New ways of telling stories to children

The KIDSTORY project has produced two new collaborative storytelling technologies for children in the age group three to eight years. KidPAD is a shared drawing surface featuring a zooming interface, that allows children to create simple graphical stories and bring them to life by animated zooming. KidDIVE, is a formless three-dimensional object that acts like modelling clay. A group of children can pull it around, colour it and texture it in order to create characters and other story objects. Both of these technologies demonstrate an approach to interface design that encourages children to collaborate without forcing them to do so.

Another aspect of the KidStory project is the pioneering approach of 'children as inventors'. Instead of treating children as experimental subjects or as informants, they are involved as design partners and their design ideas incorporated. The project has worked closely with children in two schools in Stockholm and Nottingham. Activities have ranged from low technology prototyping sessions using cardboard, string, glue, crayons and other familiar materials, through to intensive technology immersion sessions using KidPAD and KidDIVE.

In the next two years, the project will extend storytelling technologies beyond the desktop to build physical objects that can be used to communicate with computers and room sized interfaces that encourage physical movement, interaction and whole class collaboration.

KidPAD and KidDIVE are on the KIDSTORY stand with materials from the school sessions such as children's journals and models. Also on show are some of the design ideas for the proposed future extensions to storytelling technologies.

Contact Steve BENFORD, The University of Nottingham
tel +44 115 951 4203
fax +44 115 951 4254
email sdb@cs.nott.ac.uk

HomepageBack to Top