Personalizing Learning Can Start With A Story

Moia Rowsome Blog

It’s nothing new to claim that everybody is different. We all have different talents. We all have different weaknesses. They are the result of a mixture of our genetic make up and the environments we have experienced throughout life. Ultimately, we are complex beings and we each have a different story to tell. So why not start by telling them in school? 30hands Storyteller is an app to engage learners in storytelling where each individual can explain their learning in their own way. It makes the learning experience personalized for each individual. Let’s take a look at how! Some Background Thoughts When it comes to learning, the complexities and differences between people should be fostered and championed. Todd Rose at Tedx Sonoma County said that students are not one-dimensional, either struggling or gifted. Students vary on many dimensions of learning. However, the reality is that many learners are still provided with the same textbook and learning environment in spite of the different talents and abilities in the room. Learners are all expected to absorb the same information and regurgitate it in the same way to score high on summative tests. There must be a way of making learning more personal, so that each person can be reached. Why haven’t things changed yet? Educators have been talking about change for quite a while. Why has there been no monumental shift yet across the education sector? It’s paramount to understand that this situation is not the fault of the teacher. The problem is that …

Turning students into journalists with 30hands

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Gone are the days of newspapers being the primary source of current affairs, or families gathered around a lone neighborhood radio to receive war updates. The past two decades have seen the ways in which we receive our news change drastically. But the importance of journalists in society? Perhaps even greater than ever. This is because in today’s digital world, everybody is a journalist. You’re on a school trip to Washington DC and notice a mass protest taking place outside the White House? Tweet it. On summer vacation in Greece and notice a rubber dinghy with refugees landing ashore? Get closer to the action and live stream the action. 30hands Storyteller is a simple tool for aspiring classroom journalists. It allows students to practice their reporting skills and even boosts their confidence when it comes to presenting to camera and recording voiceovers. It also allows them to practice gathering sources, interviewing techniques, and deciding which information is important enough for inclusion. Journalists are constantly under the pressure of time or restricted word counts, so sometimes it is impossible to report every piece of information.  Creating packages with 30hands Storyteller helps students prioritize information. A first-person narrative is often better than a newsroom journalist’s explanation miles away from the scene. 30hands Storyteller is just another tool you can use to report your information, and one’s capacity to do so as a journalist has increased wonderfully thanks to our newest feature – video slides. But before we talk about 30hands capabilities for …

Script Writing in 30hands

Moia Rowsome Blog

What’s your first step in the process of creating a video presentation? At 30hands Learning, we recommend writing a script to get things going. This allows you to plan out what you are going to say in advance and it provides a structure for your content. Starting with a basic idea of what you are going to say and laying it out in this way can be really effective. And what about the time it takes? Investing a few extra minutes at the beginning of the process makes things much quicker once you go to add images and then narrate over your content. Writing the Script We recommend using Google Docs to write your script. Once you have written out your narration, divide your script up into lines. Each line should represent what you would say on one slide.  Like this: What is a Civilization? A Civilization is a complex society that is defined by many characteristics. First, you need people to live there – that’s important. There must be a concentration of population in distinct areas or cities… And so on! Make sure to press the enter key after each line. Numbering is optional but can help you organize the flow of your story. Starting with a script generally results in a better story. In addition, if you create a script like this in Google Docs,  you can import it directly into 30hands Web. Each line will come out as a slide automatically with the text on the drawing …

30hands team connects at #LearnLaunch17

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

50 seminars, 160 speakers, 1,200 attendees. The 30hands Learning team recently attended LearnLaunch’s fifth annual Across Boundaries conference at the Hynes Convention Center. Run over two days, the conference is a meeting point for EdTech startups, global companies, educators, students, and lovers of innovative learning. Our team was proud to be one of about 30 exciting pioneers exhibiting a product, with our 30hands Storyteller web app and app for iOS proving big hits across the spectrum. The conference allowed us to demonstrate our product and share the benefits of digital storytelling obtained from user feedback and from our own experience as educators. But in addition to networking, promoting our product and meeting like-minded people in general, LearnLaunch provided a magnificent opportunity to sit and listen to some fascinating lectures and partake in thought-provoking discussions. On day one, our CEO Eric Braun listened to Tom Vander Ark deliver his opening keynote speech called ‘State of the EdTech Marketplace’. In it, Tom explored changes in education that could come in the next decade.  He asked what needs to happen in the next two years for these predictions to come true, and what edtech investors can do to support the marketplace in the coming years. Eric expressed his thoughts after the keynote, saying: “One of the major takeaways from Tom’s keynote and the overall conference is that this is the year where personalized learning may take off. “30hands Storyteller is nicely positioned as an effective tool for students to easily create videos as …

Inviting Stories into the Classroom

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

What happens when we invite students to share stories inside the classroom? It can be a nerve-wracking task and understandably so – the idea of sharing personal (or non-personal) experiences with teachers and friends. It can be a challenge as for some it opens up a form of communication that is entirely new. But it can also challenge – and by that I mean challenge the dimensions of traditional student/teacher relationships. In her 2014 TEDTalk, educator and after-school media arts teacher, Emily Bailin, talks about the power of digital storytelling. In it she says that inviting teachers and pupils to share stories challenges the notion that it is the adults who are the only people with knowledge outside the classroom. She said bringing stories into the classroom bridges stronger connections from lived experiences outside schools with the content being delivered in school. This type of exchange of information is just as important as learning from a textbook, and it creates a sense of empathy between the teachers and students. Research, both old and more recent, seems to suggest this is true for learners of all ages. Anne Dyson (1987) found in her study of children’s collaborative storytelling that the most elaborate stories were told through talk and not through text. She also found that this form of verbal learning took considerable time off the task, meaning children completed their tasks quicker. In a similar study of first-graders,it was discovered that stories told during storytelling time were often the same as what they wrote about …

Olive’s Cat Tip – Moving, Resizing and Deleting Multiple Objects

Moia Rowsome Blog

This week, Olive tells us about how you can move, resize and delete multiple objects using the drawing tool in 30hands Web and 30hands Pro. Using our the improvements to our ‘hand tool’ feature within the drawing tool, you can box select multiple or all items on your slide for resizing them, moving them around and deleting them. A nice functionality to create more sophisticated slides in 30hands. Click HERE to watch the short 3 minute video!    

Digital Storytelling Covers Multiple Concepts & Standards in 1 Activity

Eric Braun Blog

Just the mention of the Common Core Standards can be enough to cause the hairs on the back of one’s neck to bristle up, either from hatred of the standards or from fear of criticism of standards by parents and the community. Whether we call them standards, learning goals or something else, there are valid skills and concepts we need to teach our kids. When you put them all together, there’s a whole lot of detail and complexity to the learning puzzle. Finding activities that map to multiple standards, skills or learning goals can make the learning and teaching process much easier. Digital Storytelling is one of those activities. A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the value of the Digital Storytelling process. In this post, we’ll look at how a Digital Storytelling activity can be mapped to a selection of Standards from a few different sources, including the Common Core and ISTE. Now, that’s great value! For this activity, let’s look at the book Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, which could be used for a 6th grade classroom. Here are a few themes from Walk Two Moons: Empathy as a source of understanding Nature as a source of comfort and strength The symbolism of the journey Discovering one’s identity Grief and how people deal with it The roles of women The impact of culture on people As a student, I might select “The symbolism of the journey” for my theme. I could perform research on the journey in other …

30hands At Home! Nature Exploration

Nate Brown Blog

For many students, it’s hard to stay mentally active during the summer. Its important to keep exercising the muscle that is one’s brain to stay sharp! Here is a quick 30hands activity to bring some learning and fun into the summer months. Today we are going on a nature exploration! All you will need is 30hands, and internet access for research. To start the nature exploration, simply go out into your backyard or the park with 30hands Pro! Once you have found an interesting spot outside, take pictures of plants and animals that you think are cool! You can make 30hands slides out of these pictures immediately or just take pictures and organize them into slides later. Take plenty of fun pictures, displaying the wildlife of your area! Once you have had your fun outside, and have some cool pictures, head back inside and research the wildlife you found. A lot can be learned about the plants and animals you see nearly everyday. You may be surprised at some of the facts you learn! Now make 30hands slides with your pictures, and narrate over them to report the things you learned. You can also draw your own pictures of the wildlife you caught on camera. Finally, publish it to 30hands to show everyone the wildlife in your area! Here’s a quick nature exploration video I made in my own backyard!

How Digital Storytelling Improves Learning

Eric Braun Blog

There’s been growing talk about Digital Storytelling lately. iPads, Chromebooks and laptops are everywhere, and educators want to take full advantage of their capabilities. With the landscape the way it is, I’m sure many wonder if this trend is more about the technology or the story. Everyone would agree that tech for tech sake is not the way to go. Using computers and the Internet do teach kids how to use devices and infrastructure that have become fixtures in the world around us, but… “Is that all there is?” I hope not, and I think not! Why does a story matter? It’s all about the process. Let’s look at what it takes to create a story. We all know what a story is and that it has a slew of parts (beginning, middle, end, characters, conflict, etc.), but what happens when we create a story? What process do we go through? The truth is that it’s a highly iterative and active process. Here’s an example: Assignment: Tell a story that shows you know about the planets in our solar system. Show you know what order they are in. Show you know at least 2 facts about each planet and about the Sun. Include Pluto if you’d like. Make sure you tell a story rather than just providing the facts and information. Make it fun and memorable. Sample Process for non-digital story could be: Think of a story concept that interests you. Be creative! Think outside the box! Think about how to include the solar system, …

Creating Video Lessons Part 3- Storyboarding!

Moia Rowsome Blog

Last week we looked at our first step in creating an engaging video lesson – Script Writing. Check it out here if you missed it! So now you’ve written your script and are wondering how on earth you are going to get all of these wonderful words of wisdom into your 30hands video…. My advice? Get to 30hands Pro and storyboard out your script! Why storyboard? Storyboarding is the best way to plan out your slides and it enables you to visualize what is going to go on which slide. So the storyboard is kind of a blue print of your video story, and you’ll get a feel of how the whole finished product will pan out. The best part is that it really saves you time later when you go to develop and enhance your slides and record your narration. It very much supports the iterative process, as you can review your storyboard once it is laid out and make changes and revisions as you progress from there. It should really be the minimum amount of information necessary to convey a sense of what your video or story is going to be. This makes things quick and easy! How do I Storyboard? Start by creating a presentation in 30hands Pro. Then, add slides to represent each line of your script. As you are doing this, the most important thing is to label each slide somehow, so you know in your presentation which slide represents which line of your narration. To do this, you …