Shutterfly is launching an amazing classroom resource called Shutterfly Photo Story.  Most of us are familiar with the high quality and fast turn around Shutterfly offers for pictures, picture books, and calendars.  Now, Shutterfly is taking their expertise to empower students from all over the country to tell a photo story with their iPad app: Shutterfly Photo Story.

What is Photostory?

Shutterfly Photo Story inspires students to do their best work by showcasing completed projects in a published book. A fun new way to incorporate technology in the classroom, our iPad app aligns with the English Language Arts Common Core Standards for each grade level. Easy and intuitive, Photo Story helps students document their projects and stories with text, photos, audio clips and Doodles.

Click to view Daniel’s Story

I was fortunate to have the Shutterfly Photo Story team show off their product and discuss the inspiration for this project at ISTE 2014.  The team wanted to take what they already do (a market leader in personalized digital photography products and services) and provide a personalized learning opportunity for every student in every grade level.  I was impressed with the amount of research and testing the team conducted before releasing the app.  The Photo Story team worked with Alice Christie, Ph.D. and Helen Padgett, Ph.D. of Arizona State University along with the research firm of Walkington/Sugarman Education Sales Advisors to run pilot projects across the country.  Some of the interesting findings in the pilots were that Photo Story was used across the core curricular areas.  They received very favorable feedback on the quality of the final book.  On a 1-10 scale, teachers and students rated the value of the physical book at 9.45.

This leads me to why I am so excited about this product.  There are many apps that can create digital stories on an iPad, but Shutterfly Photo Story sets itself apart by the beautiful physical book that is created as an end product. Allowing students to create something digitally that is then manufactured into a physical book is a great way for students to experience the entire product development cycle. Many tech savvy educators will admit that creating something tangible (with or without computing) will always be just as important as creating something virtually.
You may be thinking (as I was) “This is great, but I am scared of the price”.  I was happy to hear that prices start at $10 per book.  When you stop and think about the amount of colored ink you go through to create a similar project (of vastly inferior quality) the $10 price point is excellent.  (Full color printing still costs about $0.40 per page)! Plus these end products have lasting value over many other products we produce in schools.
Shutterfly has created a whole website dedicated to the Photo Story app.  The site contains tutorial videos on how to use the app, lesson plans that cover all core subject K-8, and examples to spark your imagination.  In addition to the website, Shutterfly added something to every book that sent our tech-savvy radar blaring: Each book contains a QR code in the back that links to a virtual version hosted on Shutterfly’s servers.  Can you imagine one of your students being able to share their story with a relative across the country?  OR Building a virtual library year after year of your 4th graders stories? OR Your 6th graders creating a photo story of the solar system to share with 4th graders across the country?  The possibilities and engaged learning opportunities are endless.
Shutterfly lessons
Shutterfly is still looking for interested classrooms to run additional pilots.  If you are interested, visit the Photo Story classroom website at:
Have you used the app in your classroom or had books printed?  Please share with the NCCE community you experiences by adding your comments below!
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