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 …

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 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 …

7 Minutes of Cool @MassTLC: Connecting Techies of All Shapes and Sizes

Eric Braun Blog 0 Comments

I headed into Boston bright and early to congregate at the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC). With over 500 attendees, there was lots of opportunity to network. I thrive on networking at innovation-oriented events, because I find it helps me see things from different angles and be more creative. These events are different from the pure networking events where people are just looking to unwind or find a friend. The innovation community helps you think and create, which has been my mantra lately. I decided to try out the 30hands Mobile app in a different way, more from a journalistic perspective. We call 30hands Mobile a “photo storytelling app”, because it lets people organize photos and images into a storyline then record audio on top of the photos. If the storyline doesn’t flow the right way, just drag and drop the thumbnail images around into the desired order. Recorded audio stays with the images as they move around. If you stutter when speaking or just don’t like it, just click record again and record over the previous audio. From the desktop, there’s a preview button (play) that let’s you review the whole story. When you’re ready with it, click the action button in the upper right and publish it as a video presentation to your camera roll or to a 30hands site, if you’ve signed up for one. We’re still working on some more editing features, so I was wondering how …