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Designing for children's mobile storytelling

Sonia Franckel
Elizabeth Bonsignore
Allison Druin
The International Journal of Mobile Human-Computer Interaction, vol. Special Issue: Mobile Interaction Design and Children (2010), pp. 19-36


Mobile technologies offer novel opportunities for children to express themselves in-context, seamlessly, without disrupting the flow of their formal learning activities or informal play. Most contemporary mobile devices are equipped with multimedia support that can be used to create multimodal stories that represent the rich life narratives children experience, imagine, and want to share. The authors investigated these issues over a 9-month series of participatory design sessions in the Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland. In this article, the authors describe their work with children in designing mobile tools for story creation and collaboration. Throughout this work, they asked the following questions: What stories do children want to tell, and how do they want to convey them in a mobile context? The findings suggest the need for mobile technology-based applications that support children’s unique storytelling habits, particularly interruptability and multimodality.