We have a problem in modern society, and it’s a big one: our kids aren’t writing well enough. Today we’re launching StoriumEdu, our effort to address this problem in an entirely new way: by using the power of games to motivate students to become better writers.
Students are struggling with writing
According to the Department of Education, a sobering 73% of U.S. students can’t write at their grade level. This is disheartening for a number of reasons, but it’s particularly scary when you consider that tomorrow’s jobs will require precisely the kinds of skills that writing imparts: creativity, expression, critical thinking, and collaboration.
How did we get here? One reason is that writing is itself an unusually difficult skill to teach. Many students see it as a chore and lack the motivation to stick with it, let alone to improve. Students in the same class often write at different levels of ability, making it hard for teachers to use a common approach for everyone. Writing is also an inherently solitary task. Students wrestle with it in isolation while teachers struggle to give them sufficient one-on-one feedback in the face of ever-growing classrooms.
Using the power of play to improve writing outcomes
Today, after over two years of development and classroom testing, we’re proud to introduce StoriumEdu. It’s our effort to address this problem and we’re excited about the impact we believe it will have.
StoriumEdu is a unique new online game that helps students build their writing skills, learn storytelling techniques, practice collaboration, and grow their creative confidence. It does this by transforming writing into an engaging group activity that motivates students to write and work together.
We use game concepts and mechanics inspired by popular tabletop, card, and video games — things that are familiar to most students of reading age and higher. These mechanics inspire and steer students’ writing, help them overcome the dreaded “writer’s block,” build stories with clear structure and compelling characters, and have fun along the way.
The result is an entirely new kind of game, and a groundbreaking application of game-based learning.
You can get a sense of how StoriumEdu works by watching our short introduction video:
Teachers have successfully used StoriumEdu with students from the 3rd through 12th grades, in areas as diverse as language arts, ESL, creative writing, history, and social-emotional learning. A full 90% of teachers who’ve tried it report a notable impact on student writing motivation, and nearly 80% of students surveyed say it’s more fun than traditional writing exercises.
We designed StoriumEdu in partnership with the National Writing Project, the nation’s preeminent organization dedicated to improving student writing outcomes. Beta testing was conducted with over 100 teachers around the US and abroad, at all grade levels and across a wide range of subject areas.
StoriumEdu is also built upon a strong and proven lineage. Our work began in 2014 with Storium.com, an online writing game for a general audience. To date, thousands of people have together written over 125 million words (equivalent to 2,500 novels!) in the course of playing Storium. StoriumEdu is based on many of the same underlying game mechanics, but they’ve been significantly altered and expanded to serve in an educational context.
Try it for free
To try StoriumEdu, simply visit our homepage and sign up for a 30-day free trial.
Because we believe that technology shouldn’t be available only to the privileged, we’ve made our teacher subscription plan very flexible and set the price as low as possible. (We also feature special group pricing for schools and districts, and we are currently beta testing a version of the product for home use.)
To celebrate our launch we’re offering an extra two months for free when you sign up for a StoriumEdu subscription. Simply enter the coupon code WRITEON0219 during checkout.
We created StoriumEdu because we want to turn more students into passionate, motivated writers, and we believe games have the power to make it happen. If we can make writing fun for more students, then they’re more likely to actually write. And keep writing.
We hope you’ll join us in our mission!