Common Sense Review
Updated September 2014

Shadow Puppet Edu

Resource-rich video slide-show creator a gem for a variety of classrooms
Common Sense Rating 5
  • Dozens of lesson and project ideas are included in-app with more resources available on the developer's website.
  • Students can pull images from their device or several other online sources, including NASA and The Library of Congress.
  • Once they've selected the images to include, kids hit start and record their voices while they scroll through the images.
  • Kids can also add text and background music to each slide.
  • Presentations can be shared via social media or saved online or to the device.
Ideas galore are included in-app, with more resources available online.
Editing is possible but is a bit trickier than creating.
Bottom Line
Easy-to-use free tool is a must-have for elementary classrooms, just keep an eye on sharing and privacy.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 5
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 5

Creating high-quality, versatile presentations is really easy. Students can use their own images or pull images from several impressive online resources.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Students can deepen their understanding across content areas creating presentations and showcasing their knowledge. They're empowered to be creative, with easy access to resources and inspiration.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 5

A video tutorial walks students through the creation process, which is pretty intuitive anyway. Loads of teacher resources are included in-app with even more available online.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers will find many uses for Shadow Puppet Edu, and they don't have to look very hard to find them! About 30 project ideas are included in the Ideas section of the app, organized by topic. Ideas include a family heritage map, an art portfolio, a history recap, a new report, digital storytelling, a science experiment recap, a persuasive ad, and more. Each activity includes CCSS alignment. More teacher resources are available online, too, including printables for storyboard planning, story maps, and instructions. Teachers could create their own Shadow Puppet Edu videos to introduce topics in class or to post online for flipped learning.

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What's It Like?

Using Shadow Puppet Edu, students can create video slideshows, adding their own narration and text. Videos can be up to 30 minutes long and can include up to 100 images, free for classroom use. A video tutorial demonstrates how to make a video, and several sample videos are included as well. To create a new video, students tap the Create New icon and choose their images from the several resources included: the camera roll, other app libraries on the device, The Library of Congress, Maps, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Library, NASA, and NOAA, as well as from Web searches that can be done within the app. Students just tap the images to include them. They can reorder them or move on to recording sound and adding text. To narrate the video, students simply hit Start and talk while they scroll through the images. They can zoom in on certain parts of the image as they speak or add text or clip art. When finished, they simply hit Save and can then share the video via social media. It is automatically saved to the device's camera roll and online, accessible via a direct link.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Shadow Puppet Edu has so many excellent features that it's a creative must-have for elementary classrooms. (Older grades would still find it useful, but it's easy enough to use that the youngest presenters will appreciate it the most.) The teacher resources are impressive and inspiring, giving ideas for using digital creation across curriculum. It's very easy to use, with a clear video tutorial and intuitive controls. Pretty much the entire process (minus planning) can be completed in-app. No need for students to search for their images, save them to the device, and then open Shadow Puppet Edu. Everything can be found and quickly added to the slideshow from within the app, meaning one less step to walk students through and one less opportunity for distractions. Students can really personalize their presentations, adding their own narration. Sharing their creations is simple, as well. All the videos are saved to a specific Web address that can also be shared and accessed via the link. Social media sharing links are accessible behind a fairly weak adult lock ("Press and hold this button"), so teachers should talk to students about privacy issues and acceptable sharing before they create their videos.

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See how teachers are using Shadow Puppet Edu

Lesson Plans