How I Use It
Storify is a tool where users gather information from various social media and other websites and then comment about it in order to tell a 'story.'. I used Storify in my English 11 class in conjunction with Twitter. Students Tweeted as they read a novel, answering six essential questions. Then, their assignment was to create a Storify by pulling in their classmates' Tweets, as well as images, videos and other items from the Storify library. They then inserted text, making connections to the essential questions. Students shared their storifies to a class Wiki, but they could also Tweet their storifies or share on Facebook.
My students loved Storify! They said it was a great way for them to show their knowledge. They said it felt 'real' since they were pulling in Tweets from real people and they could share it with a wide audience if they wanted to. They loved how easy it was to use.
One difficulty is that students' Tweets weren't showing up in the Storify library. I realized that Tweets would not appear if they were more than two weeks old, so a long-term project might be difficult if you were having students Tweet. I overcame this by having students install the Google Storify extension so that they could search Twitter by our class hashtag. When the list of Tweets appeared, they could click on the Storify icon and the Tweet would be pulled into their Storify. This tool could be used without Tweeting as well.
Teachers could use this tool to creatively teach information to students. They could create a Storify for students to watch at home, with a follow-up activity in class. They could use it as an 'into' activity to generate interest in a topic. Students could work alone or in groups to create their own Storifies. While it is best for students in middle and high school, I could see elementary teachers creating Storifies to show their students.
This was a great tool. It was so easy for students to use; they search their topic and just drag and drop into their Storify. Students were engaged and excited, and they produced incredible, insightful stories. It allows them to be creative and critical thinkers. One aspect of it that I didn't realize would be so beneficial until I used it was that students have to filter through all of the results they find when they type their topic into the search bar. It forces them to read closely and think about what they are reading.
Storify has a good 'help' function where users can type in a specific question and search the database for answers. Overall, it is a great tool with many applications in the classroom.