Has anyone used storybird.com as a classroom storytelling tool?
Have you had success or run into any issues?

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Their terms of service grant them the right to do whatever they please with the content created (though you still retain the rights)... which may not suit some people nor agree with some school/district policies.
I have not used this yet, but I plan on using it in the near future. I think my students will love it--the artwork is beautiful. It looks really simple to use, and kids do not need an email to register, which is great! Wish more sites worked that way.
Yes, I have used it to write a silly, simple little story about same and different and used it with a kindergarten class. We had a wonderful time with it.

Susan H
Applications for adults sometimes contain material that is inappropriate for kids. I'm watching Storybird to see what's going on.
I did a review of Storybird, perhaps this can help. One thing I always caution on w/ Web 2.0 apps is if it abides by CIPPA compliance which is necessary when dealing w/ students so no bullying/swearing occurs. As far as I can tell there is no built in filtering system.

However, it is a nice looking product and in early beta so it does have show some promise.

Hi Amber,

Thought I'd drop in to clarify a few comments and add a couple of notes.

To David and Nancy's concern about filtering: every Storybird that's shared in the public library is moderated/screened in advance to ensure it's child appropriate and doesn't contain inappropriate language or themes. We also curate and moderate the narrative art supplied by the participating illustrators to ensure that it's appropriate as well. And, the tag and comment engine uses a language scrubber to filter out the vast majority of words used in name-calling. To compliment that, all comments are removable by the thread owner and we do regular sweeps on the daily comment streams to double-check anything the system may have missed.

Regarding Craig's comment and Terms of Service: we built Storybird with the minimum EULA available since, as heavy users of social media ourselves, we aren't fond of draconian attitudes towards user-generated content. When you boil the legalese down to human scale, the EULA is focused on a) allowing us to allow you to syndicate your content (ie.embeding it on your blog) and b) protecting the existing copyright of illustrators. Overall, we have no plans to use Storybirds in ways that might embarrass, confuse, or anger our members since the service is built by our members.

I'll add a product development note: we are working on a teacher account and, a bit later, groups. The teacher account will allow you to start an account based on one email and then have students sign in with only a username and password, and groups will allow teachers to set up a particular space to share SBs (and comment streams) in a private setting.


Mark Ury
Cofounder, Storybird

PS. The Vermilion Parish School created a link page to several posts about Storybird in schools, written by child advocates, teachers, and parents: http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/curriculum/tech/digital/storybird.htm
Thanks for the clarification and the continued support. The site we had issues with, Toondoo, allowed for foul language comments on a 4th graders cartoon. Luckily I saw it before he did. We are going to try Storybird this year. N
Ok, six of my kids (gifted ed class grade 4) tried Storybird this afternoon. They really liked it. Here are some of their concerns and comments:
"No easy way to find your book off the frontpage once you have published it."
"No ability to search by author or tag."
"Too hard to find the artwork by using the ' word cloud', most kids want to SEE the art work."
"Only two page layouts, with same size images."
"Can only be one picture on a page"
"Most characters have only one pose--so if you wanted to write a story about only one character he'd always be in the same pose."
"Like the 'creative' outlet."
"Nice to be able to use professional art work--especially if you can't draw"
"Love it!"
"Cute animation makes me want to write a story"
Mark, Here is a major issue--You cannot change the author's name, so if several students are using the same account (teacher's for instance) the teacher's name shows up as author.
Nancy, thanks for the kind words and feedback (and thank the kids for giving us a whirl!).

Here are some thoughts/feedback on their/your feedback:

1. You'll soon be able to change the name of the author on the Storybird cover separate to the username that's linked on the top of the page. This was planned as a general feature (particularly when people go to print and want to use their real name, separate from the service), but it's also a handy in-between feature as we move closer to teacher/class accounts. We'll have this up in the next week or so.

2. Search will be arriving in v0.3. You'll be able to search and narrow results for Storybirds, authors, artists, art, and members.

3. Page layout. We're updating our upload engine for artists so that every piece of art has ten different layout options, giving authors far greater variety in where and how they place art and how much space it leaves for text. That's almost done and will be launched in two weeks.

4. Poses, more than one piece of art, etc. We distinguish art on Storybird as pieces and panels. Panels are what we launched with and you've been using. They're like pages from a book. Pieces, on the other hand, are more granular and can be added to and resized. Pieces are far more complex to make easy, so we put their release off to v03.-v0.4. But they're coming.

Hope this helps.

Amber, let me know if I've overstayed my welcome. I want to respect the group's privacy and not clutter up your conversation with our development notes ;)

Cheers and thanks.

Mark, Thank you, thank you. I offered to teach my whole school how to use Storybird but was hoping each class could login with one account making non-users buy into how 'easy this is'. Then I realized that the author names would need to be edit-able.

Thanks Amber for letting us chat, to tell you the truth Mark I couldn't find the 'Contact Us' on the site so I hoped to catch you here.
This is so such a great discussion! I just created a classroom 2.0 account and everyone has been so helpful already. I really appreciate all of your help and feedback. Who knew I'd actually hear from a founder of the website? Very Cool. Mark, I really appreciated all of the insight of what is to come with storybird and look forward to using it with my class.



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