Edtech tool of the month: ToonSpaghetti

We last heard from startup TechSpaghetti when they pitched their creative education approach to the OEB 2014 audience. We’ve caught up with the teacher and entrepreneur duo to hear about the successful launch of their first app: ToonSpaghetti. Released earlier this month, ToonSpaghetti has been globally featured in the Apple App Store and is already ranked in the top five apps for kids aged six to eight in 10 countries.

ToonSpaghetti is aimed at enabling young students to develop vital creative thinking skills through gamified learning paths. Through the free app they can make and share movies, allowing them to apply both logic and creativity in an interactive learning experience – a unique approach that combines guided learning on the art of storytelling with multi-media editing tools.

By engaging their ‘Spaghetti Sense‘, children can use the app to produce creative stories from a choice of 18 different story ‘moods’, adding music and sound effects along the way. Afterwards, students can share the finished product with friends and family online.

The app’s benefits are manifold; helping children interpret moods and emotions, build descriptive vocabulary, understand language and story structure, engage with audiences and develop social media based communication skills.

A teacher with over a decade of experience, Leah Hinton co-founded TechSpaghetti alongside entrepreneur Elliot Tabachnik. She recognises the importance of learning communication skills through social media for today’s younger generation.

“If the global village communicates through digital media and a person wants to be part of that global village, then they are speechless without it. People always have the choice of whether to ‘go digital’ in their personal lives or not, but the fact is that digital communication is going to be a part of most future careers and is therefore an important component in preparing children for the future,” Hinton says.

She adds that it is important that children’s app development is teacher-led; therefore she has used her experience, as well as input from seven young innovators, to ensure ToonSpaghetti meets the needs of students and teachers alike.

Hinton believes that the success of the app boils down to the fact that it enhances conventional teaching: “Good teachers have always turned lessons into games and as long as we keep teachers involved in the development process, apps are a fantastic complement to traditional learning.”

Moreover, the app itself is fun, meaning that students are learning whilst enjoying themselves. “At the end of each game they get something they have made themselves, so they feel that sense of achievement in having gone through a process in order to produce something. And it’s really fun so they want to go through these processes.”

By mixing enjoyment with serious learning, the TechSpaghetti team look set to continue to ride the wave of success, and make valuable contributions to e-learning’s continually evolving gaming revolution in the years to come.

Here you can download ToonSpaghetti free on iTunes.

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