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Website review by Polly Conway, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013
Pixorial

Pixorial

Storage site has simple, innovative tools to help you get creative

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 2 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
4–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Arts, Creativity

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Pros: Get support at every step with Pixorial's extensive help tools, which make the editing process fairly painless.

Cons: The site isn't designed for classroom use, so you'll have to bridge some gaps to connect it with your curriculum.

Bottom Line: It's easy to use, versatile, and the safety features can help keep kids' videos private.

If the tech is available, you can work Pixorial into your lessons or assign video projects as homework. In a language arts class, kids could create short films of their own stories. Or, for a fun assessment of comprehension, students could film a creative adaptation of a chapter or story. Social studies teachers may ask kids to act out and analyze a historical scene. Any teacher could find use for the site; the options are as varied as the content of your lessons. However, herein lies what makes the site more labor-intensive for teachers: You'll have to tie the learning to your content.

Creating one of Pixorial's "Krowds" for each of your classes could help with management. Kids will have one place to turn in video assignments, as well as a forum to give feedback on their peers' creations. Or, just use it yourself to create videos for class. It's pretty easy to intersperse text with video; your slideshows could become that much more engaging.

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Editor's Note: As of July, 2014 the Pixorial service has closed. Users can find more details at the Pixorial homepage.

Pixorial is a website you can use to store, edit, and share videos. No matter what the subject, Pixorial allows users to upload video from a computer, film directly from a webcam, or even have video converted from vintage formats. After uploading a video, you can add captions, create movies, and enhance videos of any length. The Pixorial Library acts as a dashboard for video creation, and a free Basic account allows for 7 GB of storage space.

The site covers the basics of video editing. Kids can learn video-production tidbits like adding subtitles, choosing credits, and learning to watch for those special, filmable moments. But the best part is Pixorial's focus on storytelling -- how video can be used to tell a tale or share an experience –- which gives it a slightly different vibe than a simple nuts-and-bolts approach to video.

Pixorial has potential to help kids learn in a few different ways. If they're using Pixorial's Movie Creator, they can use their imaginations to brainstorm ideas and plots for short films. Kids can also get practice assessing and curating content -- learning what's worth filming, what's important, and what makes a compelling story that people will want to watch. Well-organized group projects can help kids learn collaboration skills. Younger kids may need guidance, but it's generally a fun place for any kid to learn about and experiment with video editing.

While Pixorial is not specifically set up for classroom use, ambitious teachers could certainly harness the site's power to help students engage in visual storytelling. Pixorial's focus on this –- storytelling –- sends a nice message to kids about why we record all this stuff in the first place. Sharing digital media might be second nature to this generation, but behind it all is a genuine desire for connection.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Video content really shines through with Pixorial's clean interface. Whether they've made their own short film or just want to share that sweet b-ball shot, kids will find it fun to share videos with the site's "Krowds."

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids can have the experience of sharing special moments and creative projects; these are important skills that kids can transfer to real life. The site is just a platform; you'll have to bring your own creativity.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

A handy help sidebar is available for reference as you go through the uploading and editing process. Note: You may have to download the Desktop Uploader for files larger than 1 MB.


Common Sense reviewer
Polly Conway Classroom teacher

Community Rating

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews)
Featured review by
Todd W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Brownell Middle School
Grosse Pointe Farms, United States
Its free movie editor, easy and private for your students (4 stars)
I found it easier than Windows Movie Maker, but much less sophisticated than iMovie. There's a short learning curve, so students were making projects for other classes very quickly.
Read full review

Privacy Rating

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