Sunday, October 12, 2014

Zooburst - a storytelling tool

 Zooburst is a digital storytelling tool which allows users to create interactive 3D pop-up books. The tool is so easy to use, that teachers can ask their learners to create their own books as well. It has MyClasses section where teachers can create protected spaces for their learners' books, but this feature is not free.

 Having registered, click on MyBooks tab to start creating a new book. This is also the space where all your created books will show. At first you need to title your book and write a description. The latter is optional. What I like about this tool is that you can make the book visible to everyone, anyone with a link or only to yourself. So if you are going to use the book in the classroom, you can set it to "Only me".

The work area is self-explanatory - you don't really need to be an expert to create a book. To add a picture, you can either do a search inside Zooburst or upload your own photos. When creating the book, remember to save each page you have not to lose any. You can make a maximum of 10 pages but that's enough for a short classroom activity.

The first book I created was for my students to revise past tenses. I showed them a page at a time and they needed to write a sentence or two describing the picture and connect the description of the first picture with the following one to end up with a story. The students were working in pairs and spent a great deal of time discussing each picture and negotiating the meaning. They all enjoyed the activity.

Another interesting feature of this tool is that it can be presented online. All you need to do is to print the ZB logo, click the Camera tab above the book you want to present, show the printed logo to the camera and your book will pop out from the logo on the camera.

Here is what the book is like.

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