Common Sense Review
Updated May 2013

Pixorial

This product is no longer available.
Storage site has simple, innovative tools to help you get creative
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • Pixorial focuses on visual storytelling, and makes it simple to do just that.
  • Getting started is quick and seamless with Pixorial's clean interface.
  • Design options are available once you've uploaded images.
  • Cool fonts and colors let you add personality to a story.
  • Pricing varies depending on your needs.
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.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

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 Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

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 Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

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.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

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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What's It Like?

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.

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Is It Good For Learning?

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.

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