Thing 85: Digital Storytelling

I enjoyed  Thing 38.  I’ve often said that  if someone would pay me to write for a living, I would be in seventh heaven.  My current job is likely to be as close to this as I will get and I am content. However, every so often, I hanker to write a different kind of creative.  This Thing gave me a chance to do that.

I looked at Inanimate Alice and Snappy, My StoryMaker and Storybird.  I chose to create something in My StoryMaker and Storybird.

My StoryMaker

The images used in this  program remind me of the kind one now sees in modern Saturday morning cartoons and some comic books.  I can’t say that I care for this style but then I’m not the target audience for this program. In terms of use and potential,  I thought this was fairly simple to use and can see  elementary teachers, librarians and children’s librarians in public libraries using this with elementary age children in reading and language arts/creative writing activities.

When I was a child, I was fascinated by the stories in the Jack and Jill magazine which invited the reader to write the ending to the story. The next issue would feature numerous contributed endings as well as the author’s original ending.  Another application using My StoryMaker could be to read a  simple story  in story time but not in its entirely, and children are asked to use My StoryMaker to write an ending.


One thing about Storybird that surprised me was the number of  cartoon-like images.  I have gradually come like the Japanese style drawings though. This program seemed more sophisticated with a different audience in mind than My StoryMaker.  Having said that I did notice that users could choose the audience and the audience groupings did include features to  further tailor the stories to an audience/age group and when I did my story, I set the audience to adult.

Because users add the tags, and there is no standard topical organization, it is challenging to locate the picture that is just right for that “brilliant story idea” you have :-). I found that frustrating at first because I had difficulty finding again, the illustration I finally chose.

I also thought it odd that if the user chose the poetry option, that poems were written by dragging words onto the page.  I’ll have to explore this some more, but it appears that users  cannot have the option of choosing their own words.  I’m going to  return to the site and try writing a poem and see what happens.

I think teens and adults would enjoy Storybird the most. Creating digitally would appeal to most teens and I can see this being  used for creative writing exercises in  classes and perhaps at public libraries as well. In the Public library setting,  I  was able to imagine teens using this to write stories for young readers and sharing their stories  with a child (children) in a story time activity.

For adults, in addition to using it in creative writing  or poetry  writing groups that might meet in a library,  Storybird  could also be used with genealogy groups; images could be chosen as writing prompts for  a memory or family story that could then be written up.  The image I chose while not prompting a specific memory,  did make me think of my father  and his favorite John Deere tractor.


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