Griffith communications graduate, Carey Furze, has partnered with Google For Education to develop storycollecting and communication skills among students and their families, through her digital platform Bookform.
Carey founded the online platform Bookform when she was still studying, specifically because of one particular journalism unit that required her to interview someone in her community, and now it will potentially be utilised by millions of schools around the world.
"During my study, I decided I wanted to help everyone open their eyes to other people’s lives, experiences and perspectives, so I created software to record student’s experiential learning through communication projects.”
Bookform guides students to interview their family or people in their community, using voice-to-text (any language), to collect life stories, ancestry information and photos.
These stories and memories are then instantly formatted into a printable digital book. And in a few years this digital content could create avatars in immersive technologies, so you would be able to interact with your grandparents and ancestors generations from now.
Student’s content can be used in the classroom for curriculum lessons or assessment, collaborative editing and developing identity.
“It’s not solely about creating an original book product of value, but about encouraging and supporting kids, their family and peers to engage in face-to-face communication and bonding, using technology as a tool,” said Carey.
“These foundational relationships are vital for developing kid’s identity, empathy & self-worth, especially with youth mental health being such a concern now.”
Pilot projects in Australia, Singapore and the United States have had huge success and schools are starting to embed Bookform as a tool for existing curriculum objectives.
“Research on Bookform improving literacy, student wellbeing and family engagement has been published for education thought-leadership and case studies are being presented at conferences around the world.”
Living and travelling all over the world, Carey came to Australia as an adult, and says that her Griffith University teachers, as well as practical assignments, helped her become a better critical thinker.
“My studies helped me understand the social and cultural aspects of Australia, as well as how to write for different platforms and audiences.”
“I learnt how social media and public relations worked, which has really helped with promoting and building my start-up business.”
The Bookform online tool makes creating a book as easy as filling in a form. Targetting schools and students, this education technology startup helps kids capture precious memories from their family and create a personalised family book to be enjoyed by everyone for many years.
The web application offers question prompts to spark memories and make the writing process and book structure easy.
The school children can write their own book and invite others to make contributions to their book. Once finished the book is available in the browser, as a PDF and as a Postscript file ready to take to a printer.
Bookform encourages the learners to interview their family members in order to capture their unique stories. To make the process easier, users can record their interviews using the Bookform platform where the recording will be transcribed into text using voice-to-text technology.