Teachers in the pilot schools used the Photo Story app to have students create and illustrate photo books as a way to demonstrate their understanding after a lesson, or for personal self-expression.

The app itself is available free of charge, and Shutterfly charges schools $10 per book to print the books that students create, with volume discounts available.

“Teachers overwhelmingly said that printing the books was critical. The quality of the students’ work, and their engagement in the assignment, was significantly better,” Hoyem said.

“The kids were excited to have an artifact they made themselves, showing their progress—and teachers also liked having something to show to parents and school board members.”

In the back of each printed book is a Quick Response code where users can download a digital version, and the digital version can contain narration or other audio recordings.

Shutterfly is considering an Android version of the app as well; in the meantime, for more information about using Photo Story in an iPad classroom—including examples from other teachers—you can go to www.shutterfly.com/photostoryclassroom.

Follow Editorial Director Dennis Pierce on Twitter: @eSN_Dennis.