What is Docs Story Builder?
Docs Story Builder is a Google web app that allows users to create conversations in a simulated Google Docs collaborative environment. Check out this silly sample from the Docs Story Builder home page:
To implement this brand-new-to-my-classroom tool, I gave my students a quickie tutorial that lasted about a minute, then gave them five minutes to mess around and explore. Because the interface is super easy to use, this was more than sufficient time and generated a lot of excitement. In case you're a fan of how-to videos, here's a brief tutorial, which is actually longer than the prep I gave my students:
Here are a few of the Docs Story Builder projects they created:
- Docs Story Builder is engaging and gives kids the opportunity to get creative. The app itself is incredibly versatile in terms of how it could be used in the classroom, too. My next plan is to integrate Docs Story Builder into Social Studies, and have students write a conversation between Alexander the Great and his arch nemesis, Darius III of Persia.
- At the end of the creation process, users are given a share link to access their finished product. This could be easily turned in via a simplistic Google Form or copied and pasted into a collaborative Google Doc shared with the whole class. I ended up creating a collaborative Google Doc that I shared with all of my students. (I have a master list of their Google Docs account usernames, so I copied/pasted the usernames into the share function of the Doc.) If you need to build a master list quickly, have kids fill out a simple Google Form and check the box that automatically logs the usernames of respondents.
- While you can't download the finished product, you could easily screen capture it using a free screen casting tool such as Screencast-o-matic.
Happy Story Building!
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