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With digital storytelling and online reflection tools being part of the #edtech buzz in 2020, teachers do not have to look far to find a tool that they can integrate into their classroom.  With that being said, an abundance of tools can sometimes be overwhelming if you do not know how to properly use them.  

Our Diving Deeper with Digital Devices course with Audra Kaplan teaches the tools that help reinforce curriculum concepts while participants explore a variety of digital storytelling tools, applicable to any curriculum or age. Additionally, participants learn to use web-based games and exit ticket tools that reflect upon topics explored throughout the course.  They complete tasks first as participants and later in the course as creators when they build their own examples.  

One of our favorite digital storytelling tools highlighted in the course is Google Tour Builder.  Tour builder creators not only use mapping to take viewers on a tour.  This tool allows them to use Google Maps as a tour guide while also being able to add text, images, and video to enhance the experience.  In this example from our course, a participant created a tour that highlights Customs and Values around the world.  As students click through the tour, they see where the topic is located, read about the countries customs and values, and also view images to help bring more context to what the viewer is reading. 

Another tool that our participants explore is Powtoon. Powtoon provides a large collection of scene templates that users can use to create an awesome visual to enhance any classroom.  In addition to the scene templates, users can modify fonts, props, audio, and more to build a story that is appealing to its viewers. Check out this Powtoon video created by Ashley Buczak highlighting tips to enter and design a project for the school science fair. 

Using these tools and more, our goal with this course was to fill it with meaningful, cutting edge digital resources linked with learning goals that promote creativity and critical thinking. In return, participants will walk away with skills and strategies that will prove to be invaluable for teaching and learning.

It is important to us that participants have a choice in the tools that they use to create digital stories and reflect on content.  Providing student choice and student voice after exploring these tools allows participants to find and then be able to share upon some of their favorites.  

If you’re interested in learning more about this course, or any of our other diverse educational technology courses, visit us on our website at www.EdTechnologySpecialists.com.

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