Tuesday, 3 July 2012

30 days of Web Tools: #1: Use Storify.com to capture a tweetchat


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Today sees the start of a series called “30 days of Web Tools” where I plan to either focus on a single Web Tool that could interest teachers, or on a collection of Web Tools.  Recently I discovered this amazing tool called Storify where you can turn an event into an interesting media story and I wrote a blogpost about it yesterday showing my first attempt - Using Storify.com to summarise a tweetchat from #edchatsa. Today I would like to focus on using Storify to document all the tweets in a tweetchat. As my example I am going to use the tweets from our #edchatsa discussion last night on the topic 'What can be done in South Africa to enhance the status of the teaching profession?'

Other tweet capturing tools I have tried

Using Twitter as a hashtag at an event is very common these days, and generally one wants to capture the tweets before they disappear into cyberspace after a few days. I haven’t been very successful in finding just the right tool I want to use for capturing hashtag tweets. What I am looking for is a tool that:
  • captures all the tweets
  • puts them into chronological order
  • allows embedding
  • can be made into a PDF 

1. Tweetdoc

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Tweetdoc could be a great tweet capture tool if only it worked for me! More often than not I just haven’t been successful with creating a PDF with Tweetdoc. 

2. Archivist
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I have The Archivist installed on my computer and I sometimes use it as an online application. It captures all the tweets beautifully, but as far as I can see you have to use the application to read them.
 
Using Storify to capture tweets 

Storify seems to fulfill my requirements mentioned above.  It captures all the tweets, you can change them to chronological order, it allows different kinds of embedding and one can create a PDF document by sending your Storify document to Google Docs using a Chrome extension called 'Send to Google Docs'.  I would like to show you the process of doing all this.
 

First, as mentioned yesterday,join Storify, log in and click on Create a story. A window for writing in opens. Write the title of the chat in the first box and a description of the event in the second box.
 
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Next, in the section on the right hand side click on the Twitter icon and enter the hashtag. Soon all the tweets will appear starting with the most recent tweets, 20 tweets at a time. 

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After that choose Add them all

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Continue doing this until all the tweets for the discussion have been added.

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Now you want to put the tweets into chronological order from the beginning to the end. Choose the relevant arrow at the top of the page.

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Finally publish your tweet summary. At the top of the page choose Save now and then Publish.The final published document appears.
 
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If you would like to take a look at the final tweet summary that was created, please open this link: http://storify.com/fibeal/what-can-be-done-in-south-africa-to-enhance-the-st

Exporting your document as a PDF

Storify gives you a number of options for exporting your new document – to a blog, share, embed.. but it doesn’t mention creating a PDF! So the way I create a PDF is as follows:

1.   On your Chrome toolbar add a free extension from the Chrome webstore called ‘Send  to Google Docs’.
2.   Click on that extension icon to send the Storify document to Google Docs.
3.   Once in Google Docs choose ‘Download the original’ which it then does as a PDF.

Relevance to education 

This could be a great way for teachers to capture a Professional Development event. If one member of staff is attending a Conference they could use this to capture the conference tweets and share them with other members of staff. Storify could also be used to capture a lesson especially if you have a twitter hashtag that you use for your class.

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