Monday, 24 October 2011

Storybird as an ITC resource - Magnus Nilsson

If you are searching the Internet you can find a variety of digital resources that are web based and user-friendly. Using many of these resources does not require great technical skills, but just some basic computer skills.

The resource that I have chosen to study is called Storybird and can be found on the web address:
Then what is Storybird and how does it work? Storybird is a webpage in which you can create your own stories using beautiful and funny illustrations by different artists. You can do this all by yourself or together with someone else. When you have finished writing your story, you can share it with others by publishing it online. If you don’t want anyone to read your story you can just print it and keep it to yourself.

Storybird can also be used as a virtual library where you can read all kinds of wonderful stories. You can also comment the stories and create your own reading list if you want to.
This service is free and the only thing you need, to be able to use it, is a registered account on the Storybird webpage. You don`t need to download any software to be able to use Storybird.

So, how can you use this resource as a teacher and as a student? If you register as a teacher at Storybird you can create a class and add all your students to it. When all students are added to your class the fun starts. Now you can have your students practicing their reading and writing skills by giving them different types of assignments. The teacher can give a description of the assignment, set a due date and make comments on assignments that are completed. When the students log in, they immediately can see the assignment and start working on it.

By using Storybird the teacher can let the students practice many different skills. The possibilities are endless but here are some examples:

  • You can use Storybird as a reading tool and let the students read stories on different themes. Students can read each other`s stories in the class library. When the students have finished reading a story they can comment on it or maybe add it to their reading list. They can also discuss the story with each other or answer questions made by the teacher to develop their reading comprehension.
  • You can also use Storybird as a writing tool. Students can easily create their own stories and books based on illustrations that they have chosen. Of course you can write more than stories. You can do anything from writing simple sentences to writing letters and poetry .The students can work individually or collaborate with a friend by taking turns to write. Students can also comment on each other`s stories.
  • A teacher can make his own book and then use it to give examples of different structures in the language. The teacher can for example show the students how to use adverbs when they are writing. The students can then practice this skill by writing their own stories.

There are many advantages with Storybird. It is really easy to use for the students. You choose a theme, drag and drop the pictures you like to use and then start writing your story. Anyone can do it.
Using Storybird is a good way of getting students to work collaboratively. They could work in pairs or they could create a story together as a class. You could even collaborate with schools from another city or another country.

The illustrations in Storybird are amazing and can be very helpful for students with poor imagination. The finished books really look professional and it can be very inspiring for students to know that people from all over the world can read their books on the web. This gives their writing a purpose and a meaning.
Another advantage with Storybird is that it`s a good way of getting the parents involved in the work that students do. By logging in on Storybird parents can read their children`s stories and other stories in the class library.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at this webpage, create your own account and start writing. I know I will!!

/Magnus Nilsson

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