5 Best Resources for Experimenting With Online Publishing In The Classroom

The world is at our students fingertips.  Their stories are ready to be told and now it is just to find the perfect resource to help you meet their needs.   Student engagement is essential and this role is constantly evolving in the new digital learning environment. Providing students a chance to become authors is one of the best ways to accomplish this. Allowing students to increase their own self-management and opening up the world as their audience for a project is a way to engage learners even further.  By encouraging students to be authors it fosters an environment of creativity as well allows students to take more chances, continues to explore horizons and connect learning globally. Because online publishing has exploded in recent years, it is hard to find the perfect resource for the classroom that could meet all of your needs. Here are what I have found to be the best of the best when starting out, take a look and see if one could meet your needs.

Flipsnack

This is a free online app that allows one to convert images into digital books.  Teachers can create up to 3 publications with 15 pages each with a free account.  It has three different ways to publish including creating a catalog, magazine and a brochure. When you have created your book, you can use the code to display it on a website. One reason that Flipsnack made the list is the fact that it easily converts PDFs and allows the end product to look like you have spent a great deal of time working on it.

TikaTok

Is an ideal resource for the K-6 classroom.  In fact it was designed to be used by educators and in the classroom. TikaTok allows for unlimited book storage and creation, as it serves as a digital publishing warehouse. It was created by Pearson and this program offers the feature where you can choose to use digital books but also to print your books.  Basic plans start as low as $19.

Wordfaire

Is live blogging. Some of its best features are the fact that it is free and it updates in real time. It is the longer version of Twitter, instead of 140 character updates it hosts stories and articles.  This has been effective when teachers use it as their website and more suited for the 7-12 classroom.

Storybird

My absolute favorite of the lot.  It is free for educators and caters to all different levels in education.  There is something for everyone, Kindergarten to High School.  Their motto is that they “use artwork to inspire” and they make it easy to build and create books.  Students can read others work, write their own stories, share their stories or discover an online community that can help foster creativity. They have private classrooms for teachers to use and allow student access (free), where teachers can grade, award badges and so much more.  Students can even set up a private showcase where they can share their work with their parents.

Widbook

A world of published books for readers to find and then create their own.  This is more suitable for the Middle or High school student.  What makes Widbook make the list it the fact that it allows for the import of docs, images and videos to create a complete e-book. Great way to introduce journalism to students and keeping one about their own year.

 

Hopefully you can find a resource to explore more.  The power to allow our students voices to be heard is available to us now, this powerful tool can allow us to expand our classrooms beyond our walls and connect students.  The choice is ours as to what we do with it, because the tools to help us are available and ready.

The supporting premises of the new digital learning environment in Creating a New Vision for Public Education focuses on instruction, being more student driven and the role of the teacher to become more a facilitator than a lecturer.  

  • I. H. Children and youth need role models and adult guidance and connections even more than in the pre-digital era, but the role of adults is different, becoming one that is more about facilitating understanding,
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