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Top Tools for Remixing

Remix –- or combining different media to make or say something new -– is an essential 21st-century skill, and something kids do naturally, because it's fun to riff on existing media, add your own spin, and create something fresh. Teachers can harness this creative impulse, and focus students' natural tendencies toward remixing on classroom activities that build critical thinking skills, help students learn new technical skills, and encourage them to make productive, critical contributions to the world. Through remix, students create but also think in new ways, and dig into and explore the essence of authorship and meaning. If you're looking to bring remix culture into your classroom, these picks are a good place to start whether your students are interested in video, games, music, memes, or just about any media you can think of.

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Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity

Open-ended collage maker teaches symbolism and revs up creativity

Bottom line: Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity is a don't-miss art app that encourages creativity at the same time as modeling it.

PlayART by Tapook

Mimic and remix the great masters in playful but limited art tool

Bottom line: Fun method of art exploration and remix makes a nice supplement for art appreciation, but lacks the art history context one expects.

Nearpod

Interactive slide show tool engages students and promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and brings slide shows into the 21st century.

Scratch

Jump-start future programmers with adaptive sandbox tool

Bottom line: With plenty of time and support, Scratch can help kids of all ages learn essential programming concepts.

Green Screen by Do Ink

Versatile, easy-to-use moviemaker yields great results

Bottom line: High-quality movie maker has numerous uses for students projects.

Adobe Capture CC

Magical design tool extracts colors, patterns, and more from images

Bottom line: The rare combo of "wow" factor and utility, this tool help students recognize and use the designed world around them.

EdPuzzle

Crop, customize, and remix online videos for your classroom

Bottom line: If you're using online video in your classroom, you'll want to look into EDpuzzle as a way to layer in more learning opportunities while students watch.

TES Teach with Blendspace

Create multimedia lessons with engaging but not-so-interactive style

Bottom line: Blendspace allows you to incorporate lots of multimedia resources but can still be confusing for students.

GarageBand

Amazingly powerful audio workstation unleashes creativity

Bottom line: There's exceptional functionality in this solid, all-inclusive audio workstation that's fantastic for high-quality, anytime, and anywhere audio recording and sharing.

Codesters

Differentiated text-based coding makes for truly authentic experiences

Bottom line: The well-designed Python lessons and user interface make this a great choice for serious coding instruction.

Algodoo

Sandbox tool enables engaged, conceptual physics inquiry

Bottom line: A robust, free pedagogical tool that's like a digital workbench where kids build and apply conceptual science knowledge.

Explain Everything Classic

Classic version of dynamic presentation tool still excites

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

LittleBigPlanet 2

Accessible yet deep game creator will dazzle and challenge

Bottom line: A deeply charming experience for teachers and students interested in pushing boundaries, making things, and participating in a healthy community focused on boundless creativity.

Mozilla Thimble

Inspiring platform teaches coding through remixing

Bottom line: Thimble is an excellent, free resource for teaching students to code through experimentation.

Audacity

Free online music-maker also a lesson in open-source software quality

Bottom line: With tons of quality tutorials and help, this free recording site is a real treat for those who don't have access to the branded software.

iMovie

Pro-quality HD movie maker is easy enough for beginners

Bottom line: This extraordinary tool for making movies anywhere is easy enough for beginners, yet has lots of headroom for advanced users.

Mozilla X-Ray Goggles

Remix tool reveals code, can strengthen kids' understanding of the web

Bottom line: It's a blast to use and an easy way to get experimentation and prototyping going with plenty of student choice -- kids are really in the driver's seat!

Office Mix

Transformative PPT add-on gives a personal touch to flipped lessons

Bottom line: These engaging, interactive digital lessons can take on a personal, human touch that offers the potential for great learning.

Skitch

Add a hint of fun to note-taking or annotating images

Bottom line: It's easy to annotate images and screenshots, take handwritten notes, and organize it all with Evernote.

Animoto

Create snazzy video slide shows with simple, flexible features

Bottom line: Slick music videos and slide shows are easy to make, but students need more controls to personalize them.

MediaBreaker/Studios

Free video-remix tool boosts media literacy, presents some challenges

Bottom line: It's not without its challenges for teachers, but at its core MediaBreaker is an easy-to-use and free tool for teaching critical media-making and literacy.

TouchCast Studio

Cool tool takes videos to next level, but some privacy concerns

Bottom line: TouchCast is a creative tool for students to use to present information, but teachers should monitor use.

Vidcode

Cool coding tool tuned to teen girls' passions aids creativity

Bottom line: Learn-to-code programs for youths often too narrowly define what can be done with code; Vidcode expands the options, helping girls see code's value in culture and express themselves.

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