While students will love creating improvised shows using TeleStory, with some planning and prep, teachers can use it as an effective learning tool, too. Students might be inspired by the settings and characters included to write short stories -- working through the writing process to revise and edit them -- and then record them. Kids can play all of the parts themselves, changing characters with an outfit change, or work collaboratively with different kids playing different parts, changing characters between scene recordings. Teachers could join in the creative fun, too, creating shows to introduce a unit or project with extra pizzazz.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: Since this review's publication, iOS 11 has introduced a series of issues with the app, resulting in bugs and crashes.
TeleStory is a video creation tool that starts students with a scene, face-detecting costumes, cue cards, and special effects, and lets them create their own themed TV shows. Kids first choose a theme and then select a scene and cue card. They choose a costume (hats, wigs, glasses, helmets) that fits onto their image via face-detecting technology and then record their scene. They can choose from several cue cards to inspire their story, adapt what's on the cards, or write their own ideas. Kids can add as many scenes as they'd like to create their story, and then name it and save it in the app. They can return to saved episodes for further editing, share them via ToonTube, the developer's moderated community, and save them to the device's camera roll. Publishing the videos requires teacher or parent approval, and videos are moderated and approved before going live.
TeleStory both inspires and empowers kids to be creative. The preset themes will spark ideas, and the crazy costumes and accessories will empower kids to set their creative sillies free. The face-finding technology is really cool -- but not perfect -- so kids will have to let go of perfectionist expectations, because their costumes won't line up perfectly for every move they make. Kids can choose from story-starting cue cards, or they can develop or improvise their own ideas. After each scene is recorded, kids are prompted with a "What happens next?" to encourage them to continue elaborating their story.
At the time of review, included themes are The Band, Star Adventure, Eye Spy, and The News, with each theme featuring a different setting, costumes, and fun special effects -- which, in an already totally cool tool, may be the coolest feature of all. Kids can watch videos created by other kids (and approved for posting) and share their own creations (once approved).
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.
Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.