Bev's adventures in ICT

Posts tagged ‘2CASS’

Shiver me Timbers!

This week I’ve had a lovely time using 2Create a Super Story  (or 2CASS) with pupils in Year 2. As I’ve said before, it’s a fantastic program to use with pupils as it’s so inclusive, lots of fun and can be used across age groups for all sorts of projects. This week the focus was a little different: Year 2 were recapping copying and pasting skills. I wanted to make this as much fun as possible so decided to link to their current pirate topic and use a program that they’re familiar with. As it happened I also wanted to improve their knowledge and usage of 2CASS as they move towards year 3: we’ve recently invested in a community license project with 2Simple and 2CASS is one of the programs pupils are now accessing at home. A perfect opportunity then to cover quite a few bases with one program.

Now one of my golden rules (in life generally) is to be as creative as possible and I have to say I’ve taken a few liberties with some of the tools and items in 2CASS as I’m using them in a different way to how they’re presented in the program. I don’t think it matters – if you can find more than one use for something then go for it! Here’s what we did…

  • Firstly we choose the scroll setting: I felt this was pretty much perfect for the topic we were covering as it gave it a pirate map feel. We did discuss the other options available but the children agreed that the scroll was our best choice.

  • We filled the picture area with a nice blue colour for the sky. We wanted a similar colour for the water as the other blues were a bit too dark (although some children were happy with them and were able to choose them). By double right clicking the one of the blue colours we brought up the full palette  – this gave us much more choice.

  • We chose the boat animation template from the transport section. We filled it with our base colour (brown) and then removed parts of it with the clear (or, as the children like to call it, magic) pen. This makes a huge difference to the look of the boat. We use the filled rectangle to colour the sail and used it again with the clear setting to give the ship three sails. We added a simple animation of the sails flapping and we used the path follow tool to draw the route of the ship on our background.

  • We then used the fire animation template to create seaweed. The fire movement was perfect for making the seaweed move under the water. We right clicked to select copy and then right clicked to paste the seaweed up to three times .

  • Choosing the shapes option from the animated templates; we used the square to add clip art. I always suggest using this square shape to the children to add any extras to their backgrounds: it means they can reposition and resize things and animate them if they want to – far better than something static on a background. We added suitable weather clip art which some of the children choose to animate. We again used copying and pasting skills to add additional clouds.

  • To add more interest some of the children added some fish, using the filled circle and the pens to make their little creatures as realistic as possible. There is more information on creating underwater animations that is worth checking out  on Simon Haughton’s blog . I also showed the pupils how to move things to the front or send them backwards: this gave them the option of having the fish swimming in front of or behind the seaweed and is a skill they will use in a number of other programs as they go through school.

  • To save pupils having to draw out their backgrounds a second time I showed them how to duplicate a page. This meant they could use the same page, complete with animations, for the next part of the story too – the example included at the end of this post shows how an island could be added with very little effort while making a big difference to the overall look.

  • We created pirates using the same tools as we used on the pirate ship – this time on the human template. When one pirate was complete (animations included) we copied and pasted to create a second and then just edited the outfit. Using the clear pen allowed pupils to add things like peg legs and hooked hands – very effective!
Of course these projects are not finished yet and there are other things I’d like to mention. We talked during the session about which fonts might be appropriate, which led to many children using old fashioned looking fonts they felt were in keeping with the theme. We also had a nice long session to carry out the first part of the project: these things take time and if you want a piece of work to be worthwhile pupils have to be given time to try things out. An unfinished example of our work so far can be seen here and I’m hoping to add a few examples to the fantastic 2CASS Archive soon – a site well worth investigating if you’re using this software in school. Next week we’re going to be adding even more detail to our stories and I can hardly wait!

 

 

Extend and Stretch

You all know I’m passionate about inclusion and that means including pupils who are more able in certain areas. It’s something that we all need to be aware of in the classroom as such pupils need to be challenged  there’s nothing worse than being bored. But how to do it? Where do you start? I have a number of things I like to use; some free, some not, but the trick is to keep them interested. Here are a few ideas that you might be able to use in your classroom.

  • The  Challenge Box…: I have two special boxes in my room. They are undeniably spangley and a little OTT. They are called challenge boxes: one small (for Foundation Phase challenges) and one large (for KS2). Inside there are a range of colour-coded cards (different colours for different skill levels) that have ‘one off’ challenges on them. I also have a couple of additional cards hanging up in poly-pockets, for quick challenges. Anyway, if a child finds a task too easy or finishes it quickly I always have a few meaningful extensions planned. If there is still time in the lesson and they have completed all tasks I will direct them to take a card of whatever colour from the box. The challenges will always relate to skills we have covered before – they are just independent tasks to get them thinking. For example…

 

  • It’s a mystery: Regularly, particularly if there is something happening in the world that I think needs investigating (like the World Cup, World Book Day etc), I will come up with a set of mystery challenges (usually 5 or 6) which I place in sealed envelopes. In each set there’s usually a challenge linked to Science, Geography, History, Literacy, Mathematics and local (i.e. Welsh or British) interest. There are some examples of these challenges here and one of the important things I feel is that I am sourcing a number of the resource – this cuts down on the children wasting time looking for relevant stuff. These sessions challenge all pupils and sometimes work better when pupils are split into pairs or small groups but that’s up to you.
  • Show them something cool: with younger pupils who are more able it’s nice sometimes to show them something extra a program can do and let them share it with their classmates (or other teachers) during a plenary session or back in class. It’s nice to feel special and kids love that you’re sharing a piece of added information just with them 🙂
  • Give them choices: let the pupils choose the best way to complete their task. I love planning activities for pupils as young as Year 1 where they can select what they want to use. In a recent session (recording factual information about the Antarctic gathered by using Zoom School) Y2 pupils chose to record their work using either 2Publish+, 2CASS or 2Publish Extra (via PurpleMash). They also chose their own template and the way they presented work, leading to work that ranged from fact sheets to reference books while all covering the same skills ( importing, copying, pasting, etc.) and the same topic. This also works with older children: asking them to make a multimedia presentation might lead to a selection of videos and animations fitting in alongside more traditional Powerpoints or items made using web based tools like Animoto or Prezi.
  • Use things that inspire and engage: if you can make room for a little gaming or game creation: it might take your lesson in unusual directions. I’ve recently brought in my ipad and shown pupils some of the great apps available – many of which could be used in the classroom. They are totally in love with it!  Bringing  in a console or something hand held (like a Nintendo DS) can have unexpected results – it just depends how you use it. Check out ideas from fantastic people like Tim Rylands and get technology working for you, and the pupils, in your classroom. On the flip side get pupils to create their own games or quizzes to challenge each other and link to topics or learning intentions. I’ve mentioned 2DIY recently (which I’ve just used with more able, younger pupils to create quizzes linked to their topic) but there are other things out there, includingScratch, which are equally useful especially with older pupils.
  • Buddy pupils up! Use your more able pupils to assist the ones that need a little extra support – not intrusively, just as a someone to encourage or chivvy them along. I also like using older pupils along side younger ones (in a sort of Yoda style mentor role). again this isn’t intrusive, just supportive, and the pupils really seem to get something out of it.

So there you go. Not rocket science but a few ideas to than can be used to extend and stretch your pupils. I’m sure you can think of loads I’ve missed but I’ll leave you to fill in the gaps. If you’re looking for a place to start (to get more ideas – technology wise) then this might be worth a look.

Sound Affects

We all know that pupils need choice when it comes to recording and plan their ideas. The written word can be the only outlet for some. Using pictures and bullet points might suit others. But simply speaking about your ideas, directly onto a digital recorder or another device, like an Easi-Speak microphone, can be a revelation for those children who have difficulty with traditional recording methods. Obviously the use of Audacity in the classroom could also enhance this and there are some ideas for this here but when we want to put the recorded sound together with visual content it might not be as easy for some as others, and we want their ideas and thoughts to be recorded in a way that suits them and makes them feel like they’re achieving. So which pieces of kit are best for this?

My first suggestion would be to use Photo story 3: it’s free, easy to use and the results look fabulous. There are a number of simple tutorials for this online but basically the program allows pupils to import photos, add basic effects, text, music and narration to make a short movie. It’s a very versatile, if simple, piece of software and can easily be used by pupils in KS1 (with support at first) and pupils with varying levels of SEN. The results look professional and ‘grown up’: pupils can be proud of their achievements and share their efforts with others easily. It’s great for topic based or diary type work but is just as good for tasks like story sequencing and retelling. I’ve used it many times with pupils where the pictures of a well known story have to be imported and rearranged in order, allowing for a retelling of the story in the child’s own words (and it’s even better if the child uses a program like 2Paint a picture to create their own images from the story first).

There’s only one trouble with Photo Story 3 (and it’s not really a problem with the program itself): if the pupils have used it in KS1 and lower KS2 they will want (and need)to move onto something different eventually! Some pupils, however, find that transition difficult: particularly those with recording difficulties when it comes to the written word! They want to put their ideas down but get frustrated when they can’t do it with the ease of others. The natural step would be to move to Windows Movie Maker but this is not always the best piece thing to use in a busy classroom (it’s not as straight forward or intuitive to use, it tends to crash or freeze, some pupils lose patience with it…). My solution is to get the pupils to record their ideas and speech directly onto PowerPoint – it’s easy to do and it gives pupils who may need a bit of extra time to get to grips with something like Movie Maker.

The technique is great for lots of topics but can easily be used to assist with literacy, particularly planning stories. Pupils can use a PowerPoint Storyboard (or perhaps something a little more jazzy, like the Movie Style Storyboard ) to help plan their stories: instead of adding written captions to their storyboard they could record their own comments instead. This would also work with a template like the Story Mountain Planner style one above – pupils could just use a microphone to record their ideas directly onto the slide and the need for written text is minimised.

From an inclusion point of view there are a number of other programs available that allow pupils to record spoken content directly onto their work: 2Create a SuperStory springs to mind, as does 2Connect, and there are others available. But if you don’t have those yet, and you need to give pupils opportunities to record their work in different ways (ways that suit then) then this is worth a go. Every pupils I have shared this with has been thrilled with the independence it has given them. I’m not saying they don’t need to write: I’m just allowing for the fact that some pupils, for whatever reason, are better at verbalising ideas. This is one way of making sure their contributions are as valued as everyone else.

Boys will be boys…

Boys. What can you do with them? Never a day goes by when you don’t read or watch something relating to improving attainment in boys. It wasn’t that long ago that we chatted about the differences between boys and girls learning styles on ukedchat and we’ve also seen Gareth Malone recently going on about it on our TV screens. Getting boys engaged in learning is the hot topic of the moment. Everyone’s trying to do something about it. Both Pie Corbett and Tim Rylands give inspiring insets on storytelling, poetry, using Myst, and getting kids interested and there are plenty more people who do the same thing. You can get fabulous ebooks and graphic novels (many from Rising Stars who sponsored TeachMeet Pembs) and  Scholastic’s interactive Read and Respond are also full of inspiring ideas  let’s face it, who doesn’t like Stig of the Dump?).

Just recently I’ve been enthusiastic about visual literacy – great for engaging pupils of all levels. I’ve found some great resources linked a few different titles. If you’ve not checked out The Mysteries of Harris Burdick I’d suggest you check it out! There are a number of resources for it on both You Tube and SlideShare and there are also great resources based on books by Shaun Tan and David Wiesner . There are, additionally, some great video resources available online that they could use in class in a similar way, including a number of Pixar shorts and items from both the BFI and Film Education. Well worth investigating!

ICT can be a good way in when it comes to getting boys engaged in learning.  This is just as true for pupils with SEN and here are some great ideas!  The youngest pupils, many of whom might not be ready for a mouse, can have fun using the Switch activities on Help Kidz Learn (which are also set up to work with a space bar if you don’t have switches) while those slightly can enjoy exploring the land of the Red Fish. Pupils also enjoy accessing 2Paint a Picture and some of the PurpleMash Paint Projects using a touch screen. Older children are just can have lots of fun using the fantastic Publish Projects, again on PurpleMash, which really help them because the features (like the prompts and videos) are just so inspirational and inclusive. I’d also suggest using 2CASS to present work, another fabulously inclusive tool, which I’ll be blogging about at a later date. I’m sure these activities will be loved and adored by any number of boys (and girls) so why not try them out.

Discover something new today

Here’s an idea for a very short ICT session.  What if all the children all do something completely different? No two children covering the same topic. Each one working independently, at their own level using the software of their choice. The only criteria – they have to discover something new that they hadn’t known before.

So this was how it works. Use the fruit machine style random name/word picker on ClassTools and fill it full of different topics: some which children will find irresistible and others that could be a little more academic or challenging. Put in a few things that I knew the pupils would have very little knowledge about (e.g. The Grand Canyon) and others that they would have studied in previous years. Each child can choose how they present any information (Ript, Prezi, PowerPoint, 2Publish+, 2CASS, Movie Maker, etc.). Explain the challenge to them, get each child to click the fruit machine and take the topic that came up. Then straight to the computers and off to work. They might come up with all sorts of new pieces of information, some of which you might refer to as ‘totally useless’ (a bit like a certain DJ’s ‘Factoids’). No matter! After all, everyone learns something new – including you!

Looking through the spectrum

Trying to engage children through the medium of ICT is, in most cases, easy to do. There are so many different ways of making ICT engaging and ‘wow’ that children usually find software and activities that they just love to use! Game based learning, for example, is a fantastic way of inspiring writing and a great way to introduce or extend a topic. Computer generated art is another popular avenue – there is just so much choice and so many things that are freely available that a child is bound to find something they adore and want to create with and share. I could go on (I’m sure you could too). Yet one of my favourite jobs  is finding and discovering ideas for pupils with SEN. Once they take to something they really have the ability to run with it and take it to unusual places – and that’s something I can really relate to.

At the moment there are a number of great online resources that can engage and are accessible for these pupils: Poisson Rouge , Help Kidz Learn and Tes IBoard are just a few sites I think are fantastic. There’s also a great range of inclusive new equipment, with Easi Speak mics , V-Tech cameras and BeeBots among the favourites. There’s also the amazing Story Stage from Scholastic and Storybird (both of these can link to developing social skills as well as enhancing their curriculum). There’s so much available for these pupils in the realm of ICT at the moment, but what I’m really excited about is the current selection of products from 2Simple.

Pupils seem to have a fine time using 2Paint a Picture and 2Publish+. Even the youngest pupils can enjoy activities like creating repeating animal skin patterns. In an attempt to link their efforts in ICT with a more hands on activity, you could print out the designs and use wooden animal stencil to cut actual animal shapes out of the appropriate skin patterns. Which brings me nicely onto…

…2Design and Make. The mix of ICT and DT is a marvellous thing! Pupils can create houses and vehicles for a street scene, coloured dice for maths activities and masks for role play. There’s nothing quite like getting the scissors and glue out and making something with your own two hands and the pupils just cannot wait to print out their efforts and bring them back to the classroom to stick together. And I’m all for that 🙂

(Purple) Mash for Breakfast, Dinner and Tea!

Every so often something comes along and you just go ‘Wow!’. It happened a little while ago when I first got the chance to use 2Create a SuperStory, and when I saw Scholastic’s Story Stage. It happened a while back when I first tried out Ript, Prezi and Google Earth. Back in the day it even happened when I realised what I could do with PowerPoint! Well it’s just happened again and this time it’s all due to another fabulous 2Simple idea: Purple Mash. Not totally finished, yet already awe inspiring, it’s something you really need to have a look around.

Tagged as an ‘online creative space’, Purple Mash has so much going for it it’s difficult to know where to start. The simple colouring templates (like the flag above) are set up so pupils with poor mouse control can still create a nice piece of work due to the innovative ‘staying inside the lines’ way the template is created. The ability to add a line of text at the bottom is also a cool touch! But what I absolutely adored about the colouring templates is the way that some of them use clever symmetry to create designs: the butterfly is straight forward mirroring but the flower and star templates make it simple to create fabulous designs with minimal effort.

The writing frames are just as outstanding, covering a whole range of text types and layouts and with the inclusion of inspiring and topic linked photographs, ideas prompts or word banks and, in many cases, additional clip art. There are, in addition, some unusual ideas included that would easily fit in to any Foundation, SEN, or KS1 and 2 setting. How about designing a computer game package? Or a cool t-shirt? Maybe a plate of healthy food? There are templates for all three and many more, plus loads of other great stuff! It also includes access to a number of 2Simple’s titles (similar to the online tools but offering so much more) with details here on how the completed package can be accessed.

This piece of kit really looks like it could cover a whole lot of bases. The menus are high visibility with a black background, making them perfect for pupils who have visual impairments. The addition of clip art and photos means it’s not reliant on drawing skills to make work look good (another inclusion box ticked there!) and the word banks and prompts could also assist pupils with learning difficulties and be useful with children of all ages. The colouring outlines are basic with plenty of room for embellishment whatever a child’s age and everything can be exported as a .png file at the moment – making it easy to resize and print out for display or evidence. I could go on but I think it’s better to allow you to discover it for yourself. You won’t be sorry – in fact you’ll probably end up mashing the day away!

Something for Everyone

Now I know there are lots of great products that assist with inclusion and are designed to make recording easy and, today, I’m going to highlight some you may, or may not, have heard of. Clicker 5 is an excellent piece of kit to have at your disposal as is Writing with SymbolsHelpkidzlearn (from the bods at Inclusive Technology) has recently been launched, and includes a number of switch accessible activities. There are many other great pieces of software and hardware I could mention. But there are some occasions when a pupil with SEN just wants to use the same program as everyone else, particularly as they get older. Why should they miss out when there are a few choice ideas that can be enjoyed  and used by everyone? Let’s have a look at the options available.

Vokis are pretty cool! How you actually use Vokis in the classroom would be your choice – greetings on a class blog, trying out phrases in different languages, asking questions for a class activity, I’m sure you can think of more. Vokis are great because they are free (don;t you just love that word) are simple to set up, easy to embed into wikis and blogs and I haven’t yet come across a child, whatever their level of ability, who hasn’t instantly been drawn to the idea. Create a character, choose a background, record a little message (great for those who have difficulty with written recording). If you can’t record a little message , for whatever reason, you can use the text to speech option and give your character a voice of your choosing. A fabulous tool for getting everyone involved.

Audacity is another fantastic free item that can be accessed by a number of pupils, particularly when using it as part of a small group or on collaborative projects. It’s layout is simple enough for most pupils to be able to negotiate easily and some of the toolbar icons have a reassuringly familiar look about them. It’s also something that can be accessed and used at the child’s own level. Able children can use multiple tracks, include sound effects, music and recorded sound together and use the effects to make unusual sounds. Less able children can, with minimal guidance, use it to record speech/sounds and edit their work so their speech is more fluid. How about letting a child with written recording difficulties use Audacity to record investigation findings as a Q&A tool for assessment? You might find the results are better than you anticipated.

A while we’re discussing presenting findings or information as spoken words, let’s not forget that you can record directly onto a PowerPoint or into PhotoStory. This is not only fabulous for children who find it easier to present work this way but also a great way to make resources for the classroom. Talking story books are fantastic but can be expensive to buy – use PowerPoint to create your own. Yes, it can be time consuming but then so is creating the perfect worksheet and talking books are far more fun 🙂

In fact, I have to say, that I’ve had great fun using the latest 2Simple product, 2 Create a SuperStory. Plenty of options for creativity are there and there’s a fabulous ‘Auto’ setting that could be useful with less able pupils. The inclusion of clip art and templates for objects on 2CASS means that children can actually create work of good quality without having to be able to draw with the mouse.

We all know inclusion is important but there are solutions available for every budget. There might even be something on this list that you already use at school. But, however much you struggle to find things that work (especially from the child’s point of view), remember you will eventually find the one thing that changes everything. And that can be truly life changing.

You BETTer – You BETT!

So, over a week has passed since I staggered through my door after a whirlwind visit the the BETT show in London’s Olympia and it seems as good a time as any to talk about some of the amazing things I saw on offer.

I think 2010 will prove to be a real turning point in the way teachers and children access and harness technology in their classrooms. This is partly due to the sharing of ideas over social networking sites like Twitter, but also due, in no small part, to the growing phenomenon that is TeachMeet. And TeachMeet BETT 2010 was definitely the place to be on the Friday night. If you haven’t been to a TeachMeet event before, or joined in via a web link using Flashmeeting you are seriously missing out. The ideas shared were invaluable and many will have a direct influence on my teaching or have inspired me to try out new things. This is true of all the TeachMeets I’ve joined in with via the web as well – everyone’s part of a like minded group and all are welcomed with open arms. Heck – I’m even thinking about approaching my LEA to organise one. TeachMeet is definitely the place it’s at!

In fact many people I’ve spoken to have commented on the ‘fringe’ activities being more of a draw than the actual technology! But interest in the technology is what brought us to Olympia in the first place and there was plenty of great stuff to see. So I thought I’d mention a few things I really liked so that you could investigate further – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

The first item I’m going to acknowledge here is iboard player. I have been a fan for a long time. It’s easy to navigate, has loads of fantastic categorised resources (which are also levelled to different ages) and is now FREE! Yes, you read that correctly – all of these fantastic activities are now free to access. The iboard is really aimed at a KS1 age group but there is much in there that you may find pupils in Year 3 are also happy to access and the activities could be very useful for pupils with SEN. The resources also link brilliantly with a number of Foundation Stage/Phase topics and I’m sure many of you will enjoy exploring what the iboard has to offer as much as the children will love the activities!

Scholastic have also come up trumps with their new interactive, multi mouse product Story Stage. Initially being launched with titles suited to KS1 (KS2 ones will be available at a later date) this is really going to revolutionise the way young pupils interact with each other on the screen. There are so many times when a classroom has too few computers for the number of pupils who want to use them and, in my experience, what usually happens when pupils share one unit and mouse is that one will take the lead and the other will sit along side passively or slowly getting frustrated (which never ends well). By hooking up an extra mouse (or up to three extra if you prefer) Story Stage has made the computer a tool that pupils truly can share. Want to change the background? Add sound, movement and objects? Visual effects? Stage Lighting? Track what each individual pupil does? This product ticks all the boxes! Of course the other great thing about it is that, with so much emphasis being put on initiatives like Storytelling into Writing, which is based on some of the traditional tales Story Stage incorporates,  engaging learners and allowing for personal learning styles, this product has truly come just at the right time.

Now I wouldn’t be giving a true account of what I enjoyed seeing at BETT2010 without mentioning the fabulous people at 2Simple and their new products. They just keep coming up with tremendously usable products that pupils really love to use. I’ve been trying out the Online Tools package which just has so much good stuff on it that I just know teachers, parents, children and even grandparents (I know because I’m one of them) are really going to enjoy creating things with them.

The choice of activities available means there’s something for everyone with activities that could link to a range of things at home and at school. My particular favourite of the activities available is 2Design and Make  – just check out the flaming car that I encouraged my son (a grumpy teenager no less) to create for his nephew. That’s not to say the other available activities are less than marvellous – they are all wonderful in their own way.

2Create a SuperStory is another fantastic new 2Simple product (and one I’ve blogged about previously) – this was launched at the BETT show. As with Scholastic’s Story Stage, this really links in well to a number of different initiatives and topics being currently covered in schools (for both KS1, KS2 and pupils with SEN) and, like all 2Simple software, it’s easy to get to grips with for teachers and learners alike! If you haven’t seen the product yet please check it out. If you’ve got the incredible 2CASS and you want to find out more, make sure you have a look at the 2CASS Archive – full of useful hints and tips and examples of work that may inspire you.

There were, inevitably, many more excellent products launched at BETT 2010 (and a few old favourites being showcased too) that I haven’t got time to talk about here. Online resources from BrainPOP and Education City look well worth further investigation and I absolutely loved the new StoryPhones. I as also pleased to hear from the people at Widgit Software that they are working on including  predictive text in SymWriter to make it even more inclusive, although it is going to take them a while (keep an eye out in the next 12 months for it though) and was bowled over by some of the new Easi products being showcased by TTS – very child friendly!

2Simple have done it again!

I’ve felt very honoured this week to have had the opportunity to have a good look at the latest excellent piece of software from the bods at 2Simple: 2Create a Superstory. Now I know I use 2Simple software a lot and talk about the benefits of it all the time but 2Simple have really outdone themselves with this – it’s a wonderfully versatile addition to their collection that seems to take elements from a number of their previous applications and wraps them all together in a fantastic, diverse, cross curricular bundle! Pupils can create interactive books and activities that include animations, original art or photos, text and sound. These activities are then saved as a .2CAS file (allowing projects to be returned to and edited if necessary) and also as an .SWF file, that could easily be in a included in a VLE,  school website or wikispace.

This was the opening menu that met the pupils on Friday - it's already been improved!

Earlier this week I posted a guest blog for 2Simple, outlining the fun I had using it with my grandchildren and that fun is continuing. The beauty of 2Simple software is that one piece links directly into another, with many familiar icons. This makes it suitable for pupils of all ages. I’d suggest storyboarding ideas before letting children loose on the software – although there’s lots of fun to be had. Yes –  the stories can be very simplistic at first  and may need refining. There are, however, any number of templates, backgrounds and other elements that lend themselves to both fiction and non-fiction work. I can see many uses for this throughout the curriculum with different age groups and think it will revolutionise the way that even the youngest pupils are able to present their work (although isn’t that exactly what 2Simple have managed to achieve consistently with all their products?). In fact I predict that 2Create a Superstory is going to be a runaway success!