What exactly is a screen-free, digital speaker system? When I first heard of the Toniebox and the Tonies for Teachers program, I was excited to learn more. They have an imagination-building digital learning experience for students with stories, songs, and other adventures for students. The Toniebox was initially designed for families to purchase, but they’ve now set up a special program for educators to get a digital speaker for classrooms.
Have you followed along with the blog for a while? Well, then you know I’m always on the lookout for new EdTech tools to share with readers. I get a lot of emails and direct messages from companies sharing their new products for teachers. And when a team member from Tonies reached out to me, I knew I had to tell you all about them!
The team at Tonies are now offering an exclusive educator discount of 35% off of the Toniebox. Anyone interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the discount!
A Digital Speaker for Classrooms
The Toniebox is a screen-free, digital speaker system for kids. When the box connects to figures (called Tonies), a magical experience begins. The Toniebox plays stories and songs for students as soon as they place the figure on the box.
How does it work? As you can see in the video below, students place magnetic figurines on the speaker. Once the figurines attach to the Toniebox, students will hear songs and stories unique to that figurine. The box is tough enough for young learners to bounce around without any sharp edges to worry about getting in the way.
It seems pretty obvious in hindsight that I first connected with a team member from Tonies on Clubhouse — an audio-only social media platform. The Toniebox is an audio experience for students and does not have a screen with videos for students to watch. Instead, they can sit back and listen as stories and songs play from this screen-free device. Students can take on the role of choosing what to listen to next as they use the interchangeable figurines, each with their own unique listening experience for students.
Listening Library for Students
As a fan of read-aloud books and listening stations, the Toniebox is a creative take on storytelling that I think is perfect for classrooms. Students can choose their listening experience by deciding which Tonie to place on the box. They might have a favorite they listen to over and over or decide to try something new each time they use the Toniebox.
The team at Tonies is adding children’s authors and new content to their library of resources for students all the time. You can see some of their favorite partnerships in the screenshot below, and head to this page to check out more of their content partnerships.
Sharing Your Stories with Students
In addition to the excellent, ready-to-go stories and songs that accompany the Tonie figurines, you can use Creative-Tonies with your students. These Tonies allow you to record up to 90-minutes of custom audio. How might you use this custom audio recording option in your classroom? You might record:
- Favorite read-aloud stories for students to listen to
- Family-read stories so students can hear familiar voices
- Stories read aloud by members of the school community who don’t often get a chance to visit the classroom
- A collection of student-read stories that they have written themselves
- Stories from community members talking about what life was like when they were growing up
- Recordings where community members share stories about their careers
There are lots of ways to customize the listening experiences of your students with this digital speaker for classrooms. I love how you can use this tool “as is” with the awesome ready-to-go stories, and at the same time, have the option to customize the experience. You might start out using the pre-made listening experiences for your students. Then, after they have explored these resources, you might introduce recordings like the ones listed above.
Bring Stories and Songs to Your Classroom
The Toniebox is designed for early elementary and PreK students and makes it easy for students to take charge of their listening experiences as independent learners. They can start and stop stories on their own and even skip ahead with a tap on the side of the box. Students also have the option to rewind to listen to something again. These might seem like “nice to have” features of course, but they are ones you can use to build independence with your youngest learners intentionally.
Ready to get started with the Toniebox? As I mentioned earlier in the post, the Toniebox was first designed for families to purchase for their children. Now, the Tonies for Teachers program is ready for you to check out. Hundreds of teachers have already signed up for the new Tonies for Teachers program.
Learn more and add your name to the list here! And remember, the team at Tonies are now offering an exclusive educator discount of 35% off of the Toniebox. Anyone interested in this digital speaker for classrooms can email email@example.com to get the discount!