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Pros: It's an engaging way to turn Web artifacts into a story; potential as a 21st-century teaching tool.
Cons: Because content is public and social, quality varies greatly; some content may be inappropriate for younger users.
Bottom Line: Storify isn't designed for kids, but it has great potential as a way to help teach them how to be critical, to find and create meaning in the world.
Storify is a great way to introduce the idea of Web content curation. English teachers will quickly see the potential for lessons on narrative composition. Also, similar to providing evidence in an essay, students will have to think about which content best supports the story they're telling; you can use Storify to support the learning of this essential skill. Social studies teachers might ask students to create a coherent overview of current events. With the fast and furious flow of information through social media, you can ask students to evaluate their sources to help drive home the importance of this 21st-century skill. Storify can also be a quick way to create a reflective portfolio, giving students a chance to publish their work digitally.
Storify is a social curation tool that allows you to organize content from multiple websites (with a nod toward social networks) from across the Internet. Once you create an account, you can easily search for content anywhere on the Web, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Flickr, as well as the Storify posts of other users.
Once you’ve identified content you’d like to use, the easy drag-and-drop interface allows you to organize each piece of content into a scrolling vertical template. You can add text above (or below) each piece of content in order to give context, so you can "make the Web tell a story," as Storify says. The site (or Chrome extension) is intended only for users 13 and older, so it's most applicable for high school teachers. Accounts can be set up with an email address, but also by linking with a Facebook or Twitter account.
Learning to be critical of media in a world overflowing with information is an important part of digital literacy for kids. While Storify isn't designed for classroom use, using it could be a way to help teach these skills. With so much information available, particularly across social streams, Storify can provide students and teachers with a platform to easily curate pertinent information in one place. The featured stories are also a source for consuming curated content from around the Web -- a potential time-saver especially for the most up-to-the-minute current events.
Because content comes from everywhere on the Web, teachers should be aware that students may stumble across inappropriate content. On the other hand, content filters may block so much that the site loses its learning effectiveness. Storify's terms of service do allow for institutional accounts, which could make it an ideal way for teachers, schools, and districts to share news with students, parents, and community members. Overall, Storify has great potential but would be more useful if privacy and safety controls could work in a way to help scaffold students' learning and discovery.