I don't know what I would do without Jen Wagner keeping me posted of new things out there and things that I have tried before and forgotten about. Her Technospud newsletter came the other day and she featured an online creative tool that I had once tried and then totally lost in my Delicious Files. It is called Kerpoof http://www.kerpoof.com/
It is an online graphic creator program somewhat simiar to KidPix. I have always loved KidPix and saw lots of possibilities for students to plan, design, and create on what I called the "Blank Canvas" type of software. Well, KidPix has lost one of its biggest fans lately as they added so many bells and whistles making it more complicated for the little ones and as they have insisted on new software for each network upgrade. I have Vista on my Sony Vaio and for one solid year I have been trying to install KidPix4 on my laptop and have been unsuccessful. I have not had much help from their "hard to contact" tech support and find myself recommending it less and less in the workshop I do for K-2. Then Jen reminds me about Kerpoof and I see comparable ways for kids to be creative and I see FREE! This gets my attention, especially as a substitute for KidPix.
There are many things that teachers and students can create - pictures, drawings, cards, coloring pages, and movies! All the the tools and images are provided and helpful "how-to's." You, as the teacher, probably have to do some "playing around' with it before introducing it to students, but the section "For The Teacher" has some great ideas. There are plenty of ideas shared by other students. I have a feeling I will be discovering things about Kerpoof for quite awhile and did not want you to have to wait for me to become proficient for me to share this great website with you.
Now, I know it does not have everything that KidPix has, but if you are having network problems with KidPix or your school has less budget for software, this is certainly a wonderful alternative.
On another note, if you are in to baseball at all, then this is your favorite time of the year. Today is our opening day. I wouldn't say that my husband is into baseball or anything, but, he looked at me this morning and said, "Honey, is there anything important that you need to discuss with me before October?" I have lost at least a little bit of him to the Great American pastime as he just called to say he was able to free his schedule to make it to the 3:05 start of the opening Cleveland Indians Game. I hope for a good season - he is so much happier when they are winning!!!
I hope the sun is shining where you live today!