Sunday, February 24, 2013

Teaching About Texas with StoryBuddy 2

by Matt Gomez. You can connect with me on my blog, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

The thing I love most about connecting my class with other classes around the globe is that those connections lead to authentic learning. My kids are able to discover and learn about things that really matter to them because their twitter friends ask questions or mention things they want to know more about. Last week this happened when one of our twitter friends in Japan told us they did not know much about Texas. We had a discussion as a class about how we could teach them more about Texas. They thought of making a video, drawing pictures, writing a journal and sending them books. I guided them towards making their own book and our first research project of the year was born. We tweeted to our friends that we would be making them a book and would send it the next week. This past week one of our literacy stations was Texas research and today we worked together to create a book about Texas symbols.

We used the StoryBuddy 2 app and you can see the finished product here-> Texas Symbols Book
I have used the original StoryBuddy app before for research (look here) but the new app is well worth the upgrade (see below)

Using the app is quite simple. You can add pictures (orange arrow), text (green arrow), audio (blue arrow) and also free draw on each page (red arrow) What really gives the book a finished look over the previous version is the ability to change the page background (yellow arrow). There 12 different style of backgrounds. Keeping track of the pages is also well laid out with the thumbnails on the left side. It is easy to drag the pages into a different order at anytime.

Another great feature is how easy it is to edit the text on the page. You can change the font, the font size and colors. It is all laid out in a way that I think makes it simple for kids to understand.

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