Samira Mohamed Bakr Mohamed
A teacher, trainer and educational consultant... read more

An innovative, inspiring tool to create stories individually or in groups.

Who it’s for:
All ages. Users must be 13+ years to become an individual member, however educators can use the site with their class of any age group.
Free. You pay to print e-book downloads or to print professional copies.
Website iOS Android

Promoting writing and reading skills.

User experience.

Storybird offers creation tools and a public library to writers and readers around the world. It is easy to use and can transform learners’ experiences of reading and creative writing. Learners can browse for stories that interest them and create their own picture books, stories and poems. Inspirational artwork can help them express and develop ideas and feelings in a safe learning environment. There are “How to” guides which provide great support for beginners to start their first story.  With an educational account, stories and poems written by your learners stay within your private Storybird class.

Language level and skills.

It’s adaptable and appropriate for all levels. A teacher can encourage learners to surf the huge range of stories which cover all language levels to inspire them to create their poems or books according to their age or level.

Storybird is not specifically aimed at language learning, but it provides published, moderated stories to read and an online space that can transform creative writing activities. It’s not easy to express and develop your ideas or feelings, especially in a language that you’re learning. Storybird gives learners a choice of real artwork, characters and scenes, to inspire them to create anything from a picture book with just a few words per page, to a full-length novel with chapters, or even a piece of poetry!

Language learning content.

You could ask learners to read and write stories on different themes, characters, or events to focus on specific vocabulary and grammar. As with paper-based texts, you could use tasks to practice writing skills such as brainstorming, planning and editing; tasks to encourage extensive reading, such as reading then sharing short reviews; or tasks based more on creative language production and expression. Or you could develop self- and peer-evaluation skills if learners create or use an evaluation form to check their use of language, spelling, paragraphs and so on. The diverse, attractive art work stretches young learners’ imagination and enhances their engagement in a collaborative learning.

Social interaction.

The comments feature allows you, your learners and even parents to add comments on a piece of writing, giving the learner a real audience for their work. This is great for sharing your responses to the writing, not just feedback on language content. Once learners have commented on their classmates’ work, you can moderate the comments and choose which ones are made public, but you could also take advantage of this feature to help learners to develop their commenting and communication skills, for example, how to add positive and constructive feedback: 'I like the way you…', 'Why did Java run away?' You can choose whether your teacher comments are public, or private (only the individual learner can see their grades) when you grade learners’ work.

Technical: user safety and data security.

Storybird is a website and an IOS app. Its use of data is outlined in their privacy policy and is as you would expect for this kind of service. Unless you have a paid plan, you have only one “download” your own longform books and picture story as a PDF and only 3 tickets (professional tips)

Broader user support (e.g. twitter and via Storybird’s blog) is very good. Technical support response time is quicker with a paid plan. There are helpful tips and instructions for educators, artists and writers

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