What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that StoryKit is a free app that allows kids to edit and customize some old, classic picture books, and also create their own books from scratch. They can type in text on each page, attach photos (as long as there are photos stored on their device), take a photo, or draw their own illustrations. FYI, the pre-existing books used in the app bear little resemblance to the classic tales you already know (for example, "Three Little Pigs" is more violent here than the standard version, while "The Three Bears" is so friendly that is has zero antagonism between Goldilocks and the bears).
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- producing new content
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
StoryKit is engaging, as long as kids can effectively use the story-creation tool, perhaps with the help of an adult. Kids interested in old-fashioned books may find the preloaded books interesting, but others may get confused.
As kids read the preloaded children's stories and create their own with photos, drawings, text, and recordings of their own voice, creative learning is baked-in. Kids can also share their creations socially via a secure link.
Instructions are built into the design. There's an FAQ about the app on ChildrensLibrary.org. Kids can record their stories or listen to other kids' stories, but the preloaded stories are not prerecorded.
What's it about?
Kids create a book by tapping "new book" on the bookshelf and then following the icons or word prompts through the process. Kids can type in text on each page, attach or take photos, move and resize them by swiping or pinching, draw illustrations, and record their own narration. A good, first digital book creation experience.
Is it any good?
STORYKIT is a wonderful idea that could benefit from better execution. The interface can be a bit funky in ways that might confuse or frustrate kids. For example, the app allows you to enter more text into a box than will fit in the space above or below an illustration, meaning that some of your words are going to be hidden. Trying to do simple things like center a title can also be confounding. Still, as a free app, it offers kids a lot of freedom and should spark their creativity in some very good ways.
Families can talk about...
Before your kid reads this app's preloaded children's storybooks (or you read one to him or her), explain that the stories may sound and look different from any they've heard before because they are older versions.
Help kids upload, send, and view the storybooks they create online.