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Samarost

What it is: Samarost is an intriguing flash website where students are dropped in the middle of a strange new universe where they must solve a variety of challenging puzzles.  Students play a character that they must help save from an asteroid collision.  There are no instructions on how to play the game, students simply use their best reasoning and deduction to solve the puzzles.   With multiple levels, students can put those observational and reasoning skills to good use.  I like that there are no instructions or hints about how to play the game, students learn how to play as they interact with the site.   How to integrate Samarost into the classroom: Samarost is an excellent challenge puzzle that will make students think in new ways and work to solve a problem.  I like the idea of solving the problems as a class using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer.  Students can offer each other suggestions and tips about why a course of action might help solve the puzzle.  There are enough levels to solve for each student to get a turn at the board.  Samarost could also be played on individual computers in a lab setting or on classroom computers as an on-going center activity.  If this is a center activity that many students will visit and work on together, you can have each student keep observational notes of what they have done and what they have tried to help the next student who visits the center.    Since there are no rules or back story to this site, it would be fun to incorporate it into a creative writing project.  Students could create a back story and explanation of what is happening to the character in Samarost. Tips: This game is best for students who are 9 or older. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Samarost in your classroom.

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Google Story Builder: Create a video story Google style

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Foreign Language, Government, History, inspiration, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Spelling, Subject, Technology, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 18-03-2014

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iLearn Technology Google Story Builder- Easily create short video stories

What it is:  I can’t help but love Google’s commercials. They are brilliant in their simplicity and weave together a story beautifully. In the past, Google let you build a story by way of a Google search. Now with Google Story Builder, you can build a video story that looks like it is being typed live between two collaborators in a Google doc. SO very happy! It couldn’t be simpler, any age could create a fantastic little video with this tool! Students create some “characters” for their story. These characters are the Google Doc collaborators. Next, students type text for each collaborator to add to the doc. Finally, students choose music to accompany their video. That is it! When students are finished with their video, they can share it via a weblink.

How to use Google Story Builder in your classroom: Google Story Builder is an outstanding little tool for sharing a story or learning. It allows students to demonstrate learning or understanding in a fun, easy way. A lot of tools can become THE focus of a project. You know how this goes, as soon as you mention that students will be creating a video project all of the learning journey goes out the window and immediately the focus is on the hilarious video they are going to create. The learning can become an after thought. With Google Story Builder, this isn’t the case. The outcome is going to look similar for everyone so the focus is the learning and story. Creativity comes through the story and the music chosen. This is the best kind of creativity, it requires students to know the topic or subject well enough to create a mini parody of it.

Students could use Google Story Builder as a book report. Students can think about major themes or the climax of a story and retell it through the collaboration the story characters in this Google Doc. How awesome would it be to have Romeo and Juliet creating a document together? How about Junie B. Jones and That Jim I Hate? The Little Red Hen asking for collaborators for her latest cooking project?

As students learn about major players in history, they can create a Google Story about those historical figures and their interaction if they had a shared Google Doc. For example students might imagine the writers of the US constitution drafting the constitution as a Google Doc. Or Galileo arguing with the “church” (the story I told in my video).

Students could personify any inanimate object or idea as a character in a Google Story. How about parts of speech arguing which part of speech is the best or should be used in the sentence being typed? Countries of the world telling all about what they are known for? Periods of history as characters? Science ideas (evolution vs. creation)? Math stories including characters like Odd Todd and Even Steven? The possibilities are as varied as your student’s imaginations!

Teachers can create a Google Story to help their kids with inference. Create a story between two characters and ask students to infer about context. What is happening? Do you think the characters are friends or foe? Why? What do you think they are working on together?

Tips: I created the Google Story above as an example. What will you use Google Story Builder for in your classroom?

 

Rodan + Fields Consultant

Comments (3)

Hey

its not working anymore? When I try your link or my own it gives error:

“Traceback (most recent call last):
File “/base/data/home/runtimes/python/python_lib/versions/1/google/appengine/ext/webapp/_webapp25.py”, line 714, in __call__
handler.get(*groups)
File “/base/data/home/apps/s~docsstorybuilder/0-5-2.374820600079542031/app/pages/story.py”, line 50, in get
self.render(“story”, cgi.escape(values))
NameError: global name ‘cgi’ is not defined”

My name is Megan Long and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Before this class, I never really explored all of the resources that Google has available for free. Now, I am using Google Mail, Google Drive, and Google Calendars. I have never heard of Google Story! I believe that this is a great resource for teachers to use in the classroom, especially for visual learners. I will definitely explore this resource more. Thanks for sharing!
If you would like to connect with me through social media: LongMeganEDM310.blogspot.com, Twitter @MeganElaineLong

Sad! It looks like it is currently not working :(

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