One of the best reasons for working and presenting online is the huge and ever-increasing selection of new ways to present material in creative and engaging ways. This page will cover some of these new multimedia tools.
Remixing is a new name for a very old idea. For as long as people have told stories, they have borrowed ideas and shared with each other. In the last twenty years, in particular with the rise of musical sampling in hip hop and other genres, and later the easy sharing of the internet, “remix culture” has become an established movement.
Our system of copyright protects the reuse rights of creators for a set period of time, after which their works enter the public domain. Some modern creators licence remixing of their work – see our page on Creative Commons. [link] Using these resources to create new works is a sometimes underestimated creative endeavour in and of itself.
Scratch is a visual programming language that allows the simple and quick creation of interactive stories, games, and multimedia. The programme is a free download, and students can also download and remix projects created by other site users.
These examples give some idea of the range of things that are possible with Scratch:
Masher makes it easy to mix and match video and audio clips to create something new. Users can upload their own sound and images, or work with the site’s library. Created mashups can be shared at other sites or emailed.
Here is an example:
Pool is a site created by the ABC for uploading, sharing and remixing of multimedia projects. There is a strong community element to the site, which is used by both creative professionals and members of the public. Sections of the ABC archives have been made available on an open rights basis for sharing and reuse.
An example of a Pool project is Birdland
There is a hitherto largely untapped potential for students to create computer games based on their reading. Research has shown that gaming is an engaging experience that taps into skills and modes of learning that many students excel in, but get little opportunity to engage with at school. Game creation is not only an exercise in applied IT, but will involve artistic decisions in several media, and a deep engagement with narrative to produce a satisfying experience.
Yoyo Gamemaker is a free download to make games of all varieties, from platform games to adventures, to first person games. There is also a large community of game creators who share their games, and a collection of resources to use when building your game.
This familiar looking game was created in Gamemaker
Adventure Maker is used to create point and click style adventure games. It can be used to make games for PC, PSP, or iPhone.
Sploder focuses on the action end of gaming, with tools to make platform games, first person games and others.
Online comic makers
Comic and graphic novels are more common than ever in libraries and schools. They can provide a different route into reading, and can be especially appealing to reluctant readers and those with reading difficulties. That said, they are a form of literature in their own right, and the medium has its own classics across many genres. It is also increasingly common for novels to have a graphic novel adaptation.
Comicmaster allows the creation of comics from a menu of options for backgrounds, characters and props.
Make Beliefs Comix follows the conventional multiple panel newspaper comic strip format, with a range of characters who each have a selection of expressions.
Wittycomics has a selectable range of characters and backgrounds in a much more tightly regulated three panel, two-shot format.
Stripcreator features a wide range of characters, objects and background selections for your one to three panel comic strip.
Blambot has a guide to the grammar of comics, which have their own distinctive rules of storytelling.
In addition to using the sites and software listed on our visual presentation methods page, these sites offer special tools for remixing images
Keep Calm-o-matic allows you to produce graphics in the style of the iconic British WWII propaganda poster
Dynamic Images allows you to place your own captions on some iconic and amusing images. Best suited for a short, fun activity.
Concept maps are a visual method of presenting ideas, often used for brainstorming and in the early stages of a project, but they have many other uses in the classroom as well. They are prefect for showing relationships between items or ideas, such as character maps.
Mindomo allows the creation and export of concept maps. The basic service is free.
Cmap is a free download for creating concept maps
Online presentations can take a wide variety of forms. This section will highlight a few, ranging from the comparatively familiar to some new tools that can really only possible in an online environment.
Slideshare allows you to post and share PowerPoint presentations online. It has a clean simple interface, and the ability to embed in web pages and blog posts.
Scrapblog is a site for online multimedia scrapbooking. Embed photos and videos, add stickers and text, change backgrounds, and then share or embed.
An example Prezi:
Ahead is an in-browser multimedia presentation and hosting space, with a panning and zooming interface. A wide range of content is embeddable, including not only images and video, but even PDF and document files.
Glogster is a site for creating and sharing of multimedia “posters” containing a range of content. It is quick and easy to add images, sound, and videos to a glog. The site has a great free service, but there is also a premium version.
Here are some example book glogs:
This is a tutorial to help you and your students in creating your own glogs.
Creaza is an integrated package of tools for video and sound editing, a cartoon creator, and mind mapping. The basic tools are available for free, but many features are only available in the premium version. The Creaza Blog draws attention to many examples of creative work produced with the suite.
Animation is another medium that is increasingly available in schools. Many schools have access to software like Flash for crating animations, but for those that do not, there are other options.
Goanimate is an online animation site. All of the processing happens in-browser, with no download needed. Set backgrounds, props and characters and then choose their actions from menus. Free cartoons are limited to two minutes in length, and there is a premium service available as well.
Here is a Demo
Alice is a package of 3D animation software that can be downloaded for free. The site has a range of support material for using Alice in an educational environment.
Here are some videos produced with Alice:
Anime Studio is an animation package, available for a free trial:
Cnet collects free online animation software. Most are demo versions available for a limited time:
Online resources are constantly changing and evolving. New services arrive and older ones go away on a daily basis. If you want to use the latest online tools with your students, it is important to keep up to date with what is current. These blogs are a few of those used in compiling the information on these pages.