Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Video Journal Kiosk? How does it work?

The School of Life Project “Storycatcher” is an iPad mounted in a custom-machined plastic casing, with high-quality beauty lights embedded in the frame around the iPad. It is placed in a quiet, private room, and students come in one at a time to interact with the Storycatcher. Upon entering the room, the student activates the touch screen, and scans a unique QR code ticket that has been given to him/her by a teacher or administrator. An interviewer comes up on the screen, and instructs the student to relax and be completely honest, as this video journal is completely private and only for the student, and to make sure the camera (internal front-facing camera on the iPad) is focused on the student. The interview then begins, and the student need only listen and respond, and click “continue” after each response. At the end of the interview the video is securely sent to a remote server for safekeeping for the student.

How long does it take to do the interview?

Each interview takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

Can we change the questions in the Video Journal interview?

We can remove questions from the interview for free. If there are additional changes or additional questions to be added there will be a production fee ranging from $200-1500 depending upon the changes.

Where are the Video Journal interviews stored and how can we access them?

They are stored using high security Amazon S3 servers, the same ones that businesses use to store sensitive information. They can be accessed by administrators or individuals, provided that has been stipulated in a contract. We strongly suggest that no-one (including The School of Life Team) be able to view the videos, so that the students have total confidence in the security of their answers, thus allowing them to be completely honest and open. Click here for full details on file security.

What kind of WiFi access do we need?

The StoryCatcher both downloads and uploads large volumes of video content to the Cloud. As the saved HD files are often quite large, we recommend minimum nominal upload and download speeds of 5 mbps. In situations where the technology infrastructure does not provide for this broadband performance, or where broadband services are subject to data caps or real-time bandwidth throttling, we may be able to provide alternate lower-resolution storage solutions. Please inquire for more details.

Does training for teachers come with the kiosk?

The kiosk is a simple system that does not need much training. The School of Life will help with implementation of the kiosk, and be on hand for support at any time, should the need arise. The scheduling and QR code printing will be coordinated with school administrators and The School of Life Project.

What kind of research has actually gone into the Video Journal Kiosk?

Over 13 years and thousands of interviews have gone into developing the question sets for the kiosk. We have worked in tandem with leading scientists in the field, such as Dr. John Medina. We also developed the product with the help of Blink, a user-experience firm in Seattle who helps streamline products so that they are easy to use “right out of the box.”

How can a counselor support the Video Journal Kiosk?

There is a button on the kiosk that a student can press should he/she “need to talk to someone” about their feelings. When that button is pressed, an email is sent to a designated individual in the school. Having a counselor be the recipient of this notification provides the opportunity to support kids almost instantaneously.

How does the Video Journal involve families/caregivers?

The Project starts with families. The parents/guardians of the student have the opportunity to support the student in this process in 2 ways. First, parents will need to sign off on allowing children to create private video journals for themselves and only themselves. Second, they should encourage the process so the children feel empowered in their endeavors.

What evaluation tools do you have for the Video Journal?

We are working with professionals currently to apply a short series of questionnaires to the kiosk process.

When in the school year can we start the Video Journal?

The Video Journal can be started at any point during the year.

Is the Video Journal available in different languages?


What are the ongoing costs for implementing the Video Journal Kiosk?

An annual license fee of $5,000 includes up to 250 students. Each additional student over 250 is an additional $20 per year.

What are the key roles and responsibilities for successful implementation?

  • Program administrator: Processes contracts, disseminates information about the project to parents, scheduling (with The School of Life Project).
  • Tech/Librarian: Installs the kiosk, manages the space that it is kept in.
  • Counselor: Prepares for the eventuality that a student might reach out for someone to talk to.

Read more about these roles here.