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In EdSurge Case Studies, educators share their real-life experiences with edtech in their schools and classrooms.
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Renee, @missus_jay
Learning Specialist, Yellin Center for Mind, Brain and Education, New York

As a Learning Specialist I often work with students who struggle with the writing process. The best way to build a student’s written competencies, regardless of their current ability, is to offer them multiple opportunities to practice. Therefore, it vital that as educators we find tools, beyond paper and pencil tasks, that our students will find engaging and motivational. Sometimes all my students need is an an alternative medium for practicing and demonstrating their written skills; Storybird does just.

Product Use: I use Storybird as a way to encourage students to write frequently and to practice their writing skills. The program is engaging which helps motivate reluctant writers. I also use it as an alternative option for publishing their stories; students enjoy seeing a beautiful, official looking final draft of their writing. For students who struggle with sequencing their writing I encourage them to use the pictures provided to help them organize their writing and learn the sequential nature of a plot.

What Worked and What Didn't: This tool is especially valuable for students with strong visual and spatial skills as it houses a wealth of high quality, artist created images that children can use as inspiration for their writing. In addition, Storybird allows students to infuse the same images into their story in order to help them tell their tale. I have found that this aspect allows teachers to better evaluate their students’ ideation and content even when their language capabilities may be limited. Beyond the outstanding imagery, Storybird infuses games and puzzles into their application to help further motivate reluctant writers. As for teachers, Storybird enables them to create and store robust libraries of student work. These work samples can then be shared with parents and administrators as examples of student written output. In addition, lesson creation and assigning grades are features of the Storybird application that are integrated right into the site.

Age Group: Pre-K students, Middle school students, and Elementary school students

Jul 7, 2016 Provide Feedback
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