Perfect for educators and families
Parent interaction has been made so easy, families from all over the world, country or State can use the app to follow their child's / grandchild's day at care.
I love that parents / families can see in real time their children's activities, just upload and families receive a notification and can interact immediately.
Also using on any device makes sharing stories so easy, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
Sometimes when uploading photos into a draft, it fails to load and you loose those photos that could have been taken using the camera feature. I always try to use my devices camera and upload from my device and not from the story.
Using Storypark from a Early childhood teachers perspectives.
Overall I love it, I love how it is free for parents to continue to use once they leave kindergarten and I love how parents are able to contribute to their child's learning.
I like that the product is fairly user friendly especially going from the internet. I love how I can upload videos for the parents to witness what their child is saying and doing, video is much better than a photo to tell a story, however I will add photos also.
The picture are easy to upload, however you can not do anything else with them apart from putting them straight up. I know another program we used to use allowed us to put the picture onto an angle and with stars around them etc.
Not very happy with using the app as sometimes the picture just don't go up, however I just don't use it as often as I do going through the internet.
As we are using tablet and windows computer, I struggle to be able to move pictures from one story to another. The photos go black and I have tried getting help a couple of times, not sure what I am doing wrong there.
Storypark pros and cons
Once we learned to found our way around Storypark and used the mindset of not being scared or time poor to try things out, we haven't looked back.
The webinars and online videos are really useful. The help feature is great! Storypark operators are really prompt and we have used them often.
Keep improving Storypark.
Storypark has been a fantastic way to engage with parents and whānau. Educators put a lot of passion into writing assessments. When I get a notification from a parent or extended family member ( sometimes from the other side of the world) about something I've posted about a child, it feels like formative assessment and not just another story in their portfolio.
Community posts have been a great way to reach all of our parent community, or particular groups with information about upcoming events, readings, newsletters etc.
Planning feature. Plans can be added too and shared with parents and seek their input. We share agendas and minute our staff, health and safety and termly planning meetings. We create individual plans for children or positive guidance plans to share with parents. Great to be able to link to stories, photos, notes and pdfs etc!
We use child notes to communicate privately with parents. Each term we invite parents to share their aspirations and many do.
Our kindergarten association has a community too and we receive posts from them about professional development, policy reviews and other important information that used to clutter up our inboxes. We share a monthly plan on here with our GM as a strategic update to help communicate what is going on in our individual kindergartens.
We now do our appraisals on Storypark planning and are now looking at using the portfolio feature for evidence gathering.
There needs to be a better way to edit our assessments when printing to utilise A4 paper efficiently. Make them aesthetic, they look awful on paper. More than 2 photos and the photos are too small. and there is 1/2 empty page! My colleagues all use 'Pages' to get a nice looking assessment and then upload pdfs, but that is time consuming. We want to be able to edit our online documents to create nicely printed documents. This would really maximise the time we have for writing assessments.
The filters in the planning tab are limited and we struggle to find what we want. When you have a lot of plans as we do, it would be great to be able to put them in folders. The All about Me Plans (approx. 70 ) take up a lot of room. Also when we archive our meeting plans each term, we have to do that individually, is there a way we can select a number to archive at once?
We have lost information by not clicking save on each cell-annoying
Between our own learning tags and our association's (for appraisals), this area seems cluttered and we have to scroll through an awful lot in a very tiny box, to find what we need. Can they be organised better under headings that only open when you click on them?
Portfolio section, maybe organise by Professional Standards? We want to filter our documents to easily identify how different indicators meet Professional Standards and Code of Conduct? Perhaps the Quality Practice Template from the Education Council could be a template for the portfolio?
Helping to create a school culture of open communication
Overall we are very happy with Storypark. It is making communication easier and more efficient. It is helping us to reach family members that in the past have been difficult. It fosters open and reciprocal information sharing.
With our children that are non-verbal, it gives families a chance to see pictures and videos and share in their child's day.
It is great fro reaching both sides of a split family in an equitable and open way.
I like how easy i9t is for my staff to share wonderful lessons and daily experiences with families. It is also a great way to communicate with families on a more personal basis, it is easy for most people to access and is more secure than texting or even email.
Some of our families struggle to use the app on their phone. We try to help but technology can be confusing.
I can sometimes find the menus a bit complex and information can be hard to find.
Storypark - Learning Community
Time management, involving families in their child's learning and simply communicating with families. Streamlining documentation cycle.
That I am able to link all of my documentation suite together and share this easily with families. It means we can easily collaborate and set goals for the children.
At times the planning feature can be difficult to format so it fits on one page for printing. Sometimes you need to click through several steps to get to the information you need. It would be good if you could collage photos within writing stories to group photos as one image - as when portfolios are exported the file size of photos is huge.
Best Investment Ever!
Since beginning Story Park 2 1/2 years ago my programming time is used more appropriately. I am able to focus on evaluations, individual children and reflective practice as my stories are done in real time, with the children. It is so time effective and Story park has given me back my focus on my curriculum and what i want to achieve.
I love how story park has provided me with the opportunity to bridge the gap between my program and our families!
I feel that the app does not give the benefits of the full program for the families. Not all families log in on their PC or via safari and therefore miss out on the programming aspect.
Easy and Clear
Very easy to use, families love that they can receive so much information on their child. They love that they can use this as a way to contribute to our curriculum and be involved in their child's early learning journey.
Storypark is easy to use and is clear for all educators and families. It allows me to link my documentation together to ensure each child and group has a cycle of planning. I can attach supporting documentation such as PDF files, photos, videos and voice memos.
I would like to be able to edit the stories a bit more to make them more engaging.
Fantastic for ECE
I love Story park I highly recommend it to all childcare providers it is so easy to use.
I really love how easy the site is to use, finding material is a breeze even for those that are not technical this is for you.
Some of the cons are the milestones the searching is difficult but not impossible to do, deleting children to see their profile after never seems to work out
Wonderful in strengthening the partnership between the families and service. The experience has been very beneficial for our centre.
The ease of use for all staff. It takes very little time for an educator to become accustomed to the software.
Any issues with how I wanted the software to work within our service was responded to in an efficient manner
Storypark for families
I find the platform easy to use and seamless between devices.
This is such a great platform for us and our educators to be able to communicate effectively with families and to share about their childrens learning and development in a meaningful way. Families are also in turn able to communicate with us and share some snapshots of their lives creating a more well rounded holestic view of the child.
That the app is unable to complete child notes or planning.
I have written above all the benefits for us. Great software for us I love it. I am from the UK and know what it feels like to miss grandchildren so for these families it is a lifesaver and keeps them connected. We have had on family view a story 50 something times as they watch it over and over.
This software has been an absolute asset to our teaching, we take spontaneous stories every day and make sure our 60 children have at least one story each per week. most often they have more. We are then able to do our planning from this and follow the children's interest so that we can support their learning. This software is also amazing for our families overseas who have grandchildren/children and really lets them become involved by commenting on stories, this way we can get involved with the whole family, when they visit from overseas we feel that we know them already. The software is also great to let our children have a go and actually take their friends or interview them. This helps with self esteem and confidence. Our shy introverted children can be left alone to say their words without anybody listening, we have found that this has helped with speech and language as the children can see and hear themselves. They absolutely like seeing themselves and what they are doing. Storypark has also been good for observations for children who are neuro diverse so that we can share videos, photos with family and outside agencies if families have agreed. I have also personally used storypark for my appraisal and to create a room for our children with a neuro diverse needs so that families can join in the conversation as we add different topics. I really am enjoying this software and am finding different things to open all the time. Thankyou.
I don't have much that I don't like, I think we could have a language translator so that we can write in different languages to our families abroad. But that might be too hard. Other than that no can't think of anything.
Using Storypark in the primary school sector
I really love Storypark and I think it has huge potential to support more innovative and responsive teaching as students move through educational settings.
Please contact me if you would like anymore information
It is an awesome tool to share learning with home and with a child's next teacher, the pictures and videos are easy to upload and a great way to show learning, especially for our non-english speakers. It is a brilliant way to show learning pathways over time. It supports transition from ECE into primary really well. It provides valuable feedback from parents through comments. The tabs enable us to monitor progress on the literacy and numeracy progressions in a more responsive way. The planning tools allow us to show learning over time in reading, writing and maths.
Our use of Storypark would be hugely improved by two things...
-If the children could have their own log in to their account -we are using it for years 0-6, the older children and their families would benefit hugely if the children themselves could log into the account and post about their learning. We currently do this as much as we can but the children must post under the teachers log-in which is not ideal.
-If you could use the reporting section differently - we use the tabs to show progress along the literacy and numeracy progressions ie. if the have a tab they can do that thing. If we could pull up which children in a class/group do not have a particular tab we could then provide targeted teaching to that particular group.
These two things would REALLY enhance the use of this tool
Fantastic Tool for educators and families
My over all experience as a director, parent and teacher using this tool has been incredible. I would feel lost without it because it adds so much to our ability to record, share and progress children's learning. Also beyond that as a parent having this to always look back on is so precious.
What's not to like Storypark is such a fantastic tool being able to capture the child's own voice in their learning through video, photo, voice recording and pics of their art work. This tool makes it possible to document all we need to show a child's learning journey. another key feature I love is being able to communicate with families and share knowledge about the child meaning parents can easily be involved in shaping their child's education. The fact that extended family can also be involved means children are even more connected with families and we can share and celebrate with the wider family of a child.
As a centre director I value that all our documentation can be done in one place from meetings, QIP, planning to mentoring staff.
I have only had a couple of frustrations with using the tool and more so around functions I like from such things as Microsoft word. for example if you accidently delete your text you cannot go back to recover it and copying and pasting is not always that easy.
The only other issue we have experienced has been some content that had been published, shared and commented on by parents has disappeared.
StoryPark Review - BestStart Leeds St
Overall, our experience is pretty good. StoryPark is a great tool for our centre and our families love having access to it.
The connections it forms between extended and immediate families with our centre. It is a valuable resource for sharing children's learning with whanau who live overseas or out of town. The ability to make announcements to whole rooms/the centre. Generally easy to use.
I find moving the photos around really fiddly and at times quite difficult and frustrating. There should be more printing options with arranging photos i.e able to have a couple of big feature photos at the beginning of the story and then the rest small, as we are looking at being more sustainable with our printed hard copies of stories in children's folders. Otherwise, if you use the option of having the photos small and at one side and the story is over one page in length you end up with several printed pages that are mostly blank apart from the strip of pictures down the side, for example, and then we have to cut them out and stick them down which is time consuming. Also, majority of our teachers don't want to use the option of printing all the pictures small as the hard copies are for the children to revisit their learning and this is difficult when the pictures are so small.
Making learning visible
It has been an amazing tool brought to the field of early childhood. Both for educators and families. Having this type on on line documentation, it captures and records amazing moments of learning and it is able to grow and adapt with each child for their whole life. It is like bringing a photo album to the digital world and breathing life into it. More than just photos, it has captured moments in stories.
I like that it enhances parent/educator communication. I have been in child care for over 25 years and have seen many changes. With our ever increasing busy lives and fast paced world we live in, maintaining good communication between educator and families is increasingly more important. With this online documentation, we are able to capture and highlight those special learning moments a child has during the day and on posting the documentation, the parent feels more connected and part of the moment, sharing in it with the Educator. It assists in facilitating a sense of belonging for the families.
The format has changed a few times since beginning, so there can be frequent learning curves. It does not work well with safari, so had to switch to chrome for ease of use. I will say the staff have been amazing with swift responses for any questions that have arisen.
Review by early Childhhod Teacher
I really love Story park, i would like to have the ability to download the full app on my Note 10 (phone) I have to open a desktop version to use all the features when I am at home. Great support when needed and I am finding our less confident educators are using our SP more recently :) Good Job!!
I really love the ability to connect and share information, learning and special moments of the teaching and learning in my preschool setting. I really love using video and ability for families to share their at home experiences with us educators to maintain our collaborative curriculum.
I really feel I waste so much time tagging children! I strongly suggest you look into adding face recognition software like FB...it is really painful as I have 50 children and basically post a minimum four posts a month and two daily posts, plus all additional posting I do. I will often miss children, last year I broke them into groups..but honestly there are too many small group sets to do that this year! FACE RECOGNITION WOULD BE AMAZING!!!
I also would like to suggest the option to write learning stories collaboratively with other educators, I like to push the envelope when it comes to documentation. There have been so many opportunities lost where two educators could have contributed to the same story with their own different perceptions!
Families, children and educators at Scallywags have had a very positive experience using Storypark. Children like to watch and look at the pictures/videos that have been taken, often recalling experiences. Parents and families enjoy seeing their children having fun and being engaged at Scallywags while they are working, especially when they first start. Family members who are in another state and/or country can receive the stories also when invited to by parents. Educators are enjoying their programming time and achieving outcomes that were previously unreachable. So for Scallywags Childcare Centre Storypark is a very positive experience by all.
Storypark enables the educators to communicate with the parents re their child's daily interaction and learning whilst in care.
All programming is now completed using Storypark and it was great hearing the feed back from the Assessment and Rating assessor that she could see the programming cycle so clearly because of Storypark, the educators are able to link observations, stories, plus families are also able to see and have input into the programs
I don't really like the fact that stories can be edited and plans don't require to be approved by admin.
Just what I needed all along
It has been so amazing, could never go back to what I was doing before which was extremely time consuming and I could never get it up-to-date, now I am getting stories off once the children leave care and even throughout the day for real-time updates, families know exactly what we have been doing and with the photos and videos to reassure them that their children are happy, learning and having so much fun while in care and parents can provide consistency for the children between home and care. Storypark has benefited everyone involved. The children in care even act out using storypark in their pretend play as so much a part of our lives.
Storypark has been so amazing, makes writing my stories so much easier and can streamline so much of my paperwork through it. It improves communication with the families, with all of the families of the children in my care loving it, particularly the grandparents who do not get to see the children often as keeps them in the loop. Makes linking to Te Whariki so much easier as well as meeting so many other regulations and requirements as well.
Whenever there is an issue or problem the customer support team have been quick to help so no issues.
Bringing Our Learning Together for Tamariki, Parents, Whanau and Kaiako
We love using Storypark but as individuals and as a team. Our whanau are able to comment instantly and it has improved our ability to seek feedback for this reason. Parents can access their child's learning all day, every day and share with extended family.
It has so much potential that we are still needing to explore. It is instant and we are connected to our families directly through Storypark. It also allows us as Kaiako to link our planning and reflections to our children and to our own learning as kaiako. We can record so many aspects of our Centre and how we work within Storypark. It's training element in form of webinars and workshops can also enable us as teachers to further our own knowledge about our role as teachers.
I still have been unable to add macrons to my writing within Storypark. I also would like to be able to save content in Child Notes prior to posting it. It can be a work in progress but then I can't save it to return to later. I also wish that the stories could be customised a bit more and so I find myself preparing them in Publisher and then posting them as a PDF.
the best thing ever
its made learning and assessment very easy for all staff as it can cater for all different levels and experiences - having story park has given us more communication with our parents then we would have got in the past and its quite exciting reading the comments and making the connection - it also is a great tool to show parents who may be feeling at bit anxious that we can post things to show their child is engaging and it helps them to have a better day.
that our parents have more knowledge about their childs learning and also what happens during the day at our centre, the instant learning and being in the moment is so much more vital and meaningful. The fact that parents can share the technology with their children and extended family. That is anything happens to the computer, its not all work lost - its nice to have things saved instantly in storypark
that there are things that we can not change at our end - some of our parents struggle with technology and not having the internet and trying to change something or get it up and running is hard when there are lack of things we can do at our end once the parent has excepted the invite.
Love it! Has been easy to get used to, although I do use it everyday. I think the planning side takes a bit of getting used to, but adding stories is simple and fun. It has enabled us to reach out to more families and have them engaged in their child's progress and learning.
It is accessible to more family members, especially those that are busy who we don't get the opportunity to converse with regularly. Using storypark, they are able to contribute to their child's learning by adding their own stories or adding comments. It's a great way to start a conversation with family as a way to support their child's learning.
I understand that Storypark is progressive and is always improving with feedback from users. Most of the feedback I receive from other kaiako is around the photo sizes and not being able to shift items in a story around like you would on, say, Publisher. I have become used to it now, although when a story is printed and on the last page there's sjust the date and learning tag, when there has been ample room on the previous page to include this, that's frustrating.
I've found it a wonderful way to store all information on each child in a safe and secure way. It's easy to use straight from my phone with the app e.g. if I take a photo as evidence of learning, I can transfer it straight to a story on my phone.
Easy to add photos and videos to celebrate and record student successes.
Great for staff and visiting specialists to share information and see what each other are working on.
All student records are in rooms and easily searchable - clinical notes etc.
A good place to record evidence of progress on IEP goals and SPEC modules.
Provides a lasting record students and their whanau can look back on after the student has left college.
A great way for wider family and friends to see what students are learning.
I put all notices home on Storypark in 'Community', so no notices get 'lost' and people can revisit the notices.
I wish we could add learning tags to more than just stories e.g. to conversations.
Could we please have the option to change 'child', 'children', as our students are 13-21 years of age.
My Journey with Storypark.
I have realized by using Storypark we are seeing a massive level of engagement with our families and Staff, this takes the stress out of programming and our time management skills has also improved in relation to time off the floor, which means more quality time for children and those all important interactions.
This app is fantastic it allows you to program ,plan and track your children all within the same app. You also can interacting daily with parents and family members which allows that all important collaboration between Educators and Families to naturally happen, while maintaining that all important confidentially. You can also add planning notes and conversations with Staff and even do your QIP. This app also allows for various levels of staffing and qualification to confidently use this app. Great tool for Assessment and Rating with all your information accessible in one click.
It would be great if Storypark could allow some more administrative type features so you could use this as a sole app for your service.
As mentioned in the pros section it has solved the communication problems that we had as a daycare organization. It is also has become a big selling point to potential and existing parents to have this two way communication. And Storypark also ties really well with the "How does learning Happen?" pedagogy that is now mandatory in all lcensed Child Care centers.
In summary it has helped our organization with Education, licensing, Marketing and Communication.
The Storypark software enables me to quickly send newsletter, announcements and reminders to all the Daycare parents at once. We also used it to send an emergency Daycare closure announcement due to bad weather. It was sent at 8:00 pm and all parents confirmed receipt of the announcement which gave me peace of mind. The parents also use it to let me know if their child is sick or to send any other announcements to the administration. It is also useful for me to check in on the children's progress and to ensure that the teacher's are sending regular updates to the parents and providing age appropriate emergent programming for every child in their group.
I do not have any complaints about the software and the parents and the teachers have not complained about the software to me. Earlier on when we were learning how to use the software and we had questions or concerns the support team would respond quickly and efficiently.
A great tool
Storypark enables our team to communicate with parents, minimise waste by uploading newsletters and notices instead of printing them out, document children learning journeys and share research in order to ensure we are supporting each child's learning as required.
Storypark is a great way to keep in contact with your education team - sharing ideas, messages and important information when you don't have time to catch everyone face to face
It is a fabulous tool for communicating with parents - we are able to ensure parents see what their child is up to while at Kindergarten, which helps ease parent anxiety and makes them feel included in our events.
I'd like to see the addition of a few other reporting options.
Occasionally when parents have multiple children on Storypark they cannot accept the second child's invitation or when they do so, the child combines with their sibling meaning they do not have individual portfolios.