“What’s Your Story?”: StoryJumper is a safe, educational, and fun site to make writing stories more engaging for children/students of all ages. Personal photos or drawings can be uploaded as illustrations to the text. Stories can be for personal (family memory books, photo albums) or educational reasons (class review, writing process).
How Do I Get Started?: While StoryJumper is fairly easy to learn, it is important to understand the different features before implementing this tool into a classroom lesson. Visit the following links for web tutorials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPRjr 2aijzM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtSLg YcdfWg&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeYS CNbT--g&feature=related
Is This Tool Worth It?: Several testimonials can be found online of real teachers implementing this tool. Below is one of the reviews: ”We used StoryJumper for our computer/writing time yesterday afternoon. The kids loved it, and were REALLY quiet. When I asked them why, they said they were having so much fun that they didn’t want to annoy me lest I end the computer time!” –Sylvia S. 4th grade teacher, CA.
Reviews- Continued: Other reviews can be found at: http://blogs.jefftwp.org/wordpress/walker/2 010/11/08/publish-your-own-childrens-book- with-story-jumper/ http://www.40tech.com/2010/10/14/create -and-publish-your-own-childrens-book-with- storyjumper/
Education Benefits/Objectives: Thistool provides several benefits within the classrom. Relatable/Real-World/Authentic: Digital storytelling can happen anywhere- a business owner promoting a company, a grandparent looking to share memories, or a teacher wanting to ensure comprehension of lesson materials. Therefore, this tool is relatable to basically any society or community.
Continued: Strengthens/Hones Technology Skills: "Like traditional storytelling, digital storytelling helps to build conceptual skills like understanding a narrative and using inductive reasoning to solve problems, but the creation of digital stories also requires the creator to build technology skills through the use of software and other tools," (How Digital Storytelling, 2009).
Continued: Collaborative: Students can work in small groups or as a large class to create a story. This allows students to interact with others and strenghthen communication and interpersonal skills.
Continued: Reflective:Students can reflect on classroom content and apply objectives learned to creating the story. This allows for a greater understanding of classroom lessons and objectives and helps achieve content literacy.
Continued: Student-Centered: This tool provides a unique way to learn the writing process without a long lecture. Students are taking responsibility for their own learning, and are allowed to be creative and experiement with new modes of creation and implementation.
Other Benefits: Teacher can manage and review student stories. Students can work from both school and home (if he or she has Internet access). Classroom editions can be created, giving a sense of accomplishment to the students, allowing the final step of the writing process to be met, and provides examples to future students. It is a great organizational tool. It helps students who struggle to write find enjoyment. It showcases student work. It provides a creative outlet.
Pros to Using StoryJumper: It makes classroom learning more interactive. It can make the writing process more engaging and fun. Students feel a sense of accomplishment when they realize they have a published story. Students and teachers can work together to complete a task. Similarily, it can help form a bond between family members. It provides a forum for communication. It can be applied to authentic, real-world tasks. Students can upload their own photos and drawings. It’s free and easy to use.
Cons to Using StoryJumper: Though StoryJumper can be used by students of all ages, the interface appears slightly childish, which could turn off both educators and older students. The example stories given are for a much younger audience; books for older students do not appear as examples to view. Some students may find it too easy and get distracted. Some students may prefer to handwrite stories and struggle with successfully completing the technology portion of the assignment. While signup and creation are free, the books created are not and cost. If you use clipart from online sources, the pictures arent always transparent for layering.
Lesson Plan Ideas (ILA): The following list is a compilation of lesson ideas using StoryJumper in an English Language Arts classroom: Create a personal narrative story. Have older children create a children’s story teaching them a lesson about life. Create a myth about our society. A unique take on a book report A current spin on an old classic story- making a fable, Shakespeare play, etc. more modern.
Lesson Plan Ideas: OtherContent Areas: Social Studies: Make a map and have the character go on a journey of the different places studied in class. Science: Create a story of a science concept and chronicle the events (cell, atom, body part, etc) Gym/Phys. Ed: Make a book explaining the rules of a particular game and give examples. Family Living: Explain the steps of sewing, laundry, balancing a budget, or make a book of family recipes brought in by students. Math: Create a story that uses math concepts in every day life(building a deck, traveling a distance, checking out items at the grocery store).
StoryJumper Example:Iused StoryJumper to create my own story about learning to appreciate life. I set the story in the ocean and added all of the text and graphics. The main characters are Gary and Joy. This story is mainly for children, but it can teach anybody a lesson.
Final Thoughts/Opinions:I enjoyed creating my story. The program was relatively easy to learn and could be used for a variety of reasons. I think my students would enjoy this tool for the simple ability to be creative. I am looking forward to implementing this tool in our narrative unit. I will ask the students to create a book instead of writing an essay, and I am anxious to see how it turns out. I am also going to recommend this tool to the other teachers in my department.