Featured Post

#Twitacad Twitter Academy: Starting a School

There are some things, that when presented to you in life, you want to run away from.  In my experience, those things I want to run away from, are often a window into my future.   My immediate reaction is to resist, but in the end, as I get more comfortable with the idea, I end up embracing it with passion.  Over the past 3 years, I have been approached by different people, in different walks of life, to start a school.  The first time conversation headed in this direction I was intrigued and, if I’m honest, totally terrified.  What do I know about starting a school?  I continued the conversation because I love talking education and learning and thought I might learn something in the process.  Last year, my mindset about starting a school began to change.  I can’t pinpoint exactly what caused that change, maybe it was being in a private school and realizing that even there, education isn’t what it should be.  Sure there are more resources, money, involved parents, more freedom, but education is still being done the same way it has been for nearly a century.  We have tools and resources at our disposal that would make customizing education a much easier task than it was even 20 years ago and yet the direction we are heading in is to standardize more and individualize less. Somewhere in the span of a year, I decided to really take this on.  Even if the end result wasn’t a school, I wanted to really intentionally re-imagine education.  I wanted to re-imagine what a school is.  I brought together a few teachers who share my passion for education and learning and a passion to improve education.  Two of us decided to pursue what it would take to make our ideas a reality and start a school.  We brought an entrepreneur into the mix who has no background in education but knows how to build a business.  That may seem like a strange thing to do, but we both felt that an outside perspective is needed.  Sometimes we are too close to education to get a clear view of the possibilities that exist because we can build up walls that are unnecessary.  The three of us are coming to a place where we are ready to invite more voices into the mix.  I would relish your input in the formation of this school.  This is your opportunity to help shape education!  I think the best way to ask for that input is through Google forms.  I will be throwing out Google Forms with questions about education, learning, school design etc. over the next few months, I hope you will help out when you can. First I should give you a 10,000 foot view of what we are looking to accomplish.  I don’t want to give away too many details just yet because as I am asking for input, I want it to be separate from our ideas and biases.  We are looking to create a replicable school model that could eventually take the place of public education.   Right now it is our feeling that public education is beyond tweaking.  Education needs a major overhaul and re-imagining.  To try to do this within the current system is going to be slow at best.  We want the school to be free for everyone (tuition-free) but private (not government-funded).  I will post more later about our ideas for how to accomplish that.  The focus of the school will be building up a community of learners.  I will be adding more details and fleshing this out for those who are interested in later posts. With this in mind, I would love your help with the first round of questions.  If you can take a minute to help out it would be greatly appreciated.  This first Google form focuses on the learning environment.  Don’t feel like you have to answer each and every question, answer those that you have an opinion about or are passionate about. Loading… You may be wondering what the title of this post is all about… about a month ago @cybraryman1 and I came up with the idea of Twitter Academy, the ideal school created and shaped by educators on Twitter.  As I progress with this project, I will be using the hash tag #twitacad on Twitter to follow conversations and progress.  Please feel free to add to that conversation by adding #twitacad to any of your tweets.  @cybraryman1 has started a page on his awesome site for Twitter Academy.

Read More

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3

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 :(

Write a comment

*