Teacher Review for Storypanda Books -- Read, Create, Share Kids Stories

This has potential, but in-app purchases and lack of options limit its usefulness

Michael G.
Classroom teacher
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Small group
Whole class
Great with General
How I Use It
I would happily use this product in my class if I didn't have to purchase additional storybooks via in-app purchase! Reviewing the app, I believe it has great potential for encouraging young students to read and interact with the story, as well as add their own text, and character modifications. Ideally, the app would be introduced and read with the whole class first, as a demonstration, prior to use for a partner text innovation (story editing) activity. Students could potentially use this app to create their own storyline, based on the visual prompts and sound effects.
My Take
Overall, I find this app hard to recommend for classroom use for two major reasons - firstly, as noted in the official review, the app lacks audio prompts or instructions, and the ability to modify text and characters is not immediately obvious. Secondly, the in-app purchases are a major turn-off. The app comes with one free story, and requires subsequent stories to be purchased individually, which becomes very expensive. I am not convinced that this app is worth spending money on, which unfortunately limits its practical application in the classroom. I am also curious as to why the app encourages edited stories to be shared via Facebook and Twitter, considering its target audience is very young children. Not all teachers (or parents) are comfortable with the use of social media at this young age, although it is possibly quite reasonable to share a class edited book via a class Twitter account. This would be up to the classroom teacher. Overall, the limited editing capacity and requirement for in-app purchases could make this a difficult (and very expensive) app for widespread student use, although teachers may find it useful for teacher-directed small group / whole-class activities, depending on the lesson purpose.