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 …

Connecting Globally at MassCue 2016

Moia Rowsome Blog

The theme this year at the MassCue Conference was Global Connections & Digital Learning. As I am Irish but currently living in Boston,  this theme resonated deeply with me. I believe that making connections with others, near and far, has become an essential part of making progress in the world of education. These connections are not just for teachers to make. We should involve students, principals, parents, superintendents, vendors, tech specialists, speakers and researchers in the process.  For me, MassCue was a perfect example of how to connect everyone. People from all corners of education were in attendance and ready to connect and learn. I was very excited to take part both as a vendor with 30hands Learning and as a presenter talking about digital storytelling and Ancient History. And, as I have a background in High School teaching, I felt right at home with all of the like-minded educators and EdTech enthusiasts. What a place! The venue itself is a sight to behold. MassCue is held in the New England Patriot’s home the Gillette Stadium. Not that I’m a huge sports fan if I’m honest, but I could certainly appreciate what a spectacular place this was. This was the view I had for my 30hands Learning presentation on Engaging Students in Ancient History through Digital Storytelling! So the setting alone got people pumped for the 2 days of connecting and learning. Who was there? In attendance was a wide range of EdTechie types. From hundreds of vendors eager to share …

Designing Your Flipped Classroom with 30hands Storyteller Pro

Gaby Charmont Blog

Pumping student’s full of new information throughout the day and then sending them home with assignments to complete can be difficult and concerning for them. Once home, students may have a hard time recalling what they just learned or may have never fully comprehended the lesson in the first place. Lessons usually target certain types of learners which makes it difficult for others to keep up with the material when it is being taught in a way they do not understand. The flipped classroom pedagogical model can bridge this teaching vs. learning gap in education and will benefit all students. With lessons being pre-recorded by teachers and watched at home by students, there is more class time devoted to collaboration and putting the new knowledge to use through practical activities and creating presentations. Students can watch the lesson at home, rewinding and taking notes as necessary, which will reinforce the main points and they will better understand the material when absorbing it at their own pace. Encouraging students to come to class with a few questions on the lesson can begin the class in an engaging way that will also explain any confusions they may have. This will hone in their attention to the lesson and make sure the students have absorbed what they should have from the video watched at home. Providing an in class activity that will further expand upon this new knowledge will be the most meaningful for students who will remember the material much better than …

Olive’s Tip of the Week – Using Pixabay Images

Nate Brown Blog

Hello there! I’m Olive, and I’m back with another paw-sitively amazing 30hands Quick Tip of the Week! This week’s tip is on using images from the open source image search engine, Pixabay. Pixabay is great because all of the images are free to use and there are so many pictures to choose from! Without fur-ther ado, let’s check out how to use Pixabay in 30hands! There are two different ways to use Pixabay in 30hands: 1. Using a Pixabay Image as a the background for a slide. 2. Inserting a Pixabay Image into a pre-established slide. To use a Pixabay Image as the background for a slide, click the white “+” sign at the bottom left. The “Add Slides” menu will pop up; select “From Web.” A Pixabay Image Search will then pop up! Search for whatever you would like, and select the images you would like to be slides. They will then appear as slides in 30hands!   You can then use the image as you would a regular slide! Meow, I know what you are thinking; “But Olive, how do I put a picture upawn the background image we just selected for the slide?” Well, I’ve got the answer for you! First, you must find the picture you would like to add to a slide. Go to your device’s web browser and go to an open source image search engine, like Pixabay. Search what you are looking for, and once you have found an image you like, tap the image …