Website Wednesday

Though it’s been on a bit of a hiatus this semester (Website Wednesday, I mean), I’ve recently come across a few Web tools that I wanted to share:

~Storify: Have you seen this? It’s a super tool for storytelling, potentially useable for everything from student projects to building teaching narratives to the teaching of narrative and storytelling technique. It’s free (just an email signup), and allows you to search web products (video, blog posts, tweets and more) and build (by dragging and dropping and inserting text in between items) a story that you want to tell. It’s really great and really easy to use. Check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

~TimeToast: I’ve been looking for a good timeline tool for years, but most of the ones I’ve seen are either really clunky or littered with ads. This one is slick and not ad-tastically overwhelming. Not perfect, but really functional and cool looking and free (again, with an email sign up). I like it. This is a sweet concept mapping tool that makes it easy to build flowcharts, timelines, concept maps and more. The interface takes a little playing with to figure out, but once you master the hover then click move and play with it a little, it all makes sense. Again, FREE (just an email sign up) and a really nice support for content organization (by faculty or students) and visualization.

I have recommended all three of these as tools for my students to use in the course of their studying, suggesting to them that one way to both master and verify mastery of material is to tell a story about it. All three of these tools help students and teachers construct and organize their knowledge.


4 thoughts on “Website Wednesday

  1. Do you have an example of how Storify is being used by students or by an instructor?
    BTW – You have to use Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Internet Explorer 9 doesn’t seem to work to use Storify.

    I like, any known issues besides asking for for Flash?

    • Not really, unfortunately, but here’s one I put together for a class I’m taking with the idea that I would use it in a class I’m teaching (History of Modern Philosophy, which starts with Descartes and points toward contemporary philosophy of mind).

      It’s not exactly ready-for-prime-time, but maybe it will give you the idea of how it works.

      Thanks for the notice about Microsoft–I don’t use Explorer, but I know a lot of people do. I don’t have any other caveats about, but hope that if anyone finds any you’ll post them.

    • You’re kind.

      I can imagine it, though, in more expert hands than mine being a really spectacular presentation tool with links to video and web published charts and docs and web sites and the rest as a replacement for PowerPoint. It’s also potentially interactive (with comment options) and, so, grow-able over time (i.e., someone could build a story over the course of a semester or invite students to co-construct it).

      It’s the most exciting thing I’ve stumbled upon in a long while. And if you do something great with it, please share!

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