STEAM Q&A with Scribeasy founder Amanda: KidSorted at the Science Museum
Tell us about what is Scribeasy, and OJO do?
Scribeasy was born out of solving struggles and engagement with writing for the founders young son. Writing underpins every topic in the curriculum, but perhaps the most significant worry is to see talent go undiscovered when it doesn’t need to. Scribeasy is a web-based platform, that helps children write stories. It combines creativity and activity with technology and language. It has algorithms that provide learners with helpful and incentivising data-driven feedback.
OjO design open-ended Maker Kits for children of 3+ years old. They offer an inventive approach to solving 21st-century problems for children of 3+ years old. Children can learn about current global issues through fun and engaging activities: go on a mission to Mars, build a nest for a bird, make a raft that floats.
What made you want to partner up with each other?
Teaming up is a natural fit: OjO maker kits and the Scribeasy platform offer children a scaffolded, yet non-prescriptive environment that allows their imagination to run wild, and ensures diversity and choice to govern the result.
Scribeasy and OJO share fundamental values around inspiring children to learn and be better equipped for employability by helping them develop skills in original thinking and focusing on the things they learn along the way, as well as the final output.
With children spending so much time on tablets, how do see creativity and writing evolving over the years?
Scribeasy places huge value on the rise of of visual learning for memorisation and creativity. We want to facilitate an enjoyable self-directed learner experience. The platform works with all of these aspirations. It makes parent and teacher collaboration possible. It enables the child’s creativity, alongside technology that maximises inclusivity, knowledge-sharing, and gathering evidence-based metrics to support the learning experience.
Technology that enhances real-world activities (such as Fitbits) motivates people to improve their health and fitness goals by tracking movement, exercise, sleep, weight, etc. SE is a bit like Fitbit for writing. We are motivating children to be active, to think about their thinking to write stories and have just as much fun learning from their feedback metrics as they do creating. The more they write, the more they start to learn about themselves.
The rise of AI and its uses for writing is fascinating. Spelling and grammar can be supported more and more through machine learning, enabling more people to write. But there will be an increasing demand for quality, uniqueness and creativity. Scribeasy closes the gaps between the imagination and the page, learned knowledge and the confidence to know how to expand on information.
What can parents do to encourage the creative spirit of their children?
Creativity can be misunderstood. Creativity is a way of observing from all angles. It is a vital skill for adulthood. Allowing children free time to maximise upon moments of boredom to use their imagination and practise connective thinking are good ways to start. The simplest of tasks - such as constructing a piece of furniture out of paper - will build a creative, curious, scientific mind, and seed confidence and resilience.
Whatever a child shows an interest in becomes a place to examine. What exactly is it about dinosaurs, that you like;? Is it the size or scale; their patterns, their bones? Breaking topics down into bitesize elements to examine and record playfully from all angles re-enforces the fundamentals of a creative mindset.
The beauty of a creative mind is it learns how to maximise upon even the smallest pieces of information. Like using a pencil and paper, it is how you use them that makes the difference.
Secondly, artists and creatives recognise true success is about connecting with your audience and giving value. Parents can help children learn more about connecting with others by sharing their works and appreciating the efforts of others.
What is the funniest thing you have even seen in one of your classes?
OjO and Scribeasy recently built rafts and nests to use for storytelling. We asked the children to use the Scribeasy thesaurus and find alternative words for the ‘red’ ibis character. The favourite word that caught on was ‘flaming’. There were many suppressed giggles at the story read out time due to phrases such as, ‘The flaming ibis did not know what to do with his flaming raft.’
You are a Gold sponsor of the KIDSORTED STEM Event this year, tell us what parents and children can expect from you.
We are thrilled to be participating in this STEM event - Amanda from Scribeasy is keen to add STEAM +A :).
We will be sharing quality invention time and design thinking insights with children and parents. We are looking forward to meeting kids and parents who drop in to craft an OjO maker kit, or dress up to become part of a story experience in the Scribeasy platform. Not forgetting creating beautiful items to take home and treasure - your OjO object and the Scribeasy platform.