This session, recorded as always was one in which we took a look at some online story making tools in one of our “quick and easy tools” explorations. These are occasional sessions where I put up a list of a few tools and each participant chooses one (preferably one unknown to them) to explore for ten minutes and then give feedback to the rest of us. The first time I did this the tools were a mixture of different functions however more recently I have chosen ones with similar purposes.
My personal rationale for “ten minutes to explore” is that if it takes too long to “pick up” the basics of using any tool then the focus of the “lesson” in which it is being used may change from the educational purpose to the tech being used. In other words we risk using “tech for tech’s sake” rather than as a tool to achieve the educational purpose.
The decision to explore story makers for exploration comes from the fact that I have been investigating story makers for use with my own students. When looking for possible tools to explore I was surprised at how few there were that did not have a very heavy focus on using audio. I specifically wanted text and images both: to meet the needs of my adult literacy curriculum; and to keep the process simple. I find that digital story making applications with audio can be time consuming for students to learn if they want (as they invariably do) both voice and music in the audio. So this session only looked at four tools – these were:
We started with a have you used it and to what degree on the four tools to be explored. This revealed that most of us had some awareness of, or familiarity with at least one or two of them and one participant was very familiar with two of the four.
- how easy to learn the basics
- how engaging to use
- a lesson/context in which to use it
- whether they personally would use it with students
After the ten minutes everyone came back and took turns in talking about the ease of use and other features of the tool they had explored. There were also some great ideas for use in class.
We finished with some feedback and a look at our best takeaways from the session.
This was great session! These are always great fun and much enjoyed by all. I have recently shown Storybird to my own students who are taking part in the ELFADA project. One of their projects is an online story that they will embed in their blogs and they have been exploring some different types of stories made with applications they are already familiar with (PowerPoint/Slideshare and Toondoo) as well as Storybird which is new to them.
Our next session will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday May 24th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday May 25th at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic.