How I Use It
Don't let the name fool you! This app has nothing to do with making shadow puppets. Instead, this app is designed as a "show what you know" app that allows students to easily create videos demonstrating their learning. Students can add images, videos, text, music, and narration and then easily share with other classmates and students around the world.
After learning about the events leading up to the American Revolution, students can use Shadow Puppets to create a timeline video of sorts using maps and images from the time period. Put your students into groups where they can each focus on a specific event to go more in depth. Make sure to include a brainstorming and research phase. Use this app as a substitute to the traditional book report. Students can create book trailers or book summaries using a variety of images including maps that allow students to focus on the actual setting increasing global awareness. Shadow Puppets can be used as an alternative assessment for any subject.
Once finished, these products can easily be shared to Seesaw, saved to your camera roll or shared to Google Classroom via a link. One of my biggest recommendations when using apps such as Shadow Puppets is to not let content die on the device. Make sure your students have a sharing/publishing platform (Seesaw, Classroom, Edmodo, etc.) that allows other people beyond you (the teacher) to see the finished product. Allow your students and others to create conversations around the new learning.
This has recently become one of my top 10 educational apps because of its ease of use, richly embedded, educationally appropriate resources, and easy sharing capabilities. This app leads you step-by-step through the creation process (Step 1: Pick a few photos or videos; Step 2: Add narration, text, and music; Step 3: Share) Because it's so easy, it appears that many have tagged this as an app for elementary students, but I feel very strongly that it can be used in the upper grades as well, even high school.
I specifically like using this app with science and social studies teachers as this app contains ready to use images from well-known and reputable resources such as the Library of Congress, Met Museum of Art, NASA, etc. You can even use the Map search to quickly add a map to any creation. These resources alone save a lot of time in class. As opposed to students taking the time to do a Google search to find images that match what they've learned, they can search these libraries that are already in the app. The Library of Congress, for example, contains fabulous primary resources that are at your student's fingertips. Students can spend more time on the content versus finding images.
I also like how this app helps to develop speaking and presentation skills. When students are recording, they can use annotation tools to draw attention to certain aspects of the presentation and re-record if the playback is not as fluent as they would like.
Lastly, I appreciate the help section of this app which includes a video tutorial as well as step-by-step directions on all aspects of the app. In addition, this Shadow Puppet includes an idea section where you can filter by subject or type of activity. All activities are aligned to the Common Core Standards. I highly recommend spending some time here to get some inspiration for other uses of this app.