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Stixy

What it is: Stixy is a fun and easy way for students and educators to collaborate online.  Stixy reminds me of Wallwisher, but has many more options for sharing.  Start out with a blank virtual bulletin board.  Use the Stixy widgets to add content or functionality to your board, positioning them anywhere.  Users can add notes, photos, documents, or to-do items.  After content has been added to a board, it can be shared with others of your choosing.  Those that have been invited to the Stixy board can be given permission to add content, upload, or edit. How to integrate Stixy into the classroom: Stixy is an excellent tool for the classroom.  Use it as a communication tool for your students.  Create a classroom board where you post homework, resources, to-do items, etc. for your students.  Students can, in turn, submit assignments via the document upload, add notes asking questions of the class, and participate in online discussions.    When working on group projects, students can create a Stixy board where they can collaborate virtually.  Here they can post ideas, research findings, and deadlines for the group. Stixy can also be used as a virtual portfolio for students.  Ask each student to create a Stixy board for the year (or per semester, trimester, or quarter).  Throughout the year, students can add their content and learning to the board.  Teachers, other students, parents, and family members can be invited to view the board throughout the year.  Students can view their learning and progress in one place and parents, teachers, and other students can leave feedback and encouragement on the Stixy board.   This virtual portfolio can “travel” with students as a body of evidence.  I would prefer getting a virtual portfolio of learning over a report card of grades any day! Tips: Stixy does require that users have email addresses.  If you are working with students that have not been assigned a school email account, you can use a service like tempinbox.com or mailinator.com to set up an account.  Stixy does not specify a minimum age requirement for use and does not require any personal information for use. Leave a comment and share how you are using Stixy  in your classroom.

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Inklewriter: interactive story designer

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Government, History, Interactive book, iPod, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 05-02-2013

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What it is: Inklewriter is a great digital tool that lets students (and teachers if you are so inclined) write and publish interactive stories.  Inklewriter lets students create choose-your-own-adventure type stories, story lines can come with choices and then be linked back together.  Inklewriter makes this process easier by keeping track of which story paths have been finished and which still need work.  There is no set-up required, no programming language to learn and no diagrams.  Inklewriter is free to use and easy to share with the world when it is published.  When a story is finished, it can even be converted to Kindle format!

I found the Inklewriter format to be pretty intuitive and easy to use.  I think intermediate elementary and older will have no trouble using this tool for creative and informative writing.

How to integrate Inklewriter into the classroom: Inklewriter is a great digital tool for creative writing.  Students can explore multiple plot lines and what-if scenarios in their fictional writing.  I also like the idea of using Inklewriter to ask kids to explore the “what-ifs” in history.  What if we lost/won this war/battle?  What if the other guy (or girl) had been elected president?  What if the Berlin wall hadn’t come down?   These types of stories are fantastic opportunities for students to explore their curiosities and, in the process, learn more about the event they are exploring.  After all, you have to know something about how an event actually went in order to write alternate endings.

Inklewriter would be a fun way for students to come up with alternate endings to a novel they are reading.  Our students wrote a variety of endings for The Giver.  Each student wrote a different ending that picked up from the last chapter of the book.  Inklewriter would have been a great tool to use for all of these endings to be available in one place.  Students could copy/paste the last paragraph of the actual book and then offer their alternative endings as options.

In science, students could use Inklewriter as a tool to record their hypothesis. Students can write out the objective and steps in their experiment and make a new “alternate ending” for their various hypothesis.

In math, students could create story problems where they lead others down the path to discover the correct answer.

Tips: These interactive stories are MADE for your tablet devices…if you have some in your classroom, take advantage of them!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Inklewriter in your classroom.

Comments (2)

Iv’e never seen anything like the InkleWriter! It is a very unique and interesting way to tell a story! With all of the link words and phrases, it can really keep a reader on his or her toes. It is easy enough for students to use and can help them to write better, and come up with unique story lines. Thank you for sharing this program with the world! I enjoyed reading about the InkleWriter.

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