After assisting a teacher’s formation on an educational website in my first year stage, I thought it was going to be a good idea to talk about it in my blog. Story Jumper is an enjoyable and delightful website for children where they can create stories directly in a picture book in just a few easy steps and share their stories online. For those new authors, the site leads to a link where a nicely well done video tutorial can be viewed.
The site also offers their own hands-on tutorial. A quick overview is accessible for teachers and guides them through on how to sign up a teacher’s account, create and edit a class, plan a lesson, print hand-outs and start a class, email home access directions to parents, review student’s books and share class collections. In addition, there is an option to print the books you create from highest to lowest quality. Prices vary and start from $24.95 for hard cover books to $1.95 for a digital version, but you can also print a paper copy free. One minor thing is that since it is an American site, it is regulated according to US laws and has strict privacy controls over student information. So, if teachers want their students to access Story Jumper at home, parents need to give their approval by completing a permission slip and sending it back by email to Story Jumper. That process can be a little long.
It’s a great tool to spark creativity and develop students’ writing skills according to Education Technology and Mobile Learning. The site is so easy to use that even children from kindergarten can browse through it and create nice pictures though they will need help to write the text at this very young age. Common Sense Media says that the process to make the stories is so fast that children will be enthusiastic and inspired to write new stories as soon as they finish their first. Good management classroom will be needed and preparation is always a good thing before introducing a new activity. So, it would be preferable to have students’ write their stories in advance so they don’t end up to freeze in front of the computers in search for their ideas. If their story is already written in class, it will just be a piece of cake to then do their book on the web. Chromebook talks about the many skills children will acquire from this website from lower grades to higher ones like critical thinking, decision making and communication. Children will have no trouble at all creating images with the pictures that the site offers by dragging them onto each page of their books. Even though the graphics offered by the site are quite childish, student’s own original pictures or drawings can be used to make their books. This doesn’t limit the site only to young children but to all age groups to use. Even teachers can create their own books on a subject if they don’t find anything available on library bookshelves or bookstores. Teachers First mentions that it would work nicely for individual work in a class or with paired students in a lab and also work well with ESL students.
As a future ESL teacher, I see many possibilities to take advantage of this web site. It can be used as an activity to make a story book gift for a family member on any special occasion. Collective books can be made by having all the class participate in the writing process, it could be that each student writes a small story or poem or even make a recipe book with their favorite recipes. It can serve as a portfolio project where students would put in all the work they do in the year. It could be used as a yearbook project for grade six to have souvenirs of their classmates. Students can create calendars with a fact associated to each month of the year. It would make them do research to find an interesting topic, summarize it and possibly illustrate it or take a picture from the web to add in the project. I know teachers work on projects in class that have specific themes, and they always have students write something about that each time, it would be a good motivator to tell students that at the end, their writing projects are going to be printed in a book for the classroom. A collaborative project could also be done matching students from higher grades with students from lower grades. They could create books for the smaller ones and when the books are printed, they are matched with them and they read them their story.
It didn’t take me long to find these ideas and I am sure that with just a little imagination you could think of other possibilities to use Story Jumper too.