Review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2016
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Scribble Press

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Terrific book creator encourages self-expression for all young writers

Common Sense says
Teachers say (3 Reviews)
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Grades
K-5 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: More than 500 drawing and writing tools with digital stickers, characters, backgrounds, and music, plus flexible publishing options.

Cons: No kid-friendly guide on the app about protecting personal information in public publishing.

Bottom Line: A quality way for kids to explore storytelling, illustrating, and publishing.

You will get out of Scribble what you bring to it: Bringing a purpose for reading or writing is essential for classroom use. Depending on the age and skill level of your students, you could have kids start with the premade templates or let them start with a blank book. It's easy to imagine using this versatile creation tool as a free-write station, to prompt various writing tasks, or as a platform for peer workshopping. Kids could create fiction or nonfiction stories, how-to manuals, photo books, and more.

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Scribble is a kid-friendly book-creation and -publication app that kids can use to write and illustrate stories, publish them online or in print, and view other kids' books. The more than 500 writing and drawing tools allow kids to convey their stories and its messages via words, fonts, colors, images, and more. Kids can even put their own face on a character using the device camera. Or, for more structure, students can follow one of many story templates, such as "If I ran for President" or "My first day at my new school." Students' works can be published publicly or privately, or printed copies can be ordered directly from the app. Students can save their story as a movie that they can watch anytime.

Scribble also offers kids the option to just draw to make pictures, greeting cards, or other one-page works. Essentially, this app acts like an online self-publishing house geared toward kids making and reading printed materials on an app (or in print, if you order printed copies for about $14 each). All books that users want to share publicly are held for 24 hours to make sure the content is acceptable for kids. Still, kids under 13 aren't allowed to create an account on Scribble; parents or teachers must help those kids to ensure that they know the rules of public publishing vs. sharing their work privately and how to protect their personal information. It's important to note that books or online displays of books will contain a notice that lists the submitting user's name with a copyright icon. If the books are going to be published to the app's gallery, it's important for teachers to make sure no personal information is posted.

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In the classroom, this app is an excellent tool for kids of widely varying levels of writing enthusiasm and skill. More advanced and eager storytellers can start with a blank book and let their imaginations run. The premade story templates are especially handy for younger kids, reluctant writers, or kids who need more structure in their storytelling or creative writing. The premade story lines provide kids with scripts that include blanks to fill in details, sort of like Mad Libs. This also helps kids learn story structure (beginning, middle, end), as well as punctuation, capitalization, and spelling from the prewritten portions of the story.

As students use the drawing tools to write and illustrate, they are making decisions about how they want to convey their stories and its messages. Students can make a voice-over and use the app's musical choices to add another layer of depth to their storytelling. As kids use their imaginations and create stories, they can also view what other kids are creating in the gallery and learn from their work. Scribble can help kids become published writers in one way or another, and it lives up to its motto: "Imagine, Create, Publish."

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

The design options -- from pre-crafted, fill-in-the-blank story templates to blank book templates or drawing-only pages -- create a highly adaptable, highly engaging user experience.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

This is kid-led learning at its creative best: Kids choose how to write (using pre-scripted templates, drawings, and recordings) and how they want to share (via private sharing, published online, or published in print).

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

Comprehensive FAQ helps kids and parents decipher the many options. YouTube and social media sites promote storytelling skills and describe how to "grow" a reader.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Michelle W. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
4
Fun & Easy Digital Storytelling and Drawing App

I like this app for use in the classroom at the beginning of the year. It is easy to use and the students enjoyed using it. As the year progresses I move on to other apps such as iMovie so that they have even more control over their product and more options for sharing. I would like it to be more classroom/teacher friendly for in-house sharing and assessment.

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