Project 1: Come to the Edge

ISTE Standards for Teachers 1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity. D. Model
collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleges and others
in face-to-face and virtual environments.

There is a plethora of websites on the internet intended for users to make and share one's’
ideas, opinions, and creations. It is important for teachers to utilize such websites in their
classrooms. In an age of technology, providing students with the opportunity to use it in the
classroom can better help a child learn. In the “Come to the Edge” project, I had the chance to
explore numerous products that ranged from websites to phone applications. They also varied on
how easy to use they were or how many options there were in the product. Each product had its
own unique characteristics that I could see useful in the classroom setting. A common theme
among the products was the idea of connection. This is one of the many benefits of technology.
Furthermore, this can easily extend into the classroom by involving parents with what is
happening during the school day. I believe that a parent-teacher relationship is vital. The
International Society for Technology in Education has a set of standards that all teachers should
reference when implementing technology into their classrooms.
“Learning and innovation skills are what separate students who are prepared for
increasingly complex life and work environments in today’s world and those who are not”
highlights the notion of how important integrating technology into our schools is (Partnership for
21st Century Learning, 2016, p. 2). So, by providing kids with the opportunity to explore
technology at a young age, and having guidance about how to use technology appropriately, can
give children advantages in their futures. When I decided which products I would use in the
“Come to the Edge” project, I strategically picked products based on their longevity and their
benefit to a student's future.
Storybird is a free website and downloadable application for IOS and Android that
enables its users to create written works and illustrations that they can share with others. Users
can create a variety of works starting from picture books to poems and chapter books. Storybird
gives students the ability to use their creativity and imagination to create a piece of work that can
be shared to anyone. As stated in an article, “these new media are interactive, and conducive to
active, engaged learning… Learning is thus driven by the individual needs and interests of the
learner” (Mishra, 2011, p. 2). Storybird lets users explore their creative abilities by providing
them with a medium to do so. Furthermore, students can comment and reply to others works. A
user can even buy someone else’s creating for a profit. Something I find interesting is how
Storybird calls its users either artists, writers, or creators. By giving students this label, they are
letting users take pride in their works. Storybird makes its users feel comfortable and special in a
unique way.
A large benefit of Storybird is the connected it is to education. When looking at the site,
there is categories designated to educators, parents, artists, and writers. It even aligns with the
Common Core State Standards. Educators call it the most interactive and engaging website or
app that they have used in their careers. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher
Education states that, “Technology can constrain the types of possible representations, but also
can afford the construction of newer and more varied representations” which is was Storybird
embodies (Koehler & Mishra, 2009, p. 65). It is because there is a lack of technologies related to
the field of arts that Storybird sticks out. I believe that Storybird should be used in all schools if
it is able to be.
The “ISTE Standards for Teachers 1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity.
D. Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleges
and others in face-to-face and virtual environments” captured the standard that most my products
met. Teachers must specifically pick products that help their students development and
connection to technology. So, taking into consideration the ISTE Standards will help an educator
do so. By allowing technology to enter the classroom, teachers teaching styles are being
enhanced which has led to further student success.

References:

Koehler, M. & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge?
Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.

Mishra, P. (2011). A Summary of Bruce & Levin's 1997 seminal article and Dewey's 1943
School and Society. Retrieved February 8, 2016 at http://punya.educ.msu.edu/summer/wp-
content/uploads/2012/06/MAET_Day_6_Classifying-1.pdf.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2009). P21 framework definitions. Retrieved from
http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework