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Three things Emily shared

Among the Valenza family traditions are the little app share sessions I have with my daughter.  Emily, an art teacher in Boston, regularly introduces me to tools and platforms I don’t find elsewhere in my network.

Here are some of Emily’s current faves from this Thanksgiving:

Koma Koma: Anyone, from kindergarten to adult, can use this simple, stop-motion/time-lapse app to create stories.  Here’s an example from Emily’s fifth-graders who used stop-motion painting, puppets, claymation, and cut-out photos to create their own universe around a B52’s song.  Emily says, This app is designed to be so simple and so fluid that you focus on creativity, rather than technology. The skills kids develop here are so easily transferred to more sophisticated platforms.  You may also like Hyperlapse and Stop Motion Studio.

There’s A Moon in the Sky from Emily Valenza on Vimeo.

StoryPress: presents a tools for guided, narrated storytelling.  The app prompts story structures and offers the opportunity to edit your own prompts (or outlines).  Add photos and create original stories arranged into chapters, with the opportunity to easily add music and transitions.  (This is also nice for storytelling at home.)  Other excellent image narration apps/tools include: Adobe Voice and VoiceThread and Narrable.

French Girls: is a community for aspiring and professional artists, that moves the selfie beyond the self and mocks it a bit in the process. Post your own selfies and participate in drawing and receiving portraits from other members of the community.  The suite of basic drawing tools includes a color picker, 10 pieces of tracing paper, and a ghost tool for creating transparency.  In-app purchases are available for advanced users.  I am impressed with the humor and generosity of the artists I’ve met so far.  Folks will have fun with your images, but Emily tells me the community is excellent at self-policing against bullying.  This is not a completely protective environment and it is not for everyone. Users must be 13 or older and the terms of use prohibit unkind activity. Though you may find inappropriate language and screen names, as in most social networks, young artists will get nearly instant feedback, new ideas for creative choices, and the amazing gift of portraits from other artists. It’s the kind of network that celebrates free exchange of creativity.  (Why French girls?  It’s a reference to Kate Winslet’s memorable Titanic line: Draw me like one of your French girls.)

Thanks, Em!


Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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