Tech Tools for Biography Projects

6 Mar

As a Reading Specialist and Technology Integration Facilitator (TIF) for my building, my colleagues are always asking me for suggestions of tools to use for various research projects or reading/writing projects. One 5th grade teacher is currently looking to do a project on heroes of the Women’s Rights Movement. She is looking into Glogster or having the students create a fake Facebook wall (somehow, and with some tool!) and approached me for advice and help!

Although I’ve dabbled with Glogster, I had to play with it more to give her my true opinion (I love it!). I definitely recommend it as an option (see samples below!), since there are some great features for embedding photos and video; however, this led me into a weekend exploration of other fun tech tools to use for publishing digital biographies, or biographical information. Check out a few of these tools

  • Magnoto – A “magnetic” display where you can post and share text, audio, video, and pictures. (Great post on iLearn Technology on how to do this!)
  • Museum Box Great tool for students to showcase an event or historical person! (Read a post on Kleinspiration for a great post about using this tool!)
  • Simple Booklet — Create simple digital documents (e.g., booklets, brochures, flyers, postcards, etc.) using photos, video, and audio… or even a digital story!

Here are some Glogster historical biography samples I found using a simple Google search:

As for the “fake” Facebook profile, I had a characterbook template that was shared with me via ProTeacher (here’s the discussion thread!), but with so many tech tools out there, I figured there had to be at least one Web 2.0 tool for creating such a profile. I came across MyFakeWall but found that certain district’s block access to it from inside the school’s network. If your district allows it, it seems like a fun way to create a profile for an historical figure!

NOTE: If you’re interested in using MyFakeWall in your classrooms and its blocked, here’s a great post (from iLearn Technology) about creating “‘Facebook’ Profile Pages for Literary Characters.” Blogger, ktenkenly, uploaded a template on Crocodoc and had students create their “Facebook” pages from the different URLs she created! She even included a sample template that you can download from this blog post!

I’m curious (and excited!) about which tool my colleague will decide to explore and use for this project.  There are so many options, and these were just a few! I’m sure I’ll be recruited to help with the process, so be sure to check back for my reflections, as well as student samples!

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One Response to “Tech Tools for Biography Projects”

  1. kristinmjordan March 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Came across this on Twitter, right after I posted! http://digitalgoonies.com/?p=337

    Offers some tips and examples on creating your own trading cards using BigHugeLabs (http://bighugelabs.com/deck.php).

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