Monday, September 23, 2013

Using the Vine App to Promote Literacy

These Vines are from Mr. Schu, a phenomenal elementary school librarian. Click to watch the Vines in action. Vine is a tool for making very short videos that loop, and replay. Although used for many purposes, Mr. Schu found a way to integrate the app into the school setting.

First graders learning to resize and cite images.

To learn about Mr. Schu, and all the fabulous things he does, follow his blog and follow him on Twitter. Click on images below to access each.


Twitter (and there's a reason he has over 13,000 followers--he shares great resources daily)

If you have a chance to explore some of his resources, let us know what you think. Would you consider using the Vine app in your teaching?

Learning to Use VoiceThread in EDUC584

This is a practice VoiceThread we created in EDUC584, spring 2012. That semester, we Skyped with authors and a few teachers. We photographed and video recorded the sessions. We used pictures from our Skype sessions to create this practice VoiceThread. This one was used just to demonstrate how the site works and is not intended as a finished product. The VoiceThread is being embedded, but following it are hyperlinks to VoiceThreads that teachers taking EDUC584 created for use in the classroom or with their students.

This link goes to a VoiceThread a teacher created in which her students do the voice recordings.

Ms. Field's First Grade Animal VoiceThread

This one was created by a teacher to tell students about herself at the beginning of the school year.

Jamee Introduces Herself to Her Students

Maribeth's VoiceThread with Her Students' Drawings (Pre-School)

How might you consider using VoiceThread in your own teaching? The site has some samples for review, so you can also check those for ideas. Here is a link to some that I saved for reference.

The site also showcases VoiceThreads on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

Here's a link to those showcased this past month.
Here's a link to ones showcased during a week.
Last, these VoiceThreads were showcased on a specific day.

Overall, what is your impression of this tool, which can be used on computers, tablets, and even phones? What ideas do you have for using VoiceThread with students?

Learning to Use Storybird in EDUC 584

Storybird is an easy tool to use once you start playing around with it. As with other tools, the first time around will be trial and error, but once you get the knack of it, it will be easier to use the next time around. First, get the knack of it before you use it with students.

Once you open your account, go to setting, and note how you can set the age bracket to filter the kinds of illustrations that students will be able to use. This is an important feature to use when implementing the program in the school setting. I created the below using an age setting for elementary students.

Here is a quick example. Note when using Storybird, once a theme and illustration set are chosen, you begin by creating your cover for the book. You  use the + sign in the program to advance to the next page, but each time, you need to hit the Save button to save a page before advancing to your next page. You simply drag and drop the illustration you want on the page, and then use the space for writing text to compose your story line for that page. Once done with the page, remember to hit Save and then hit the + sign to advance to the next page. When your story is completed, go to the Menu to save it, and you will be prompted with specific options. Once your story is successfully processed, you can go back in and get the embed code to copy so you can embed your story in a blog post. You can also grab the URL for the story if you prefer to use that to direct viewers to your story on the Storybird site.

To view this story, use the full-screen option, which is in the lower right-hand corner.

Here are some links to find examples created by former EDUC 584 students. They created these stories to read to their students. In other cases, students worked with the teachers to create the stories, doing this as a collaborative project, with students selecting the illustrations and dictating or typing the text for each page in the story.

Anna created several posts about her use of Storybird with her kindergarteners:

Mari Beth created this one to use with her preschoolers

Bryan created this one to use with his second graders.
Now that you've seen some examples, how do you envision using a tool like Storybird with students?