|Website - https://storyweaver.org.in/|
|Subject : Art, Language|
|Grade : K-12|
|Curriculum : Can be aligned|
|Language Support : Multilingual including Assamese, Banjari/Lambadi, Bhojpuri, Bhoti, Bodo, Bundelkhandi, Chattisgarhi, Dhodia,Dogri, Garo, Gondi, Gujarati, Haryanvi, Konkani, Magahi, Maithali, Kolami, Marwari, Odia, Sambalpuri, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi|
|Device Compatibility : Mobile, Tablet, Desktop|
|Offline Access : Yes (Content can be downloaded)|
|OS Compatibility : Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Linux|
|Accessibility : Read aloud resources for learners with visual impairment. Partial support for screen reader and keyboard navigation|
|License : CC-BY-4.0|
|Topics : Creativity , 21st century skills , Stories , Literacy|
|Curator : Diksha Rehal, Saurabh Thakur|
|Date of curation : 03 June 2020|
Not every human culture in the world is literate, but every single culture tells stories. Stories bonded early human communities and helped them make sense of the world around them and beyond. Even in the present times, stories continue to influence children in myriad ways. Stories give them heroes which they emulate, role models that they can aspire for, and opportunities to learn from the trials and tribulations that their favorite characters face. They further allow children to explore their cultural roots, experience diverse cultures, empathize with unfamiliar people, places, and situations, understand differences and commonalities between different cultures, and develop their creativity and imagination. Storyweaver is a tool, by Pratham Books that allows teachers and parents to take children back to the fascinating world of stories and develop skills to lead a meaningful life.
The web platform of Storyweaver has high-quality storybooks available in 53 Indian and 251 foreign languages. Categorized into different themes, one can find stories about different cultures woven around school space, family, subject topics, folktales, etc. Further classification of storybooks into different reading levels makes the process of choosing appropriate books easier. With the rising level, the narrative of the story becomes more elaborate, complex concepts emerge, and one can see the manifestation of more layered emotions. A level 4 story How Pintu Found Pi not only introduces one to the mathematical concepts like Pi but also highlights how a child tries to make sense of his identity in the school space. Stories on this platform are also very much rooted in the context and try to bring those cultures to the center stage that were earlier on the periphery. The story Sailing Ships and Sinking Spoons introduces readers to how students in the monastery learn scientific concepts. The characters' names, appearances, and narrative accurately portray the culture of such schools. Another story Dum Dum-a-Dum Biryani about a Hyderabadi household also has these characteristics and further comments on the assumed gender roles in a subtle manner.
Storyweaver allows one to create stories or mix and adapt the existing ones using the templates and images available on the platform. Thus, it can be meaningfully employed by anyone to tell stories that are culturally valuable, morally uplifting, motivating, value-intensive, and those that kindle the imagination. The platform also has Readalong storybooks that not only enable access to students with visual challenges but also help students to learn the pronunciation of new words and intonation to become better storyteller themselves. One can also translate any story into the language preferred for which the platform provides technical support as well as tips for effective translation. The storybooks can be read online, offline, downloaded, or printed for later use. Storyweaver runs a reading program of six months in English and Hindi that comprises a set of curated books for Grade 1-8 under different themes.
Active Knowledge Making: Storyweaver allows readers to learn according to their pace and level and also gives the flexibility to read the kind of stories they want. The stories are rich and bring different disciplines and cultures together, thus, allowing the reader to appreciate the diversity and different conceptualizations of knowledge. Though stories revolve around a central plot, each learner is free to make her own interpretations. The colorful images, contextual narratives and, focus on universal values not only engage the learners but also motivates them to tell and create their stories.
Multimodal learning: Each storybook has multiple images along with text that allows one to read expressions and identify with the emotions of the characters. Some storybooks also support Readalong. The stress on certain words or intonation in this feature help the learners understand different expressions, thoughts, and mood of the story. Teachers can further act out these stories for a more dramatic effect or can ask students to play the characters.
Collaboration: On the platform, educators, readers, translators, authors, and illustrators from around the world can upload their content. The content can then be remixed and adapted by them or others to create stories that are rich in narratives, appropriate to the age or reading levels, relevant to the values that one might want to build, visually engaging, etc. At the school level, teachers can collaborate amongst themselves to create multidisciplinary stories. They can take cues from the examples available on the platform. They can as well focus on the issues relevant to their context, for example, deforestation, and weave stories around them. Teachers can also ask students to collaborate and create stories using this tool. For example, students can use Storyweaver to tell a story about how deforestation has affected each of their lives in the village. The process would involve identifying the problems, recognizing the socio-economic gap, communicating with each other, and presenting a coherent story.
Accessibility: Storyweaver supports keyboard input and alternative text to read storybooks. Read-aloud or Readalong is also available for some. However, these features aren't there for creating or adapting storybooks.
Adaptability: Storybooks available on the platform are adaptable to different languages, cultures, contexts, etc. and, the content within them is also presentable in varied formats. The platform provides tools for some of these adaptations. Content can also be used in parts depending on the need. For example, the teacher can use a page of the storybook and ask students to weave the rest of the story, thus channeling students' creativity and imagination.