Why another story telling app you say???
Story telling apps can serve many educational, therapeutic or social purposes for any student, but for special needs students it can allow the ability to modify/customize classroom or IEP focused curriculum tasks. I see this as huge – no longer needing to searching for an app (out of 700,000 – yikes!) for content but allowing customizing curriculum materials on a mobile device for an individual student. Content on demand!
Generally here is what storytelling apps can do:
- Provide a method of creating modified curriculum materials for students with special needs on any subject
- Allow the ability to create high interest or personalized stories to students
- Provide a method of creating social or sensory stories for individual student needs
- Supply step by step directions with images and audio to a student/individual
- Provide vocabulary words or facts to students with audio and images
- Captures student productions to make a book for a student or parent
- Allows an easy method for a student to become an author (how powerful is that!!) – with audio, text or drawing/selecting
- Seemingly endless uses!
Story Creator app provides a few different options when compared to some of the other story telling apps that I have used. It is also developed by the Innovative Mobile App folks who are a trusted source, provide heroic support and great customizable educational apps for emergent learners. Here’s a few of the features available in their new app:
✔ Extremely easy to create in for a student or adult
✔ Supports the importing of photos and videos
✔ Allows adding text and audio recordings with every page
✔ Supports text highlights – easy to modify to read each word with audio recorded (even I caught on right away how to modify this!) ✔ Drawing tools available
✔ Allow sharing stories with others and copy stories across devices
Other app features:
✔ Add as many stories as you like – I can create a library of books for a student
✔ Share stories with friends and let them download your stories into their own app
✔ Share stories on Facebook as a photo album
✔ Backup stories online so kids can’t accidentally delete your hard work
✔ Download stories on multiple devices – create once, share with others
Here is an example of a book I quickly made using pictures from Creative Commons or Google images for a sensory story for a student(s):
Story Creator app was easy to use, however, took a few trials to get a story sent from one device to another. This may have been user error. One of the methods for transferring it was with Facebook and I shared it using a “Private” setting. I am not real adept at navigating some of those features in Facebook. With time and a few trials it did transfer from my school iPad to my personal iPad (maybe its the size of the file also that took longer to transfer?). I am requesting instructions from Mobile Innovations for file transfer which I could not find on their website or in the app at this time perhaps due to its debut today.
One of Story Creator features that I really like is the ability to create and store as many stories as I want and back them up or transfer them to another device. Story Creator also provides the possibility of transfering it to iPad and iPod Touch, not always the case with all story telling apps. I also find it more and more important to explore the workflow possibilities of an app along with the qualities of the app when considering creating stories or activities for students. Those workflow needs are how can I share, how many can I produce, can I print it, how easy is it to share with others to get it to student(s) device? I love the stories that Story Buddy app creates however the fact that you can only create 5 books in the app will not support my student needs for curriculum content. Audio is also lost with some apps when transferring to another source or device (very important feature for many special needs students!).
One of the amazing features of Story Creator app is its ability to speak the text word by word that you record. Not only does it allow audio highlighting, but it also allows modification of when it will speak the word using the edit recording feature. This was amazingly intuitive and easy to edit and I am not typically so great at managing and modifying audio.
Story Creator is a great app but here’s a few things that I would suggest to make this app even better:
- Although you can back up the story online, I would like to see a lock feature in the app to remove access to controls by wandering fingers.
- Provide a turn page button for individuals that need a concrete image for turning pages or are not ready for swiping (sounds silly but when working on specific patterns of movement or access it can be important)
- Option to export to Dropbox along with social media websites
Story Creator is valuable, free story telling app that is an easy to use, allows sharing and supports audio, text, images and video – not something that you typically find in a free or low-cost app. It would be a worthwhile app for a cost for the tools and ease of use it provides. As typical, Innovative Mobile Apps has supplied another highly useful app that will allow customizing content to support special need students.
I know this will be in my OT iTool Kit and I will share it with every one at my school!!