We’re new to Miriam and her goofy/charming/witty ways. She’s on full display in this interview if you want to see more.
Incidentally, she’s not the first to subvert Ladybird Books.
Annie Leibovitz’s photos are themselves iconic, so it’s fun to see her interpret iconic Disney characters using celebrities. These images recently surfaced and are stunning.
Jessica Chastain as Merida from Brave.
Rachel Weisz as Snow White.
Taylor Swift as Rapunzel.
Queen Latifah as Ursula from The Little Mermaid. See the entire set.
We just launched E-Gift Cards for Premium Membership.
If you’re an adult, you can buy one and 12-month cards for the writer in your life. Premium Membership unlocks a world of awesome tools, like unlimited downloads, custom covers, emoticons, 2-day moderation for public stories, and, best of all, unlimited poetry with our fab Poetry app.
If you’re under 18, you can ask your parents for a Premium Membership gift card. We’ll send them an email with details on how to buy one.
Hats off to Ben, Paul, and Tyler for the tool. Soon, we’ll add denominations like $25, $50, etc so you can give e-gift cards for ANY Storybird purchase (like buying books).
We are big fans of Kano, a computer and coding kit powered by Raspberry Pi, as simple as Lego and designed for all ages. Priced at $99, it is truly a computer for the masses, the original vision of Apple computer.
Kano is currently in Kickstarter phase (one week left, as of this writing). Their funding goal was $100k. They just passed $1.2m. We’re not the only ones who love this.
Kano has a chance to be very big. At $99 anyone can afford it. When everyone can build and code computers, innovation flourishes in a way that is truly disruptive. Forget Apple and Google. This is the computer of the next generation.
Update: we’ve partnered with Kano to include their adorable character art in one of our shops. Pick up on the visual cues and turn out stories about imagination, technology, and DIY power.
We’re proud to announce that Storybird for Education v2 is now live.
Version 2 is the biggest software update in our history. Influenced by educators around the world and shaped by an amazing team, it offers smarter and faster tools to make your life easier and inspire your students—whether you’re focused on standards-aligned or freestyle learning.
Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll find under the hood:
Onboard younger students (without email) by uploading a class list or auto-generating accounts. Older students can now create their own accounts and be invited to your class. And, we’ve added a tool for teachers to transfer existing students to another class. Result: onboarding in seconds rather than minutes.
Whether you have 30 or 300 accounts, quickly search and filter your students to reset passwords, change usernames, and check last logins. No more multi-page browsing and hunting.
Assignments have been redesigned and now include media support of all types to inspire and focus your students: add stories, poetry, or artwork from Storybird, or include video from YouTube, Vimeo, or SchoolTube.
Peer collaboration is popular in the classroom. While we’ve supported it from the start, we’ve tweaked the interface to better highlight collaborations among students and identify current “turn” status.
Your default view is now Review, a power dashboard that helps you find, read, grade, share, and award any poems or stories from your students. It’s an elegant tool and the centrepiece of your experience.
Notably, you can:
-Read text separately from the book
-comment privately on both unpublished and published stories
-unpublish a story that was mistakenly published
-find and filter work by media type (poems, picture books, chapter books), published status, and assignment
-sort stories alphabetically, by student or username, date modified, and published status
-create custom embed sizes and share the work to any social network
The Review dashboard also switches to comment moderation, letting you pre-moderate any student comments before they’re seen by the authors. (Comment moderation can be turned off, if desired.)
The class library now supports views for poetry, picture, and chapter books (chapter books launch in the winter—stay tuned). A Featured marquee lets you highlight the best work in the class (directly from your Review dashboard).
Pro users can now offer their students our beautiful poetry web app (works on tablets and phones), custom book covers for picture books, and additional emoticons when commenting on their classmate’s work. And, as before, Pro comes with unlimited PDF downloads.
Speaking of Pro, we’ve unbundled Pro features from class headcounts. Previously, teachers had to jump up to a 150 student headcount and pay for a large license they didn’t need. Pro pricing is now available for ANY size classroom. A teacher with 10 students can buy Pro features for less than $10. Example. (This was a big request during our interviews and we’re so glad to have figured out a way to make it happen.)
We’re excited to ship this update. With over 200,000 educators around the world depending on Storybird, our goal was to make the experience smarter, faster, and more enjoyable. We think we’ve succeeded and would love to hear from you after you’ve played around in your new sandbox.
Dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun… Longread stories are almost here.
Emma Watson talking with Rookie mag editor Tavi Gevinson:
The better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird—sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.