children's transition to literacy
Part of the Esprit i3 (Intelligent Information Interfaces) programme,
the STORIES project focuses on new kinds of information technology based tools that can
facilitate the transition to literacy in young children. The tools are focused on the age
group from around four to eight years old. The project promotes an approach to learning
that is aimed at the development of social, communicative and emotional skills in the
context of everyday activities.
The project objectives include developing a wearable camera, called the KidsCam, that
can capture short sequences of interest in the child's environment. The device can operate
on demand, but can also spontaneously record and retain an episode that leads up to an
interesting event. The crucial insight is that events as shown from the perspectives of
different children are interrelated. An event such as a fight, anger or joy typically
involves several children. Such an event can be recorded from the different perspectives
of those involved (adults or children).
The resulting document captures a tiny lesson in living. It can be kept as a memory, or
a document for future reference or as a creative production (like the first paintings that
The technology is being applied within two school environments, in Israel and in
Denmark. The extreme versatility of the tools is one of the most compelling features of
the project. The technology could facilitate the discovery of novel forms of education
that contribute to social skills, literacy, communication and cross-cultural
The STORIES stand illustrates the conceptual, educational and technical elements of the
project and progress. Video presentations on display show sessions with children in
schools and from one of the workshops.