Today we were given a chance to explore a new technology that we have been interested in. I chose Storify because I’ve heard several of my colleagues talking about it. The quickfire challenge is to plan a lesson considering Storify with the Content (C) and Pedagogy (P) of the TPCK model.
First I investigated what Storify could offer my students and what challenges it could pose for my students. Storify gives access to a work space, that students can easily drag and drop researched objects/media into. Searching is fairly easy in terms of choosing which sites you’d like to search from. However, sifting through sites and generating search terms requires more use of the new literacy strategies. I would definitely need to reinforce the new literacy strategies and help guide students in choosing some appropriate content. One worry is that social media can be included in the search and inappropriate content could be seen. Another affordance of Storify is that the students could easily manipulate the workplace and arrange media items in any order and add text to them.
Since I teach ELL elementary students, I would love to use this in reading comprehension of our (American) children’s novels in terms of (C) content. I could use it as a wonderful tool for organizing summaries of our novels, setting the scene for our novels, or collecting vocabulary activities (videos, drawings, definitions, act-it-outs, meaningful “teach me” sentences”, etc.) that the students create for our novels. If I consider just using it as a vocabulary sharing file, students could teach/share/connect to vocabulary words easily with peers in an online community and review for an assessment. It would also provide a differentiated learning opportunity for my emergent readers who struggle to complete vocabulary assignments/homework.
In terms of the (P) pedagogical aspect, I would conduct somewhat of a mini-lesson as an introduction in a whole class, with Storify projected on the SMARTboard. I’d let students prompt me with ideas/vocabulary words that we might need to know more about in our current reading. They could physically select the entries we would add with their hands and model the drag and drop action of using Storify. I’d also take this opportunity to review new literacy strategies in terms of using what’s appropriate to use for search terms or items by modeling think alouds/having more advanced students model think alouds. We’d discuss what types of media to include and why it’s appropriate or helpful for 5th Grade. Once the students were ready to start Storify on their own, I’d give them a word to create a Storify story for and let them choose their own vocabulary word from the novel to create a story for. Before wrapping up the class, I’d signal for their attention and model how to link their stories to our class website with the help of a couple students in front of the class on the SMARTboard. Once finished, students could then post one or both of their vocabulary word stories onto our class website and begin to connect with their peers stories on the net.
How it fits with the TPCK model: The technology selected (Storify) is meant to create an avenue for students to share their work easily among their peers and create a learning network. They become invested in the sharing and collaborating to better understand our content and bridge new learning to prior learning. It also includes the ability to use multi-media in demonstrating reading comprehension, as the 2009 TPCK article suggests (in relation to the TCK), because students can show understanding in several ways–through composing art, video, definitions, meaningful sentences–all through the drag and drop of a mouse! Once practiced enough, hopefully become a routine that we use throughout the year to learn vocabulary, and as Mishra and Koehler suggest in the 2006 TPCK article, the technology in Storify wouldn’t get in they way of learning the content, or become isolated.
(Questions I still have about Storify: Is there another version for children/settings I can apply to Storify? Could I easily organize Storify stories on my website that my class produces for an entire novel? Would such a website be user friendly for my students?)
Here is a link to my first Storify!
Image from DEANGROOM wordpress
Now we have been asked to examine our TPCK lesson plan against the Universal Design for Learning .
This is how my lesson plan aligns with the UDL: The Engagement principal is covered well because there are choices in the plan that allow for students to fuel their interest and create autonomy (they can choose their own vocabulary stories to build/share). Also, they will want to have nicely done, accurate work because they will share their entries with their peers online so it becomes socially relevant.
The Representation principal is covered well because different perception options are offered in using multi-media to build their stories. Students can include videos, meaningful sentences, definitions, pictures, art, social media comments, etc. –in other words choose auditory/visual options. By adding text to their Storify entries they too, will be able to access background knowledge and connect new learning to it.
Adjustments: I think I should work in some pieces regarding the Action and Expression principal. While I have represented it in my lesson plan above (using alternative ways to show learning and the ability to comment on their peers’s work) I think this plan for my students needs more support in the Executive Function. As I mentioned above, students are going to be sifting through many types of media. I predict that they will become easily distracted or involved with inappropriate representations of our vocabulary words. I think it would be appropriate to utilize think alouds (whole class or individually) to show and exemplify how to monitor and plan accordingly to make the most useful story to share with their peers online in a timely way. It will be up to me to offer appropriate amounts and types of feedback to keep the students focused and using the correct strategies.