What is Storybird?
Storybird is a collaborative storytelling tool. Students use collections of art to be inspired to write stories. One the art is chosen, students are able to build their story by dragging and dropping pictures and creating a story to match. Storybird is an extremely engaging site that allows students to focus more on the content of their writing rather than drawing pictures!
It is free
It is easy to use
Teacher accounts can be created which means students do not need email addresses to sign up
Children under 13 can have their own account (unlike many web 2.0 tools)
Student work can be kept private and Storybird takes privacy seriously
Storybirds can be commented on
Completed Storybirds can be embedded on blogs or websites
It is suitable for a wide range of ages (especially primary school/junior secondary)
It fosters student creativity and collaboration
It is an authentic way for students to practise their writing skills.
Ways this can be used by educators:
This website is specifically for writing stories. A vast amount of illustrations are already available, leaving the writing up to the user. This website has a classroom feature where a teacher can add students, review work and engage in discussions. The ability to embed them into a blog or other site allows for students to have an authentic audience to write for. An added bonus is the minimal amount of teacher prep needed!
Storybird is excellent for many writing assignments. It’s an engaging site that will help bring even the most hesitant writers out of their shell.
- Storybird can be used as an assessment tool. Students can show their understanding of persuasive writing, the elements of plot and sequencing.
- Storybird can be used as a way to collaborate between parent and child. What better way to bridge home and school than by having a child and their parents take turn writing pages in a book.
- The teacher could also find another class from another state or country to work with. Pair up students from the two classes and have them write a story together. Each child will bring their own style to the story while working together. Each class can work on them when they have an opportunity so the stories don’t have to be worked on at the exact same time. Once the stories are finished, Skype the other class and have students take turns reading stories. Each pair could read the pages they wrote from the book.
- Storybird can also just be used to have students write on their own. The fact that the work can stay unpublished until it is finished allows it to be worked on over several class periods. Students could all work on their stories during a computer lab, if you have a laptop cart, or are lucky enough to have a 1:1 classroom. It can also be done as independent work in a center if you have fewer computers.
I was first introduced to Storybird through my technology director at the school I currently work at. It was not until this Technology class, however, that I looked closer at the website and discovered it was something I could successfully use with my students. The website itself is very clear and easy to follow, giving the new user “quick tours” throughout the process. If one would want to look into other ways of learning about Storybird, there are many tutorials online and on youtube.com.