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!

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