Storify is an online application where users can create a story (although you can think of it as a list, collection or lesson) by bringing together material and content from other social media platforms. This Web 2.0 platform presents the opportunity for teachers to further differentiate content, process and product within their own classrooms. Content can be pulled from a number of sources such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and Google – to name just a few. Searching for content takes place within the Storify interface and adding content to your “story” is as simple as dragging and dropping elements from your search results into your storyline. You can also add your own text (headers, captions, etc.) and links to your “story”.
Publishing your work allows you to share via a link that you can send out yourself or publicize your work via Twitter or Facebook. Readers can further share your publications via email or through their own preferred social media platform. Storify also provides an embed code for those looking to embed a published “story” on their own website or blog.
Storify for the Classroom – The Possibilities
Create an online lesson or resource that can be posted to on your website or use the HTML embed code to embed your publication within your own learning management system (LMS) or website. You can create a mini lesson or generate a list of media and links to support a lesson very quickly. All of those relevant and supporting articles, images and YouTube videos that you want supplement your lesson can now be corralled into one place complete with your own guiding text and titles. Media content that you add is viewable and playable from within your “story” so students can stay within the context of your lesson rather than navigating away to other sites.
You now have another way to produce, present and distribute content that can be differentiated according to student interest, readiness or learning preference. It is the ability to drag and drop content that enables a teacher to piece together a piece of content or several pieces of content that are customized to the needs and strengths of their students. Not a lot of time fussing with backgrounds and digital decorations but rather the ability to bring together a variety of content into a presentable “story” or publication.
Storify provides another compelling choice for students to demonstrate their learning through the creation of a Storify publication. For me this is a great alternative to creating a website or blog. If you have students that have created videos or photos, those elements can be quickly added to their “story” if they have been uploaded to a social platform like YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, etc.
As always if you are looking at any Web 2.0 or social media platform to support student learning in your classroom, you are going to want to be sure to do your homework and understand the conditions and agreements that you and your students are acknowledging when you hit the “accept” button. Schools and school boards will also have policies, procedures and guidelines for social media. Be sure to understand and adhere to these important guidelines before engaging in the vast selection of online tools and platforms.