I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old, my sister’s godmother gave to my sister, my brother and I three books about three different topics. Mine was about going to the zoo! If I remember so well those books it’s basically because my sister’s godmother had taken the time to include our names in the stories, actually WE were the heroes of the stories! It was awesome! Imagine, you are 6 years old, you barely know how to read and you see your name everywhere in a book, don’t you think that it gives you the desire to read more? In my opinion yes and that’s exactly what Storybird does!
For those of you who think that my previous explanation of what Storybird is, wasn’t that clear, here’s a better definition of this wonderful software. As mentioned in web in classroom, Storybird is a collaborative story telling resource that offers to its clients a multitude of preconceived templates and images that can be modified to create all type of length stories. After having been written, those stories can be printed as real books, saved to be privately read or published on Storybird‘s online library, which make the stories available from all around the world.
According to some teachers such as Stephen Davis, Storybird can be used in many different writing assignments. Teacher can ask their students to write traditional essays and then, transform a part of their essay in a Storybird or students can be asked to first take a look at what is offered on Storybird, then write a short essay and then, transform it into a big Storybird book. Another interesting possibility is to use this software as a platform for a group essay. Each student can be asked to write a part of a story and then, the entire class book can be published and made available for the parents and the students!
Another very interesting use of Storybird, proposed by i learn technology is to integrate personalized books as reading assignments. By creating books especially for the students, the teacher increases the chances of catching the interest of his or her students and it helps them getting better at reading.
Even though Storybird presents many benefits, used as assignment or project platforms it can also have negative impacts on the students. First, it can add work to the students, which could discourage some of them who had difficulties in traditional assignments. Moreover, not all the students are good with computers and having to work with those devices on a daily basis can demotivate the ones having more difficulties.
Considering all the pros and cons, using Storybird in a classroom can help students get interested in their task, but it has to be used carefully in order not to get them bored by the use of software like Storybird or submerged by technology. Personally, when I’ll have my own groups, I’ll try to integrate this wonderful software at least once a year!