Thursday, May 19, 2011

New on Storybird: FUNDRAISING!

Picture it. The School Book Fair. The crates of books, the organization, the scheduling, the headache. What if that all disappeared, but you still got the benefits of the book fair: excitement around reading, books that matter to the kids, and money for your school?

Storybird has added a new Fundraising feature to their already awesome service. It works in tandem with their teacher tools and provides a platform for creation, collaboration, and an actual product of value for the kids to choose to purchase. You can read all about it on their BLOG.

I had to put my two cents in as well. Anyone who follows my blog and does workshops with me knows of my deep love of this service, and the folks at Storybird keep evolving it into something better and better.

Think of the opportunities: all Holidays, “Just Because,” anytime you want to share the learning and writing that’s going on in your class, all without the setup of the book fair. The kids do the creating, get a really awesome product, and you and your school can share in the benefits.

I have to say, when I got my first Storybirds in the mail, I was absolutely shocked at how fantastic they were! One of the ones I got was written by my thirteen year old nephew--a boy who would NEVER choose to write but loved the web tool so much that he churned out a story in under half an hour, and even went back to edit it! It’s a hard one to read without filling up--having something in my hand that he created and that I can hold onto--even if he won't let the family hug him anymore...

I’ve used Storybird in lots of the workshops that I do with teachers. It’s good for digital versions of Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, it’s good just for engaging kids with Research Based Instructional Strategies, such as discerning the flow of images that they write about, or nonlinguistic representations before the text is created, or even just having a choice about how the visual connects to the textual...students are in control and able to interact and collaborate around writing in a completely new way. And it is safe. Storybird will not allow the public viewing of Stories that include students’ names, their schools, or any other identifying info. The service looks at published Storybirds before they are released to the public and keeps the bad from affecting the good.

This service just keeps getting better, what with all of their controls FOR TEACHERS and the opportunities they provide for sharing student work; this is one of the best internet web tools for teaching and learning.

It’s obvious I’m a fan, I hope you’ll become one too!

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