How I Use It
I had students create poems and then turn them into Storybirds, by choosing artwork that went along with their poetry and completing a short book. This was a great way to marry my lessons on figurative language and using sensory details in writing.
I really did not like setting up all of the students in my classroom and adding them into Storybird's website as a part of my class. I wish I could have just sent students a link and from there they could have entered themselves into my classroom.
I loved visually displaying the stories on my smart board and having students read their stories aloud to their classmates - it was an activity enjoyed by all in my classroom. I also loved the fact that some of my students bought the books and gave them to their parents as mother's day or father's day gifts.
I loved using this as a final teaching tool. I think you would have to still have a structured guide as to your expectations if you created an assignment for this, but the website allowed teachers to customize many aspects of the website and the sharing of students' work. This really helps visual learners and may even help with the brainstorming process of writing.
The only negative that I found was that students must use artwork created by Storybird artists and cannot upload their own.