Use Shadow Puppet EDU in the Classroom

shadow puppet logo

Shadow Puppet EDU is a free, easy-to-use tool for creating videos using photos and video clips. Video has many uses in the classroom, as an effective learning tool in any subject. Students can narrate a process, or procedure, show the steps of a solution, present a published work, etc.

screenshot of Shadow Puppet EDU appFeatures of Shadow Puppet EDU

  • Combine video clips and images to make a video
  • Record voice-over narration, add music or both
  • Add animated text annotations and pointers
  • Interact with images while recording
  • Up to 100 items per video, and up to 30 min long
  • Built-in web search for images and animated GIFs (can be disabled in settings)
  • Automatic image citations are added at the end of videos that use web images
  • Tap undo to redo the recording for a particular page.
  • Copy a completed video to re-record it.
  • Easy to share or save to the camera roll
  • Works on iOS only

Ideas for Using Shadow Puppet EDU in the Classroom

  • Create a presentation with images of all the new words for the week.
  • Share three family traditions, using images, video clips, and text.
  • Create a presentation to publish your research project.
  • Create a presentation describing a field trip or a solution to a problem
  • For more ideas, get the Activity guide.

Differentiation Using Shadow Puppet EDU

  • Give students the photos/video clips needed for the video.
  • Give students a completed video that they can re-record.

Considerations for Using Shadow Puppet EDU

  • Have students create a storyboard before they create their video.
  • If students are working in groups, assign them roles and rotate the roles so that every child experiences all the components of the process


Have a question about using technology in your classroom? Email

Use ChatterPix Kids in the Classroom

image of 5 steps to a video in ChatterPix Kids

chatterpix kids

ChatterPix Kids (or ChatterKid) is an interactive app for adding voice and text to any image. Its ease of use makes it very accessible to children, and the 30 seconds time limit forces them to be thoughtful and concise. The app is free, from Duck Duck Moose, and is only available for iOS. When you first open the app, the first thing that you will see is a short video that shows you the 5 easy steps to using ChatterPix.

5 Easy Steps to Creating a Video in ChatterPix Kids

  1. Take/Import a Picture
  2. Draw a Mouth
  3. Record a Message
  4. Decorate
  5. Show your Friend

Features of ChatterPix Kids

  • Take a photo or use a photo from the Photo Library
  • Draw a talking mouth to make the video more interesting
  • Save to Gallery (and edit later) or save to Camera Roll

Ideas for Using ChatterPix Kids

  • Take a picture of your invention and let the invention describe itself.
  • Create a talking animal to present your animal research.
  • Use 3-4 facts from your biography to create a 30 sec video.
  • Create a public service announcement for your environmental issue to share with students in lower elementary.

Differentiation Using ChatterPix Kids

  • Give the child the photo needed.
  • Limit the use of design features (frames, stickers, etc.) to help focus the activity.
  • Use the stickers and frames to teach design features.

Considerations for Using ChatterPix Kids

  • Students have to complete the process and get to Gallery for their work to be saved.
  • Students can combine several 30 sec videos in iMovie to make a longer video

Examples of ChatterPix Kids in the Classroom

  • Examples of ChatterPix Kids in the classroom
  • Do you use ChatterPix Kids in your classroom? Leave a message in the comments.

Have a question about using technology in your classroom? Email

Use Online Quizzes in the Classroom

question marks on trees image

quizziz icon kahoot iconOnline Quizzes

There are many online tools that allow you to quiz students in fun ways. Two of these tools are Kahoot and Quizziz. Kahoot follows a freemium model with a plus version that is meant for trainers. Quizziz is completely free and there is no limit on the number of quizzes that you can create or play. Both tools can be used in a group setting or by individual students.

These tools can be excellent for formative assessment to determine your students’ understanding of the material, either individually or collectively. Have students test themselves to find out their areas of strength and weakness for personalized learning. Teachers can create quizzes, but there is no reason that students couldn’t too!


The features depend on the choice of tool. This blog post compares them. In brief, Kahoot has more varieties of games, but Quizziz offers tighter integration with Google Classroom.

Considerations in Choosing a Quizzing Tool

Choose the tool based on the feature that you’re interested in. Consider the following features:

  • Timer
  • Leaderboard
  • Pacing
  • Homework or learning center use
  • Random order option
  • Feedback

Try IT Out

Create an account on each site, and create a quiz that you can use with your class in the next 2-3 days. Compare the dashboard/teacher console in each tool to find out which one matches the way that you like to work. Have an idea how to use one of the tools?  Leave a comment or make a post on this Padlet.


3 excellent sources of free images for school use

Websites for finding images

3 sources of images

There are lots of websites for finding images online. Here are three of my favourite for use with students, and in your own work.

  1. Photos for Class  – this is my favourite site, especially for use with children in lower elementary school. The images are safe for school use, and the citation is embedded in the image. You can even embed Photos for Class right into your class website so that it’s easy for your students to find and use.
  2.  Unsplash– this website exists through the generosity of creators, who allow their images to be used completely free. Citations are appreciated but not required. There are some photos that may be racy for younger children, but a quick search with some key words did not reveal any pornography.
  3. The Noun Project – this site has images for every noun, which is especially useful for teachers. An account is required, as are citations.

Classroom Use

These sites are appropriate for all grade levels. Share it with students by e-mail, through posters or on a class website.

For the elementary classroom, I suggest that you download the poster and put it in your classroom. Students can scan the QR code to quickly access any of the websites without having to type in the address. You can also take the opportunity to teach children to bookmark the websites. If you have iOS 11, you can scan the QR code with the built-in camera app. On Android, Google Goggles reads QR codes. Otherwise, download i-Nigma or another QR code reader. The app works on iOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows mobile devices

iOS 11 Release – Check before you update

Do not disturb in iOS 11

Apple will release iOS 11 tomorrow, September 19. Before you update, make sure that you check the readiness of your device. iOS 11 is a major update, with new features as well as security updates. New features include:

  • Files app to manage your files on your iOS device
  • Dock available in apps, with quick access to recent apps
  • Better multitasking on iPad
  • Drag and Drop on iPad
  • Inline drawing and searchable handwriting in Notes
  • Document scanner built-in to Notes
  • Inline drawing in Mail
  • New filters built into Camera
  • Customize the Control Center
  • Driving mode so that you are not disturbed while you drive
  • Lane guidance and speed limit built into Maps
  • Quick type keyboard for typing with one hand
  • Automatically set up iOS device from another iOS device by proximity

Check your hardware

iOS 11 is compatible with iOS 5S and newer iPhones, iPad mini 2 and newer iPads, 6th generation iPod and iPod touch. However, be aware that new operating systems can slow down older devices. Just because you can update your device doesn’t mean you should. If you have an older device that you depend on for frequent use, I suggest waiting for later updates of iOS 11, and checking reviews of how it works with your device before you update to iOS 11.

Check you apps

ios 11 app compatibility imageMany developers have updated their apps to work with the new operating system, but some apps (especially free ones) may not work with your device. If you have any of those apps installed, find a replacement for the ones that you use. If there are any apps on the list that are critical for you, you may want to wait for an app update before updating to iOS 11.

To check which apps many not work after you update your device,

  1. Open Settings
  2. General — About
  3. Applications

Check your space

If you’re getting storage almost full messages on your device, it’s a good idea to clean the storage. If you need help, see this article from Macworld.

Other consideration

Before you update, make sure that you know your Apple ID and password. If you have it saved on the device and don’t haven’t it memorized, make sure to write it down temporarily. Also, make sure that your device is backed up to iCloud* (or your computer). If you depend on your iOS device, I think it’s a good idea to invest in iCloud. I pay CDN$1.29 a month for 50GB of iCloud storage.

*Note that iCloud doesn’t back up your apps. It makes note of what apps you have installed on your device so that you can restore them later from the App Store, but it won’t allow you to restore any apps that are no longer available in the App Store. It also doesn’t back up data from the Health app.

If you have a question or need some help, post on my Facebook page or email me at