Monday, March 9, 2015

Near Space Storehouse BlogSmash

Screenshot of Storehouse website
Storehouse is a free iOS and Android app that has been around just barely over a year. Storehouse publishes gorgeous looking stories with pictures, video, and text. National Geographic's contributors often post to Storehouse. That is what first attracted me to the site and why I often return.

I shared Storehouse with my staff in the hopes that it might serve as a new way to present learning. We are a 1:1 iPad school. Composing on an iPad often entails more than a teacher bargains for in adjustments. After working with Storehouse to tell the world about our Near Space Weather Balloon Launch,  I realized the same came be said for the Storehouse app. With some planning and preparation, you can make your Storehouse experience far more fun and successful.

I recommend having students compose all of their text in a Google Doc or other text editor first so that they can copy and paste it into Storehouse. This is much easier than having them compose in the app. They can take advantage of spelling and grammar checking services and other formatting features that do not yet seem to be present in Storehouse.

Additionally, it helps to have all of the photos and video in the Camera Roll or Dropbox to upload into Storehouse. Video needs to be less than 30 seconds in length and the quality should be medium. I am not sure what the maximum file size is because I couldn't find the specifications but I know that I had to keep making the 27 second clip I tried to load smaller and smaller before it worked. If you need to tell the story in longer video, break them up into 30 seconds or less clips and then upload separately.

Once all of your content is uploaded, you can easily drag and drop each element where you want it for your published product. This is where Storehouse shines. The final product is sleek and professional looking which is why I choose Storehouse to tell about the Near Space Exploration some of our middle school students conducted. I think it is a pretty nifty story and worth a look see.

In the meantime, my wish list would be that Storehouse allow for uploads or embeds from major video sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Even better, if it would connect with Google Apps for Education so that students can load from their Drive. It would be nice to compose on a computer from the website as well as an app. And, I don't think it too much to ask that longer videos could be shared.

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