StoryKit is a wonderful, free application for iOS devices published by the International Children’s Digital Library. I learned about the application and installed it on my iPhone several months ago, but until this month didn’t take time to actually use it. I’m delighted at how easy it is to use and publish student work. This is a screenshot of the first eight pages of a book my daughter, Rachel, wrote a year ago in a small notebook at her grandparents’ house in Kansas. Of course, immediately after publishing this online I shared the link with Rachel’s mom, siblings, and grandparents!

StoryKit Viewer: Rachel 6 Year Old Book

StoryKit creates an iPhone/mobile friendly webpage for FREE on its site when you choose to share books you create. This is a link to Rachel’s “6 Year Old Book,” published by StoryKit. The link is PRIVATE and not “discoverable” by others unless YOU choose to share the link as I have here. Books can include photos, text, and “digital art” you add on your mobile iOS device. It’s possible to use a more sophisticated iOS art program, like Brushes, and create a story with StoryKit using those exported/saved images from your device’s photo library. To share stories, an account login is NOT required, you simply use the email account already configured on your device and email the link directly from StoryKit to your desired participants. If you’re using a free Posterous blog, you can post to your blog by simply emailing [email protected]

I snapped photos of Rachel’s book two weekends ago when our family was visiting my parents in Kansas, and later created this digital version of her book. I added textual annotations, since some readers might have problems with her invented spelling on some pages. If I’d had access to her in person when I created this, I could have asked her to read these pages and then recorded her audio directly into StoryKit. I’m anxious to give that a try soon. I’m going to offer to create shared, online digital stories like this for Rachel’s first grade teacher, as a parent volunteer. The fact these can be created and shared online so easily, AND I can do all of this from my iPhone without needing access to any of the school’s Internet network connections (which they are unwilling to share with parents, as I found out a few years ago) is super. Hopefully she’ll take me up on my offer. Whether she does or not, I’m going to encourage my kids to create their own stories and publish them to our family learning blog, as I did with this initial StoryKit story for Rachel.

Have you used StoryKit with your students or your own children? If so, what have your experiences with the application been? VoiceThread can be used to share narrated digital stories created by students, but it’s NOT possible to use a mobile iOS device to entirely create the story on VoiceThread as you can with StoryKit. Many, many thanks to the developers and staff working for the International Children’s Digital Library for creating and sharing this GREAT application!

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