Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's storytime!

A Storybird for storytime,
It doesn't always need to rhyme.
So cute and easy, it's lots of fun.
Pick some art and you're on the run.

Storybird is a lovely application to make beautiful online books. Storybird has a collection of art by numerous artists that are grouped together by theme. You choose the art for your book and get the whole themed collection. Then it is drag and drop - choose a piece of art you like and drag it onto the page of the book. You can shift the location - upper, lower, right or left of page. Then you add text and continue along to the next page. It really is easy to use and the beautiful artwork makes the books look professional.

Teachers can get an Education account (which I did), where they can manage classes, put assignments, etc. You can upgrade for other convenient features as follows.

I absolutely love Storybird! It is so easy to use and the results are so impressive and professional looking. I really want to get working with the Grade 2 and 3s on creating some Storybirds after the break - the nice thing is that we can do it in French!

In this blog post at Edutopia, Aviva Dunsigner, describes using Storybird with Grade 1s and 2s working individually, in partners and even using it during math centres while Stephen Davis uses it with his Grade 8 students (New Teacher Boot Camp Week 3 - Using Storybird).

Anne Coward at Educational Technologies for School Leaders suggests these reasons for using Storybird:
  • Encourages reluctant readers to read and write
  • Opportunities for students to collaborate and share ideas while they create their own story
  • Students are easily able to navigate program to create storybook
  • Great images and artwork for students that help inspire a story
  • Student Work can be easily accessed to grade and review.
  • The created project can be easily shared and downloaded so others can provide feedback or edit
  • Embed anywhere i.e. class blogs, websites, email for others to see

On this wiki,, there is an example of an assignment about adjectives using Storybird. Students must choose an art collection and then create a book using adjectives to describe the art. There are also examples of collaboratively created Storybirds between classes in different parts of the country (USA).

Storybirds are an excellent way for students to engage in new literacies (Kist, 2010; Richardson, 2010). The ability to create and collaborate is critical as we move forward in the rapidly changing environment of learning and technology. Storybird allows students to participate in this read/write web, is fun and easy.

Kist, W. (2010). The socially networked classroom: teaching in the new media age. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

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