and have students  hold online conversations about the media.
  • Wikispaces: Publish the images in Wikispaces and utilize the discussion feature to generate focused discussions about the individual or small group contributions.
Finally, when engaging students in this type of project, it’s important to take advantage of opportunities for addressing Digital Citizenship by including appropriate lessons on Internet safety and copyright.

Photosynth – Capture the World in 3D

Photosynth is a cool tool for capturing and viewing the world in 3D. This tool takes a series of photos and weaves them together to create a virtual tour. You and your students can explore the many photosynths already created simply by visiting the website, or create your own by signing up for an account.

Please enjoy this photosynth of the Chicago Skyline.

Try it for yourself at phyosynth.net