Teacher Review For Kerpoof

A great creativity website with tech glitches

David B.
School district administrator
Oakland Unified School District
Oakland, CA,
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 2
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Individual
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
How I Use It
I have used this with Kindergarten and First graders primarily for spelling words. I model first with words from a particular word family, but then students often go off on their own, trying to spell their own words. I have Second graders create storybooks with beginning middle and end. It is a great opportunity to teach narrative continuity either by keeping a consistent setting, or at least consistent characters. After these structured activities, students often want to continue in Kerpoof. The movie-maker is particularly appealing, with an editing interface that is simple and intuitive enough for even some Kindergartners to use.The drawing tools are fine too, with opportunities for students to make holiday-themed cards, or content-related pictures. If logging in is too difficult for your younger students (see above), there is an option to play Kerpoof without logging in. But then students are unable to save their work or their gold coin incentives. This is a definite drawback which I hope the creators will be able to correct. One aspect to Kerpoof that I have not explored enough is the sharing capacity. Students are able to view other student’s work, rate it, and add it to their favorites. The ability to share with classmates, and the ability to work together on the same scene is available with a paid subscription.

My Take

Kerpoof is owned and operated by the Disney Company. It is a suite of activities focused on creativity (NETS standard #1): making cards, drawing pictures, making animated movies, and making a storybook. In addition there is a fun spelling activity for emerging readers, where students make images magically appear by spelling words correctly. Students are engaged by the variety of colorful animations, characters, and backgrounds (none of which are from Disney movies) they can choose from. As students create, they earn coins, which they can spend in the store to enhance their avatar, or unlock even more characters and backgrounds. Students have a choice of printing, saving, or sharing their creations with each other (NETS #2). There are number of annoying issues that need to be resolved. First, students need to log-in with case-sensitive username and password AND a non-case sensitive class-code. Second, each time a student switches from one activity to another, they need to sign-in again. The spelling activity is susceptible to freezing in my MacLab (10.6), and there were not images for all words, and sometimes incorrect images, like a crib appears when "cot" is spelled. Finally, after gaining access to the full paid version of Kerpoof, the website routinely failed to load.