For English instructors, students, and parents, Storybird is an online tool for developing language knowledge, especially reading comprehension and writing. From the first sight of Storybird cover page, users will be excited about its vivid-color design and appealing illustrations, which draw readers’ attention and focus on the reading and writing context. Storybird centers on three types of stories: (1) Picture books (2) Longform books and (3) Poetry.
|Type of learning||Social constructivism; Connectivism|
|Ease of Use||★★★★✩|
|ISTE Standards for Students||Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator, Global Collaborator|
Storybird is a great learner-based online tool for readers and writers. For example, picture books provide stunning images and stories based on author’s creativity. Students can design picture books on their own or work in teams (e.g., author and artist) to create visually appealing representations of their knowledge. Meanwhile, longform books draw readers to engage in fantasy. Although “Longform books may use artwork as a source of inspiration and to create a fancy cover, they are all about the word.” Third, poetry is designed for readers to get involved with words card picking and sentence implementation, including scramble-words to create personal artwork. Teachers and parents can also pay to have students’ books printed through the online shop. Storybird allows students to showcase their creative thoughts through storytelling and art in social networking inclusive #Twitter, #Facebook, #Pinterest, #Google Classroom, and #tumblr.
Impact On Student Learning
Storybird provides a productive platform for instructors, students, family members, young kids between age 0-8, age 9-12, adolescent learners age 13-18, and adults. Storybird prompts a creative way to integrate multiple functions of imagination production, personal genre output, and artwork printing. Without age constraint, space limitation, and formative teaching of English language arts, Storybird encourage either adult learners or younger users to create distinctive features for reading and writing context of one’s own. Above all, Storybird offers opportune function for comments in relation to community members including authors, artists and ongoing participants involved, which not only helps everyone’s artwork implementation but also facilitating books publishing. For teachers, Storybird efficiently enhances reading empowerment and writing proficiency through observation, interaction, emulation, and production based on language development of oracy, literacy, comprehension, and fluency. That is, technology with online tools draw impact on student learning in a way English language learners develop English language proficiency academically.
Storybird is typically free of charge, but printing, publishing, books and artwork purchase involve payment.
Two founders: Mark Ury, Kaye Puhlmann founded in 2012
Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York
1. What data is collected?
Personal information users provide at registration include name and email address. Meanwhile, according to Storybird, users’ behavior on the site and certain information will automatically be tracked. “We also automatically track certain information about you based upon your behaviour on our Site. We use this information to do internal research on our users’ demographics, interests, and behaviour to better understand, protect and serve you and our community.”
2. How is data used?
Data related to personal information in Storybird will be used for maintaining or updating service, troubleshooting problems and resolving disputes. Storybird also use “personal information to deliver promotion news, administrative notices, product offerings and timely communications.”
Power and Bias
1. How’s the tool biased?
Admittedly, Storybird initiates the cutting-edge technology for teaching and learning, and supports family involvement for younger learners at home or varied venues, education of English language arts is suggested to be placed emphasis on core teaching and learning instead implicitly business practice online. For example, Storybird is deemed as well-rounded mechanism for young or younger learners, but ultimate output of personal product requires economic support to help reach. Thus, values of business and money-based implication is construct in Storybird especially for our kids who have little monetary resources to afford printing artworks without parents’ help.
“Books written in a language other than English”
Currently books that are written in a language other than English can not be accepted into our PUBLIC library. While we celebrate all cultures and languages, we can not at this stage moderate and thus approve books for the public library that are written in languages other than English. When we expand internationally we’ll add specific language support. In the meantime, please remember that your book in its current state can still be published in your PRIVATE library and shared with your friends and family. OR, if you’re an educator, you can set up a private class and work in any language that you please (30% of Storybird’s classes are non-English).” http://help.storybird.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1158893-books-written-in-a-language-other-than-englis
2. What type of power structure does the tool encourage?
Education and Internet make up two distinctive power structures in Storybird, which encourages English language development generally, and empowers both reading and writing section specifically.
3. How’s diversity portrayed?
Storybird is characteristic of diversity participants inclusive family members, teachers, students, friends, authors, artists, amateurs and professionals generally, but age diversity specifically. For instance, younger learners are under specified into age 0-8, age 9-12, adolescent and adults. Namely, Storybird crisscross multi-diversity within ages, professions, goals of learning, multicultural backgrounds, sexual orientation, ethnographic context, and globalization. Like vivid colorfully design of cover page, Storybird presents multiple layers of portrayed diversity.
4. What type of language is used?
English language is dominantly used in Storybird to date.
Ease of Use
Storybird is handy for every user even younger learners or elder adults. Help Guidance is clarified in written formats provides most convenient way to engage in, and users become adept in Storybird through practices. Each segment of Storybird is clear for helping orientation in couple minutes, which elucidates the ease of use for participants.
Mobile phones, desktop computers and especially iPad/iPhone/tablet are great access for Storybird. iPad is one of recommended way for Storybird owing to smooth interaction for readers and writers.
Storybird is unable to be used with screen reader, and acoustic function as well as sound effect are not employed in completed artworks. Although without assistance of video tutorials, participants finds clues steadily and get involved in Storybird.
Undoubtedly, Storybird is a wonderful online tool for teaching and learning. In addition to abovementioned characteristics it possesses, Storybird immensely enables users exporting embedded files of personal artwork including Picture books, Longform stories, and Poetry in the wake of implementation. On the flip side, files input is not functioned for on-demand purpose because built-in visuals which artists create are solely permitted in
Storybird & the SAMR Model
Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool.
- Substitution: Readers and writers use Storybird to create personal portfolios with creative stories, vivid illustration and shared thoughts. Storybird not only makes a platform for ideas input, but also helps output composite of imagination. It functions as an online bookshop, reading and writing workshop, a gallery of presented visuals, drawings, and artistic formats. Storybird involves timely feedback through community feedback, and thus likely substitutes with traditional classroom setting for monotonous interaction between instructors and students. Instead, through learning platform of input and output modules, personal artwork with appealing illustrations substantially helps knowledge construct.
- Augmentation: Storybird incorporates dynamic learning models based on reading and writing content areas. Compared with traditional pedagogy of English language arts, Storybird crisscross three disparate types of reading formats: picture books, longform books and poetry. Dynamic learning models help learners knowledge-building through interdependent reading formats. For instance, students likely adopt the knowledge of picture books, and take it into account for reading longform patterns in ways that dynamic learning occur with construct of “funds of knowledge.”
- Modification: Storybird enables readers and writers to give and receive timely feedback during community comment, and consequently, author and artist are able to interact with their readers in the conversation. Artwork of stories is fittingly edited or added in response to comments in the shared community.
- Redefinition: Storybird is meant to be an overarching online tool for improving reading and writing competency, especially English language learners. Thanks to technology, contemporary pedagogy places emphasis on efficiency and efficacy of learning progress. Namely, Storybird enhances the opportunity of literacy development, and strengthens the foundation of knowledge-building during the dynamic learning process, which outperforms the conventional way far and wide.
English Reading Task
English language instructor conducts picture book read aloud in the 3rd grade classroom. Students are expected to pick one picture book from Storybird for independent reading, and then give comments after reading. Next, every student wraps up a thought to create their own picture book. Storybird involves students to work on draft based on individual’s creative ideas. Students are given feedback after peer review in the Storybird community, and further move to edit draft before finalized product.
STEM Artwork and Writing
Science-Leaves, Stems, and Roots
Students are guided to create artworks inclusive related vocabulary: leaves, stem, root, flat, provide, fruit, bury, soil, nutrient, and fix. Next, students brainstorm ideas with (1) what keeps leaves in the light? (2) what fixes the plants to the ground? Think and speak before working on writing through picture book. Ultimately, writing draft is produced with students’ creative thoughts and accompanied artwork. Students are given peer review respectively before finalized product is done.
Poetry Writing Workshop
Emergent bilinguals in the ESL Pullout program are encouraged to create poetry for fun. First, choose one prefered art and employ imagination by implementing three or four English sentences. Users are able to arrange various narratives for poetry in Storybird, inspiring English language learners to explore focal elements of syntax, fluency, pragmatics, and vocabulary.
Longform Writing Fun within Collaboration
Instructor of English language arts prompts a reading and writing activity for 6th graders. Longform reading involves reading comprehension and shared feedback during either peer discussion or group activity. After the first phase of Longform reading is completed, students design an artwork of individual Longform product in the subsequent classes. Collaboration is a focus discourse in Storybird. Students perceivably have a concept mapping on Longform draft, and cordially invite your collaborators to work on editing and adding texts for writing practice, which significantly help literacy construct based on integrated reading and writing process. Thus, students benefit from “thinking in English, and collaboratively reproducing artwork of creativity” via Longform writing fun in Storybird wonderland.
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How to Use Storybird
- Go to https://storybird.com
- Two options for log in:
- You can choose “Sign Up with Google”
- Click “Sign up for Free”
- Choose what best describes how you plan to use Storybird
- Regular user, educator/teacher, or student
- Confirm your role
- Regular users need to input their age, username, email, and password
- Children under age 13 are required to include their parent’s email address
- Parents: Activate your child’s account via email
- All Set. Welcome to Storybird.
Wertz, J. (2014) Bitstrips and Storybird: Writing Development in a Blended Literacy Camp. National Council of Teachers of English, 24-32.
Nordin, Y. (2010) Web 2.0 and Graduate Research: Storybird.