For unit 4 I decided to explore Storybird, a storytelling website that allows users to create their own stories using a range of themes and illustrations provided by the website.
Storybird does require a login. Firstly it asks you to select which account you would like to use, regular, teacher/ class or kid/ under 13. For a regular account you need to provide your email, gender and age. For a teacher/ class account you only need to provide an email and for a kid/ under 13 account a parents’ email is required plus the age of the child. All accounts are free.
The Terms of Service is quite lengthy, which can be a problem for users. Many users will not want to spend a large amount of time reading through the entire document and therefore may miss some important information in relation to their use of the website. However the Terms of Service of Storybird are quite basic and straightforward and the language used is simplistic. It explains that the user is responsible for their account, including confidentiality, keeping their password secure and not using the website for any illegal and unauthorised purposes etc. It also explains their intellectual property rights and the use of third parties.
I think this website is a fantastic website for learning! My students would absolutely love creating digital stories using illustrations created by ‘real’ artists. I would love to get my students publishing some of their stories from their Writers Notebook using this website. I would then add the link to our class blog so students are able to view these stories. However I don’t see Storybird being very useful for anything other than digital storytelling.
The use of Storybird would enhance what my students are already doing. They are used to using apps such as Eye Witness and TourWrist to inspire their writing, Storybird being of a similar nature. I believe that Storybird fits into Augmentation of the SAMR model. Students are moving from creating simple stories to having to use higher order thinking when matching images that are not theirs to their own writing. Students also have the ability to then publish their work on a global scale and comment on the work of other users of the website.
I was able to create a digital story using Storybird with ease. There was a range of art and colours available and I was able to type my story into the template. There was also an option to upgrade to ‘Premium’, which would unlock more colours, themes and art. I published my story and I was able to add a blurb and tags as well as choose whether I wanted my story to be private or public. I selected public and I am now awaiting moderation by the Storybird library. Hopefully you can find the story here…