What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that StoryBuilder is an educational app that prompts kids to record answers to questions about a picture, then knits their answers together into a story. The app uses both auditory and visual prompts and has three levels of play. There are additional settings to adjust whether and how long the words of the question or answer prompts appear on the screen. Kids can also record their own story without the prompts. Stories can be saved and also shared on email. Multiple users can create profiles and save stories, but only one can be logged in at a time. Since there is no feedback provided to kids within the app itself, this is best used together with parents and teachers to track progress.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- analyzing evidence
- making conclusions
- making new creations
- conveying messages effectively
Engagement, Approach, Support
It's important to begin on the correct level for the storytelling experience to be most inviting and engaging for kids. Once they get the hang of the process, kids can have lots of fun hearing their voice tell stories.
Storybuilder provides questions for kids to answer about pictures as story starters and progressors. As kids answer each question, they are practicing storytelling. Each level builds on the one before it.
Very detailed verbal and text instructions explain how and why Storybuilder encourages kids to answer the questions in full sentences. Multiple options allow users to customize the experience.
What's it about?
In Levels 1 and 2 of StoryBuilder, kids respond orally to a set of questions about an image. The app presents questions in text and audio, and after each, kids see a sentence starter to help them form a response. In Level 3 of StoryBuilder, kids see an image with no question prompts; therefore, they can create any story they wish. Custom settings are available to choose the level and to set up how long the question or answer prompts appear on the screen. Kids can record their responses, as well as replay and save them as a story.
Is it any good?
STORYBUILDER does a great job achieving its aim -- helping kids formulate stories about a picture. The multiple levels and settings make it very customizable, so parents or teachers can tailor it for a kid's particular needs. However, the cartoons lack diversity -- almost all of them depict white characters -- and there are a few small typos. The feature to customize the app so that kids see a picture and greeting is nice, but kids will almost definitely need adult help to use the app to its full potential (or even just find the play button from the settings screen). Still, overall it's a great app for developing (and saving, sharing, and showing off!) storytelling skills.
Families can talk about...
Set up the app for your kids based on their specific learning needs.
Use StoryBuilder as a jumping off point for writing practice. Have your kids write down one of their recorded stories and develop it by adding more details and events.