Projects Beyond PowerPoint


Video below was created by Doug Valentine and presented at NECC 09. It provides several answers for the question, "What is a librarian to do?"

is ONE way to present new information. There are so many others! Like the little old woman who lived in a shoe, we have so many new technologies (and maybe students too) we don't know what to do. In true web 2.0 fashion, the purpose of this page is to invite you to participate in this discussion.

This is a work in progress that will list some of the new fun and usually free presentation technologies, discussion of what exactly they do, and tutorials for their use. Please respond with your creative ideas for teacher and student use and to add other relevant technology not listed and their tutorials, if available.



CrazyTalk is NOT free. It's not expensive though. You can get a free 30 day trial too. It is what was used to create the animated lip synchronized talking in the Doug Valentine video above.
  • You can take any picture and make the eyes, head, and teeth move and the lips move in synchronization to what is being said. This would be great to use with podcasts!
  • Students can draw pictures, take pictures of stuffed animals, use clipart, or take pictures of themselves. CrazyTalk will change pictures of people into avatars.
  • I don't think this software is on the approved district software list yet.


==If you can't print a comic:==
There are at least two other ways you can save it digitally.
1) Use Greenshot or Jing to copy the comic. (Both are free, but require a previous installation.)
2) Click on the printscreen button. Go to PowerPoint. Click CTRL + V to paste. You will see the screen that has your comic. Save the PowerPoint page as a jpeg. Go to Microsoft Office Picture Manage and crop the page to select the comic only. Save.
3) If you have Vista on your computer, you can use the built-in snipping tool.

Make Beliefs Comix!

Comic Life

Comic Life is NOT free, but it's not very expensive either. It is also probably not on the district list of approved software. You can get a 30 day free trial. After using it you think it is worthy and that students would love it and benefit from it, we could go through the district software approval steps.

Power Point Comic

You know students can create something like a comic using PowerPoint. If you create 6 different slides and then print the 6 slides to a page, it could look like a comic if you do a few things. Each slide would need to include a character (person, clipart character, etc.) with a call-out (bubble) with text in it. The first slide could be the title page, the second slide could be a legend page, and the remaining pages could be the story. When you look at this example, remember that you would be printing these slides 6 to a page.


They have a free version with limitations and a "pro" version that costs $1.00 per student per month. AGH! Basically, you can't print or save what you do via Pixton. See Make Beliefs Comix! above for 2 ways around that. You do have to register. If user is under 18 years old, they need parent permission to use it.


Excellent comic maker. There are other creative interaction formats available too, such as books. You can print but not save.

Build Your Own Comic

This comic has hero action figures. It's easy. However, you can't type in dialogue. You have to print the comic and then write in the dialogue.

Scholastic's Make Your Own Comic

This is easy too. You don't type directly into a bubble, instead you need to type in the box on the left. To delete, you select the object and then click the trash can. You can print, but not save.

Read Write Think Comic Creator

Comprised of juvenile characters, settings, and props. To change backgrounds you use the arrows on the left. To advance to the next block you use the arrows on the top. You can print, but not save. The printed copy isn't enticing. Limited product.
My Avatar
Create Avatars
See Building Blocks page, scroll down. See avatar creation sites.




Hulu allows you to watch television programs, movies, and movie trailers whenever you want. It is free, but requires you to register.

Integration Ideas:​
  1. If you preview a movie trailer and find one that ties in with a book, show the trailer or part of the trailer as a booktalk.
  2. Sometimes there is a scene or advertisement that demonstrates an element of evaluating information. If you can isolate just the part you want to show, you could show that. (NEED TO KNOW: Is it possible to bookmark a scene or advertisement using hulu?)

Movies You Can Make --See Videos Below

Music You Create

Jamstudio calls itself "the music factory." It's free but if you want to save your creation, you need to register. If you don't want to register and know how to use Audacity, just record your piece with Audacity. Like so many open source applications, the free version is somewhat limited and then you can subscribe and do more.
Click for YouTube tutorial.

Music and Sounds (Free)

Just stay on this page of Free-Loops. They offer other sounds and music, but there is a charge. This is the FREE page.

Newspapers You Can Create

The Newspaper Clipping Image Generator newspaper.jpg

Pictures You Create

====Image Mosaic Generator====
Original Picture of Carver Middle School
Image Mosaic
This is a free web site. You don't have to register. Just go to the web site and upload a picture from your computer. Click the Create My Image Mosaic Button and wait just a moment. The mosaic is much bigger than the one shown above. Save to your computer.
Big Huge Labs
Big Huge Labs lets you create motivational, pop art, and movie posters; magazine covers; badge maker; trading card; cubes; billboard; trading cards; map maker; etc. Be sure to get the education version. Go to The education version allows you to add all your students from a CSV (Exel) file.

Shape Collage

Shape Collage has great potential. Online version requires you to load pictures from a url such as Flickr. It doesn't have to be pictures from your account. Online version allow you to create text collages no longer than 5 letters. Downloaded version allows you to add pictures from your computer. You can only save as a jpg without going to the pro version which is $25.00 per computer. The pro version allows you to save collage as psd file so you can touch it up, rearrange pictures. Each picture in the collage is saved as its own layer.



How to capture a Wordle document as a picture.

Guess the Wordle -- Scroll down to the bottom to find out the answer.

Pictures (Free)

Power Point Pictures
You can create whatever you want in Power Point and then save the individual slides as jpegs. When you go to save, you just scroll down to save as jpegs. A pop-up will ask you if you want all the slides to be saved as pictures or just the slide you are on.



Audacity is free software that you can download from the web. They have great directions.

You need to register, but you don't have to download software.

Productivity and Collaboration Applications



Zoho is free and offers an online set of tools similar to Microsoft Office. You can import PowerPoint documents and you can create a show just using Zoho. There are at least four important benefits of using Zoho:
  • Zoho provides worry free file saving. Students don't have to have a flash drive. They don't have to save to the unprotected student network drive.
  • Students can continue continue working on their projects away from school even if the computer they use doesn't happen to have the software that we use at school.
  • Students can remotely collaborate with each other on a task.
  • Parents can see student's work in progress.



25 Ways to teach with Twitter by Sonja Cole


Video Creation

Animoto Library Rules All By Yourself by thinkingoutloud

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

In Plain English Format

Search the web for "In Plain English". These are simple, elegant videos that explain so many things so well. this is a generic pattern that students could use. They couldn't call it "In Plain English." Seeing one of these videos may inspire other ideas similar to this that can be used to explain concepts in any content area.

Video Editing Applications Online



Great use for Voicethread It looks like they are trying to create a VoiceThread for each of their Math standards. (!!!!)