Google Story Builder

Reposted with permission from blog.texthelp.com

I recently stumbled upon Google Story Builder and found it to be a great way to engage students in writing, which I find is half the battle in classrooms today. In this post I wanted to share a short demonstration of how Google Story Builder works along with some ideas for using this cool writing tool in the classroom.

If Google Story Builder is new to you, it basically allows users to create short video stories that appear to be done inside of a Google Document while collaborating with others. Google has actually used this in the past to create a short commercial demonstrating the collaboration features of Google Docs (see video below).

Here is a breakdown of how it works…

To begin, simply go to http://docsstorybuilder.appspot.com/. You will see a screen similar to the one below:

Screenshot of Story Builder Homepage

 

Click the “Get started” button to start writing your story.

The first thing your story requires is characters. I chose myself and my dog Copper as characters for this story (see image below), then clicked the “Write story” button.

Screenshot of adding characters to Story Builder

 

Now the writing begins. Simply type a sentence or two to start your story. As the image below shows, I wrote “I need to pick up milk at the store today.” From there, I switched to Copper and replaced milk with dog treats.

Screenshot of writing in Google Story Builder

 

Once finished, I chose to “Add music” and then “Finish up”. To see my final production Click here.

Educational Relevance

My first thought after using Google Story Builder is that students of almost any age will love it. I was personally entertained for well over an hour. I can see this tool being used at almost any grade level and content area. Students can use to demonstrate their knowledge on a variety of topics while working independently or in groups. I also like the fact that the end result can be shared to a larger audience, which is a key component in getting students to put more time and effort into writing.

What ways can you or your students use Google Story Builder? If you have a minute to check it out please post a link to your video in the comments section below (don’t worry, I will take a look before approving to make sure nothing inappropriate gets through).

 

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About Jason Carroll

Jason first learned of Assistive Technology while working on his undergraduate degree where much of his spare time was spent assisting a regional education centre with basic technology needs. Amazed at how this technology could benefit so many students (particularly those he grew up with) he was hooked and immediately became an expert at the centre. After receiving his Masters, Jason returned to the coop to serve as a full time Assistive Technology Consultant serving over 200 schools in the central Kentucky Region.

Since this time, Jason has trained thousands on Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning concepts throughout the United States and beyond. His focus is on integrating research based practices into the work he does and helping others ensure that what they are doing works. He specialises in assisting people to bridge the gap between operation of technology and actual implementation. Jason is a published author, has taught Instructional Technology and Universal Design for Learning at the University level, and spends a significant amount of time on e-Learning and blended learning initiatives. He is a graduate of the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP) from California State University at Northridge and holds a Masters in Business Administration.

Currently Jason serves as Product Marketing Manager for North America at Texthelp Inc. where he oversees new product launches and speaks nationally on a variety of Assistive Technology topics.

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