Storybird


Storybird (http://www.storybird.com) is an online tool that allows users to easily create and collaborate on art inspired short stories.Storybird1.jpg




Storybird is a collaborative story telling website that allows children, students, teachers and families to create, view and share short stories and infuse them with creative artwork. Two or more users create a story by sharing their ideas (words and pictures) and working collaboratively either in a typical classroom or home setting or by working with others in alternate locations over the internet.

It is considered a Web 2.0 tool because it is a web application that facilitates interactive use. It takes a user centered design (text and artwork) and allows users from any location to create, edit and enhance their stories via the web. Stories are then saved to the site and the creators invite family, friends and peers to read and comment on their work.

Special Features
    • Two or more people can collaborate on one story from any computer
    • A story can be printed out or read directly from the computer
    • A free classroom account allows teachers to set up creative lessons and set privacy controls to moderate incoming comments
    • Friends and family that are invited to read the stories can provide comments and feedback
    • May be considered a next generation publishing tool for artists to quickly design and share their work
Strengths
    • There are public or private sharing options
    • The tool is free to make and share books
    • User profiles are not made public
    • Adding artwork to stories is very easy and promotes imagination. Children as young as 3 are encouraged to create their own stories
    • Motivational tool for students with many different learning styles and abilities
    • Users can be notified when a collaborator has added an update to a story
    • Classroom accounts help teachers to maintain student privacy, while allowing participation by many students

Weaknesses
    • Limits use of art to that which is already provided
    • Searching for artwork can be difficult and lengthy
    • Same size images allow for one picture per page and no variation of layout
    • There will be a fee assessed for printing a story
    • User names cannot be changed once the account is set up


Comparison to Similar Web 2.0 Tools
  • Folding Story www.foldingstory.com
    • This tool allows users to enter the fold and add to a story-similar in collaborative storytelling feature. This is comparative to Storybird in that it allows multiple participants to share in the telling of one particular story. Folding Story would be more appealing to older students as the stories are less juvenile and they are not based on artwork

  • StoryJumper www.storyjumper.com
    • Much like Storybird, Story Jumper allows users to create a story using the artwork provided. This site is most appealing to younger children, as the artwork is juvenile. Users can select a scene or props from the sidebar to develop a story as they go. While the artwork is rather basic and not at the same quality as the art in Storybird, these sites both allow for the user to be creative.

  • Genna's World www.gennasworld.com
    • This site for kids allows participants to read stories or submit their own tale. Readers can also read the stories in progress and submit their suggestions to the story. Similar to Storybird in that this tool is geared toward a younger audience and encourages creativity.

  • Little Write Brain www.littlewritebrain.com
    • This is a fun utility that allows the users to create characters and then generate the story around them. Unlike Storybird, this site does not allow multiple users to work together on a story. Once the story is completed it can be professionally printed by the company and sent to the user.




Learning Connections

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Brief description of curriculum units




Tutorial

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Storybird Tutorial
Learn how to create your own storybook online.



References, Articles, etc.

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Additional Resources


Storybird – Digital Storytelling by Christopher Bell

Author Christopher Bell highlights the strengths of using Storybird in the classroom and notes it as a fun tool that kids enjoy that can be “meshed into nearly any curriculum.” The author describes how easy it is to create a story and artwork to share their ideas. Bell himself is a 4th grade teacher who used Storybird in his class, allowing each student to create a slide. He shared the completed project on the class whiteboard and was able to easily print it for students to share the final story with their family.

Storybird – Digital Story Creation by Richard Byrne


Richard Byrne, an elementary teacher, writes a web article promoting free resources and lesson plans for teaching with technology. Mr. Byrne has used the tool in his classroom and notes that regardless of drawing skills; even young children can create great looking digital picture books. Because the hurdle of drawing is removed, students can focus on conveying their story to share with their parents and friends.

Storybird Use in an Educational Setting


Classroom in the Cloud: Using Storybird.com in the Classroom

After reading Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon, students used Storybird to create a story that is centered on a character discovering something that they would have been better off not knowing. Students were challenged by selecting from the available artwork vs. creating and uploading their own, but the students were able to successfully create and publish their ideas. Below is a link to several of their creations. The project was very successful and the teacher noted that students felt it was a great experience and they were excited that their stories were read by a worldwide audience.


http://www.classroominthecloud.net/2009/11/student-examples-storybirdcom.html


Citations:

Bell, C. (2010, December 15). Storybird – Creative digital storytelling for students. School Library Journal. Retrieved February 27, 2011, from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/newslettersnewsletterbucketsljteen/888485-444/storybirddigital_storytelling.html.csp

Byrne, R. (2009, October 16). Storybird - Digital Story Telling. Free Technology for Teachers. Retrieved February 27, 2011, from http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/10/storybird-digital-story-creation.html

Author Unknown (2009, November 9). Using Storybird.com in the Classroom. Classroom in the Cloud. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://www.classroominthecloud.net/2009/11/using-storybirdcom-in-classroom.html