Given my conviction that storytelling is at the heart of learning, I was always going to be intrigued by a new curation tool and website which makes the creation of stories simple and intuitive. Alerted to Storify through my Twitter PLN (Personal Learning Network) where so much of my learning comes from these days, I decided to experiment with it and effectively write this latest blogpost using it as an alternative platform. To stimulate some discussion around a topic I posed the question ‘What is an academic?’ on Twitter and followed it up with ‘Do teachers regard themselves as academics, and would they choose to do so anyway?’. The responses were intriguing. I saved the tweets to my ‘Storypad’ (see notes on how to do this at the end of the blogpost), added some text and quotes from other sources, and published my story under the Education section. Unfortunately, because this is not a self-hosted blog, I am unable to embed the story here in its original format but I have added a screenshot of the introduction to let you see what it looks like. If you want to read the whole story just follow this link to My Storify
To create a story using Storify, just follow these simple steps:-
- Decide on a topic or theme
- Decide which media to include in your search (available sources include Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google, YouTube and others)
- Search media
- Save chosen media items to Storypad
- Click and drag selected items to story template
- Re-arrange structure as required
- Add text and commentary
- Publish to Storify
To save tweets to the Storypad (or desktop):-
- Open selected tweet
- Click on the day or time tag at the top left (this opens the tweet in a new window)
- Click on the ‘Storify’ symbol below the tweet
- Save to Storypad or an existing story (text or comment can be added at this stage if you want it)
As storytelling and essay writing become more digitally based, I think Storify provides an attractive platform for learners and teachers to experiment with new formats, It also gives the teacher a context in which to discuss issues such as plagiarism, cut and paste, ‘value added’, creativity, effective internet searching, essay structure and effective storytelling. What do you think?
I really like the idea of Storify. I thought about using it with my 10-year-olds – and almost used it because the stories can be “closed” to outsiders.
Then I saw the “You must be age 13 or over” condition and decided to stick with regular Google docs.
Howver, I’m thinking of sending out parent permission slips to use it.
That’s a bit of a shame Janet. I must admit I hadn’t seen that myself, so I suppose that would restrict its use to secondary school, or going down the ‘parental permission’ route which is a bit of additional admin I’m sure you could do without. Would be interested to hear how that story pans out!
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I feel rather idiotic, but I don’t see what this offers that a more common blog format offers? What am I missing?
Not idiotic at all! It’s a good question. What I think it offers over a blog is the ‘curation’aspect – the ability to gather information from a range of sources and assemble in a single place. This process helps with the planning of the ‘story’, which in many cases will actually be an essay. From the teacher’s point of view it also provides the opportunity to discuss such issues as the validity of information, the hierarchy of importance and so on.
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