Teaching Story Development to Digital Natives with StoryJumper
It’s Thursday and that mean it is time for Chromebooks in Education to highlight a Web 2.0 cool tool for student production. A partnership teacher and I were preparing lesson concepts for next year when we stumbled across StoryJumper. As I write this, my mind is racing with applications for this web tool.
The graphics are a little crude, but that isn’t necessarily a drawback. The attempt (and the fear of potential failure) to achieve professional / polished work can be intimidating for students that aren't tech savvy. That anxiety stifles students’ creativity in my opinion. A sloppy looking platform gives students the freedom to get past the details and into the meat of the learning objective. Additionally, the interface of the program is simple and students will not be bogged down in the navigation or manipulation that can be common with products like Prezi.
Graphics from: www.storyjumper.com
The images available within the program lend themselves to fictional or fantastical tales; great for the younger audience. However, when needed students can supplement the library stock with uploaded images. As a result the application is useful to all grade levels.
The StoryJumper site is going to increase the learning and literacy skills of all grade levels (but not in the same way). Younger students will love working with graphic manipulatives in their story. It will encourage their creative instincts while they develop their 21st century skills including digital learning, critical thinking, decision making and communication. Older students will have fun with those features but also be cognitively ready to take advantage of the programs’ story development aids. The program offers stimulation to most learning types; tactile, logical, linguistic and spatial learners.
What I was most impressed with was the length to which the developers went to to make this website classroom ready. First, this website will work on any browser. That consideration isn't as important in Moore County, NC because we have great hardware in the hands of our students (HP Chromebooks), but it may be a relevant consideration for your LEA’s situation. Second, teachers’ accounts are free & they can set up “classroom” lists with students, usernames, and set time limits for in-class work (students have the option to create "at home" accounts to show their creation to their parents or work from home). Third, there is a one-click button that will create “getting started handouts” for each student with their personal log in information. Last but definitely not least, scaffolding and differentiation have been built into the program! Click on “Help” and find the link “download worksheet”. Seen below, the worksheet walks students through all the steps of character and story development.
TIP: If you are not in a one to one environment, students can complete story worksheets & storyboards ahead of time to maximize time on task when you have hardware access.
Graphics from: www.storyjumper.com
I love this website and I can't wait to start using it in MCS classrooms next year. I see this fitting perfectly with our ELA, History, Foreign Language, and Science instruction. If you can think of anything else, put in the comments box below and share with our PLN.
Read Graphite’s review here:
Read Common Sense Media’s review here:
Digital Integration Facilitator
Moore County Schools