Kerpoof! Eat your heart out Kid Pix

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As a former kindergarten teacher, it sometimes seemed like my life revolved around KidPix. And while it had a bazillion features packed into it, when you got right down to it we spent 90% of our time creating pictures and slide shows.

While there had been a few open source programs similar to Kid Pix (anyone remember Tux?), they don’t hold a candle to one of my new fave’s for lower elementary/early childhood, Kerpoof! You can make books, pictures or stories.

Just choose a background, and start dragging the clip art onto the page. Yes, you can resize, rotate, and move them all. What’s interesting is that they incorporate the concept of scale! Put a penguin on the picture. If you move him towards the back (farther away) he gets smaller. Bring him into the foreground (closer to you) he gets bigger! You can always resize them manually, but it does a pretty good job on its own. That’s not the only dynamic piece. In the arctic background, all the chunks of ice are live. You can move or delete them to your hearts content. Same thing with other backgrounds. When you drag a sun into your picture, it figures out automatically if it should be in front of the mountains or behind them. If the sun is low in the sky, you’ll get a beautiful sunset on your picture. Drag the sun up to the top and it’ll turn the sky to noontime! Drop the sun way down low and the picture turns to night with the sun invisible. VERY cool.

And what’s the cost of Kerpoof? Oh yeah… Free. They even have a teacher section with a few ideas for using it in the classroom. Only thing two criticisms from me. 1) I’d love to see some drawing tools in there so kids can add their own free hand stuff. And 2) They need code to embed the resulting projects into web pages and email them to friends. I had to do screenshots instead. Well worth checking out!

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Comments

  1. John Maklary

    Steve,

    ever since you twittered Kerpoof last week, I told a few students about it. Within a few days, the word spread and many students around the school were playing with it. This also happened with Animoto. Thanks for suggesting both awesome and free web-based tools. Our kids certainly love it!

    John

  2. Mary Orloski

    I teach Special Education. This site is fantastic. They are able to create a story with little or no hand over hand guidance. They love it. Thanks,
    Mary

  3. Kevin Conner

    Steve – I agree that this is an amazing site with a ton of scary-smart programming behind it. Perhaps my system was slow, or the site had heavy traffic, (all because of you blogging it :-) but there were significant delays from the time I put an object onto the background and when i could actually see the effect of resizing or moving it. Minor problem overall, based on what you get out of it.

  4. Dedra Stafford

    Steve,

    YOU ARE A GIFT!! My teachers are loving the sites you are sending out!

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Krista Marks

    Steve,

    I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for featuring Kerpoof on your Digital Passport blog. Yours is exactly the kind of response we’re hoping for from educators.

    Both of your criticisms/suggestions were right on the money, and they’re both on our road map! We will support the ability to embed Kerpoof art on another site soon. The drawing tool will take a little longer, because we want it to be fantastic. It isn’t easy to create a drawing tool that is intuitive and useful. But we are working on it, and when we’ve got something phenomenal, I’ll make sure you know about it right away.

    Again, I appreciate your interest in Kerpoof. We’ve already heard from a couple of teachers who have read about Kerpoof on your Web site. I can’t wait for you to see what’s coming next!

    Best,
    Krista, CEO
    Kerpoof
    contact.us@kerpoof.com

  6. Cindy

    I’ve recently introduced Tech4Learning’s PIXIE to k-5 teachers are really like it’s features: stickers, backgrounds, text boxes, shapes, etc. The user can record narratives to support their illustrations, create slide shows and publish to the web (through the web blender component).

    Activities (pre-made) are included for Math, Science, LA, Social Studies, etc. and their web site has a Trading Post that encourages teachers to submit/share activities that they developed.

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