Improvements to Storybird [an email]

Hi,

My name is Stuart and I’m an Assistant Headteacher and Head of ICT at one of the largest schools in the UK (2800 students).

Firstly … we LOVE Storybird!

It’s a great site and I’ve tweeted and blogged about how we used it in the classroom – http://www.stuartridout.com/post/347591517/writing-with-storybird

The only thing that’s a little iffy for me/us is the terms of service, specifically the part about the age restriction. “If you are under the age of 18 you may use this Site and submit personal information to us only in conjunction with and under the supervision of your parent or guardian.”    This is kind of prohibitive for us in the classroom as to use this fantastic resource we would have to get consent from every parent.  For us 2800 signatures is a big logistical task and to be honest we wouldn’t move forward with this.  

I was wondering if there was any scope for looking at this.  When you sign up for Storybird you don’t actually give any personal information other than your name and email so I think it wouldn’t be a big problem for students to sign up without parental consent.  I know there are teachers in the UK who are using this with kids as young as 8 or 9 years old. 

Secondly, after using Storybird with a number of students they were unhappy with the username being used on the front cover of the book.  You can’t always get the username you want as it might be taken and they said they would prefer to be able to type the name on the cover (as opposed to using username or the name on the account).   They also said they found the artwork screen on the book writing section a little ‘messy’ and were wondering if you could have a button to arrange the artists work into a tiled layout (rather than the default view) or to click a button and have artwork arranged into ‘piles’ by theme, style or keyword.  Some of the ‘busier’ artists have a lot of artwork on there and the writing screen is quite cluttered. 

We still love Storybird and I’ll continue to use it in the classroom but I told my students that I’ll pass their feedback on to you.  

Many thanks

Stuart Ridout

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