There are many great sites to help students create books online, and so this week, in honor of Children’s Book Week, I am dedicating this post to highlight my 3 favorite online storybook creators.
Storyjumper allows you to create online books using a plethora of characters, scenes, and props. The drag and drop interface is intuitive and students are very motivated by the fun scenes, characters, and props. Teachers can, for free, create classes to register students so they each have their own account. As of this writing, there does not seem to be a limit as to how many student accounts you can create.
Storybird reverses the process of visual storytelling by starting with the image and “unlocking” the story inside. Students start by choosing an artist or a theme, bringing in the artwork from that artist/theme to create the story. Storybird is a great tool for all, but I find it especially helpful for struggling writers who have difficulty thinking of something to write about. You can sign up for a free teacher account that allows you to create a class for your students so they can login without having to have an email address. The class account also enables teachers to create assignments, view student work, and in the near future, collaborate on stories with other classes throughout the world.
Tikatok is a nice digital story tool because it’s easy to create your story and the design is intuitive. You are able to upload your own photos or drawings and use them directly into your story, which is a nice feature. You start your book by choosing one of three options: A memory book, which is a good place to go as the books here are pre-made and you can change them up. Another option is Story Sparks, in which the books have prompts on each page to generate ideas. The last option is to start from scratch.
Two short-coming of Tikatok in my opinion is that, One, the images within the Tikatok gallery leave something to be desired, as they are limited and not searchable. The second problem with Tikatok is that you cannot print or embed your book. Hopefully, these issues will be addressed in the near future.
December 1, 2009
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Here’s a quick idea for Photo Story 3 (free download) for a language arts lesson. A 4th grade teacher during a recent unit on fables had his students research fables and then write their own. I had the students draw pictures of the beginning, middle and end of their stories using either Paint, or Kidpix. We then imported the pictures into Photo Story 3, narrated, added music and rendered. The final product is fun digital story that can be viewed anywhere.
Here’s an example by Stephanie: