Teachers in the school system are expected to take in-service training courses every year. One needs documentation to prove that you are continuing to learn new things.
So I do what I’m told.
I’m sure you won’t be the least bit surprised to learn that an accredited course entitled “Digital Storytelling” (given by Galit Stein) caught my eye this year. I’m always interested in learning additional ways to visualise materials for my Deaf and hard of hearing students!
My latest assignment was to take a literary piece I teach in class and visualise it digitally with Story Jumper.
I chose the poem “Count That Day Lost” by George Eliot, a piece that I teach to students studying at different levels, including some struggling learners. Some parts of the poem are not so easy for the students to understand and visuals can be useful when teaching it.
Story Jumper is a website that lets you create free virtual books with simple illustrating tools. The books can also be printed, but naturally, that costs money. The creations are easy to share, as you can see below.
While I’m fairly pleased with my “creation”, I think that Story Jumper is particularly suitable for students creating content, or adding visuals to existing content. The process of matching visuals to a text encourages close reading. I’ve been doing that for years with my students and I find it to be very effective. Students would find the site to be very user-friendly – I didn’t need the tutorial to understand how to use it. In addition, I think the feature of editing the characters would appeal to them. I suspect that younger students would be more taken with it though.
As a teacher, I found the designing tools limiting, lacking in options for finer detailed work, particularly when compared to what I can do with PowerPoint. I don’t think my students really care if the end product looks like a book or a slide show.
However, slide shows can be harder to share – a Story Jumper book comes with a sharable link.
One word of warning before you read my “book” – sometimes when you click to turn the page it turns two pages at a time! I most certainly did not skip any lines of the poem, so go back and click again if necessary.
Here it is!