Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 18 - Capzles

a storytelling tool (similar to Photo Story 3 and the like) disguised as a timeline (not unlike Xtimeline and TimeToast) with a built in blog.  And if that weren't enough, Capzles' storylines have the potential to be collaborative in that viewers can comment on "Moments" in the "Capzle" or on the storyline as a whole.

Before we proceed, let's cover some Capzles specific terminology:
Capzles the container that holds the storyline. You can title it, tag and categorize it, add a description, fill it with content, and personalize its design.
Moments the content in the Capzle: documents, photos, videos, blog entries or audio files that are uploaded to the Capzle. You can also add titles, descriptions, tags, date/time, privacy settings and location to each item. Moments appear as a thumbnail image on the timeline.
Stack a collection of moments that are "stacked" by event or theme. The first item in a stack is the thumbnail image on the timeline. Each item can have specific information attached to it just as you do for moments.  By clicking on a stack in the storyline you open the set for individual viewing.  This provides potential for using Capzle as a digital portfolio for multiple projects.

There are a number of ways you can share
a finished Capzle with others. The most
basic being using a link. When you are finished,
the share icon highlights the compatible social media
options as well as indicates that you can embed
a storyline like the one at the top of this post
or send an email to recipients.
The Create tab is where the magic happens--once you open this tab you notice an intuitive menu on the left side of the screen.

Files formats that can be uploaded into a Capzle:
Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs for documents
JPG, GIF, PNG, BIT files for images (make sure these are oriented correctly before uploading)

MP3 files for background music or audio
MP4, AVI, MOV files for videos

Note: There is a button the claims you can
"Watch a video tutorial" but it doesn't work
so I've included a video later in this post.

Once you join the site you can build your profile. This is where your current projects and recent activity are listed. Here you can also store favorite Capzles and Moments, keep a list of friends and communicate with said friends.  All of this is located under the My Stuff tab. Imagine you create a Capzle as a digital textbook for a unit.  You can always go back to it and edit at anytime. The same is true if you are using the tool for a digital portfolio. When you have new content, just go to My Stuff, select My Capzles and you're ready to edit.  Flip roles, and as a teacher who has assigned his students Capzles for portfolios, you can favorite each student's Capzle so that when you go to My Stuff you can see all their work on a convenient list.

Some standout details:
The built in blog ranks high on my list of impressive features.
You know we only include free tools in this challenge so that's a given, but Capzles also offers unlimited timelines

Students could share their work on their favorite social media tools.  Does your school have a FaceBook page yet? If so, what a great opportunity for publicly displaying student work!

There's an app for that!

Trying to imagine what's possible with this tool?
Kelly Tenkely, "iLearn Technology" blogger and educator, shares how she integrated Capzles into a science unit.
Amy Oelschlager, blogger of "Confessions of a Nerdy Teacher", used Tenkely's screencast tutorial to get started with the tool and shares two of her favorite Capzles found in the site's archive. You might check out the Explore tab yourself and look at the existing categories. 

Your assignment: Share how you could use Capzles in your work. Try to be specific as I've shared general ideas in this post.


  1. Am I first again?

    When I look at this and try to envision it in my class, there is one thing that really jumps out at me. The description part is what makes it an assessment tool, not just a cool tool you use in class.

    I like PhotoStory and the like, but they only do the visual. The student then has to stand there and describe, add in information or relate the visual to the material. With Capzies, the student has the ability to show in one place what they know, how they think it all relates to each other and their understanding of the information.

    This is especially beneficial in my inclusion classroom where many of my students are hesitant to stand up in front of the class. True, they need that experience, but by allowing the student to combine the visual, the description and the presentation, it removes a barrier that might prevent them from doing their best. That fear of being up in front, speaking, might entice them to not do the presentation at all so they won't be forced to talk about what they learned.

    The collaboration part of Capzies is quite the bonus too. I like that it can be a group assignment and still have everyone engaged in the project, not just one person that holds the reigns of the presentation.

  2. And when I talked about the description area, I was not just talking about the title area, but the blog portion too.

    And by allowing the students to blog, or comment on each other's work, we can tap into their Facebook culture, giving them a chance to engage each other and share their ideas, not just look and clap for each other.

  3. Wow, what a neat tool. I've used TimeToast with my kids the past couple of years. This blows that program away. My kids never seemed to really get into TimeToast but I know Capzles will be a different story. There are so many more features there such as the ability to add background music and pictures. This just looks so much more engaging than TimeToast.

    I have a unit coming up after Christmas break for my 4th graders where we were going to use TimeToast to create a timeline of events in Indiana history. Well, I will now be using Capzles for this project! I know for certain that my students will love this program. I can't wait to show it to them!

  4. I can see this as a digital portfolio. The way that it is organized as a timeline would be great for showing student growth over time. They could use the voice recording feature to give reflections about each piece. I would love to have students use music they have composed themselves as background music.

  5. @Kara, based on your last thought, you will love one of the tools we are sharing next week. I'm especially excited about it since we will be having a guest blogger joining the 30 Day Challenge to talk about the tool.

  6. I think I could use this tool for organizing my agenda for the day. Bellwork, review, graphs, examples of student work, pictures of students working in the classroom, pdf files, etc could be created in the order I plan to present material. I think the students would really enjoy having bellwork put to music while they work, as well.

  7. This would be a great way to use any book as a "Big Book" in an elementary classroom. With the great quality in digital pictures today, you could upload pictures of pages and scroll through them with ease. If you have an iphone, you can do this all with your cell phone at home and pull it up at school for your lesson.

  8. To be honest, I'm wasn't totally sure what Capzules were until I looked through a lot of them. Now I'm starting to envision them as a way to show students work over time or to have students use for projects. It seems like an engaging website, and I know the kids will love that Capzules can be set to music.
    I imagine a great project for middle school students would be to have them create a visual timeline summary of a book they have read. It could be a brand new way to do book reports. Using Creative Commons for searching images, they could find a visual for each part of the story, set it to music to match the mood, and have an engaging project to share with the class.

  9. I can see using this in many ways.
    The most obvious to me is this could be another way to convert a unit from the paper binders I have sitting on a shelf to a virtual binder for each unit. This way, I have everything on one website and online for easier access. However, I really liked LiveBinders for that. Although on Capzules I could add an audio of my thoughts on the unit so I can remember where I had issues to improve on next year.
    The second way is for students to use Capzles to create timelines. One of the most boring things in Chemistry is when we cover the history and who discovered what, etc. I could see making an assignment for the students to create a timeline for the history of who discovered what or even a timeline of how the atomic model has evolved over time. It could make the not-so-exciting a little more interesting to the students.

  10. Having looked at the wealth of Capzules that are already done so many ideas went through my head. When I was teaching fourth grade, what a great tool to use for students to document the history of Indiana. In science and math what a cool tool for the different units of study. Having students document their learning and assess what they have learned by their capzule.

    As a coach, I see me using this tool as a way to compose and document the trainings I do with Equity, new teachers and schools. I plan to share this with this year's group as a way to post their action research project.

  11. I think the idea of using Capzles to record each student in a classroom at several points during a school year (beginning, middle, end)is great. At each interval the individual student could read a passage, show a creative writing sample, and show or tell about an accomplishment they are proud of. This tool could possibly be used with young readers to make a record of oral reading skills over time. It could be motivational to let students see if they read more fluently each time.

  12. I like this program for recording a class's progress, or having the students contribute. We do an end of the year slide show every year for the 5th grade, and this gives me lots of ideas. I started one here. I'm running into the problem with all of these programs that you must log in to use them, and for me to use it in my computer lab, I either have to log in for them, have them try to use my log in, or create their own for them. This is time consuming, so I might try to have each one come over to my computer for one on one while the rest of the class works, I don't know which is best.

  13. I really like the finished product that Capzule allows the user to create. Near the end of the year I have a portfolio planned for my students to create. Through the use of Capzule my students would be able to create a paperless writing portfolio that they could easily save for future years. It would prevent them from losing pages of works and damaging them in transit. This would be so much more convineint and the students could add drawings and other pictures to enhance their portfolio.

  14. If the new PARCC assessment has performance assessments twice a year than this tool will work to help kids see mastery in their quest for success in PARCC. Teachers can utilize it at off times from the PARCC performance so there would be some continuity of the quarterly assessments.

  15. Neat tool, my students would love to use this to create timelines or storylines. I like all of the features; adding music, pictures, and video.

  16. Man, I meant to comment last night but it fell completely on the back burner. Anyways, here is my though:
    I like the story/timeline mashup. I think stories are sometimes too informal and timelines are too why not put them together and have something interesting?
    I think it would be cool to take a day for kids to tell THEIR story using the timeline. Then, it would be even better if you could layer each timeline on top of one another so they can discuss parallels or tangents from one another's lines. It would be a great community-building exercise and each learner is an expert in their own experience.
    Another, more academic approach, could be using this to track their progress through a particular unit of study. They would take screenshots of resources, blog about things they've learned, embed videos or news articles, etc. Again, if everyone is working on the same unit, you would have TONS of new resources to pull from and the kids have an archived copy of the unit material for review.

  17. I really like Leah's idea! We are all going to be searching for new ideas with the PARCC assessment and this seems like a tool that will fit in perfectly. I can totally see myself using it as a tool to show a student progress over time-like a virutal portfolio. I can also see using as a class time line-behavior motivation showing the kids all that we have accomplished over the year. We could visit it several times a year and add to it as we go. With math building on each concept this would be a perfect thing to do!

  18. Capzles seems like a great tool to use instead of Photostory. My students seem to be burnt out on photostory so, why not create the same product in a different way!

    I would use this in my classroom to replace a project that I assign at the beginning of the year. It starts as a writing assignment and turns into a project where students tell me about their summer. Since I require pictures, it's easier for them to use a digital format to share this information with me.

    I like that capzles allows sharing, privacy settings, and built in themes. However, I don't like that it doesn't support Japanese input. I guess that's one thing that Photostory ranks over on.

  19. After I saw this site, I was thinking along the lines like Kara. I see this as a digital portfilio. I do several projects with my students. It would be a good idea to use this program to record each project what the students thought process was as they were creating the project. I would then have them from year to year to show my classes what other have come up with.

  20. How I see this working is this. I would get each class to create a capzle and then post it on my school facebook page. This way, the next year of students can view the capzle made by the previous year to see what the previous class has done. This could work well in high school classes so students can share their ideas and students can get a preview of a class to see if they even wanted to take it.

  21. I love all the ideas that have been shared: student portfolios showing individual learning progress along with audio reflections, a way to for each student to share their own life story, an end of the year capzule to share with incoming students. I think to use a capzule at the beginning of the year to show the different units of study and how they will be paced throughout the year, kind of like an overview of the year. Students could actually add resources and tips for future students throughout the year within each unit of study. A capzule could also be used as an instructional guide for an extensive project helping students with pacing and resources to accomplish each segment of the project.

  22. I can see this being a great tool for creating seperate inormational reports about Indiana History and then using them here to timeline. I just did a PhotoStory on Ben Franklin and his inventions I could see this being an added benefit as we could timeline them as well. I like the blog feature so I could get another deeper assessment on what my students think of each others Capzles.

  23. I like this tool for personal use. Aren't we all supposed to be going as paperless as possible?! I see this as a way to store files, projects, ideas, and student work. I teach Art Academy after school and this would be cool to archive student work. I see it as a sort of "diary". Pretty cool timeline feature too.

  24. For a chemistry class, Capzles seems like an exciting way to chronicle labs into a 'lab portfolio'. Students can take a picture of their lab and journal about what they learned.

  25. Thinking about this tool from my vantage point, I think it would be an excellent tool for teacher teams or whole faculties to chronicle the culture of their building. It could be a great way to think about all of the great things they are already doing, but also see where they may want to make changes. Teachers could use this tool to paint a picture of what the school looks like now (including photos of classrooms, extra curriculars, walls of the building, document templates of letters that are sent home, data dives, student work, etc, and talk as a faculty about what image is presented, vs, what image the building wants to present, or even how to take a positive culture to the next level. Buildings could also use a similar idea as a way to highlight for incoming students and families what their building is all about, particularly for kids who will be transitioning from elem to middle or middle to high.

  26. We spend so much time in first and second grades on retelling. This would be a fantastic way to take retelling (boring) and kick it up a notch. I also started to think of the writing continuum to which we often refer. We could use samples of kids' writing and let the kids explain each level's components and what it takes to get to the next level.

  27. I see this tool as a portfolio tool for students to keep track of what they have learned in class and what all they have done. I could use it to keep track of my own portfolio and/or my continuing education requirements.

  28. My students are currently creating a capzle as a retooling of our rules assembly for 2nd semester. They are adding clips of our liason officer and crowded halls and issues that show the real image. They are also including pictures and music so that the student body will engage in the process and it will be a reflection of them. And...the powerpoint can still be embeded for reference. They are very excited.
    Consider me on the capzle bandwagon. My students are creating electronic portfolios and they were offered several options, but latched on to the capzle resource immediately. I actually had a girl run up with her Iphone and show me the free app and told me she was uploading pictures and adding titles in class! To me, that is a victory for education.

  29. I can see students using Capzle to capture an assigned organism as its ancestors have progressed through time. It would be a visual representation that could add to a presentation.

  30. Wow! I really like Capzle. I think it would be fun to create a Capzle of our 7th grade year at Plaza. My kids could all add things and it will be organized in a timeline. They would be able to view it at the end of the school year. It could be a great motivational tool. They could have the opportunity to add content if they have completed work or behaved in class. This could be fun!

  31. I am so excited about this one. I have a project in the spring that this will be perfect for. Each group is assigned a biome and the students must work collaboratively to create an ad campaign to try to get other students to want to visit their biome. This tool would be great for this project. I love that students can work on this project collaboratively and not just one student researches, one student assembles...etc.
    I also like Michelle Roach's idea of students utilizing this to create a timeline of a lab. We have a lot of labs that requires students to monitor the lab for a week and see take measurements or collect data over a certain time period. This would be perfect for that.

  32. One of the new Common Core standards for writing refers to a student having help form teachers and peers to proofread and make corrections to writing samples, including research papers. This would be a great tool for a student to show the growth of a paper, including various versions with revisions. Additionally, this would be a great resource to build student portfolios fro units or entire school years. I like the idea of also including what the student looks like, sounds like reading, and other attributes that they can see a growth from over the year.

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  34. I think this would be a great tool for students to track their behavior change. They can use pictures to show changes they have made and then parents, teacher or I could make comments along the way about the progress. It would give the student a chance to be creative and also watch their growth or the need to make changes if things get worse. It may need to be tweeked or maybe there is another tool that would work better but this is definitly a start and idea inspiring.