Storify: A teaching tool to differentiate instruction

Storify offers both students and teachers an easy way to gather, arrange and display content and media from around the web.

Storify offers both students and teachers an easy way to gather, arrange and display content and media from around the web.

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

Differentiating Content

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 allows teachers to easily create customized lists of content the attend to student needs, strengths and interests

Storify allows teachers to easily create customized lists of content the attend to student needs, strengths and interests

Differentiating Process

Similarly, Storify provides a simple platform for students to gather and curate their own links, videos and media that they feel are relevant to a piece of research or help illustrate a particular opinion or concept. Again, it is the simple drag and drop functionality within Storify that provides a simple way for students to arrange, organize and/or rank elements and content within their publication.  Students can generate notes or extensions from the “stories” that they and their classmates have created.
As a formative assessment tool, teachers can gauge student understanding and provide feedback on the student-curated content as well as their comments and captions that accompany their Storify projects. Students can easily share their “stories”  with others in their classroom and engage in both self and peer assessment.

Differentiating Product

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.

K. Takahashi

Author: K. Takahashi

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  1. Digital Teaching Resource – Storify | Teaching in the Digital World - […] Takahashi, K. (n.d.) Storify: A Teaching Tool to Differentiate Instruction. Retrieved from: http://teacherstechblog.com/storify-teaching-tool-differentiate-instruction/ […]

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