Recently I introduced ‘Tech tool of the week’ in my classroom. The purpose of this is to provide my students with a greater knowledge of websites and apps that they can use to present, publish and share their work on. Each week we have one technology tool to focus. At the conclusion of the week, once this tool is mastered by the class, it is added to ‘Tools we know how to use…’.

Students learnt how to use Dropbox, Twitter, Tourwrist and QR reader throughout semester 1. This week our ‘Tech tool of the week’ was Storybird.

On Wednesday afternoon I ran a lesson which was split into three parts. Firstly I explicitly taught my class about the aspects of the tool, what it could do and how they could use it via the digital projector set up in my room. Next a few students modelled what they now knew about the tool. This was my favourite part of the lesson! It was great to see these students playing the teacher role, calling on other students and speaking with clear and confident voices. The final part involved students pairing up and creating a digital story using Storybird on the class laptops.

We are using one account, which is a teacher/class account. I have logged into this account on each one of our laptops. We spoke about responsible use of the program, students are aware as to why they are not to use names or addresses in their work. I also made it clear that nobody was to publish their story without me looking over it first. Luckily, I have a fantastic class and I can trust that they will follow this instruction. I also spoke to students about creating their own accounts at home. I explained that they needed to do this with their parents, not by themselves. However the only Storybird account that will be used at school is our teacher/class account.

On Thursday and Friday my class was in the process of publishing their Alphabet poems they had written earlier in the week. Of course many chose to use Storybird, and they did so with great confidence! They were happy to solve problems themselves, or with peers. Not one student came to me for anything other than to sign into our account or to look over their work before publishing. This gave me some of an indication that ‘Tech tool of the week’ was a great success!

Posters where we display ‘Tech tool of the week’ and ‘Tools we know how to use’.

Tara publishing her Alphabet poem using Storybird.

The homepage of our teacher/class account, displaying the front cover of our digital stories.

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