I love Pixie! Wixie is the online version. The program is easy to use and the kids love it. Very user friendly and the opportunity to export the finished product in a variety of ways is absolutely fantastic. They have a nice community started on the Tech4Learning web site. I've not been active this school year due to other projects and interests, and of course, time! Check some of my experiences here, if you choose.
Here's a link to a Pixie that a Kindergarten child at my school did in 2009.
You won't go wrong with Pixie. You can download a trial for evaluation here:
Another great FREE online application is Kerpoof.com. As an educator, you can create individual accounts for students and classes. Students can create drawings, pictures, and even animated movies. For the younger students, they can do Spell a Picture and drawings. You can go to Vimeo and YouTube to look for some demonstrations of it.
Pixie/Wixie offers all the tools you need for digital storytelling with younger students. Pixie is the software version - (works well on a school networked environment) and Wixie is web based. Students may illustrate stories, record narration, type titles and headings and add background music. When you have a class of younger students, you can assign each one page to complete, then combine the narrated artwork to one class presentation. These can be finalized into a variety of formats. Also, drawings can be completed in Pixie, then exported as .jpg files and imported into other programs as picture files. Pixie works well with drawing tablets such as Wacom Pen and Touch tablets too.
They could have access at home. I don't assign homework and I'm a little nervous for them to have control of their folders outside of class...in case they have a problem. I'm starting to think that Wixie may be better for older students (Grade 3 and up) who could be collaborating with their classmates on projects from home. What do you think?
I've played around with the trials of both and they are very similar. I think they could be used for all ages of elementary students K-5. I like the idea that students can apply what they've learned in school at home with Wixie. I think software in general is moving in the direction that it is run off the Internet so it would be great to teach kids about cloud computing right from the start. BUT if the school network/Internet is unreliable, I'd definitely go with Pixie!
Access to Wixie would be available. I understand there could be problems with kids collaborating from home. We face the same challenges using Google Apps for Education. A great teachable moment...I recall being very disappointed as a kid when the partner I was assigned failed to bring in supplies needed for a class project. That was my first understanding that you can't always rely on others.
You can try Wixie for free as well...http://www.tech4learning.com/wixie
Tech4Learning offered our student's parents a discount on a copy of Pixie for home. Two years ago, I saw student notes to Santa from one class and many asked for Pixie!
I encourage my teachers to always have a backup plan when relying on the Internet. Sometimes it is our bandwidth issues and the slow going is actually painful!
I took a look at Kerpoof, as suggested by TimeOutDad...looks like it could be used and have assigned tasks for kids to do at home.
I am an instructional tech specialist at a preK-5 elementary school. One of the things I enjoy is finding useful web resources for teachers. I emailed David, with Tech4Learning, here's info he shared regarding the parent purchase program:
"Wixie is available to students at home. Since it it online, students can log in to Wixie and work on their projects from anywhere.
You can also tell them about the Pixie parent purchase program. If they have Pixie at their school, they can call us (877-834-5453) and get a discount code that they can give to parents to purchase the software off of our web site."
No computer teacher, at this time. No idea what the future holds. In this school district, there have been technology specialists for 14+ years. I've been a tech for 12 and spent 25 years in the classroom. I work with the teachers, helping them to gain comfort with technologies like document cameras and SMART boards as well as applications like Pixie, iMovie, and MS Office. I do modeling and we collaborate on lessons when time allows. I also am responsible for maintaining all computers...all teachers have a laptop and we have 4 mobile labs. Coaching has been a larger focus for the past two years, although I've always conducted trainings.
Hi! Anytime I see a question about Pixie, I am compelled to jump into the discussion. I am an ITRT (instructional technology resource teacher) at 3 elementary schools. I have been working with K-5 students for the past 5 years using Pixie. Even though my district still has the first version, I rely heavily on the program. It's great for cross-curricular content, and user friendly for students. Pixie 2 had some new features added including stickers, stamps, and I believe the ability to save files as MP3 for podcasting. It's my understanding that Pixie 3 allows you to save multiple pages (which is similar to Hyperstudio if you are familiar with that program). I'm sure there are more improved features with this new version as well. My team was just asked to preview Pixie 3, and then we are going to consider options for getting it in the schools as we could get a discounted rate since we already have the program. I am excited about checking it out, and hope that we can get it at least in the K-2 classrooms, or in the computer labs.
Another thing about Tech4Learning products is that they have very helpful resources in the Recipes 4 Success section: http://recipes.tech4learning.com/
Here you can find recipes (tutorials for specific programs), snacks (explore features of programs), and tools (rubric makers, graphic organizers, bibliography maker - all good for projects).
If you are looking for templates that other T4L users have made, or if you have made templates to share, then you will want to become a member of the Trading Post!
Just wondering, did you go with any version of Pixie? And, if so, how do you like it?!