January 18, 2013

Exploring the StoryKit app with First Graders

I worked with some students last Tuesday and recorded their descriptions of photos showing them balancing crayfish. They certainly knew how to use the word “counterweights”! I have written out the directions so that a parent who helps out during writing will be able to do the process with students. The parent who watched me this week liked the activity and wants to do it on her own.
(cross posted in a somewhat different form on the private "iPads in Grade One" blog.)

After exploring a number of story writing apps, we determined that our initial goal was to select an app that allowed students to be the ones creating on the iPad. Our favorite app for that at this point is Storykit. It is a free app that is actually an iPhone app that can be enlarged to work on an iPad.

I worked with students to test out this app and we were able to have two groups of 4 students take each other’s pictures, draw a background and record the “About the Author” pieces that they had asked to write to accompany their “How To” books in about an hour. We hadn’t carefully edited their writing so they will need to redo ones that included last names or addresses. We are planning to take pictures of their self-portraits to use as “avatars” instead of photos as needed. Having students assigned to an iPad can help with this as then the images are on the right iPad.

I visited all six classrooms on Friday and all 20 iPads have Storykit and are set up to send email. If you want to email directly to a student blog then you can use the email generated by Posterous when you set up the student spaces. If anyone else is interested in setting up individual spaces for kids I’d be glad to help you. If you give me your passwords I can do some of the setup for you.

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