Writing for an authentic audience has always been an integral part of all curriculum areas, and having a venue where students can publish and expand their voices, takes this standard to the next level. The important component is knowing which avenues are available for publishing both teacher and student creativity so we can meet that specific standard in Common Core and state standards.
We are curious to know your favorite places for either teachers or students to have their voices heard. Perhaps it’s a magazine that accepts student contributions, an online virtual art collection, or a simple tool that creates e-publications. Think magazines, blogs, poetry, artwork, songs, ebooks, paperback books, letters, etc. Let’s help all educators in building a repository of ideas.
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Hello World! I'm Howard Martin, and Instructional Technology Specialist in Austin, Texas. I've been looking forward to tonight's meeting because I really believe in the power of student publishing through blogging!
My last year in the classroom found me teaching mostly math and science. Suddenly, they needed me to pick up a reading section for about 5 weeks. I love Language Arts, but was totally geared to the other subjects at that time. In order to get my reluctant writers involved quickly, I started a blog for our Reader's Response. Within the week, I had reluctant writers running across the room to write about what they were reading. It was a great experience for them and me.
Blogging provides many opportunities in the 21st Century Classroom for collaboratively completing projects, communicating their own thoughts and ideas, creatively being able to make their post reflect their personality, and much more. After that year, I began my pseudo-addiction to blogging for professional and personal outlets. Having my professional learning network interact through my blog gave me additional resources to bring to my teachers. I'm a huge fan of blogging.
If I went back into the classroom today, you could count on me having a blog and/or a wiki, specifically for student product-sharing and discussion. With tools like Edmodo and PBWorks also, teachers have a great wealth of tools to choose from. I suggest picking just one and running with it. Don't try to go too fast, too deep, or too far ... too soon.
Enjoy the webinar tonight!
I really like ePub Bud - Publish, Convert, Store, and Download free children's ebooks online for the iPad and nook color! I saw a teacher demo the site a year or so ago and just the ease of create an online book really caught my attention. Many teachers have limited time so a tool with user friendly features is a must. Check out some of the cool books created by students on the site. Has anyone used this site before? Share some examples with us.
One of my teachers used Tikatok to have their students create storybooks that they read to kindergarten students. It was very easy to use - the students had no problems using the site. Check it out and see what you think: http://www.tikatok.com/
We use the ipad a lot and use an app called Story Kit and you can publish the stories at their website if you choose to. Also another app is called Toontastic and you can create stories using certain themes and you can use their characters or draw your own and you can upload it to their website and you get the choice to make it public if you want or just give the link to certain people.
Here is another easy tool to publish your own books- Story Jumper. There is a separate section just for teachers. Here is a little snippet from their site: http://www.storyjumper.com/
The StoryStarter™ workbook is a tool for teaching students the creative writing process. The goal of the workbook is to coach students in building the 7 primary components of a story (Character, Challenge, Motivation, Setting, Obstacles, Climax, and Closing). Finishing the 7 steps will give students complete story arcs that they can then develop into rich, detailed stories. You can also adjust the material to fit the needs of your class. Here are just a few ideas you can use to mix things up:
I have used storyjumper with my students to create books on information resources. This is one about the atlas Using an ATLAS - StoryJumper - Jordan's book definitely displays the beauty of a middle school assignment....LOL. The one thing I learned with storyjumper and students is you must put a limit on the pieces added to a book or it will take them forever to create one. I told them they could only use 2 backgrounds and 10 items (including characters) in their book. This allowed them to focus on the content not all of the "stuff" on the site.
Re: We are curious to know your favorite places for either teachers or students to have their voices heard.
My thoughts: I recently attended a Livescribe webinar where the instructor showed me how to upload pencasts to Evernote. I am definitely excited about this because it opens up another creative way to communicate with students.
Livescribe Education. (6 Nov. 2012). Evernote introduction. Retrieved from http://www.livescribe.com/blog/education/2012/10/24/webinar-recordings/
I just came across another e-pub site for kids to create books. It is really easy to use, has a free version as well as REALLY CHEAP paid options: Culture Street http://www.culturestreet.org.uk/activities/picturebookmaker/ The site is definitely for younger kids but I think I would use it for older students too to help them get their feet wet in creating a storybook to share with younger students.
Several teachers in my school have used Mixbook.com to create student books. I have personally used it to create informational text for student projects. You have the option of creating a free e-book version or pay for a bound copy. My students really like using the e-book version I created as a reference choice. The site markets more to the photobook crowd but it has some neat features. One drawback though is that you have to have an e-mail address to create an account. Is the same true for the above sites mentioned?
Both teachers and students voices are an important part of the learning process. Having a way to publish what they have to say or share is so important. It not only gives them a voice but it gives them a venture to express their thoughts, feelings and key learning ideas.