Using Technology to Foster Creativity in Students

Here you will find an annotated list of key online resources about technologies that can be used to facilitate and develop creativity in students.
Eric Marcos
Mathtrain.TV is a free, educational "kids teaching kids" project from Mr. Marcos & his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, CA.

Eric Marcos states, “the goal of is to give kids a place to discuss math and help each other learn. The discussions you see on the site are remarkable. The kids have been really engaged and feed off of each other. They get that it is not about giving each other the answers, but rather helping each other learn how to solve the problems.”

This is a great resource because it introduces creativity in a subject that people often write off as not being creative – math!

Scratch is a software application from MIT that is designed for kids and really opens the door to computer programming. Mitch Resnick (MIT Professor and developer of Scratch ) points out that, "As kids work on Scratch projects, they learn to think creatively and solve problems systematically -- skills that are critical to success in the 21st century." The programming itself utilizes building blocks that make programming as simple as assembling Lego blocks and make it accessible for very young students. Programming is only the starting point for creativity – Scratch has a community website where students can upload their projects and collaborate with other students from all over the world.

The Epic Romeo & Juliet Project
Nick Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher)
Grosse Pointe South High School
Here is Nick's own description of the project:

"I wanted to approach Romeo and Juliet in a different manner. I wanted to do something that would allow my students to dive into the text and be creative. I needed to be innovative because I could not find anything out there that really had everything I wanted. I connected with another teacher in Iowa and we brought our classes together to attempt something that had never been done before. Through hard work and long hours, my students and the students from Iowa created a singular movie that I hold to be the best project/lesson I have ever created."

You can learn more about the project on Nick's blog and watch the completed movie here.

Groundspeak, Inc
Geocaching engages students both mentally and physically as they engage in a modern day treasure hunt via the use of GPS and the geocaching community. Stories and photos of the treasure hunt can be shared on the geocaching website allowing students to connect with people all around the world.

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
University of Houston
Using computer-based tools to tell stories is one way to encourage creativity. This site has a wealth of information in a succinct format for getting started with digital story telling in the classroom. There are examples, sample rubrics, links to software, and other resources.
Stencyl: Create flash games for PC or Mac
Jonathan Chung, founder and CEO
Stencyl allows users to create games and collaborate with others making games without knowing how to code. It has has a drag and drop user interface and also has some features that resemble Photoshop for ease of use. Teachers could make activities where students create games based on some content or skill to be mastered.

Brad & Star
Plotbot is free, web-based, collaborative screenwriting software. The design of the software follows the wiki model so any member of a project may edit any part of the writing. Other beneficial elements from wikis are also employed, such as keeping a revision history that can be reverted to if desired, options for public or private scriptwriting, and "comments only" settings. The software handles the formatting of your script.

Brainstorming original story ideas and creating characters and plot are a few ways that incorporating use of this software in the classroom could help enrich writing and language skills in students. Creating documentaries would help deepen students understanding of discipline specific topics.
Tekin Tatar CEO, Co-founder Mehmet Ozkanoglu, Creative Director, Co-founder
BeFunky is an easy to use photo editing site. You can edit your photos, apply photo effects, add graphics and shapes, text and speech bubbles, and frames and borders to your digital photos. The site is free and there is no registration and no downloads required to use it.

50+ Ways to Use Web 2.0 Tools to Tell a Story
Alan Levine
Ideas + Images + audio + video + a technology tool = a unique digital story. This wiki categorizes and provides links to technology tools for the purpose of digital storytelling. It also provides resources to guide users through three essential steps involved in the process: outlining a story idea, finding some media, and picking a tool then building a story. The author of the wiki uses 34 of the 50 tools in the following video he created to give a tour of his site.


A free, easy to use, online resource where you can upload photos, record audio, and make your photos talk.
Storybird is a free, online resource for collaborative storytelling. Here family, friends, and students can work together to create and share visual stories. Storybirds are meant to be short, art-inspired stories that can be shared on the web or downloaded for saving and printing. Storybirds can be read online as books, played as interactive games, sent like greeting cards, or published and pinted as books.

Storybirds can be used as a literacy tool in the classroom, as teachers can create classroom accounts where they can issue assignments and build Storybird libraries.

Watch the video below to find out more about Storybirds.

Kidblog is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs. And you can set up your class with no student email addresses.

Domo Animate
Powered by Go! Animate
Domo Animate is a web-based animation site in which students can animate their own videos and slideshows using a variety of characters, themes, and other options. Here's one example: Hungry Domo by Jexx

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Hardy Leung
Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.


Combine photos, videos, music into beautifully orchestrated video pieces. Many plans available starting at FREE.


Simply put, a Glog is a kind of poster —fully designed by you! A Glog is a unique creation made up of text, images, music, and video. It can be colorful, edgy, emo, or rock—it’s up to you to make your Glog stand out. Glogs are a perfect way to express who YOU are! Also available in an EDU version for educators.


Picnik is photo editing online, in your browser. It gives real people photo editing superpowers. It’s fast, easy, and offers tons of powerful tools, artistic effects, stickers, frames, touch-ups, scrapbooking tools and more. And that’s all for free.

Avi Muchnick,
Iz Derdik,
Michael Galpert
Using Aviary's Roc service you can create your own music loops or samples. After you've created your music samples you can download them, reuse them in Myna, or embed them into your blog. Below you will find a brief tutorial on how to create sound loops using Aviary Roc.


Beat Lab is a free service through which students can experiment with thousands of sound and rhythm combinations. Beat Lab provides a grid on which students select the sounds they want to have played. Students can specify how often they want each sound played and how quickly you want the sounds played.

Audacity is a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. With headphones, a microphone, and this software, the creative possibilities are endless. Students can record their own songs, background music for podcasts, etc.
Andrew Wright, Founder and President
Smilebox offers you fun and creative ways to bring your photos to life. Using Smilebox, you can create slideshows, invitations, greeting cards, collages, scrapbooks, and photo albums right on your computer! Smilebox also gives you multiple ways to share your creations: Facebook, email, blog, printing at home or to a store, and burning to a DVD.

Click here to view a sample Smilebox.
Max Levchin,
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Slide offers users a free and easy way to upload photos and create slideshows.

Unknown Tales

Unknown Tales takes the typical Choose Your Own Adventure model and turns it into a collaborative, digital fiction-writing experience. Choose from a variety of genres, select a story and start reading what others have written. When the text ends, you can opt to reserve the next chapter.