I had poked around on the Kerpoof website a few years ago, but wasn’t really sure how to use it with my classes. It ended up sitting on the back burner while I tried other websites and programs. Recently, however, I started hearing about more and more teachers using Kerpoof with their kids and decided to see what all the fuss was about. Kerpoof has changed a lot since I first looked at it, and all the changes are GOOD!
Kerpoof provides a safe online community where students can express their creativity in pictures, stories, and even movies! It’s both kid and teacher friendly, and is very easy to set up. Teacher accounts are free, and with your teacher account, you can set up unlimited amounts of classes and students. Students are given a unique nickname, password, and class ID so that they can log in without needing an email address or any personally identifiable information. Teachers have full control over sharing levels for each class, as well as the option to enable a class message board or chat.
Once students log into Kerpoof, they can create their own avatar to use on the website. They can also earn Kerpoof Koins by creating projects and use those coins to buy more characters, scenes, brushes, and other cool items in the Kerpoof Store. No real money is used! Students can also pick which type of activity they want to do – Spell a Picture (great for younger grades!), Make a Movie, Make a Card, Make a Drawing, Make a Picture, or Tell a Story. Each activity has suggested grade levels, but most can be adapted for almost any grade.
The tools in Kerpoof are fairly straightforward and intuitive. Most items utilize a drag-and-drop format, but there are also options to create your own items. Even non tech savvy people should find the website and tools fairly easy to use. The kids, of course, pick it up in no time. My students are VERY excited about Kerpoof, and can’t stop talking about it. You can also print out login cards with their information on it so students can log in and create at home.
For teachers, there is a resource filled educator’s section that includes lesson plans, classroom ideas, a teacher’s guide, and even a page showing how Kerpoof integrates with state and national standards. Even without all of those great resources, it’s easy to see how Kerpoof can be integrated into the classroom. My fourth grade students are using the Movie Maker to retell one of their classroom stories! I can’t wait to try new activities with my other grades.