I found the link for this collection of Web 2.0 pins for educators on Teach-Lou-Ology. I think that there are several of these floating around on Pinterest, but this one caught my eye with the particular sites that are included. Some of them have been reviewed on this blog, such as Triptico and Storybird. Others are ones that I use regularly (Wordle, Google Docs), but I have not included on this site. And then, there are others I would like to investigate further – such as Animaps. The summaries of each site pinned make this page very helpful.
I found an article on the Langwitches blog that gave a wonderful idea for using QR codes with art. You should read the article here, because it gives great details. To summarize, it explains a project in which the students created magnificent artwork. They then made individual recordings about their artwork. These recordings were uploaded to the web, and QR codes were generated for each link. The QR codes were then adhered to the artwork. Therefore, anyone who passes the artwork that is being displayed can use a “smart” device to scan the code, allowing them to listen to the student’s narrative about the art as the surveyor looks upon the masterpiece.
This generated so many extension ideas for me when I read it that I could not even begin to list them. Think about the power of attaching another media to a bulletin board display of any type of work. It could be an audio narrative or music. It could even be a video! Imagine the electronic portfolios your students could create that would co-exist in the both the “real” and “virtual” worlds! I can’t wait to try it myself!
As a teacher, do you ever have a moment when no one needs your help, and you are standing in the middle of your classroom wondering what you should be doing? In my twenty years of teaching, I think that’s happened twice: when I was student teaching and had no idea what I was supposed to be doing anyway, and today. I showed my students Storybird, which allows you to choose sets of art to illustrate a story that you write. I meant for it to be a station on some computers in my classroom, but the students who started at that station didn’t want to leave. So, I started pulling out laptops until everyone was working on their own stories. For over an hour, there was silence in my room, and every child was engaged in creating his or her own story. We had been studying Figurative Language, and the assignment was to create a story with a winter theme that used at least 4 different types of figurative language.
After lunch, I thought the students might be weary of sitting in front of computer screens. I began saying, “Okay, you have a choice. You can either continue working on your Storybirds or – ” I didn’t even get to finish. They unanimously agreed that they wanted to continue.
Storybird is free. Register as a teacher, and you can add a class of students easily. The students do not need e-mail addresses to register or log in. You can view their work at any time, and they can also view the work of other students in the class by clicking on a tab at the top. They can comment, as can the teacher. It’s online, and easy to share, so they can show friends and family. The teacher can post specific assignments or the students can just create. Collaboration on stories is possible, and reading the stories of others is inspiring. The art work is charming and lovely.
Here is a sample from one of my 4th graders: (I apologize if some of the words are cut off – WordPress does not “play well” with embed codes!)
Created by Kim Ball, a teacher of Gifted and Talented students in San Antonio’s North East Independent School District, The Producer’s Toolbox is a great resource for anyone, teacher or student, who is interested in creating multimedia presentations. It has links to video, audio, and research sites, as well as other fun extras.