Saturday, July 18, 2009

Story Place - Digital Stories in English and Spanish

The Story Place is a children's digital library produced by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg counties in North Carolina. The Story Place features digital stories in English and Spanish for students of pre-school age through elementary school. The digital stories are arranged by age group and by theme. I looked at the pre-school story about firefighters and thought it that it is the type of story I would share with my pre-school aged child, if I had kids. Along with the digital stories are activity guides for parents and reading lists.

Application for Education
The Story Place is a great source of digital stories that teachers and parents can use to introduce reading to young students. The digital stories contain audio of each story as well as the text of the story. The parent activities could be printed and sent home with students as a way to encourage reading at home.

Itpints - A New Real-Time Search Engine

The creation of real-time search engines is one of my favorite developments of the web in the last year. As I mentioned in this video, using real-time search engines is how I find quite a few of the resources that I mention on Free Technology for Teachers. Real-time search engines are also great for tracking the developments of a breaking news story.

Itpints is a new real-time search engine that pulls results from Backtype and Twitter. The benefit of pulling results from Backtype is that is finds not only new stories, but also it finds stories that are being actively discussed and commented on by readers at any moment.

Applications for Education
Real-time search engines like Itpints are great resources to have when a story is breaking. These resources could be put to use by students in a current events course or in a journalism course. When I taught a current events course one of my favorite things to do was to have students analyze the reporting of one story from multiple sources. Real-time search makes it possible to get coverage of a story from multiple perspectives.

Here are the three other real-time search engines that you should try: