A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that TeleStory is a video-creation tool that gives kids a background scene, face-detecting costumes, cue cards, and special effects to create their own themed TV shows. A kid can become a singing contest star, à la American Idol, or serve on a Star Trek-style spaceship. Videos then can be saved to the camera roll and shared from there or published on TeleStory's moderated video channel, ToonTube. Publishing videos requires parental approval, and videos are moderated and approved before going live. Some of the action-packed themes include a bit of cartoon-style violence, but the over-the-top costumes and effects ensure it's all in fun.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
With TELESTORY, kids create and star in original video stories. They start by choosing a theme and then selecting a scene and cue card. They'll choose a costume (with hats, wigs, glasses, and helmets) that fits onto their image using face detection and then record their scene. Kids can add as many scenes as they'd like to create, then name their story and save it in-app. They can return to saved episodes for further editing or share them via ToonTube, the developer's moderated community, or save them to the device's camera roll.
Is it any good?
TELESTORY both inspires and empowers kids to be creative. The preset themes will spark ideas, and the crazy costumes and accessories will empower kids to set their creative sillies free. The face-finding technology is really cool -- but not perfect -- so kids will have to let go of perfectionist expectations because their costumes won't line up perfectly for every move they make. Kids can choose from story-starting cue cards, or they can develop or improvise their own ideas. At the time of review, included themes are The Band, Star Adventure, Eye Spy, and The News, with each theme featuring a different setting, costumes, and fun special effects -- which, in an already totally cool tool, may be the coolest feature of all. Kids can watch videos created by other kids or share their creations (once approved).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about making wise choices in what kids record and share, remembering their videos can be seen by those other than their intended audience.
Families can parody their favorite shows, mocking the judges from performance shows, creating their own spy spoofs, or blasting space shows.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: presenting to others, speaking, storytelling
Arts: script writing
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression, presenting, speaking
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: October 9, 2014
- Category: Education
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Music and Sing-Along, Space and Aliens
- Size: 353.40 MB
- Publisher: Launchpad Toys
- Version: 1.5.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.