Feature App #2: StoryKit
User by: Sarah Feeney, Scoil Chormaic, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
Story Kit is free
The StoryKit App. is used by Sarah Feeney who teaches in Scoil Chormaic, Cashel, Co. Tipperary. This is a special school catering for students with Mild General Learning Disability and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Sarah is currently teaching in a class designated for students with ASDs and she uses iPads for both one-to-one and group work. The students also use them for personal work and responses.
StoryKit is a simple drawing program with text-entry features. In addition, you can add photos, either from your device's photo library or ones you have just taken. You can add these to your stories. Sarah uses it for two main functions in her teaching.
Firstly, the students can use it to make short stories, to compose personal writing, or to make stories using the language experience approach. The App. is very easy to use according to Sarah:
"My students aged 7+ are able to use it independently. When it opens you can start a new book, or open ones which were previously started. They can be read, edited or shared.
When making a book you can instantly take a photograph and use it, use a photo from your photo gallery or free draw. You can type in text and you can easily record speech. You can add pages to the book and it instantly saves."
The second and greater use of Story Kit by Sarah is to produce visual supports and stories to use with the students to help them understand daily life and to learn about it:
"As incidents arise I can very quickly make meaningful visual stories using photos, drawings, sounds and speech to explain the scenario to the student. Previously I would sit with the student and write and draw out instructions and explanations which weren’t always meaningful. However, using this App. allows me to quickly address incidents, quickly produce a visual explanation of the event or incident, or to flag up a change to schedule and such like. The stories and sequences are then on the iPad to be referred to, edited, or re-read as necessary."
Here as some screen grabs from an iPad, with Sarah describing how she uses the App.
"This is an example taken from one of my pupil's own stories made using Storykit. He drew the picture and typed the sentences, with a little help. He recorded the sound clip to accompany it. In this instance, his handwriting is not as good as his oral language and therefore, for him to be able to type and record his voice, allows for great success and he was very proud of it! Pages like this are then built up to expand the theme."
"The next two screen-grabs are examples of a multimedia story approach that I use. These pages are taken from a story I made to explain to a student the steps involved in using the jacuzzi in school as he was a little anxious about using it. He helped me make this by taking the photos. He then played and replayed the story many times before visiting the jacuzzi , especially playing the speech I recorded for the story. This made him a lot more relaxed than before."
StoryKit is free and is produced by ICDL (International Children’s Digital Library) (ICDL).
It is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.