Friday, February 22, 2013

Kerpoof Studio

With a snazzy name like Kerpoof I had to take a serious look at this Web 2.0 tool. What I found is one of the coolest creation tools for elementary and middle school aged students that I have ever seen. Kerpoof is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Corporation but you wouldn't realize that unless you dig though the information sections of the website. 

The Kerpoof Studio website was designed for elementary and middle school aged students but has a vast amount of potential for anyone that feels that creative urge. Six core areas are present on the site. Students are able to create projects/masterpieces in each of the areas.  Those six areas are; 1) Spell a Picture 2) Make a Movie 3) Make a Card 4) Make a Drawing 5) Make a Picture 6) Tell a Story.

Spell a Picture was designed for children in kindergarten through third grade. Users are expected to choose one of several backgrounds that their picture will be centered around. Once their background is in place the user can begin to spell words. When they have the word spelled correctly, they will be able to place the image onto the background wherever they want.  

Make a Movie is a favorite of my older students. The user is able to create their own animated movie. Including scenes, text and music. Characters and objects are easily added by clicking on their choice and dragging them into the scenes at the appropriate location. Users can also make the characters and objects move or dance.

The Make a Card section allows user to make greeting cards by clicking and dragging images and text on to the screen. Once the user has completed the greeting card, they are able to either print their project or save it as a jpeg and email or insert it into another document.

Make a Drawing is a kid friendly version of Paint. Students are able to draw or paint pictures. They have access to a variety of drawing and painting tools. Some of the features are free while Kerpoof Koins can be used to purchase others. When the drawing are complete they can be added to stories, movies, inserted into any other documents or just saved and printed.

Make a Picture is very similar to Spell a Picture. Users need to choose a background image from several different styles. Then they are able to choose from a wide variety of images that they can add to their picture by dragging and dropping them in the desired location. Users are also able to resize the images to appropriate perspective in their picture. 

Tell a Story provides the users with the opportunity to create their own books. Users can add background images, characters, other scenery and speech bubbles in addition to enter the text of the story. Additional pages are also easily added as necessary to complete the story.

A feature unique to Kerpoof is the concept of Kerpoof Koins. Users are able to accumulate koins by creating art, sharing art, uncovering hidden items or for trying new things. The koins can be used to purchase items in the Kerpoof Store. Such as brushes and textures to use while painting characters, songs and events in movie maker or just bling for your avatar. 

All of Kerpoof's activities are free but they do offer a reasonably priced subscription for their premium services. Currently a monthly subscription of $4.39 allows users access to additional content in Movie Maker and their communication services. This minimal subscription fee helps to keep the Kerpoof Studio website free of advertising.

When the Walt Disney Corporation created Kerpoof Studio they didn't forgot about the educational sector. They have built features into Kerpoof that allow teachers to create accounts and enter each of their students with a unique user name and password. As well as including ideas for lesson plans. 

Kerpoof Studio was a HUGE hit in the computer lab this week and I highly recommend that parents and teachers of elementary and middle school aged children take a serious look at this valuable tool.