Storybird: Free digital storytelling
Over the next few weeks, I get the chance to spend a lot of time having conversations with teachers about integrating literacy into the social studies. Reading, writing, and communicating. ELA literacy standards. My C4 Framework. The NCSS Inquiry Arc.
I love these kinds of discussions. Teachers brainstorming and sharing ideas. Thinking and talking about effective strategies. Good times. So part of what I’ve been doing the last few days is exploring different tools that support literacy in the classroom. And today, one of my finds.
An online tool that encourages the creation of visual stories in seconds. It’s a simple idea that has attracted more than 5 million stories – making Storybird one of the world’s largest storytelling communities.
There are both illustrations and stories on Storybird that can help spark creativity. I like that this sort of online publishing makes students feel like “real authors.” As the teacher, you create classes, make assignments and lessons to engage your students, or you can simply allow student-directed writing time. There are three distinct writing formats – longform chapter book, picture book, poem – create endless possibilities for both you and your kids.
With the Storybird educator account, student privacy is protected and social interactions are classroom-contained. Monitoring student activity and work is easy. Students can read and comment on each other’s work within a private and safe environment.
Use Storybird to align assignments with your school’s teaching standards or classroom curriculum needs. It’s easy to auto-generate student accounts, create assignments, and give formative feedback from the Storybird Studio dashboard. You and your kids also have to opportunity to follow other users, liking and sharing stories.
The creation tool is very basic with drag and drop / point and click features that’s easy to use.
I see this tool working best with K-8 but I’m curious what middle school and high school teachers might do with this.
And I’ll be honest. It’s new to me. I haven’t used it with kids. And I haven’t upgraded to the Premium version. But it looks like there is a ton of potential here. Some brave soul needs to jump in, give it a try, and let us know what they think.