Digital storytelling is a passion of mine, so I'm exploring digital storytelling again this year. This time I'm trying out StoryJumper to compare it to Storybird.
First off, I like StoryJumper's StoryStarter workbook--a lesson plan for teachers to use in teaching the story writing process. It includes great ideas and a worksheet for students to use to pre-plan 7 story elements: character, challenge, motivation, setting, obstacles, climax, and outcome.
Another StoryJumper feature I like is the ability to translate any of the stories into multiple languages. Given that we are the largest bilingual elementary school in the Rochester City School District, that is a great plus!
StoryJumper allows you to upload photos which is something my students wished they could do when using StoryBird. They did not like being limited to just the StoryBird art. StoryJumper includes background scenes as an option which is nice. Also, StoryJumper works for both fiction and nonfiction writing, whereas the art in StoryBird only works for fiction writing.
Storybird allows a maximum of 2 people to collaborate (on picture books, not chapter books), with the collaborators taking turns at editing the story. By contrast, StoryJumper allows the teacher to set up a "Group Book" with multiple collaborators.
Storybird has the option for students to log in via their Google account which is helpful since our students use Google classroom and that log-in frequently. I did not see that option with StoryJumper.
StoryJumper has the added feature of a class timer which means that the students are automatically logged off when the class time ends. The purpose for this feature is to preclude students who share computers from accessing other students' StoryJumper accounts and changing or deleting a story.
All StoryJumper books are private by default and can only be shared with the parents and classmates from what I can tell. By contrast, student Storybird stories are private but can be embedded into a blog. I do understand the issue of student privacy; however, I think that students are more motivated by projects when there is a wider audience than just their classmates and parents.
Below are two examples. The first is a book created in Storybird by one of my students. The second is a quick nonfiction book I started in StoryJumper.
In conclusion, there are a lot of good features to StoryJumper, so I think I'll try using it instead of Storybird next time I do digital storytelling with my students.