February 11, 2012

StoryBuilder for the iPad is worth looking at!

If you haven't had a chance to use Story Builder with your students, now might be the time to give it a try.  This app is perfect for second language learners or any learner who needs oral practice building sentences, telling or recreating a story.  Students are guided through a series of questions about the happenings in a picture.  Students answer using a sentence starter and record their own voice.  They can work on this app independently or in small groups.  Students then can listen to themselves and rerecord their answers, if they want.  At the end of the question series StoryBuilder combines the answers into a story.  Students listen to their own story in their own voice!

An additional feature includes the ability to adjust settings to provide differing levels of student support. Level One questions and sentence starters relate to what a students sees in the image.  This is a perfect level for my Beginning and Early Intermediate language learners.  Level 2 adds questions which require inferences. My Intermediate and Early Advanced speakers find this challenging at first.  Finally, the highest level lets students create their own story without guidance.

 It is very easy to use, even for younger students and the added bonus for students is that kids get to hear their own voice!

Here is what the manufacturer says:
Story Builder is designed to help children accomplish the following educational goals: 1) Improve paragraph formation; 2) Improve integration of ideas; and 3) Improve higher level abstractions by inference. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders.

Story Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the ability to create a narrative.

-Record feature allows students to record narrative in their own voice
-3 levels of play
-Simple and intuitive interface to record narrative
-Recorded answers are stitched together to create complete narrative
-Stories can be archived for later play
-Each student gets their own archive page
-Stories can be emailed
-50 distinct story lines to create narrative from
-500 audio clips of questions to guide narrative
-Optional question text and answer introduction reinforcement

I have used the free version of Story Builder for a couple of years and loved it so much I just bought 3 more of their other apps. 
Question Builder for iPad
SentenceBuilderâ„¢ for iPad
I will review them after I have had a chance to use them more, but so far I like what I see.
LanguageBuilder for iPad

I also noticed that the following 2 apps are available.  They are on my wish list!


Has anyone used any of these apps?  Let us know how you use them in your class and what you think about them!
Happy Teaching!

1 comment:

  1. Apps are one thing; books quite another. The first ever interactive, "multi-touch" textbook, a resource designed to also maximize oral output in the classroom, has just been published for iPad. This new classroom resource is called Catalyst: A Conversation Taskbook for English Language Learners and you can find out more by visiting http://www.speekeezy.ca/ or you can just download the free sample on iTunes here:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/catalyst-esl-taskbook/id564638682?mt=11. Catalyst is also available in traditional paper.


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