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31 of My Favorite Digital Storytelling Sites

I am working on starting a virtual classroom…actually when it is all said and done, it will look more like a virtual club.  I have opened up my virtual classroom to students in 3rd-8th grade.  My first offering is going to be digital storytelling.  In honor of that, I thought I would share the sites I am going to use with the students, as well as some other favorites for digital storytelling. 1. Google Search Stories Video Creator– This is a YouTube site that lets you create a digital story out of a series of Google Searches, you really have to check it out to get the full effect! 2. PicLits– This is an all time favorite of mine, PicLits lets students choose a picture and then draw from a word bank to create a sentence or story to accompany the picture. 3. Domo Animate- This is my favorite story animation tool.  It gives students so much flexibility and freedom in telling their story, the results are amazing! 4. StoryBird- This site lets students create stories based on beautiful illustrations by real artists; better yet, it lets students create stories collaboratively! 5. Animoto– The free version of Animoto lets students create 30 second videos that combine images, songs, and text. It combines them all for an impressive presentation without a lot of fuss. 6. ZooBurst- ZooBurst is one that I haven’t used with students yet but I am excited to.  ZooBurst is a new site that lets students create virtual 3D popup books.  Even better, it lets students print out a special marker and view their popup book augmented reality style as it comes to life using a webcam! I couldn’t fit in all of my favorite digital storytelling tools into a 5 week class, here are some more favorites: 7. Myths and Legends 8. Shidonni– One of my students very favorite websites of all time, this one gets requested a lot! 9. Smile Box 10. Kerpoof– another student favorite! 11. Glogster 12. Creaza 13. Voice Thread 14. Graphic Novel Creator- Comic Master 15. Stage’d 16. ePub Bud– publish ebooks for ebook readers like the iPad 17. Virsona– a different kind of digital storytelling but neat none the less! 18. Zimmer Twins– one of my students very favorite ways to tell a story! 19. Fotobabble 20. Picture Book Maker 21. Nota– collaborative workspace 22. My Story Maker 23. Xtranormal 24. Do Ink 25. Piki Kids Comic Creator 26. Bubblr! Sites to get students writing: 27. Lightening Bug 28. What-if questions for stories 29. The Story Starter Jr. -Created by my friend Joel Heffner! 30. The Story Starter- Also created by Joel! 31. PinBall-bounce ideas around

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History for Music Lovers: Brilliance

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, History, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Music, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Websites | Posted on 08-02-2011

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What it is: Thanks to a tip from Jan, an iLearn Technology reader, I learned about the History for Music Lover’s YouTube channel yesterday.  Oh. My. Goodness. Instant love. Seriously, if I had learned history this way, I would have rocked it!  As it turns out, I actually met @amyburvall, the genius history teacher behind History for Music Lover’s at ISTE 10 in Denver and didn’t make the connection (feeling like a jerk for not figuring that out!).  I starred in a video with one of the stars of the MansaMusa video “Magnus” the fashion police guy at ISTE.  Small world.  You MUST check out this YouTube channel, even if YouTube is blocked in your building. (As a side note…someone remind me WHY we block students from learning opportunities??)

History for Music Lovers is a collection of music videos (high quality I tell ya!) centered around events and people in history set to popular songs.  Amy Burvall, IB high school history teacher, is the creator and star of the videos.  Coolest history teacher ever. My high school history teacher sang one song to us: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. True story.  It was not engaging, inspiring, or helpful in my learning of history.

On the History for Music Lovers YouTube channel you’ll find:

I think it is awesome that the 80’s is so well represented in this list :)  that Amy Burvall is one talented girl!

How to integrate History for Music Lovers into the classroom: This is my new favorite way to introduce a history topic.  If this doesn’t grab student attention and leave them wanting to learn more, I don’t know what will.  The collection of videos is a fantastic place to start learning.  The lyrics give students just enough information that when they begin fleshing out the period or figure in history with additional reading or research they will have a solid base to build from.  The lyrics are catchy, students will forever associate William the Conqueror with Sexyback.

Students can embed these videos in their own history Web 2.0 creations and presentations.  I’m currently using Capzles with a group of 8th graders and imagine them embedding these videos in their timelines along with images, and their blogged reflections.

Are your students as inspired by music as Ms. Burvall is? Encourage students to tackle a figure or historical time that hasn’t been done yet and create their own historical song parody.

Tips: For those of you who don’t have access to YouTube in your building (again I have to ask why?) you can still use these awesome videos in your classrooms with a little bit of pre-planning.  Download and save YouTube videos so that you can show them at school without accessing the YouTube site. Use KeepVid, YouTube DownloaderHD, Kick YouTube, SaveVid, or Zamzar.  Some of these tools will even let you download at school if you know the YouTube url.  The downloaded video should have no trouble playing at school!

Follow History For Music Lovers, historyteacherz on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, did you know you can become a fan of iLearn Technology on Facebook? It’s true! I don’t have a fancy dancy Twitter account especially for iLearn Tech but feel free to follow me on Twitter. I like talking education, technology, and am in general a geek :)

** This is the LONGEST it has ever taken me to write a blog post, I got sucked right in and watched each and every video.  On the bright side my knowledge of history has increased substantially today.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using History for Music Lovers videos in your classroom!

Comments (7)

WOW! Thanks for the lovely comments and encouragement! And the student project idea is a good one- I’ve been doing that for a few years and the results are amazing!
More to come!
-Amy Burvall of the historyteachers

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, Kyle B. Pace, nancyrubin, Helen S T and others. Helen S T said: RT @ShellTerrell: History for Music Lovers: Brilliance http://bit.ly/eNA27M by @ktenkely #edtech […]

Thank YOU Amy for such an awesome resource!

I am so thoroughly impressed by all of these videos! I never knew they existed before. I teach 6th grade Social Studies and we work with the Ancient Civilizations. I can’t wait to put some of these up on my Smartboard. Thank you so much for giving directions to download them for schools who can’t use youtube. (I am at one of those schools, sadly)

Aloha from the waves in Hawaii. Great post. How you can be so fashion forward, beautiful and a total geek is a mystery. 😉 “Twitter, like our lives, is neither stagnant nor
stream of conciousness. Neither rehearsed nor improv.
Rather, it is the ever-shifting life in the now,
the creative spawn of the consantly evolving present
moment, fresh and exciting, combined with the steady,
calming presence of our knowledge of the past.” — Mr J aka Magnus Von Magnussen

Magnus all I can say is…it is a gift- ha!

You and me both Stacy! Hope that the download option means that you can share them with your students!

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