Griffith communications graduate, Carey Furze, has partnered with Google Education to develop story-collecting 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.
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.”
“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.”
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’s ability to improve literacy, student wellbeing and family engagement has been published widely. 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.”
Learn more about Bookform at https://bookform.com.au/