Stormboard is a glorious, amazing, innovative tool with countless applications, created by a skilled team. Despite this, I must admit to having certain reservations about recommending Stormboard as a tool for music teachers, but these reservations can be discussed after putting this excellent product through its paces.
[title size=”2″]Stormboard Demo & Collaborative & Social Work Space [/title]
Wow, neat right!? It is possible to put multiple texts, video clips, links and images together to create flexible and responsive collaborative/instructional spaces.
[title size=”2″]Stormboard in an Activity Palette [/title]
Let’s look at some music related Stormboards:
Please participate in the Stormboards featured in our video! (You will need to setup an education account.)
Harpsichord vs. Piano
[title size=”2″]Ease of Use[/title]
Stormboard is easy to use, but some aspects of its function, like making copies of stromboards, are a little less than intuitive. As with any multi-functioned software platform, reading all of the provided documentation is crucial.
[title size=”2″]Mobile Compatibility [/title]
There is not a dedicated iOS app, but Stormboard is fully HTML5 compatible. This means that it works well on all tablets and smartphones.
[title size=”2″]Web Sharing[/title]
Stormboard cannot be embedded into a LMS directly. Students will need to be provided with a link to each stormboard and appropriate login information. To participate, they will also need to create their own stormboard accounts. I am always in favor of keeping the number of student sign-ons needed to a minimum. Integrating stromboard with some of the more prominent LMSs should be a priority.
[title size=”2″]Pricing and Accounts[/title]
Stormboard is currently free for teachers until July 31st, which is great! However, this brings me to one of my main concerns. At this point, the Stormboard team does not seem to have fully figured out how to streamline and monetize this product for the classroom. Stormboard was developed for corporate “users” and “administrators”, roles that are similar to, but slightly different than, “teachers” and “students”. The corporate user might engage with the platform multiple times a day or week, but a students might only need it 2-3 times over a 12-16 week semester. The expectation of continuous use is not realistic. As such, a model that would cost a “student” the same amount as a corporate employee (“user”) would not be practical. This would need to be addressed in any upcoming education price models.
In my experience, the introduction of a new tool is always spearheaded by individual faculty, so it would be in stormboard’s interest to find was of dealing with individual faculty in individual class settings, rather than trying to cut large deals with institutions. I believe that as this excellent tool gains more exposure, they may be able to change this model, but for now it will be individuals teachers pushing the envelope with stormboard.
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- Intuitive and easy to use
- Free teacher accounts (till July 31st)
- Well documented and supported
- Support for text, weblinks, images (only from desktop) and video (YouTube, Vimeo)
- Mobile Support (HTML5 compatible)
- Student collaboration supported through live chat, commenting, voting and posting of content
- Content is fully private
- Reports can be generated, though they are not a full representation
- Concepts can be easily parsed and manipulated
- All activity can be tracked
- Beautiful interface without any obvious technical glitches
- No support for audio (Soundcloud anyone?)
Music Toolbox is a music site, so no audio without YouTube is a big deal.
- Images cannot be hot linked to
- The educational pricing model is not yet clear
- Documents cannot be uploaded in education account
- Templates cannot be customized in eduction account
- Students will not be able to create their own stormboards without an admin account
- No dedicated iOS app
— Stormboard (@stormboard) April 22, 2014