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Why we developed Our Story

Our Story was originally designed to be a fun way for children to engage with story-telling, reading and writing, and to do this with parents and carers. Being able to read and write as well as enjoying these processes plays a very significant part in the education of most children. So introducing young children to these experiences is likely to help them with later school education. Our Story gives children an idea of the logical structure of stories, the way that comments and sounds can enhance a story and provide understanding about the relations between letters, words and sounds. 

We think the app is special because it allows children to make their own personal stories. This means the story they write, will be intrinsically meaningful to them and their family members, friends or teachers. Building on previous experiences and knowledge is very important for developing children's memory skills and has been found to help reading development. Also, building a story based on children's own lives has been shown to increase children's social skills such as self-esteem and self-confidence.

Your and your child's own stories are unique in the way they celebrate your skills, knowledge and experience. Furthermore, the application can be adapted to various levels of children's abilities, making it not only a flexible but also sensitive way to target each child's individual needs and differences. This is an essential feature of successful learning processes, as we know that children learn better and faster in positive and comfortable learning environments.

We also think the app is special because children are no longer the passive receiver of stories, but they can have the pride in creating something themselves, which is relevant to their lives. The creative potential of digital technology is used in the app, and this contrasts with many other apps where a child is carried along by the excitement of instant rewards, something that may detract from later learning.

Our Story is the result of lots and lots of hard work. The first version of the app was developed around 2010 by Professors David Messer, Natalia Kucirkova, Denise Whitelock, Kieron Sheehy and Paul Hogan. It was originally developed as part of Natalia Kucirkova’s PhD and designed for iPhones and iPads. A second version was produced by the software developers, Psycle who worked with Professors Messer and Kucirkova. The present updated version which is available on Android and iPads has again been developed by Psycle who have worked with Professor David Messer.