TeachersFirst Edge - Digital storytelling

 

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Wattpad - Allen Lau & Ivan Yuen

Grades
10 to 12
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Wattpad is storytelling redefined through an online story sharing community. Become part of the story experience by sharing your thoughts and comments as you read. Create your account...more
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Wattpad is storytelling redefined through an online story sharing community. Become part of the story experience by sharing your thoughts and comments as you read. Create your account to find recommended stories and view most shared by other Wattpad users. Choose a story and add it to your library to easily begin reading where you left off on any device. Add comments at the bottom of each page, or view comments left by other users. If you feel creative, add your own stories and enter writing contests offered in several different categories. Note: some material is labeled mature and should be monitored before sharing with students.

tag(s): creative writing (169), DAT device agnostic tool (159), ebooks (42), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Share Wattpad with students as a resource for free, online reading material. Caution is necessary with this site because it is completely open to the public. Be aware of what your district's restrictions are regarding this kind of activity. Depending on your circumstances and school district policies, this site might best be used under a teacher login. You can put models up on your interactive whiteboard for students to respond to either individually or as a class. You might have reactions to some of the stories or have students write their own critiques of the spotlighted work before sharing what others on the site have posted. Using Wattpad in class might also encourage students to seek out writing on their own and may encourage them to bring in their writing for their classmate's comments. This site might also be a good venue for students who work together on a high school literary magazine or for high school gifted students seeking writing mentors outside of the school community (with parent permission, of course).

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Smithsonian Learning Lab - The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature...more
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Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature to find digital resources including photos, recordings, videos, and text. Sign up to create your own collections, including those found on the site and your own resources. Add annotations and develop quizzes. Easily share your creations or curated collections using social networking links provided. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (277), architecture (83), art history (71), aviation (38), black history (59), civil war (145), dinosaurs (57), explorers (62), images (269), inventors and inventions (97), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a must-add to your list of classroom bookmarks! Search for collections and information throughout the year on all topics. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific collections. Be sure to take advantage of the many features of this site to create customized collections, then have students add additional resources. Have students create quizzes for review of topics. Challenge students to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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TinyTap - Yogev Shelly

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows...more
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows creators to include drag and drop activities, videos, quizzes, and more - all in one activity. Create groups to assign activities to different students. Most games are free; however, some games by professional authors are not free. Play games and activities on any device; however, creation of games requires you to download the free iPad app. At the time of this review, TinyTap worked well on most browsers (except Safari). The free version is public and comments are permitted. Be sure to preview anything before you share with students.

tag(s): assessment (102), DAT device agnostic tool (159), game based learning (110), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use the embed code provided with activities to embed activities on your class website for play at home. Create a link to activities on classroom computers. Create your own activities (or have older students create review materials) to include with lessons. Be sure to watch the demo video for information about creating your own games.

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Twitter Fictional Account Template - Ryan O'Donnell

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a...more
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a background for the wall and upload photos of known associates. As with any Google Doc, choose to share your creation in the upper right corner. See an example here. It is unfinished, so you can see how the directions are directly on the page, and you can get an idea of how it will look.

tag(s): book reports (36), creative writing (169), creativity (111), digital storytelling (150)

In the Classroom

Engage students in classroom learning with the Twitter Fictional Account Template. This site is terrific for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Twitter account page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Create "followers" using other people associated with the main person who were famous at that time. You could use the "followers" boxes to create a mini-timeline. For the backgrounds of each user/follower, you could create a montage about what the person was famous for, or images from that period to establish a setting. Think about using the persons "nickname," if they have one, as their username. Use the Twitter template to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, and then share with students while studying the material. To use the Twitter template to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. Challenge students to use the template as an alternative for a book report. Have them present it orally, embellishing on each character's role in the book. For a unique twist in science class, make a Twitter template page for a periodic element or another science topic. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Twitter template page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make the Twitter template one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. If your students aren't familiar with Twitter, or if you're looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom, read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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PenPal Schools - Joe Troyen

Grades
4 to 12
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based...more
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PenPal Schools connects learners from around the world with three to six-week courses in cross-cultural learning and understanding. After sign up, PenPal Schools matches classes based on class size and age range. Choose courses from four categories based on global issues or American issues. Each week, students log in to complete an assignment that typically involves viewing a video and reading a news article before answering a set of questions. Assignments are aligned with the Common Core Standards. PenPal Schools will work on any device with a modern web browser and an Internet connection.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115)

In the Classroom

Create an account and participate in different courses as part of your studies of current events. Enrich course content by having students create an annotated image based on discussion questions including text boxes, related links, and even video. Use Thinglink, reviewed here, for this activity. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a tool such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

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Adobe Spark - Adobe

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links...more
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links to outside resources, and more. When complete, share using the unique URL or with the social media links provided.

tag(s): blogs (89), creative writing (169), digital storytelling (150), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own story page for parents and students where they can stay updated about what is happening in your classroom. Have students create a visual story to accompany books read in class, tell about social studies events, or display images for different science terms. Adobe Spark is perfect to use for digital storytelling in any subject!

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Share What You're Reading - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing ...more
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing the review submit to Scholastic by filling in a simple form that asks for first name, last initial, and no email required. To discover the next book to read select from a grade level or genre list and then find an interesting title and click to read the review. The More to Explore menu on the left links to How to Write a Book Report with Rodman Philbrick, which is more extensive in depth with Writing Tips, Challenges, and Revision Guidelines.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book reports (36), independent reading (129), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Introduce students to this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the list of books already reviewed, and read a few reviews together. Read the guidelines for writing a review, and create a book report for a book read in class. First, model by creating a rough draft. Next, copy and paste the final version of the rough draft to Share What You're Reading. Last, show the students how to publish. Set up a station in class where students can write up other books they read. Another idea would be to use the published reviews for grammar exercises. Not only can you edit and revise a review, but it could also be a "book talk" to introduce students to a title.

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SMS Generator - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking...more
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking either speech bubble will begin the text message, and click the other one to reply. Save the presentation with a password. Share via embed or QR code or URL.

tag(s): book reports (36), creative writing (169), digital storytelling (150), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Engage students with what they know, text messaging! Inform students you will be creating a text conversation between two historical figures, fictional characters, scientists - anything from something the class is reading. On the whiteboard or with a projector display the SMS Generator. Show students how to use it by having them create the conversation. The text is not limited, but keep it reasonable. Besides using SMS Generator for presentations, it could be used to teach or refine social skills, practice writing in a new language, or explaining a math or science concept to a peer.

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Drafting Board - iCivics

Grades
5 to 12
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Drafting Board is a blended-learning tool, with a set of six modules that guide you through the steps of creating an argumentative essay. Upon completion of all modules, you will ...more
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Drafting Board is a blended-learning tool, with a set of six modules that guide you through the steps of creating an argumentative essay. Upon completion of all modules, you will have a complete essay starting with an introduction, counterpoints, and a conclusion. Download information in three parts: an overview to Drafting Board, a self-guided training PowerPoint, and the teaching guide and tips. You must register with iCivics using email to fully access all of the Drafting Board features. Be sure to read all notes on the site for suggested times for completing activities. The overview to Drafting Board is a three minute video, and it will give you an idea of the topics provided. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view it at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): debate (41), essays (22), expository writing (45), persuasive writing (54), point of view (9), writing (365)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent way to teach an argumentative essay. Complete one essay together using the steps provided, then assign students an essay to complete on their own. You may want to give students a choice of topics to write about from 301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive Writing, reviewed here. Upon completion of their essay, challenge students to create a presentation about their topic using Slidestory, reviewed here. Slidestory allows for narration. Be sure to share a link to the site on your class webpage for students to use throughout the year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ourboox - Mel Rosenberg & Ran Shternin

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, ...more
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, add a title, choose the style of your book (Square Book - a picture book with up to 15 lines of text, or a text-oriented book, more like a long story or novel). Choosing a Square Book enables the ability to have an image (jpeg, png). You can also upload animated GIFs or embed a YouTube Video. Ourboox will step you through the process of getting your book online and publishing it. The pages of the book will flip, and the tool has an accommodation for languages that read from right to left. It can take up to 24 hours for new books to process. Before starting on your own book, you may want to look at others' books to get ideas about the format.

tag(s): digital storytelling (150), ebooks (42), writing (365)

In the Classroom

There is no end to the ideas for stories! Now you can easily publish and share them with Ourboox. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales from their home countries. Encourage your older students to use this tool for digital storytelling projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Add Text - FlamingText.com Pty Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change ...more
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change the color of the text or elect to add more text. Share using FaceBook, Twitter, or Google+ or the URL given. At the time of this review, all images in the Gallery were appropriate for the classroom. However, we recommend to preview the images before you share with younger students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (111), DAT device agnostic tool (159), digital storytelling (150), editing (66), images (269)

In the Classroom

Use Add Text to add captions to images to create memes or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyrics?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class webpage, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Help ESL/ELL learn English by labeling the images. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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Comments4Kids - William Chamberlain

Grades
6 to 12
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We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. Comments4Kids provides that audience. There are four rules for commenting on others' blogs: be relevant,...more
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We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. Comments4Kids provides that audience. There are four rules for commenting on others' blogs: be relevant, be positive, comment only when you have something to say, and always use good conventions (grammar, spelling, punctuation). Explore 5 Smart Ways to get Comments4Kids on your blog, read the Rule of Return, and learn how one teacher manages his students' comments on others' blogs. Back on the main page, click the link to see how another teacher manages blogs and also testimonials from several different professionals about why creating an audience for writing is necessary. Then, start by adding your class blog or your blog to the registration area. Consider Tweeting the blog address under the comments4kids hashtag when you want your students to have a commenting audience. On Twitter, type in #comments4kids, to see the current activity.

tag(s): blogs (89), writing (365)

In the Classroom

If your students blog, you may want to consider using Comments4Kids to encourage them to do their best writing, proofread, and learn how to tactfully and meaningfully comment on others' writing. You might want to consider using the hashtag #comments4kids in your Tweets. Read the 5 Smart Ways To Get Comments4Kids page to learn more. If you are interested in blogging but never have, you might want to check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics For the Classroom. You also may want to use prompts from Thought Questions, reviewed here, as an easy way to get kids writing blogs. There are many other ideas for your students to blog about such as having science students display photos and information about lab work or research findings of a famous scientist. Language arts students can write about the main character in a book. Have literature circle groups create one blog to present the book and its different characters. Create blogs for current events, biographies, or explanations about curriculum topics such as plants.

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Makewaves - Mark and Tim Riches

Grades
1 to 12
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of ...more
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of teachers and students. Audio and video uploads are limited to 30 minutes and you can create three badges. Use personalized badges to create your own missions that relate to classroom studies or current events. Take advantage of the many badges already available on the site. The teacher dashboard allows teachers to monitor and manage student content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (137), gamification (70)

In the Classroom

Create a class account as a tool for sharing and publishing student creations on Makewave's secure platform. Even if you aren't ready to join Makewave, take advantage of the many lessons and badge activities to incorporate into your teaching units. Share Makewave with parents as a resource for individual learning projects for their student.

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shortText - shortText.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use ...more
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use as desired. Options allow users to include a link to a video or image, allow comments, or make the message private.

tag(s): blogs (89), creative writing (169), descriptive writing (42), writers workshop (32), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Use shortText for quick writing projects on an interactive whiteboard or projector. When modeling writing or notetaking in class, open shortText instead of a word document! Enabling comments would allow students to ask questions about the assignment. When finished, share on your class website using the URL created. Have students use shortText in your classroom when using mobile devices to write a short journal entry or exit ticket at the end of a lesson. Be sure to give students the URL for this and have them identify themselves, so you don't end up with 30 URLs to open and assess. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Have students write about how they solved a math problem and include an image of their work. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days. Have students write a post about the snow using shortText and share the URL on a class wiki.

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Buzzsprout - Tom Rossi

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Buzzsprout offers free, easy to use, podcast hosting. Sign up to receive two hours of hosting per month. Uploads remain available for 90 days. Buzzsprout's dashboard walks you through...more
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Buzzsprout offers free, easy to use, podcast hosting. Sign up to receive two hours of hosting per month. Uploads remain available for 90 days. Buzzsprout's dashboard walks you through the process of creating and sharing podcasts and provides information on the time remaining in your current cycle. Copy and paste one line of code to include your podcast directly on any website.
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tag(s): podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Even if you aren't ready to create podcasts, share the How To Make a Podcast page with your students with excellent tips for creating any type of speaking presentation. Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages and listening to themselves. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing a video camera.

Comments

The podcasting 101 information is incredibly helpful for anyone wishing to begin podcasting. It also establishes tips that can be helpful for any speaker (as the description says). Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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radionomy - Radionomy Group

Grades
K to 12
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Run your own radio station with radionomy! radionomy allows you to create, produce and share your personalized station free with your own music or their library of popular music and...more
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Run your own radio station with radionomy! radionomy allows you to create, produce and share your personalized station free with your own music or their library of popular music and podcasts. Add personalized shout outs, voice-overs, interviews, or any audio to make your unique broadcast. Broadcast live or use the 24/7 "scheduler" to keep your station running on air at all times. Be sure to check out radionomy's Quick Guide for more information on all of the available features.

tag(s): digital storytelling (150), journalism (50), podcasts (52), radio (26)

In the Classroom

Enjoy making a live radio show from your classroom! Publish written pieces of writing, science reports, social studies reports, and any other reports you would like to share. Create a new book review podcast for the media center. Link to your podcast URL on your class website, and publish directions to projects, explanations of difficult concepts, or even a radio show with you reading your favorite books for your students. Have upper elementary students take turns reading aloud for a podcast aimed at little reading buddies in kindergarten. Allow students to podcast to "pen pals" in faraway places. Record your school choir, orchestra group, poetry club, or drama club doing their best work or dramatic readings of Shakespeare soliloquies. Take your school newspaper to a new level with recorded radio articles. Be sure to include interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents, authors, artists, and almost anyone. In younger grades, use to save an audio portfolio of reading fluency, expression, or as an aid for running records. Do this regularly throughout the year to analyze growth. Have fun at Halloween with your Halloween station filled with favorite spooky stories, or during the December holidays with stories from different cultures. Welcome your students to a new school year by sending them your message. Create messages for classmates who move away. Bring your world language classes an extra resource of your pronunciations whenever they need more practice. ESL/ELL and special education classes can often benefit from the additional explanations, practice, and elaborated instructions given at their own pace. The possibilities are endless!

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My Storybook - myStorybook.com

Grades
1 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started ...more
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Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started using clipart from My Storybook, upload your images, or use their draw tools to create your own artwork. Click the text box and change the font, font color, and size. Add more text and pages for your book, too. Saving and sharing require an email address. Share by sending the URL to several social networking sites or via email. There is a way to create an ebook or PDF, but those options aren't free. Read storybooks created by others by clicking Library in the top right Menu.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (150), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Show students creation possibilities by viewing a few of the books from the library using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Create a class book to begin. Start with a storyboard such as Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Gone Google Story Builder, reviewed here. Using a storyboard and My Storybook is an effective way to teach students about story elements, dialogue, character development, and more. World language classes can label images, or tell a story in the language they are learning. Work together to complete biographies of famous people. Challenge students to tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using My Storybook. Art students can create a story around their artwork. Autistic or emotional support teachers can create stories demonstrating interpersonal behavior skills. Digital storytelling is an amazing way for students to internalize any subject or concept. It also is an excellent assessment tool.

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Gretchen, FL, Grades: 3 - 8

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Jellybean Writer - Jellybean Scoop

Grades
K to 7
5 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Jellybean Writer is a terrific and simple way to write a digital story. Whether writing a picture book or full page text, choose from several layout templates, background colors, borders,...more
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Jellybean Writer is a terrific and simple way to write a digital story. Whether writing a picture book or full page text, choose from several layout templates, background colors, borders, and fonts. To save stories online, sign up using email. Download and print stories without signing up. Watch Demo Videos from a drop down list located in the upper right corner of the page. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (169), creativity (111), digital storytelling (150)

In the Classroom

Jellybean Writer is so simple very young students can use it successfully after a demonstration using a whiteboard or projector. Use this tool to design simple projects using images to tell the story. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. Teachers can create and manage students. Teachers with free accounts can have up to 25 students. If you have a larger class, there is a "work around" for this. If you have a Gmail account, you can add subaccounts (see directions to do this here). You could create another Jellybean account with this subaccount, but you would end up with two different accounts on Jellybean Writer.

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Gretchen, FL, Grades: 3 - 8

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Seesaw - Charles Lin, Carl Sjogreen , Adrian Graham

Grades
K to 10
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Seesaw is a digital portfolio that is totally free for all devices and on the web. Students can showcase their work, videos, text, drawings, and images, and get feedback from ...more
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Seesaw is a digital portfolio that is totally free for all devices and on the web. Students can showcase their work, videos, text, drawings, and images, and get feedback from teachers and parents. Create a class blog in your Seesaw for students to write blog posts. Teachers create an account with email and then start creating as many classes as needed. There is no limit on the number of students a class can have. Give students a "join" code for their class, and they sign up from there, choosing to access their account through a Seesaw generated QR code or their email. Teachers can enable or disable student likes, comments, and editing. Blog post and comments must have teacher approval before becoming public. Students will be able to reflect on their work with a voice recording or text, and can share artifacts from their portfolio by clicking the red button at the bottom of the screen and then either print or get the item QR code. Once you have an account, click Help & Teacher Resources to find Getting Started Tips, Tutorial Videos, FAQs, and Activity Ideas grouped by grade level. If your district blocks YouTube, the tutorials may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): blogs (89), DAT device agnostic tool (159), digital storytelling (150), portfolios (29)

In the Classroom

Sign up for Seesaw and generate a join code for the class from the menu at the upper right corner or by clicking your name or initials in the left corner to get a drop down menu. The join code expires in 15 minutes, so it is best to do this in your classroom or computer lab. Teachers can add photos, drawings, links, notes, and upload a file from this same menu by clicking the + symbol. You can even add a co-teacher! See Seesaw's FAQs for ways for parents to sign up and letters to send home. Use Seesaw portfolios for any subject or grade level. Once your account is set up, create a simple project or borrow one from the Activities on the Help and Teacher Resources page. Share the project on your interactive whiteboard or projector to get your students started. The teacher portal allows you to access and comment on student work. View the work of an individual or the entire class. The ability to import work from many creation apps to Seesaw makes this a perfect portfolio tool. Don't forget to watch the video about setting up blogs for your students. Remember, this is all free! Science teachers could have students write up their lab reports, take photos of their labs and label them in a portfolio. History teachers could set up portfolios for student report writing or digital storytelling projects. Seesaw is the perfect tool to use during parent conferences.

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Story Map - Read Write Think

Grades
1 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for...more
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for what to write. Returning to an organizer to edit is possible. Print your Story Map, since it is not saved.

tag(s): digital storytelling (150), graphic organizers (42), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Introduce your class to Story Map by writing a class story. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and be sure to point out the prompts to answer with each organizer. Bookmark Story Map on class computers as part of stations when developing a writing project. Put a link to this tool on your website or blog for students to access at home.
 
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