by Jonathan Laxamana
An underrated benefit of the Common Core State Standards is their emphasis on using a variety of media and formats to present content. This challenges students to think beyond the written word as they engage with class material in a creative and enjoyable way. Multimedia can be especially valuable for students who struggle with reading and writing, but every student stands to gain from extra visual and auditory elements in the classroom.
For younger students, drawing on paper has numerous benefits, ranging from strengthening hand-eye coordination to learning how to express ideas and feelings. Drawing on a tablet pushes this development to the next level as students also develop technology skills.
For older students, multimedia offers the opportunity to hone presentation skills while simultaneously collaborating with peers. Some video curricula recommend sharing student-made videos on the Internet (with parental permission, of course) so students can engage in a worldwide dialogue as they learn.
We recommend these (free!) apps to help students integrate multimedia drawing and movie-making into their schoolwork.
This app is great for younger students because it’s easy to use. Kids Doodle allows users to sketch on a blank canvass, or you can import photos for students to draw on. Kids will especially love this app’s neon and rainbow brushes, which help make their work extra colorful and vibrant. You can also play back students’ drawing steps like a movie, adding an animated element to their drawings.
Students of all ages can use this app that offers different modes tailored to different projects: Kids Desk, Doodle Desk, Sketch Desk, and Photo Desk. Kids Desk allows younger students to create with a variety of colors, stamps, 3-D brushes, and even a magic wand. Doodle Desk is also great for younger kids because it features stickers and allows you to import images for students to work on. Sketch Desk features more advanced tools for older students, and Photo Desk is designed for photo editing.
This app offers a variety of different drawing tools, colors, and functions, which make it especially engaging for artistic students. It’s a little less intuitive than other apps, however, which makes it better suited for older students.
This fun app turns videos and photos into a movie, complete with music and visual effects. It also can analyze videos and photos, and even splice them together for you, making it a favorite among beginners. Also available as a Chrome extension!
Kids will love this movie-making app because it allows them to integrate any of their own photos, videos, music, or GIFs into a full multimedia feature. Users can select a template, as well as choose from a number of Instagram-like filters and effects to perfect their images. PicPlayPost is the ideal app for making and editing creative montages that feature both photos and videos.
This app works like a video camera and allows users to turn their videos into professional-looking movies. One noteworthy element of VivaVideo is that it supports multi-capture modes, including normal, widescreen, fast-motion, and slow-motion. It also features stylish video effects, such as themes, filters, and transitions, all of which are completely free.
Do you use these or other media apps in your classroom? Let us know in the comments!
Jonathan Laxamana is Technology Manager of Green Light Professional Development. He has more than ten years of experience in producing educational software products, video, web-based content, and mobile apps. He writes about new hardware and software, troubleshooting tips, and everything iPad.