Reflections from Class: Engaging Students with Storyline Online

I introduced my students to Storyline Online which is a site where famous people read books sponsored by The Screen Actors Guild Foundation. There are about 18 books available with additional activity guides that include information about the authors and links to other websites.

My students were immediately engaged by the multi-media “show."  The books are filmed and the presentation flashes back and forth from the illustrations to the celebrity reader. There is an option for “captions” on or off, so you can see the text that is being read. I showed my students how they could turn down the sound while the captions are on and read the book themselves. They must read with fluency because the page turns “on time.”  It's no problem if you can’t keep up, you can pause it or go back and pick up where you got off track. They loved this and we practiced reading as a class using the “choral reading technique” which we have been practicing as a group since September.  Reading Rockets has a great explanation and some sample texts to get you started with this technique. 

After winter break, one of my students informed me that she had “become bored” and logged onto Storyline Online with her mom’s Smart phone. A second student chimed in and said that she too logged on with her mom’s Smart phone. I’m not sure why, but I had not thought about the possibility of using a Smart phone. I envisioned students going online with the standard PC.  Just goes to show that I am NOT a “digital native”!

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