Type of site
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Evan Spiridellis, Founder|
Gregg Spiridellis, Founder & CEO
StoryBots is a digital learning program for elementary-age children ages 3–8 and the inspiration for the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series Ask the StoryBots. Created by the entertainment studio JibJab, the StoryBots content library includes educational TV series, books, videos, games and classroom activities designed to make foundational learning fun and encourage intellectual curiosity in children.
Subjects cover a wide range of topics and feature a cast of characters called the StoryBots, who are tiny, colorful creatures who live within our computers, tablets and phones and help humans answer questions. Similar to the personalized videos and e-cards produced by its parent company JibJab, StoryBots uses its Starring You feature to put the user’s face and name into many of its videos, books and activities.
After launching primarily online - and amassing more than 485 million views on YouTube - StoryBots launched its first television series on Netflix in 2016. Ask the StoryBots has won multiple Daytime Emmy Awards along with recognition from the Peabody Awards and British Academy Children's Awards, while also spawning a companion show, StoryBots Super Songs, and a holiday special, A StoryBots Christmas.
StoryBots launched to the public in the fall of 2012, and has been featured on CNN, The New York Times, CNBC, and other news outlets. Gregg Spiridellis, co-founder and CEO of StoryBots, told CNBC in 2013 that he and his brother have five young children between them and noticed “a massive shift in how kids are consuming media.” Spiridellis says that became the inspiration for StoryBots, with digital content designed to be akin to Sesame Street but for a device-centric, connected generation of children.
StoryBots pairs educators and learning experts with JibJab's team of artists, storytellers and technologists to build a robust library of learning content and activities. The library currently includes:
- Learning Videos, a collection of 110+ animated musical videos that explore a wide range of topics, including shapes, colors, behaviors, time, eating healthy and outer space
- Starring You Videos, animated learning music videos that allow the user to add their name and face photo
- Learning Books, educationally-focused ebooks with page-by-page narration to help kids practice their reading and learn about a range of subjects
- Starring You Books, ebooks ranging from classic fairytales to modern adventures that also include face and name personalization (making the user the hero of the story)
- Activity Sheets, 20 printable books on holidays, numbers, letters, seasons and more
- Math Games, Common Core-aligned kindergarten-level math games
In 2016, StoryBots launched StoryBots Classroom, a free resource for educators that includes unlimited access to the entire StoryBots library of books, videos and activities, as well as the newly created Common Core State Standards Initiative-aligned Math Games, and a suite of classroom management tools including Group Builder, Lesson Planner, Home Assignment and Class Roster. The product is designed for use on laptops, tablets and interactive white boards. When it was released, StoryBots Classroom was by profiled by Education Week and was named a S'Cool Tool of the Week by EdSurge.
According to its website, StoryBots is used in more than 70,000 classrooms worldwide. In an interview, CEO Gregg Spiridellis cited an attempt to bridge the "digital divide" between wealthier school districts and less fortunate schools - as well as the role of teachers as powerful advocates - as the impetus to offer StoryBots to teachers for free.
The StoryBots franchise's inaugural original TV series, Ask the StoryBots, premiered on Netflix on August 12, 2016. The show, which follows the StoryBots characters of Beep, Boop, Bing, Bang and Bo (a.k.a "Answer Team 341B") as they go on adventures into the human world to help answer kids' biggest questions, stars Judy Greer and includes guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, Jay Leno, Whoopi Goldberg, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Kevin Smith, Garfunkel and Oates, Tim Meadows and Chris Parnell. Ask the StoryBots received critical acclaim for its educational quality and entertainment value for both parents and children. The show also spawned a soundtrack available on Spotify, Apple Music, ITunes and Amazon.com.
A companion series, StoryBots Super Songs, premiered on October 7, 2016, also on Netflix. While each episode of Ask the StoryBots featured the lead characters answering a child's single question, StoryBots Super Songs focuses on broader topics, such as outer space, colors, shapes and dinosaurs, through music and live-action vignettes with real children.
Ask the StoryBots also spun-off a holiday special, A StoryBots Christmas, which premiered December 1, 2017, on Netflix. Featuring a guest appearance by Ed Asner as Santa Claus, the special received two Daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program.
Since its founding in 2012, StoryBots has won numerous awards for its digital content, including the Teachers' Choice Award from Learning Magazine, Parent’s Choice Award, a Family Choice Award, Tech Edvocate Award, and an Editor's Choice Award from Children's Technology Review.
For its television work including Ask the StoryBots and A StoryBots Christmas, StoryBots has won three Daytime Emmy Awards (with nine additional nominations), as well as recognition from the Annie Awards, British Academy Children's Awards and Peabody Awards.
|2018||Webby Award||Websites - Youth||StoryBots.com||Nominated|
|Common Sense Media||Common Sense Seal||A StoryBots Christmas||Won|
|Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Special Class Animated Program||A StoryBots Christmas||Won|
|Outstanding Interactive Media - Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series||StoryBots.com||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performer in a Children’s/Preschool Children’s or Educational or Informational Program||Ed Asner in A StoryBots Christmas||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program||A StoryBots Christmas||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing in a Preschool Animated Program||A StoryBots Christmas||Won|
|Outstanding Sound Editing for a Preschool Animated Program||A StoryBots Christmas||Nominated|
|Teachers' Choice Awards||Teachers' Choice Awards for the Family - Supplemental Materials||StoryBots.com||Won|
|Kidscreen Awards||Best Learning App - Branded||StoryBots App||Nominated|
|2017||Tech Edvocate Awards||Best Early Childhood Education App or Tool||StoryBots Classroom||Won|
|British Academy Children's Awards||International||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards||Educational Series/Special||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Webby Award||Mobiles Sites & Apps - Family & Kids||StoryBots App||Nominated|
|Peabody Award||Children's Programming||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Preschool Children's Animated Program||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Outstanding Interactive Media - Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series||StoryBots App and StoryBots Classroom||Won|
|Outstanding Directing in a Preschool Animated Program||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Outstanding Main Title and Graphic Design||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Preschool Animated Program||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Editing for a Preschool Animated Program||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|Teachers' Choice Awards||Teachers' Choice Awards for the Classroom - Supplemental Materials||StoryBots Classroom||Won|
|Annie Awards||Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children||Ask the StoryBots||Nominated|
|2016||Common Sense Media||Common Sense Seal||Ask the StoryBots||Won|
|Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards||Mobile App (Educational)||StoryBots App||Won|
|2015||Parents' Choice Award||Parents' Choice Award Fun Stuff||StoryBots.com||Won|
|2014||Kapi Awards||Best App for Younger Children||StoryBots||Won|
|Parents' Choice Award||Parents' Choice Award Recommended||StoryBots.com||Won|
|Family Choice Awards||Family Choice Award||StoryBots Starring You Videos||Won|
|Interactive Media Awards||Family||StoryBots.com||Won|
|2013||National Parenting Center||Seal of Approval||StoryBots.com||Won|
|Parents' Choice Award||Parents' Choice Award Recommended||StoryBots Beep & Boop||Won|
|Parents' Choice Award||Parents' Choice Award Fun Stuff||StoryBots Starring You Books||Won|
|Parents' Choice Award||Parents' Choice Award Recommended||StoryBots.com||Won|
|Parents' Choice Award||Parents' Choice Award Silver Honor||StoryBots Tap & Sing||Won|
|Children's Technology Review||Editors' Choice||StoryBots Beep & Boop||Won|
|Children's Technology Review||Editors' Choice||StoryBots Tap & Sing||Won|
|Appy Awards||Books||StoryBots Starring You Books||Won|
|Interactive Media Awards||Kids||StoryBots.com||Won|
|Family Choice Awards||Family Choice Award||StoryBots||Won|
|2012||Family Choice Awards||Family Choice Award||StoryBots||Won|
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- Jeter, Brandi. "StoryBook Starring You by @StoryBots Preschool App Review". Mama Knows It All. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
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- "Three Noteworthy Apps for Children". New York Times. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "JibJab's Latest Venture: StoryBots". CNBC. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Smith, Andrea. "JibJab Brothers Create StoryBots Entertainment for Kids". Mashable. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Graser, Marc. "JibJab pair launch StoryBots". Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Evan, Gregg Spiridellis Discuss JibJab, StoryBots". Bloomberg TV. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "JibJab Brothers Introduce StoryBots – An Evolution in Fun and Learning for Today's Connected Kids". Yahoo! News. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Bobblehead-Loving JibJab Brothers Grow Up, Make Vids For Kids". Fast Company. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- victorrivero (2016-04-25). "Making Good Humans". edtechdigest.com. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "Learning Videos". www.storybots.com. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "StoryBots - Starring You® Videos". StoryBots. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "Learning Books". www.storybots.com. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "StoryBots - Starring You® Books". StoryBots. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "ABC Printables and Activity Sheets for Kids - StoryBots". StoryBots. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- Bolkan, Joshua (9 February 2016). "StoryBots Adds Free Videos, Activities for Whiteboards, Tablets". THE Journal.
- Lynch, Matthew. "How Teachers Can Use Education Technology to Boost Engagement". Education Week - Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
- "S'Cool Tools of the Week: GooseChase, OneVote, StoryBots Classroom, FlipQuiz (EdSurge News)". EdSurge. 2016-02-14. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
- "Teachers Use StoryBots Educational Games". StoryBots. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "They're Back! All-New StoryBots TV Series Premieres Today". StoryBots Blog. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
- "StoryBots Tap & Sing | Children's Technology Review". childrenstech.com. Retrieved 2016-06-06.