A research, reading, writing, citing and publishing platform

App of the Week
Formats: Web, iOs, Android, PC/Mac

Website: AwesomeStories

What does it help with?

- Student Engagement
- 21st century research skills
- Deep reading, critical thinking and writing skills
- Support for teacher-made curriculum
- Cost savings through local and shared authorship and publishing

What grade and age range?

- K-16

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extra-curricular/professional development or what?

- AwesomeStories integrates with core and is also used as supplemental, special needs, gifted, extra-curricular instruction. AwesomeStories is also an effective professional development curriculum and toolset.

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to?

- ELA, Math, Social Studies, Science, Health, Sports, the Arts and more. Stories are aligned to state standards and Common Core standards.

What lesson time does it use?

- AwesomeStories can be integrated into core curriculum and used as a part of the school lessons or can be used individually for research and writing—inside and after school.

What is the pricing model?

- AwesomeStories’ archive of 4000+ stories and 100,000+ primary sources is available to all for free.
- Premium apps including virtual ClassSetup, AssignmentMaker, StoryMaker and CurriculumMaker cost $14/year for one individual teacher or learner and $39/year for a teacher + 30 students with additional students @ $1/year.

Are there services around it?

- AwesomeStories provides online video tutorials, QuickGuides, online live webinars for support.
- AwesomeStories works with districts to match their scope and sequence with stories to provide teachers with media, story and primary source extensions of their curriculum one click away. What makes AwesomeStories unique?
- AwesomeStories recognizes that people love to teach and learn through stories, so it gives teachers and students the power to become evidence-based storymakers.
- AwesomeStories provides teachers and students with rich media content from reliable resources to enrich their lessons.
- AwesomeStories offers over 70 collections of topical stories most of which are usable in subject-specific and cross-curricular modes.
- AwesomeStories media is available via computers/mobile devices for use inside and outside school.
- Students and teachers can access AwesomeStories via single sign on to their school LMS (learning management system), directly through the iOS or Android apps or the AwesomeStories website.
- Teachers use “AssignmentMaker” to create and deliver assignments and assessment items to student online dashboards.
- Confidential online communication, connected to student work and to the AwesomeStories archive is established via teacher and student dashboards.
- AwesomeStories links to over 150 world-renowned archives that are reliable and valuable to teachers and students.
- AwesomeStories own primary source archive is searchable in 7 ways making it easy for educators or students to find resources by keyword, topical collection, subject, grade level, state or CCSS standard, media type and story origin. 
- “StoryMaker” supports educators and students using its recommended external archives.
- “StoryMaker” supports student understanding of citation guidelines and ensures proper citation in stories produced.
- “StoryMaker” supports student organization of writing.
- “StoryMaker” enables students to preview their stories as they will appear in multimedia form as they work.
- AwesomeStories supports private classroom sharing as well as wider publishing to the AwesomeStories website with over 3.3million users and 6.5million page views per year.
- AwesomeStories provides real-time grading and reporting at classroom, school and district levels. Time on task and achievement are tracked and viewable in easily adjusted time frame and group parameters.
- AwesomeStories supports flipped classroom, one to one, project-based, constructivist as well as traditional classroom teaching and learning.

A description of the characteristics—how is it designed for user interface, user experience? What instructional design principles are at work here?

AwesomeStories developed its current website and applications with the active guidance of 25 “Awesome Teacher Leaders” from across the country. This team of teachers, media specialist/librarians, principals and writers guided us in our development to ensure that our website content was highly accessible and that our apps work effectively to support busy teachers, integrate using IMS LTI single sign on with school-mandated learning management systems and our resources support multiple pedagogical approaches. The AwesomeStories interface was created in a responsive design to be usable on mobile and laptop devices and to feature images representing stories that add to visual enjoyment of the content. AwesomeStories has been developed to support college faculty and students, all levels of K12 teachers and students with teacher mediation varying for level. AwesomeStories is highly useful in whole-class instruction either projected on a shared screen or used by students on their own devices. Teachers and parents can feel comfortable with students using AwesomeStories archive for research and stories for learning inside and outside of school. Students can share their learning experiences with parents at home viewing stories, including their own MLA cited stories, online together. The interface is intuitive enough for 4th grade students to perform the most advanced functions: researching, writing and citing their own stories with little assistance.

Teacher views:

"I can't believe how fast and easy it is to use AwesomeStoryMaker! I research the archives right from the app, write my story, enter links, note sources, and presto—I’ve created a multimedia story complete with beautiful images, videos and reliable citations ready for publication for learners and teachers around the world as well as my own students.”

Kay Teehan, Polk County Public Schools, District Media Specialist Trainer

“I have been an AwesomeStories subscriber and have shared this site with many teachers. I think it brings lessons to life in ways that students find very appealing and in ways that capture their attention. It is so in tune with the way students are wired in this generation of digital natives.”

Pat Bailey Department Chair of World Languages, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Gwinnett County, GA

“Young people easily can get mired in the flotsam and jetsam of the Internet. At AwesomeStories, educators and students discover new nonfiction worlds at a safe, accurate website. The stories will lead students on a quest for answers. Teachers will appreciate the lesson plans and activities. The site is aligned with Common Core State Standards. Simply put, AwesomeStories is an Internet gem.”

Patricia Paugh, MA Library Media Specialist, Writer, Educator, North Warren, NJ

For more information visit: AwesomeStories

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