Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tech Tip Tuesday: StormBoard

One of my professional goals for this academic year has been to help teachers find meaningful ways to incorporate technology into instruction- particularly for ELLs. And, I love sharing what I learn, so I've decided to start a weekly "Tech Tip Tuesday".

To kick things off, this week's tip is a web-based tool called Stormboard. Stormboard started as a business collaboration platform. But you know teachers- we're always repurposing innovative ideas for our own needs in the classroom. As a result, StormBoad now offers several great educational templates for storming. Right now, it is free for educators until July 31, 2015, and you can create unlimited storms! 

Students create a "sticky" to share their ideas. You can color code the stickies in your storm for different purposes. A "sticky" can contain text, images, videos, links, even drawings! Even better, you can refer back to your storms days, weeks, or months later!

StormBoard is a great brainstorming tool that can be used to:
  • Brainstorm ideas for writing
  • Pre-assess student knowledge on a topic
  • Reading response
  • Build and activate background knowledge
  • Post-assessment
  • Exit slip
  • Collaborative planning with colleagues
  • Staff development
Why this tool is great for ELLs:
ELLs need opportunities to write down their ideas and refer back to them. With StormBoard, ELLs can refer back to their responses and their classmates' responses from school or home. The opportunity to see the responses of classmates can provide language models and ideas that ELLs can build off of to create their own response. The variety of response types makes it possible for even students with limited English to participate and respond.

Have a great week!

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