As a future teacher, I want to find modern and creative ways to help the students develop their different competencies. However, a competency that can sometime seam boring for the children is the C3: Write and produce texts. By doing some research on the internet, I believe I found a very interesting tool for them to develop the C3 while having fun. The tool is call Storybird, it is basically a very simple website where students get to create a story using images and texts. They have the opportunity to choose the kind of images they like and use their creativity to give life to pictures which were created by artists all around the world.
At first, I thought it might be a bit hard for the students to use it and to understand how the website works but I gave it a try and quickly got the hand of it. It is very clever, clear and effective. The children only have to chose a picture and the text box appears on the side so they can write whatever they like. They can then add a title, a cover and share it with the class. It is also possible for teachers to create a class account to which all students can have access. The teacher could, for example, start a story and every student has to add a page to continue the story which would made a very creative and colourful reading to share with the class at the end. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T00YjRBIcIw)
Also, as mentioned in the video I previously linked, this website is as useful for younger students as for older students. It could be used with older students to see their understanding of the parts of a story (introduction, plot, climax,etc.), as much as with younger students to practice simple grammar content seen in class (the dog likes apples, the men is wearing a brown hat, etc.). It pushes the students to a higher level of thinking and easily shows their understanding of the content seen in class.
Also I believe that technology nowadays is perfect to develop the student’s creativity in a new and modern way. They could obviously have just drawn a story and add some texts to it, but the possibilities when doing it online are endless. As I said before, they could share the story, create a story for all the class in which every student add a bit, and they can continue or finish a story at home, which makes it even more interesting. Plus, the teacher doesn’t have to carry around 50 stories of children to correct them at home.
From a competency point of view, I believe that this website can bring the students to develop equally C1 (interact orally in English), C2 (reinvest understanding), and C3 (writing texts). They can share their story with the class, which would help them develop oral interaction skills, as much as, obviously, writing skills when they are creating their story. Also, the C2 can easily be developed if the teacher gives the students specific content and ask them to put it in practice in their story. The possibilities are endless!
Moreover, to give you a good idea of what storybird really is, here is an example of a story created with the website, which will, at the same time, give you many good reasons to use Storybird. It mentionnes students collaboration, students developing their creativity, the possibility for students to use it personally at home just for fun, and a lot more. (http://storybird.com/books/storybird-in-the-classroom/)
Finally, as a teacher, if you need your students to practice writing texts and want to find an orignal way to do it, I would definitely recommend you to use Storybird. If you are still not sure about, just give it a try, you will see by yourself.