Happy October All!
Geez, where DID September go? Crazy!
In my role as an Education Consultant, I try and gather as much information about Education Technology, Web 2.0 tools and just generally great ways to integrate technology into classrooms. Sometimes it's overwhelming sifting through the e-newsletters, tweets, posts, wikis, Facebook 'Likes"...I do want to cry somedays, as there is just too much to look at - not enough time!
Then I remember when using Microsoft Paint alone was considered using technology in the classroom, so I am VERY grateful that things have changed for the better.
One website that came to me in one form or another really appealed to me, and I have spent some time playing with it, so I would love to share it with you all.
It's a site created by Barnes & Noble called Tikatok - http://www.tikatok.com
It's an online story creator - that gives students/children the opportunity to create their own stories and upload their own original artwork. I love the tagline of "Every Child Has a Story" - because we know they do.
One is able to use some pre-created story templates called "Memory Books", or for those who need a bit of help, you can use some story starters, called "StorySparks", or lastly, you can create a story from scratch.
I love the pre-created memory books, as seen below. If nothing else, this is a bit more creative than the ages-old journal entry "What I Did For My Summer Vacation".
Not only can the kids create all of these different types of stories, but you and/or your students can read stories posted by other children.
My personal fave so far is by a child 'clapm01", and his book is called -
I show this one when I'm showing off this website to teachers and there is always a lot of laughing! You have to check it out!
I could totally see these books being read on the SMART Board as a read aloud. How much would it inspire your students to write a story by reading another child's published work?
I also think the concept of being able to send the digital book to Barnes & Noble for proper printing is great. I would have personally used that one to publish any class stories I would have written with my kids & then I'd have a hard copy for years to come in the classroom library. Now, I haven't checked out the pricing, so I could be sharing a pipe dream here.
As teachers, you are able to sign yourself up, then your students, which helps with the overall internet security that we worry about as Educators. http://www.tikatok.com/classroom
Lastly, they have writing lessons and tips posted, as part of their 'Tikatok Across the Curriculum' section.
The only thing that would make me a tiny bit happier about this would be that they have a Tikatok app for the Barnes & Noble version of the Kindle or the Kobo - The Nook. It's exclusive to the Nook, which I totally get - as it's a Barnes & Noble project - however - there are so many different types of tablet devices going into schools - Androids, iPads etc..it would be so beneficial to spread the wealth on this one. One day, I hope.
I hope some of you get a chance to create with Tikatok, as I hope your students do too.