Storify – tell your story using content from social media channels and the web

December 30th, 2013 by Monika Jankowska-Pacyna

storifyStorify is a service that lets you create cool visual stories on specific topics by pulling content from social media channels and the web. You create an account, search media channels to collect content on a topic of your choice and then publish and share it on the web. With one search, you can look through and add content from other Storify users, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, and even specific websites that you might manage.

We can imagine educators using this tool to collect and share information and links to current news or topics they might want to discuss with students (for example, the Kingston Helicopter Rescue or The Story That Changed Your Life). Students will love Storify as well! They can use it to tell their own stories or share information on topics important to them. They can also use Storify to complete research assignments, all while developing their digital technology skills in setting up online accounts, online searching, understanding social media, embedding and sharing links, and so much more!

So how do you use Storify? It’s simple!

1. To get started, go to http://storify.com and set up an account. This might be a good time to have a discussion with students about online safety, privacy, terms of reference and other important information they should know when creating new accounts or logging in using other social media accounts they have.

You will be asked to confirm your account via email and then you can log in.

2. Next, you click on the “Create Story” button, choose a topic that would be of interest to you and start collecting your content using the navigation on the right side of your dashboard. We decided to see if we could create a story on Open Badges, something we will be focusing on early next year as part of a Moodle course.

Note that you can choose from a selection of channels, such as Storify, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google, and even GIF files or specific URLs and narrow down your search by type or format.

3. As you search for content, you can simply scan through the search results and “drag and drop” the ones you like onto your story board. Depending on the type of content you select, you will be displaying links to articles, Twitter posts, pictures, videos and so on. You can then review, change the order and delete the content you don’t like. Below is a screen capture of our work in progress on Exploring the world of Badges. On the left is the content we dragged in to include in our story, and on the right are the search results from other Storify users that we are exploring. Note that while searching, you can revise your search keywords and switch between channels to narrow down your search results.

4. When done, you simply “Publish” the story. You will also have a chance to decide if you want to share it on your Twitter or Facebook account or you can skip and continue on.

After your story is published, you will also have more chances to distribute the story, including the option to embed it in your webpage.

5. Here is the final, published version of the Exploring Open Badges story we explored:

{source}
<!– You can place html anywhere within the source tags –>

<div class=”storify”><iframe src=”//storify.com/MJP/exploring-open-badges/embed” width=”100%” height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src=”//storify.com/MJP/exploring-open-badges.js”></script><noscript>[<a href=”//storify.com/MJP/exploring-open-badges” target=”_blank”>View the story “Exploring Open Badges” on Storify</a>]</noscript></div>
{/source}

Need topic ideas?

There are so many stories you or students can focus on when using Storify. You can create stories on:

  • recent news topics (you can even get students to become “daily reporters” on the topics important to them and their community)
  • favourite vacation spots, musicians, recipes, holidays etc.
  • dream jobs
  • tips on creating resumes and acing job interviews
  • websites to find jobs
  • literacy services in the area
  • links to learning videos or tutorials
  • highlights from an event or conference
  • new tools or resources
  • information about your program and services
  • and so on… there are so many possibilities!

What topic would you choose? How would you use Storify in your classroom? Please share with us using the comments below.