Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Storybird Web Based Writing Platform

Storybird - Artful Storytelling

Recommended Ages: Grade 1 and up

Content Areas: Reading and Writing

Price: Free

Why We Like It : Storybird is a beautifully crafted, aesthetically pleasing website based application for reading and writing. Students sometimes struggle with the motivation to write, and it is important to provide them with engaging, meaningful ways to practice their written skills; Storybird does just that. Storybird is especially valuable for students with strong visual and spatial skills and has a wealth of high quality, artist created images that children can use as inspiration for their writing. In addition, Storybird allows students to infuse the same images into their story in order to help them tell their tale. The image support could be beneficial for helping students who struggle with sequencing a story, as the pictures will serve as reinforcements and cues as they craft their narrative.

Beyond writing, Storybird can be an excellent method to increase the time a child spends reading. Children can read other children’s stories, or those of their friends. There are multiple genres available for children to choose from, which increases the likelihood that each student will discover something that interests them. Furthermore, professional authors use Storybird to connect with their fans, which allows children access to their stories as well.

For Parents
There are other games infused into Storybird that your child can play to further interest them in the reading and writing process. For example, there are puzzles hidden throughout the artworks that your child can solve which, as a reward, will unlock new stories and puzzles for them to enjoy. Exposure to reading and writing at home is important. This is one avenue where your child can gain more experience reading and writing outside of their classroom hours. In addition, you are able to read your child’s creations and provide them with positive reinforcement through the program. Furthermore, your child’s work can be shared with other family members and close friends who can also encourage your child. This will help grow your child’s confidence in their writing abilities. 

For Teachers
Storybird enables teachers to create robust libraries of student work. These are able to be shared with parents and administrators as examples of student written output. In addition, lesson creation and assigning grades are features of the Storybird application that are integrated right into the site.

Publishing books is an important final aspect of the stages of writing. Storybird provides a high quality avenue for students to self-publish their work. This will increase their engagement and sense of ownership over the writing process. Also, collaboration is a huge part of the Storybird program. As your students read and explore their peers' work they are able to comment and send positive reinforcement to their fellow students.

Good to Know
  • Users must be 13 years of age to become a member. If a child is younger than 13, he/she must provide a parent’s email address, and then the parent is immediately notified that their child has become a storybird.
  • Student privacy is protected. Social interactions are classroom-contained.

How Storybird Aligns with Common Core Standards

1 comment:

  1. I used Storybird in my classroom last year. My students created a "storybook" of the poetry that they wrote it my class. We would often use the Ipads. It is a neat website. However, setting up the classes using the free version got tricky when I needed to add new students to classes. They began to limit the number of users. As for the program itself, my students loved it! I understand that you can create fundraisers that allow students' parents to purchase hard copies of the books. I haven't tried it though.