More on Storify in the classroom

At the end of Winter term I started to use Storify in my classes. That term, I put out a short narrative about Marjane Satrapi for my Introductory Cultural Geography students, who had read Persepolis. In Spring, I made use of Storify for all of my courses.

For me, the most interesting application was in my Spring section of the Intro course. There I built a timeline around topics of interest where there was limited classroom time or where I thought there would be value in letting students explore on their own time, especially through multiple media.

I intended for this to be a supplement, and generally did not refer to the page during class discussions, although on a couple of occasions I added items to the story that had first been discussed in class. I particularly liked having a rich way to show students what I did while away at the Association of American Geographers meetings, and for which I canceled class.

I did announce updates via the class blog and there is some discussion of the timeline on that site. According to Storify’s stats, there have been seventy-six views of that page, but I don’t really know how many of those are from students in the class.

I am going to repeat this exercise next Fall, and maybe I will make more use of the narrative in class, or give students an opportunity to suggest additions. It occurred to me later that asking about use of the story would have been a good evaluation question at the end of the term.

In History and Philosophy of Geography, a small seminar course for majors and minors, I built a quick story outlining my path to becoming a geographer, and for Geography & Film I collected a set of infographics as an aid to discussing Inception. In both of these cases, I used Storify more as a presentation tool than as a way to build an independent resource. However, the web-based interface and integrated search function made Storify a better choice for making these presentations than a program like PowerPoint would have been. In the case of the Inception graphics, especially, I appreciated having that easily available to my students for preview and later reference.

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