TinkRBook: shared reading interfaces for storytelling.

A. Chang, C. Breazeal.


Today, the way children learn to read is very different from the way they learn from playing with toys. Books present static images and text on the page, whereas toys allow for manipulation and interactive exploration of cause-effect relations. What if books were "tinkerable"? What if children could actively explore and modify a story, through voice and touch, to dynamically explore meaning as conveyed by the relationship of text to illustrated concept? How might this change how books are experienced, explored, and shared between parent and child? How might interactivity support and enhance existing shared reading practices? We report the development of interaction design techniques for encouraging storytelling behavior during shared book reading. The design of our storytelling platform, the TinkRBook, encourages active exploration when parents read to very young children (ages 2-5 years old). Our approach uses findings from insitu parent-child ethnographies and advice from 24 participatory design interviews with researchers, designers and professionals from relevant domains. We believe that our approach addresses the environmental conditions in which interactive storytelling with preschoolers is most likely to be adopted, and is compatible with current shared reading practices.

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