A great story teller can transport you to another world. They immerse you in the detail where you can see, smell and hear the narrative they are weaving. Great digital storytelling should be just as engaging and immersive, and tools like Storybird can really help students make this happen. A simple and intuitive writing interface partnered with gorgeously free illustrations, Storybird is one of the most popular tools for digital storytelling in schools around the globe.
Access: Email signup
A Quick Look
1. A digital story library
Before signing up or even writing a word, it is well worth your time to explore and see just how powerful Storybird can be. Take a look at the ‘Read’ section of the Storybird site and stumble your way through thousands of stories already created by the community. Not only is this a great way to introduce yourself to the tool, it’s also a wonderful free resource for finding online stories for your students.
2. Writing stories
Yes, you may have seen this idea coming but the flexibility of Storybird means that there are wide reaching applications for creating digital stories. Have younger students create picture books, have older students publish their work into professional novels, you could even try delivering lesson material yourself as an online story.
3. Stories to share
One really powerful idea from educator Kate Richards is to use Storybird to benefit older students in their writing and younger students in their reading. She tasked her eighth grade class with creating picture books written specifically for a much younger audience. Once completed, her class teamed up with the school’s first grade class where her students read and shared their books. Win-win for everyone involved!
4. Storyboarding and idea generation
Storybird makes it so simple to create stories fast. Take advantage of this with your students when they are in the early stages of developing ideas. This could be a high level draft for a deeper story or storyboards for an animation or film. The quick iterative process means that ideas and imagination are not stifled by any technical challenges of putting together an online document.
5. Hold your story in your hand
Together with such beautiful illustrations, students’ stories can really be stunningly professional. One very tangible way for students to keep their creation forever is to order a softcover or hardcover copy. Although this is not a free service, it is a wonderful memento for them to have as well as share with their family and friends.
Links and Next Steps
- Storybird Help – Articles and FAQ for using Storybird
- Storybird Tutorial (teacher oriented) – Video (16 min)
- Bringing classroom creativity into the 21st century
- Our iPad Classroom – Storybird on iPads
- Using Storybird in the Classroom – Prezi presentation
- Storybird Cool Tools Session – PDF from Summer Institute in Digital Literacy
- Printed book costing – Prices for soft and hardcover printed books
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith.