Saturday, October 8, 2011

Words to Live By...

One of the best Anonymous quotes that I have come across that made me stop and reflect on myself is below.  You've most likely read this quote before...enjoy your reflection! 

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Digital Literacy: Storybird Online Story Writing and Book Making

Recently on Twitter, I learned about Storybird, an online story writing website that promotes digital literacy.  You start by choosing an artists set of pictures or a theme of pictures and creating a story, based on which pictures you choose.  I am a huge advocator of book making projects and alternatives to worksheets which motivate children to write, and this included digital literacy.  So, I just had to dig in and try it!  You can view my published book: A Surprise Winter Day Birthday Party by clicking here.  The books go through a filter approval process before they are published.  The artist I chose to use is

There is a demonstration video in the Tour tab on how to use the Create board: add text, change colors, and drag and drop in pictures for your story.  There is a Read tab which takes you to where you can read other books published for public viewing.  When you create your account, you can choose a regular account (1 person), a         teacher account for a class, or a child account for under 13 years. You can sign up for free! 

When writing, you can invite a collaborator to work together with you by adding their email; a beneficial feature if you have more than one student working on a book together. There is also a spot for a guardian or parent email so they see the collaboration and writing in progress.  Once you publish a book, you can make your books "public or private" (invite by email address).

However, there is a catch, as I found out after publishing my story.  If you want to download a PDF file of your published book, it will cost you $1.99.  There are other purchase choices too for soft cover books and hard cover books ranging from $14.95- $29.95.  On the positive side, it could make the perfect gift from your students for a family member or special friend.  Or, you can share it for free by just posting it as a "public".  If you choose the "private" viewing setting, then you can invite only certain people to view it free online by adding their email address.   So, there are a variety of options!

The best part about the Storybird digital literacy story writing website, is that it just may be a technology tool to inspire your students to write, write, write!