As a future ESL teacher, I might eventually want my students to develop their creating skills throughout meaningful activities using English. This week, I found out about a cool and innovative way to have students involved in such activities.
Storybird is basically a writing tool that allows you to create online stories. A large set of images created by artists and book designs are provided within the website and when a story is finished, it is easy to share it.
With Storybird, you can create a teacher account that will allow you to create new groups for your students. Parents can also have access to these groups, which is great to keep them connected to their children’s educational development.
Teachers often like to assign activities that they would have liked to be assigned as they were students. As for me, I would have liked to do an activity like that because I had absolutely no artistic skills. However, I did have imagination – and I think everyone does to some extent- which would have made that type of activity good with me. All this to say that Storybird is great for developing creativity, but it does not penalize students with artistic skills below average.
Also, the blank page syndrom’s reknown is big for a reason, it can happen to anybody. However, I think it would be hard to develop this syndrome with Storybird. In fact, as you start to create your story, you have to choose images according to the type of story you want to write. So, if your student finds himself developing the blank page syndrome, you just have to tell him to look at the images and to create a story about the images.
One possible limitation of Storybird would be that this sort of activity is not as attractive for older students as it is for elementary school students. But, as Susan Dreger mentioned in her blog, her students responded very well to this activity even though they were in high school. Dreger adapted Storybird to high-school students by asking them to write about how children feel or react in certain situations using Storybird.
However, as this website mentions, Storybird has some flaws. First, the number of words you can put in one page is limited. Second, you can’t use art other than the ones provided in the website.
Well, I hope you will get the chance to use Storybird one day or the other! It’s a really well-made website that deserves attention.
Thank you and see you next week.