Storypark is Canada’s leading online platform for family engagement, pedagogical documentation, and professional development. It is used by quality focused ECE services across the Provinces, including the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education (NSCECE) in Halifax who are using Storypark in their child care centres.
NSCECE decided to begin using Storypark in June 2020 based on the variety of features Storypark offers to engage families. Since using Storypark, the directors of these centres have noticed an improvement in overall communication between families and educators. “We appreciate the deeper connection Storypark affords our families and educators. Families are able to easily share family posts/photos about their weekends and evenings and communicate with educators during their free time and not just as drop off and pick up times. The features it offers educators are great too. Before Storypark, the parents/educators met at least twice a year to review their child’s portfolio. Now with Storypark we are able to share stories and teachable moments in real time. And then receive feedback from the families instantaneously. Storypark has also helped to further our extension of learning and programming as families/ children have brought items in from home to expand the learning,” said Lee Anne Eveline, NSCECE Executive Director of Early Learning and Child Care Programs.
Storypark is a flexible tool that allows the user to customize their experience. Some features that support educators in Nova Scotia’s pedagogical practices as outlined in our early learning curriculum framework: Capable, Confident and Curious include:
- Communication tools that promote two-way communication, documenting children’s learning as it happens, many ways to reflect on learning with children and their families
- Tools to record daily routines
- Program planning templates that allow educators to collaborate with families to plan responsive learning experiences
- Tracking tools to monitor each child’s learning journey
- Tools to link learning to local pedagogical frameworks
- Educator portfolios to nurture professional growth and support educator to work closely with their manager, mentors and peers.
Managers of multi-site organizations are also assisted by the features Storypark provides.
“We can go back through routines and observations, and reflect on our programming and learning stories. This helps to prompt inquiries and discussions for unit meetings and plan for upcoming curriculum. Our educators also enjoy using the community post for sharing time sensitive information related to child care centre operations. For example, If something unexpected takes place such as an early dismissal due to inclement weather, we will send an email to families and also post to Storypark. You can see immediately who saw the post, which allows you to focus on calling the families that haven’t yet seen the post”said Lee Anne Eveline, NSCECE Executive Director of Early Learning and Child Care Programs.
Additional features Storypark offers to multi-site organizations include:
- Communities of Practice and educator portfolios which allow organizations to share innovation, connect within their organization and set up PD opportunities for their educators
- Dashboards of real-time analytics that allow managers to see individual reports from all services in the network
- Tools to customize the experience for teams and families across all sites (e.g. curriculum, planning templates, branding)
- Tools that allow managers to send community posts to all educators or families across their network
- Modules for induction or leadership development training
These tools can help leaders who are responsible for sites or e.g. school boards which are across large geographies to have better transparency around day to day work, and thereby offer enhanced support to their team.
“As an educator in Nova Scotia, what I appreciate most about Storypark is the features it offers that support every stage of the reflective planning cycle outlined in our early learning framework.
When observing and listening, Storypark has a feature to add notes to children’s individual profiles which can be linked to future planning and documentation.
When reflecting with others and planning responses Storypark allows users to customize their own planning templates. A feature I appreciate about these templates is that parents can collaborate to create these plans in real time. This allows parents to become true partners in their children’s learning.
The Storypark platform also offers features to allow educators and parents to create and reflect together on documentation of children’s learning allowing for rich authentic curriculum responses,” Meagan Bell, ECE.
For French communities in Nova Scotia, Storypark is soon to launch a natively translated Storypark platform in French, and French-language customer support experience, integrated Francophone resources, curriculum, and professional development.
If you’d like to explore Storypark for yourself contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Teaching, Learning, Developing, and Practicing Professional Early Childhood Education