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worldA growing number of creativity tools are available online. These tools are often available at no cost and can be accessed anywhere, anytime. However keep in mind that because the resources are free, they may not be available forever. Always has a "back up" plan when using online resources.

Read about the following interactive, social, and collaborative creativity tools on this page.

Interactive Tools

Paint brushes, virtual pianos, mind maps, and graph makers are just a few of the tools available online. Most of these tools are designed specifically for young people and are easy to use.

Go to the following online interactive tools related to art and have some fun: Artist's Tool Kit, BBC Art Box, CBBC Art, Cloud Dreamer, Create a Sculpture, Destination Modern Art, Hands-on Crafts, Make Your Own Art, NGA Kids, Professor Garfield ArtBot, Red Studio.

Go to the following online interactive tools related to music and have some fun: Arizona Opera, Arts Alive, CBeebies Sing a Song, Freaky Frank's Music Machine, Making Tracks, Professor Garfield MusicBot, Dallas Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Thumb Piano, and New York Philharmonic.

Go to the following online interactive tools related to writing and have some fun: Imaginary City, Book Report Sandwich Station, and ReadWriteThink tools.

Go to the following online interactive tools related to math and have some fun: Analog Clock, Create a Graph, Grapher, Fraction Paint, Heads or Tails, and Super Sequencer.

Over the past 20 years, many tools such as Lego have provided students with computer programming experiences. Scratch is the lastest addition. Produced by MIT, this free tool allows students to create blocks of commands and put them together to create stories, games, and animations that can be shared online. Explore some featured projects.

eye means readRead Scratch: A New Approach to Programming for Young People by Annette Lamb. Explore Scratch, a free easy-to-use programming tool that addresses 21st century skills while promoting creativity, problem solving, reasoning, and collaboration across grade levels and content areas. Consider a school or public library programming club!

 

Social Tools

During the past several years, a growing number of social technologies has been introduced. These resources allow users to share text, graphics, audio, video, and animations with the world. People from around the world can then make comments and seek personal connections. Although these are wonderful tools, it's important to help young people make wise decisions about their use. In particular, it's easy for teens to get caught up in using tools such as MySpace which is designed for adult users.

Encourage young people to explore social networks designed for their age groups. For example, Second Life Teens is one of a growing number of virtual worlds for teens.

Seek ways to use these tools in productive ways. For example, students at Barrett Elementary School post creative projects on their blog. You can see their drawings, read their writing, and watch their videos online.

Explore other examples of how young people are using blogs in learning:

Seek out tools that allow young people to create and share their work. For instance, Pixton for Schools is a place where students learn to create and share their own comics. There's also a general public version of Pixton. For posters, Glogster is a great choice. There's an educator version of this website tool.

Some social networks encourage sharing of original works. For example, the social network Figment.com is an online writing community aimed at young writers.

Figment

Read Figment Looks to Attract Young Writers from Publisher Weekly.

Collaborative Tools

Online tools are available for writing, calculating, creating concept maps, and many other activities. Most of these tools are easy enough for young people to use.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets are collaborative tools for writing and calculating. It also has a Presentation option that's compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint. If you're looking for a collaborative web develop tool with social aspects such as comments, try Google Sites.

Bubbl and Gliffy are three tools for creating collaborative concept maps.

Wikispaces is an online tool for creating wikis. These collaborative web-building environments are a great place for students to work on building original, collaborative projects.

Read the following materials related to creativity tools on the web:


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