for educators where all students may post their work, this allows the teacher to control content as
students are creating their products. Further benets of the use of this tool have recently been listed
in an article published by Business Wire (2010):Glogster EDU has quickly morphed from just a “tool” to a digitally relevant, 21st century multi-me-dia learning platform that goes beyond the teacher-student classroom relationship into a scalableschool system network for educational communities across the world.That is to say, the new characteristics of this tool allow interaction and collaboration, which makes ita true Web 2.0 tool. Storytelling and story writing also play an important role in education and theycan now be combined with Web 2.0 tools. Nowadays, stories do not necessarily follow the classicalmodel of linear development. In fact, since the creation of hypertext, narrative is “often nonlinear andincreasingly media-rich” (Bryan & Levine, 2008).
Strahovnik & Mecava (2009) explain the benets of storytelling when combined with technology,
especially with Web 2.0 technology. As they see it, storytelling can help students develop communica-tion skills as most of these tools facilitate the creation of user-generated content and its publication.Cao et al (2005) also refer to the possible combination of storytelling and Web 2.0 stating that:Non-linear storytelling has been an effective means of knowledge sharing and learning in organiza-tions and societies for a long time. With the advent of the Web 2.0 user generated content like digi-tal videos in YouTube and digital images in Flickr.com have become particularly interesting (p.1).There are different ways in which a story may be created using Web 2.0 tools. Some of the applica-tions described so far, including Animoto and Dvolver, may well serve this purpose. Besides, there areother tools where stories may be built based on photos and other media. A good example to consider is Penzu (www.penzu.com). This application allows educators to upload different images to a blanktemplate in the website where students will eventually write a story based on the images chosen. Thewriting techniques may vary but the tool is seen as instrumental by numerous teachers who have
used it. Peachey (2009) refers to the benets of using this tool when he says:
What’s great about using a tool like this is that it makes students written work much more acces-sible, they can integrate high quality images with the work and it remains as a tangible record of their progress and achievements. It’s also very content focused and there is no fuss with formattingor different fonts. It’s just about the writing (p.7). Another software program that can be applied to storytelling is worth mentioning, Sketch Cast (www.sketchcast.com), which combines the use of oral language and visual media. In fact, users may re-cord their voice at the same time they draw or sketch on a blank background. This work is recordedin the form of a video which can be shared online in different websites. This application may be ben-
ecial to foster students’ creativity and to encourage an alternative way to communicate content.
Akcaoglu (Cited in Fryers, 2010) refers to Sketch Cast as “podcast with a whiteboard”, but it is actu-ally much more than that as it effectively allows for the development of all the possible kinds of storiesinvolved in storytelling, ranging “from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from ex-ploring life in one’s own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally,everything in between” (UH, 2010)Crating animated avatars may also be a useful alternative when applying Web 2.0 tools to teaching.
Mitchell (2010) denes avatars as “a graphical representation of a user … (which) can include user