26 March 2013

Curate: 4 Ways To Use Storify to Focus Your Research and Ideas

I felt this way often as a student - (who are we kidding, I feel this way as a blogger often, too) - you sit down to write out an essay, research outline, or journal entry, and have a general, broad idea of where you want to go, but CANNOT BEGIN. Where do you begin?

Let the social media search tools at Storify.com give you some ideas. Here are 4 ways to try:

1. Get unstuck.
There's a search box on the landing page. Use it a little like Google's "I'm feelin' lucky" and see what a word gives you. I used "statistics."

I'm going to use the link with that guy with his back to us to find alternative texts/blogs for my AP Stats students to read. Boom. You could do this in your classroom in a current events discussion, or pre-reading activity to activate prior knowledge or misconceptions on the day's/week's topic.

2. Use Storify to archive everything said on a given hashtag, or everything your friends have said during a given time period. Tonight I used Storify to produce an archive of our #statschat.

Archiving tweets/status updates/images can help you find that one tweet you saw that one time in context with others. What's it matter that you found it, if you can't remember why? :)

3. Compile multiple resources on the same subject. 
Once you go to create a story, you can search Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, YouTube, and Google Search for results on your keywords. Here are some resources on "solving linear equations."

A teacher could use this to compile reading/viewing material for in or out of class, students could be tasked with developing their own stories as content experts in a jigsawed lesson, or students could use Storify as digital notecards for their sources on research papers. If you trying to co-teach/co-learn to make your students' studies more relevant, you could use these multiple sources (that kids find) as a place to begin study choices. I wrote more about another tool for co-learning and relevance here.

4. Digital Storytelling 
Have students create a timeline or narrative of an event using news articles, images, video, and tweets. This digital storytelling could lead students in investigating content-specific material to model their understanding of how something happened and why it is/was important. Students could do this with any history subject, a new scientific theory, economics, mathematical problem solving, etc. I've done mine on the 2012 Cardinals' playoff run.