Participatory Storytelling

I’m not sure where or when I learned about Storybird. Perhaps it was this class? Or was it my wife (who is also a teacher)? Regardless, when I read the description of our participatory storytelling deconstruction project, it hit me that Storybird seemed like the right platform to retell our story on Twitter.

If you don’t know Storybird, it’s a storytelling website that allows you to develop a story with words, artwork, and chapters. The best part is being able to publish the story as a book or PDF. The process of copying and pasting the Twitter story from the story archive page to my Storybird project was really quite simple. Finding artwork that matched the story was more of a challenge. Once you pick a particular genre of artwork, you are stuck with that artist throughout the entire book (at least I think you are).

The most difficult part of the process was finishing the story. As of April 2, the relationship between Re and Kes had never been established. How did they even know each other? I figured they could have been ex-lovers, so I used the crinkly old note (introduced early in the story) to tie the plot back together with an unsuccessful marriage proposal. After finishing the story, I bought the published PDF for $2.99 and figured out how to embed a PDF into a WordPress blog. I downloaded a Plugin called PDF Embedder. I tinkered around with the size of the PDF for quite a while.

All in all, I enjoyed using Storybird. I think I will continue to explore this website and figure out a way for my students to utilize the platform. Apparently, students can create a book, their family members buy it, and the proceeds go to your classroom. How cool of a fundraiser would that be? Storybird’s biggest flaw is how it interacts with artwork. As far as creating a book, I think it would be easier to let the artwork generate the story versus finding artwork to fit the story that’s already written.

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