Angela Chang Thesis Defense

July 25, 2011


MIT Media Lab (E14-633)


This thesis presents TinkRBooks, interactive storybooks that support parent-child storytelling. TinkRBooks allow emergent readers to actively explore the abstract relationship between printed words and their meanings, even before this relationship is properly understood. Chang presents a new way of teaching the concept of reading, based on interactivity with story elements.
Using an iterative participatory design process, Chang presents a principled set of multisensory interaction guidelines for enabling emergent readers to alter the text-graphic relationship in storybooks during parent-child reading. She presents a novel software platform that dynamically links text with multisensory representations in response to vocal or haptic story interactions. The resulting experience invites emergent readers to modify and explore how text relates to concepts within a narrative.
This ability to explore textual representation changes the way parents read to their children during emergent literacy. When using a TinkRBook, parents spend more time talking, discussing more comprehensive ideas with their children and provoking more metadialogue than with regular books. TinkRBooks also encourage children to drive their reading inquiry, by actively demonstrating the concepts relating to vocabulary schema within the narrative. The result is a new story-sharing experience that benefits both parents and children by allowing them to understand how the choice of words impacts the story experience.

Host/Chair: Cynthia Breazeal


Nick Montfort, Henry Lieberman, Glorianna Davenport

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