TOS Sweet Critique: Mobile Education Tools StoryBuilder

PhotobucketWHAT:  StoryBuilder app for iPod Touch, iPad, & iPhone

COST:  $5.99

RECOMMENDED AGES:  Six and up

CONTACT

WHAT IS THE STORYBUILDER APP?

StoryBuilder app homescreen

StoryBuilder is an app by Mobile Education Tools that is designed to help children:

  • improve paragraph formation
  • improve idea integration
  • improve inference abilities

While it is dependent upon the settings you choose, your child is presented with a picture, and possibly a narrated question, that is supposed to encourage them to create a story.

StoryBuilder app for iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone

StoryBuilder app for iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone

Your child can record, repeat the question, skip the picture, and then when they’re finished {generally five or seven questions}, they can listen to their entire story or email it.

You have the option of customizing your child’s experience by allowing for narrated questions, number of questions, and more.

StoryBuilder app settings

You can even sign up for an account for the Parents’ Center.

StoryBuilder app Parents' Center

WHAT WE THOUGHT

At first, Babydoll was not at all a fan.  She’s nine, going on 10, and she thought the narration and pictures were a little too “immature” for her.

However, Daddy came to the rescue.

By answering seven questions about a particular image {a busted up giraffe}, he created a narrative that had all three of us laughing hysterically.

This got Babydoll excited about using the app.

She immediately ran off to come up with a silly story for us.

When she came back, she had put together a silly little story about a man who had been splashed by mud after his car broke down.

Then, something became apparent to her.

She had simply answered the questions that had been asked.  When these were put together into a story, it made no sense.  Information had been left out.

The app teaches children how to answer questions in a way that many of us learned to answer questions: by restating the question in the answer.

Once she realized this, Babydoll was able to better craft her story.

She did about three more stories and was done for the day.

I think this app can be very effective if you stick with it and help your child along at first.  It takes some inference skills to really be able to work this, but once it’s been established, it can be fun.

Also, I personally don’t think this is an app that can be used as a game that a child can play everyday.  Sure, it’s fun, but it’s not mindless entertainment.

I think after a while of continuous play Babydoll would start to view it more as work than fun.  Then again, she also isn’t a fan of grammar/language arts.

All-in-all, I would recommend this to you guys, just be sure you’re prepared to be silly to show your kids how it works.

WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT

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TRUE CONFESSIONS:  I was provided with a copy of this app in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.