When teachers look to infuse student creativity into lessons, it does not need to be in the form of long-term projects with multiple page rubrics. There is nothing wrong with long-term projects but students should also be able to quickly use some creativity in every lesson. For instance, research indicates drawing is essential for learning. So why not have students use technology for quick drawing? For more about that and links to the research, please read my blog post, Comparing and Contrasting Google’s Actual Drawing Apps.
I recently discovered a nice website students can use to quickly create: Remixer. I discovered this tool in Louise Jones’s Playful Productivity slide deck. Remixer describes itself as, “…a web app that aims to provide people with a visual voice, especially to those who might not consider themselves “arty” – or who don’t have the graphical tools to create.”
Remixer allows users to remix visual files people have already created. It has seventeen templates for “remixing.” The four I like most for student creativity are trading cards, postcards, Periodic Table element squares, and timelines.
Remixer is a product of Visual Thinkery which is based in London. The site calls its trading card tool, “Top Trumps,” a reference to card games. The word “trump” connotes something very different here in the United States. Besides the unfortunate name choice, this can be a great tool for having students create cards to help them study. Here are French Revolution cards I created with this tool:
I used the Colorzilla Google Chrome extension to hide the “Top Trumps” logo as best I could by grabbing the most prominent color in the lower-right corner of the images and setting it to the logo color:
Another Remixer tool allows students to create postcards. This is a nice way to have students quickly demonstrate creativity and apply what they have learned:
Another Remixer tool allows users to create element squares inspired by the Periodic Table. This is a great way for students to make connections and have some fun with quick communication:
Remixer has a timeline creator tool called Storylines. It generates timeline images with 2 to 5 images. I created two four-image timelines to quickly display important Napoleon events:
Tips for Using Remixer with Students
- Students can sign in to Remixer but it is not necessary to use the tool. If students sign in, they can publish their work for remixing. This could lead to students copying each other. Here are two ways to address this:
- Require students to not register with the site and not publish their work. Students would simply download their creation instead. Or better yet:
- Give groups of students different tasks that they cannot copy from other groups. For example, group 1 writes a postcard from King Louis VXI to the Third Estate, group 2 writes a postcard from the National Assembly to the people of France, etc.
- If using the Top Trumps tool for making trading cards, have the conversation with students that “Top Trumps” refers to card games, not President Trump.
- My favorite aspect of Remixer is that it limits characters students can use. Playing cards, postcards, and element squares have fewer characters than a tweet. What a great way to get students to be concise! That also means Remixer is not the right tool to use when students are expected to write detailed text.
Does your school, organization, or conference need professional development to help teachers make the most of Remixer and other edtech tools for creativity? Have a look at some of my offerings and connect with me on Twitter.
French Revolution images from the Wikimedia Commons:
- Declaration of Pillnitz
- Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
- Execution of Marie Antoinette
- Jacques Necker
- King Louis XVI
- Marie Antoinette
- Maximilien Robespierre
- Napoleon Crossing the Alps
- Reign of Terror
- Storming of the Bastille
- Tennis Court Oath
- The Coronation of Napoleon
- The Death of Marat
- The Execution of Maximilien Robespierre
- Women’s March on Versailles