Tech or Treat 2010: Out of This World Ideas for Showcasing Student Work with Porter Palmer

This post was created by Patti Ruffing during the Virtual Conference.

DEN Virtual Conference attendees were wowed in session two by Porter Palmer’s Out of This World Ideas for Showcasing Student Work. She directed us to research from Chris Weber’s Publishing with Students: A Comprehensive Guide, especially his information on web-based publishing for students. She pointed out that binderresearch shows grading writing discourages students from taking risks, while publishing encourages them to take risks. Porter collected all of her links for the presentation in Live Binders, a great way to keep presentation resources organized neatly. (While looking at LiveBinders I happened across another binder of Technology Integration Resources for library and media specialists by mnpsil. Definitely going back to that one later!)
posterous scrnshotFirst on Porter’s list was Posterous. This tool lets you post video, audio, and image files, as well as text. You can also include documents and even embed Google Maps. You can set up the page yourself or email your files to them and it is turned into a page for you. There is also a handy bookmarklet. Note: Since Posterous accounts are for ages 13 and older, elementary teachers would need to post students’ work for them.
world66 scrnshotShe also demonstrated how teachers can use wikis such as wikispaces or PBworks for classroom pages and to embed student videos or store documents. Speaking of wikis, Porter also showed how students can actually become serious content creators by contributing to Wikipedia after they research a topic. Another site to which students can contribute is World 66-The Travel Guide, a great resource for information about various travel destinations. Each entry is editable by anyone else. Note: It is not clear what editorial checks occur on these pages, however, and their Terms of Service do not mention age, just provide a link to content filtering tools that parents can use to block harmful content.
schooltube scrnshotNext on the menu was SlideShare, a way for PowerPoint presentations to be shared online. Use the embed code to place into wikis, blog, glogs, anywhere you can embed. You can even turn your slides into a slidecast with audio added to the slides. Note: Terms of Service indicate the site is not to be used by anyone under the age of 13. SchoolTube was also mentioned as a site for sharing student and teacher created videos.
ipadio scrnshotOther sites on Porter’s list included the ever-popular Glogster EDU, which she termed the “new book report site” indicating just one of its many uses in the classroom as a digital poster. For easy voice recording over the phone, she pointed us to ipadio. An example of its use might be students creating a voice recording for a foreign language class. Note: In order for a student to call in and create a “phlog”, they need to register by providing their first and last names, email addresses, and the phone numbers they will use to call in, so this is definitely not for elementary school students. Perhaps a work around could be the teacher being the account holder and using the school number for calling in, allowing younger students to record voices in that manner. These phlogs are embeddable in blogs, wikis, etc.
storybird scrnshotWith Storybird, students can choose beautiful illustrations from a variety of artists and compose an original story. Teachers can create classes of students and there is an option to collaborate with schools around the world. Storybirds can be set to public or private and an embed code is provided.
toondoo scrnshotToonDoo is a site where users can create comic strips with existing graphics. Note: Terms of Service say “ToonDoo will only provide the Service to “persons and entities who can form legally binding and enforceable contracts under applicable law.” Since there may be objectionable material created by some users of the site, caution is advised. Someone in the chat offered the suggestion of Toondoospaces, which is private and for educational use, but only provides a 15-day free trial before you need to select a payment plan. Xtranormal, a way to turn a typed script into an animated video clip, has two versions. The online version clearly states it is not for under 13 years of age, and in fact anyone who is a “minor” needs parents to register for them. The only option for schools seems to be the downloadable version known as “State”, which is still in Beta and does not yet seem to have a lot of options, but may be worth experimenting with.
All of Porter’s links used in her presentation can be found in her LiveBinder. Be sure to visit the archived webinar when it becomes available on the DEN site. Thanks, Porter, for a jam-packed presentation of ways to showcase our students’ learning!


Related posts


  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention DEN Blog Network » Tech or Treat 2010: Out of This World Ideas for Showcasing Student Work with Porter Palmer --

  2. Shelly said:

    According to Porter Palmer, “research shows grading writing discourages students from taking risks, while publishing encourages them to take risks.”

    That quote was very interesting and it made me think about they way I teach writing to my fifth graders. I really enjoyed reading about the different tools that can be used to showcase students’ work.

    I especially liked Xtranormal and immediately saw it as a great tool for some of my timid students.

  3. Ted Angstadt said:

    Wow, what a great wealth of Web 2.0 resources for educators to use with students. Web 2.0 is moving so fast that it is very important to read blog posts such as this to help stay up to date on new ideas that can help us teach our students. I appreciate the fact that there is just too much out there to use it all. Blog posts like this enable us to see how other educators have used these resources so that we can analyze if it is a resource that we would be able to use in our classrooms.

  4. Ted Angstadt said:

    Thank you Patty for this excellent synopsis of what is new for educators. I see 15 new Web 2.0 applications that you mention and I have only used two of them. This post allows me to check out some of the new applications. I also want to get my hands on the publishing with students manual. That sounds priceless for a classroom teacher. Thanks again, great post.

  5. Kari Maskalis said:

    I really enjoyed the information you gave regarding “Posterous”. I have been attempting to create student portfolios for my students, however their individual network drive spaces are just not big enough to do so. Posterous provides the opportunity to create these portfolios and it’s free and easy to use…two things that I really enjoy seeing together!

  6. Megan said:

    Thanks for such great resources! I created a Powerpoint for my students’ parents to view on Back to School night, and haven’t been able to figure out how to post it. Slideshare is just what I was looking for! I will be signing up, and using it to post our “Day in the Life of a Second Grader” Powerpoint for parents to view.


  7. Lori Baxter said:

    I have to say the one comment that spoke volumes to me was when it was pointed out that, “research shows that grading writing discourages students from taking risks, while publishing encourages them to take risks.” I truly agree with this. When I have given students the opportunity to go straight to a publishing step of their writing online, the quality of writing was much better then when they handed it directly to me to get graded. I love the various tools that are provided to help me reach my students and their publishing needs.

  8. Jennifer Gentzyel said:

    Great explanation of using these various tools. Specifically, I am interested in checking out the Toondoospaces for a project I do with my students. Thanks!

  9. B. Albright said:

    What a plethora of resources. Some of the sites you mention I am familiar with and some are brand new. I look forward to exploring the new sites. I would add VoiceThread ( the list.

Comments are closed.