Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Monday, July 4, 2011

Z is for...

Another recipient of the recent American Association of School Librarians Website for Teaching and Learning 2011 honor is ZooBurstZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books.  Using ZooBurst, storytellers of any age can create their own rich worlds in which their stories can come to life.

To sign up for this free application users need to be over 13 years of age with a valid email address.  First name, last name, a display or nickname, an email opt-out choice for news and age are all needed to begin.  Once your registration is accepted an email is sent to you for confirmation.   This email message states as a user, in addition to the 3D  book builder, a community web site that allows browsing for other created books, an online book viewer to see your book, send it to others via email, hyperlink or embed it in another site or blog are available.  If your computer has a web cam you can view a book in Augmented Reality and capture a photo postcard to share of you reading that book.  I have to admit that when I tried this feature it was amazing and very simple to do.

Once a user has signed in, by clicking on the books icon on the top right, a page will appear listing books already made beneath a New Book button.  There is a New Snowglobe button for premium/paid users only.
After clicking on the New Book button users are prompted to enter in a name for their book, describe what it is about, who can see it (everyone, everyone with a password or just yourself) and whether comments about their book are allowed.  Then the fun begins by selecting the Build button.

When building a new book a screen will appear that allows for multiple design options.  On the left is a work area where images can be obtained from an extensive clip art selection or uploaded from your computer.  An extra icon allows for viewing those pictures used in the book currently on the screen.  Simply click on a graphic to enter it either on the pages of the book or in the background behind the book. 

For each screen containing a page, color can be chosen for the page, ground, horizon and sky. When a particular item on the page is selected it can be sized, rotated, the pop angle can be altered, cut-out visibility is an option as well as pop delay and time.  Text can be added to each page overall and individual items on that page.  Font can be made bold and hyperlinks can be added. 

When the 3D book is complete click the save button.  At that time it can be printed.  To share the book the user needs to exist this screen by clicking on the books icon again.  The list of books created will appear with several buttons on the right.  Click on the view button to see the book.  When viewing the book by dragging your mouse over the pages the book can be rotated as if on a disc and up or down.  At this point the sharing options are displayed.

With a premium subscription teachers can add up to 250 student accounts giving them a safe platform in which to create books with visuals and narration of their choice.  The owners of this site will not post anything that is inappropriate.  There is a thorough breakdown of what a teacher can expect with a premium subscription.  It is $9.99 per month or $49.99 per year. 

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