Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The One Where I Storybird on iPads!

I recently discovered that a website I used with my class several years ago has, at some point, rewritten their code to be compatible on iPads! This has been great news for my 1:1 iPad students! Storybird is a site where students write stories and collaborate with artists from around the world. Here is how it works...

As a teacher, I created a free account and was given a passcode for my students to sign up (no eMail needed). The passcode attached each student to my account and allows me access to their stories if needed.

When a student clicks on the CREATE button, they see a screen similar to this one. Each picture is from a different artist and they can scroll through hundreds of artists who have donated their artwork to be used on the site, royalty-free. So, from the pictures below - say a student really likes the "Haunted House" picture. They select it and then....

This screen will come up. On this screen, students get to see ALL of the artwork by this one artist. From here, they select the portfolio of art they want to use for their story. In this case, I selected the Haunted House portfolio but I could choose any thumbnail at the bottom to select a different portfolio of art from this person.

Next, students see their "Desktop" which has their empty Storybird in front of them and all of artwork tossed about on the left and right of there book. Controls are at the bottom for navigation and adding pages. Pictures are switched out simply by drag and drop. 

Hit the Plus sign in the bottom right to add pages. One simple font is used for all Storybirds. 

Another page is added.

This student clicked SAVE in the bottom left corner. As a teacher, this screen shows me my students and their Storybirds. I can share, favorite, comment on, or delete their Storybirds.

When I click on one of their Storybirds, it will enlarge on the screen along with this control panel that allows me to to see some basic data about their 'Bird as well as assign it a grade (viewed only by the student) and notes about their story.

One of the more intriguing features of Storybird is that their books can be purchased as a PDF, a softcover book, a hardcover, or a premium format book. Costs vary depending on how many pages are used. The site also offers fundraising for classrooms or schools. 

Storybird has been a great experience for all of my students. It helps both their writing AND reading skills. We have integrated it into our writing curriculum. I also have several highly motivated students that have been creating their own Storybirds at home.

We have all used it on our iPads using both Safari and Chrome as browsers to access the site www.Storybird.com

Please contact me if you have any questions or need help getting started


  1. This is awesome. I would love to dive into this app more with you...maybe we will find time...in...June?

  2. Hi Garret,
    I am a teacher in Montreal and I am planning to use Storybird in my class very soon. I found this site rather randomly while trying to find out if Storybird is compatible with Ipad. I have used it only once, on laptops, with students. I hope it goes as seamlessly well with the Ipads. I am curious, as a new teacher, to know of other applications that you like that are useful with Ipad. I have used Sutori and built websites on Wix with students (not on Ipad, as Wix, at least, doesn't work with it, and there are serious limitations with Weebly). I will gladly take any advice you have for other good apps that can liven up the class (I teach English to mostly Quebecois students, so language and literature oriented sites). Stay in touch... Ray Punter (punterr@csjvedu.ca) If you know of or recommend any other blogs that connect teachers using tech in the classroom please let me know.