I really enjoyed playing around with the three digital storytelling tools Xtranormal, Storybird and Zooburst. It helped that I had a willing assistant in my 10 year old son. Even though I am learning so much from the social networking part of my Web 2.0 inquiry project, investigating Facebook and Twitter, I felt that it was much easier to concentrate on the task at hand when I was exploring the above mentioned digital storytelling tools. Maybe that is because Facebook and Twitter are vehicles for learning (vehicles that often bring me to unexpected destinations! ~ more on that later!) and these storytelling tools are just that, tools to create with.
Xtranormal would be fun to use either to present fictional dialogue between two characters or as a way to present biographical research in an interview format as I discussed here. Storybird is a vehicle that could lead the students on a path to create rich writing, finding inspiration in the wonderful artwork available with this tool. Zooburst is a digital storytelling tool that the students will have fun with given its 3-D and virtual pop-up book presentation possibilities. All three tools could be used in the classroom setting and I can see using Xtranormal and Zooburst in the library setting as a way to present research findings.
I know that I am always looking for ways to help get the students excited about writing. Kist says that "new literacies classrooms are places of student engagement in which students report achieving a "flow" state" (Kist, 2010. p. 44). It is my goal to introduce these types of activities so that writing can bring joy to the students and be less of a chore in their eyes. I think that we came pretty close to achieving "flow" when we worked on our writing projects on Glogster and I am hoping that my students will find Storybird and Zooburst as much fun to use.
Kist, W. (2010). Choosing Web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching in a digital world. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.