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Posts tagged ‘digital storytelling’

Tip of the Week: I Just Fell in Love with Storehouse

The way that we communicate with one another, the way that we teach, and the way that our kids learn is becoming increasingly visual. Our brains are hardwired to focus on things beyond just text. And we now have tools, including mobile tools, that can help us take advantage of that brain hard-wiring.

And over the last few weeks, teachers and I have been messing with a variety of mobile tools that focus on visual storytelling. Including my new favorite iPad app.

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Tip of the Week: Thinglink and document analysis

I’ve been planning to talk about Thinglink for months. I had the chance to learn more about this last spring and, well . . . I just haven’t gotten to it. I’ve been busy. The dog ate my homework. The internet was down. There was football to watch. There was basketball to watch.

Basically I pushed it to a back burner, told myself that I would play with it some more, and never did.

But I was reminded today at MACE 14 about how cool Thinglink is and all of the awesome stuff you can do with it. So today a quick review and sample.

Thinglink is an online tool that lets you and your students Read more

Ford Institute and Best Practices: Part I – Prezi and Digital Storytelling

it’s the first morning of the Presidential Timeline’s Ford Institute and I am pumped! There are 20 of us here in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library. Our task for the next four days? Working to share ideas and strategies to improve the teaching of social studies.

A few goals during the institute:

  • gaining historical content knowledge
  • strengthening our pedagogical skills
  • getting better at the use of technology

And we started with a couple of basic overarching questions:

  • How is knowledge constructed in social studies?
  • What strategies work?

So . . . as I’m working to create curriculum and learning more about how to use it, I’ll also try and share what us history geeks come up with.

Head over to the institute’s resource page. We’ll be adding to this as we go along. So be sure to refresh the page often. Let the fun begin!

We started with a simple knowledge activation exercise using Prezi. Ryan Crowley, part of the Presidential Timeline team, created a shared Prezi and asked us to add content to it. His guiding questions? Read more

Interactive Civil War maps and digital storytelling tools

It’s always a great day when I get to spend time with people who love talking history. That was my day yesterday. Strategies, resources, what works, what doesn’t.

Good times.

Part of the time involved what I call “play time.” Most teachers have a limited time during a typical day to just play around – browse for resources, chat about scope and sequence, argue about Kennedy’s response to Soviet missiles in Cuba.

You know. The part of the day when real professional learning happens.

It was during this period of sharing and browsing that a teacher found an awesome site that she passed on to me.

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Murally is Google Docs for Visual People

I know that some research is suggesting that there really aren’t such things as visual or auditory learners. Well . . . that research is wrong. Cause I’m a visual learner. No question.

I don’t listen well. I can’t pay attention to audio books. I have trouble staying focused during long lectures and speeches. Just the way it is. And I think I’m a lot like most of your kids – someone who feels more comfortable using visual stuff like graphic organizers, infographics, photos, and videos as part of my learning process.

So I’ve always love tools like Glogster and Wallwisher and Prezi. They help me “see” what I need to understand. They help me organize information in ways that make sense to me.

And I can hear you thinking way over here:

Yeah. So?

Glogster does have an “educational” version but it’s not the same since they started charging money. Wallwisher is now Padlet and Prezi makes me dizzy.

So . . . I need something else. And today, thanks to Kelly over at iLearn Technology, I’ve got a new toy to play with.

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Maps as storytelling tools

I love maps.

Seriously. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love maps.

I spent countless hours during my growing up summers in the cool basement, browsing through boxes of old National Geographic magazines – searching for and studying their wonderful maps. And even today, the monthly arrival of the National Geo mag means nothing gets done until I flip through all the pages checking for those very cool inserted maps. We have more than a few old geography textbooks in my house. Atlases. Gazetteers. Boxes of state maps collected during trips. Folded city maps.

When I left one particular school district, I even took the pull-down maps with me because I knew they were being replaced over the summer and would get thrown out. (That’s just between you and me, of course.)

So today when I ran across the book titled A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers, my to-do list got pushed to the back burner. It’s a very cool book that captures a wide variety of map styles and tells a powerful story about how people view the world.

Drawing a map means understanding our world a bit better. For centuries, we have used the tools of cartography to represent both our immediate surroundings and the world at large–and to convey them to others. In our age of satellite navigation systems and Google Maps, personal interpretations of the world around us are becoming more relevant. Publications, the tourism industry, and other commercial parties are using these contemporary, personal maps to showcase specific regions, to characterize local scenes, to generate moods, and to tell stories beyond sheer navigation. A new generation of designers, illustrators, and mapmakers are currently discovering their passion for various forms of illustrative cartography.

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