Ready, Set, Record!
, kids can write, direct, and star in their own videos. TeleStory
provides model videos and general templates on The News, Eye Spy, Star Adventure, and The Band to help inspire kids to record their own shows. By using their device's camera and microphone and adding animated special effects, kids become newscasters, musicians, detectives, and characters in stories -- just like they see on TV! Each story template has its own scenes and cue cards, but kids can also write their own cues. For even more creative inspiration, kids can access ToonTube, the same site used by Toontastic
for sharing cartoon videos. Now kids can share videos they record instead of just cartoons -- with parental approval, of course!
How to Be a Star
Kid-friendly instructions and graphics make for an easy setup of TeleStory, so kids are quickly creating their own shows. Kids can start by watching an example video that feels authentically kid-created and demonstrates some of the special features, such as using the cartoon overlay accessories to represent multiple people, or using stuffed animals to have even more characters in the story. These cartoon overlays are a hoot because they make it appear as if your child is in a costume.
To start the recording process, kids choose which type of story they want to tell, pick or write a scene and "cue card," and start recording! They have two camera options -- the front-facing and the back-facing camera -- and can switch between them at will. After watching the clip, kids can choose to retake or keep the video. Then, they can record a new video clip for the next scene -- the show's not over 'til it's over, after all. After recording as many clips as they'd like, kids-turned-TV-producers name the show and choose whether to export the video to the camera roll and/or upload it to ToonTube.
We love how TeleStory is creative, empowering, and safe for kids. TeleStory provides just the right amount of structure with helpful tools for telling stories and making videos. Once kids are off and filming, their imaginations take center stage. ToonTube has a lot of videos and tips, and kids can also learn from featured videos by-kids for-kids that come with TeleStory. The instructions are perfectly designed for children, so players not only understand but also to feel in charge and engaged. This is not a game that will addictively draw kids into their screens -- instead TeleStory inspires kids to move around and interact with their world through a different "lens."
The developers of TeleStory have also been really smart and thoughtful about making ToonTube a safe place, with both parental and app approval of uploaded content. Parents will need to record a video message of themselves giving approval for the creation of an account, then they can approve each uploaded video before it goes on to the ToonTube folks for more screening. This makes ToonTube a great, safe alternative to YouTube.
TeleStory is great for kids who dream of being in the spotlight or behind the scenes of the television industry. The app doesn't provide as much instruction about how to tell a story as ToonTastic does, so parents can help kids get even more out of the app by talking about how to include a setting, a conflict, and a resolution.
This TeleStory app review was written by Liz K. McKinney.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.