Me: A Kid’s Diary by Tinybop (Me) helps children and young adolescents creatively record their thoughts and perceptions. Unlike a typical diary, Me provides prompts for diary entrees, and diary authors choose which prompts they desire to interact with. Me prompts cover many facets of an author’s life and offer the author different means of expression; e.g. writing, drawing, or uploading photos; videos; or voice recordings.
Version: 1.1.3 (iOS)
Compatibility: Available on all iOS devices
Target Audience: Practitioners working with children and young adolescents.
Bottom Line: Me: A Kid’s Diary by Tinybop provides children and young adolescents with multiple formats to share their stories.
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Features and Options:
Me is an atypical diary. Instead of free formed entrees, authors interact with prompts that ask about specific areas of the author’s life.
When the app opens, a gray screen and a “+” sign appear. By selecting the “+,” the user creates a new avatar. When a user has created multiple avatars, they will appear on the gray screen with the “+.” Each avatar has its own diary. Me does not offer a way to lock the data in each diary.
Creating an avatar is an important aspect of the app. The child or adolescent shares how they perceive themselves or how they want to perceive themselves. They choose their avatar’s skin color, hair, eye shape and color, lip and nose shape and size, glasses, and headwear (including familiar cultural items).
When the avatar is finished, its Me diary opens, and the avatar remains at the bottom of the diary. The Me diary first appears as a blank screen where prompt bubbles begin to generate. Prompt bubbles provide a space for the user to enter information about a specific area of their life.
Prompt bubbles appearing on the main diary screen cover random topics: a prompt bubble might ask the author about their house and another might ask about their favorite time of the day. All prompt bubbles display an icon that indicates the way the user will interact with the prompt. For example, a pencil means drawing, a microphone means recording, and a camera means uploading or taking a photo. These are only some of the ways Me allows users to interact with prompt bubbles. As the author continues to interact with prompt bubbles, more prompt bubbles will generate.
In addition to prompt bubbles, the main diary screen includes a Family Tree and Friend Circle. Users can add family and friends to the Tree and Circle. When a user adds a person to the Family Tree or Friend Circle, they appear on the tree or circle but also get their own icon on the main diary page. The added friend or family member’s icon appears with prompt bubbles surrounding it. Those prompt bubbles are only about the author’s relationship with and perception of that person.
The main diary screen also offers entryways to diary subsections which cover themed topics. For each subsection a large icon appears that when selected takes the author to that subsection. When in a subsection, the author is offered prompt bubbles about the selected topic. Topics include fear, happiness, disgust, anger, sadness, and school.
Me does not require a user to login to or create an account because application data is stored directly on the device. That means if the app is deleted, saved data will be lost. This could be a positive or a negative feature because it makes it easy to delete confidential information, but the data cannot be recovered if accidentally deleted.
Me could be used in clinical settings to help children or young adolescents share about their lives in non-threatening or non-intrusive ways. For example, school social workers could utilize the app to assess various aspects of a child’s life, including their perception of school by using activities under the school diary page. Me could also be used to assess victims of abuse and neglect by using the family tree and the associated prompts and activities to discuss the nature of the child’s relationship with their caregivers.