Flat Stanley: The 21st Century Version

I thought I had helped bring Flat Stanley into the 21st Century when I helped my daughter’s class take digital pictures of their Stanleys and plot them on a Google Map.

But this company, The Flat Stanley Project,  has taken this portable cardboard figure geography project to a whole new level.

From the company: Flat Stanley is a beloved children’s/education franchise that is about to have a new life online. Walden Media (Chronicles of Narnia) just announced a movie deal for it, in fact. Flat Stanley is having a renaissance. It’s already in official use at 4,500+ schools across 88 countries, and is part of the formal curriculum for geography in most districts.

So, as with so many other projects and subjects we work with , there’s an app for it. You can find it live in the App store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flat-stanley/id382161936?mt=8).

How the App works (from the company):

Children can quickly sign up and bring Stanley with them wherever they go. In minutes, they can customize their own Stanley (skin and hair color, facial expressions and clothing), take photographs and insert Stanley into them with either front or rear-facing camera, write their character’s biography and “like,” comment on and share photos with their friends across the Flatter World network of friends and family.

The app also plots Stanleys near a particular user on a world map and sends updates on where their friends and families’ Stanleys travel. It’s a quick and easy way for kids to see the world and make new friends outside of their hometown with a familiar and friendly character leading the way. To encourage exploring Stanleys outside of one’s network, the app unlocks special pictures from exciting locations.

In many ways, Flat Stanley was the original social network – it just existed offline, in homes and schools, transported by stamp and envelope, instead of electronically. Our goal is to preserve the same values, and the same goals that we’ve always had, while extending our reach, and enriching the experience overall.
The new app gives parents and their children the opportunity to insert a Stanley from their collection into any photo, chronicling the experience, sharing it with others, and continuing a conversation ongoing around that location, or activity – all the while telling stories and beginning new adventures.

5 thoughts on “Flat Stanley: The 21st Century Version

  1. Once again, I learned something new when I read your post. This is quite an interactive version of “Where’s Waldo?” The Flat Stanley Project seems like a very clever way to get children interested in geography. It seems like a somewhat simplified version of facebook with more educational benefits. Am I somewhat correct in this assumption? Do your children use Flat Stanley and find it interesting if so? I look forward to reading more and once again, coming out a little more endowed with knowledge.

    1. Thanks for your comments and questions Frances.
      Both of my children read the Flat Stanley books in 2nd grade. I have worked with numerous classes that have also read the books and completed some type of geography project to go along with it.
      I was excited to see this new set up apps that make it even easier.

  2. Hi Ms. Thumann,
    I had never heard of Flat Stanley until your blog post. I went to the Flat Stanley website after I read your post. What a great way to teach children geography! I think that Flat Stanley would be a great addition to most elementary classrooms as both a geography lesson and a safe way to introduce students to social networking. Also, I love the idea of students sharing their experiences with peers from many different places. I am going to install the app from itunes and check it out!

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