Storypark’s “child mode” feature proves a hit with educators and children alike
Storypark’s recent “child mode” innovation has proved to be a popular addition to the well known pedagogical documentation, professional development and parent engagement platform, with educators and children alike enjoying the opportunity to capture children’s learning and curiosity in a more authentic way.
Launched in September 2021, Storypark Co-founder and Co-CEO Peter Dixon said that “child mode has been received by the sector with almost as much excitement and enthusiasm as we had in making it.”
“As a means to easily capture children’s actual voices and include them as part of their own unique learning journey, child mode has really captured the hearts and minds of not just educators but the children in their care and their families too,” he added.
The new feature, which is available as part of the Storypark app, is designed to enhance practice by supporting educators to include children’s voices in their documentation, provide children with a stronger sense of agency when it comes to their learning journey, deepen their identities as learners and contribute to best practice in line with National Quality Standards 1, 5 and 6.
Julie Madgwick, founder of professional learning consultancy Collaborative Training Solutions said that Storypark has taken children’s participation in the documentation of their learning to a different level with its child mode innovation.
“Child mode provides a tool for children to narrate their own learning and add their voice to the action the educator has documented,” she explained. “This allows children to reflect on their learning, to add their own thoughts to the action and make meaning of the learning occurring. It also allows children to extend their thinking and come up with new ideas to explore.”
When educators come to better understand the child as a competent and confident learner, Ms Madgwick continued, they are able to engage with them as partners in learning, building more respectful and equitable relationships in line with outcome 5.1.
Child mode a popular tool with exceeding services
Notably, Storypark has observed that a large proportion of the services that have embedded child mode into their practice the quickest, regardless of governance type or location, seem to be rated at the higher end of the NQS ratings, with the addition being particularly well received by those services who are rated as Exceeding the NQS .
Early childhood educator and Apple Professional Learning Specialist Rachel Minns commented on the child mode feature, saying it’s true power lies in capturing the moments of learning authentically, and giving the children the option to engage with you and reflect on their learning and development.
“Imagine if students moved from early years settings into their first year of primary school already being able to reflect on their own learning? How lucky would their teachers be,” she added.
The strength of child mode is not just limited to pedagogical development or practice enhancement, but also to the very human nature of caring for young children.
Early childhood teacher Melissa Tannat, an early adopter of the child mode feature explained how valuable the tool has been in helping to settle new children into the service, and in allowing the child to showcase his own learning experiences.
“I had done a welcome story for him and in a lot of the photos he was participating but didn’t look really happy,” she explained. “I used the child mode feature in the Storypark app where we can video while talking about the photos.”
“He lit up seeing the photos on the screen and chatted away about what he’d been up to. It was magic being able to record such a special moment and show a truer reflection of who he is.”
To learn more about child mode, and the other features of Storypark, please see here.
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