Digital Storytelling is already a popular classroom activity and many resources have popped up to help students create and share original work online. One of my favorite digital storytelling sites is Storybird, which gives students the ability to take their hard work and make a physical book that they can keep.
Storybird takes the stress out of searching for images by providing a database of artwork that students can search and select a batch of art by an artist to apply to their book. Batches vary in size but some may include over 70 drawings. More than enough to fit many different storytelling needs and make Google unnecessary. No longer will you have to see that annoying Shutterstock watermark on your students' work. Instead you will see high quality artwork in a distinctive, congruent style.
The website originally supported only picture book style creations but has expanded to include chapter books and poetry as well. To create a story you only have to select your art and drag images onto the page. Then you simply add your words. Collaboration is easy, you just have to add another user to your story editor. When your finished you can publish your book your book to the site. Here's the rub - books are only free online. If you want to print a pdf you have to pay. The site also sells paperback and hardcover editions to users that want a keepsake.
Storybird has added functionality for educators. Teachers can set up a class page where all assignments are turned in and viewed. Students can easily be added to the class manually or by giving them a class code. Teachers can also use the site for fundraising. Parents can buy a copy of their child's book and the school receives 30% of the sales.
Storybird is a popular choice for digital storytelling. It is easy to use, dependable, and safe. The final product is a professional looking book in which students can feel pride.