Saturday, August 21, 2010


Peggy Marcy suggested this site, Storybird. You can create a story using art from various artists. There are many story creation sites, but I like this one because of the art. Different artists post a collection of work here, and you can choose one to illustrate your story. Some of the art is charming, and some is quite beautiful.

My story is for young children, but I imagine your students could get as complex as their language ability allows. My story is about a hungry bear. If your students create a Storybird, please post a link here to share.

Here are some other examples:
A princess who collects too many pets.
Learning life's lessons

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photo Sharing

I'm preparing for a discussion at the Project IDEAL conference tomorrow about social media tools. All I need to do at this point is add a few examples and links, but it's impossible to do this fast! Every link leads to many possible bunny trails, following one link to another, learning interesting things that may or may not have anything to do with the task at hand. Is this ADD, or multitasking?

I'm reviewing some of the projects created in July and August for the discussion of Social Media in Adult Education, and I'm still surprised at the richness of the discussion. I didn't participate in the photo sharing group, but now I'm looking at their projects linked from the wiki. They created a group on Flickr and had quite a bit of discussion within that group, apart from the list. There are lots of ideas about how to use photo sharing in instruction, especially for ESOL. Illustrations of the alphabet, of everyday interactions (not the happy shopper paying the happy clerk, as one person said), of cooking and canning, of prepositions, of favorite shoes, favorite clothes. The list goes on, and the photos could be collected by teachers or by students. A teacher could create a closed group, where only students in one class could add photos and posts, or the group could be public. Maybe I shouldn't still be amazed at the possibilities of social media, and at the endless creativity of teachers, but I am.

So while I'm at it, I'm going to brag on the blogging group. We had a blog to explore blogging, which has links  to the blogs created by the participants. I had 23 people sign up for this group. About 10 actually responded to messages, and 6 created blogs. When I came back a few weeks later, three blogs were going strong and have posted something new in the last day or two. These are good projects, and they're putting me to shame. I better get busy! This may not sound like a good percentage of success, but it's summer, no one is getting paid (group leaders or participants), so this is all a labor of love.

And there were a couple of wonderful posts from Jayme Adelson-Goldstein about being a lurker. She explained how she followed the discussion, did her own projects, but didn't have time to respond on the list. She illustrated the fact that "lurkers" are not always passive observers. Many are using the materials to suit their own needs and professional development, but not posting about it. There are 1400 people on the adult ed professional development list, so if 6 people actively participated in each of 10 groups, and another maybe 150 to 200 participated in some non-public way, that makes it worth the effort!