Credit: Nokia Research
Here's how I tweaked Storyvisit to work in a school setting:
On my first morning back at Wolfe, I decided to use StoryVisit with
During my session with the two young men, I placed them far apart in a large therapy room where my office is located. Each student used earphones, since I was aware that there might be an audio feedback problem (which will be fixed, according to the Storyvisit folks). Since the two students were not too far apart, I simply ran back and forth between them to make sure things were going OK and prompt them if needed.
I coached one student to play the role of the reader (grandparent) and the other to play the role of a younger child. We got this accomplished successfully within our 1/2 hour session, an amazing feat, given the nature of the students' disabilities. They especially liked the video conferencing part, something that they've done at school in the past. They communicated with each other better through this medium than in person, as the required less prompting.
The two young men were so excited about this process that after they returned to class, they suggested to their teacher that they wanted to practice with the application with their classmates. They wanted to use Storyvisit to read to the younger students as soon as possible.
The teacher, without much prior knowledge about the application, was able to set it up quickly. She used the application during her morning group reading activity, displaying the Storyvisit website on a SMARTBoard. She was impressed with the "Block Party" story - especially the great recipes included at the end of the story.
The teacher mentioned that the recipes could be used to create snacks for a "block party" between the two classes after the StoryBook session. The students could use the recipes to create shopping lists for a community outing to a local supermarket, and then prepared during Activities of Daily Living class (the classroom is equipped with a kitchen.)
To see how the elementary-level students would respond to the Storyvisit website, I visited the classroom and demonstrated the Block Party book to the students using a SMARTboard. I used "Grandparent" mode, without the webcam, since I was with the students. As I went through the story, the teacher mentioned that the webcam feature would be ideal for including students who use sign language in Storyvisit activities. (She happens to be the mother of daughters who have hearing impairments.)
Try StoryVisit by signing up at Storyvisit.org
NRC (Nokia Research Center) launches Story Visit pilot in association with Sesame Workshop
Intervention: Dialogic Reading (2/8/07), US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (What Works Clearinghouse)
Dialogic Reading Video Series, NCLD Editorial Staff, 11/1/09
Dialogic Reading: An Effective Way to Read to Preschoolers (Grover J. Whitehurst -1992, Reading Rockets Archive)
Hayes Raffle's website
Family Story Play (First version of StoryVisit)
Family Story Play pdf (CHI 2010 presentation)
Since the Storyvisit activity was so positive with my students, I decided to dig a little deeper. I use video quite a bit with students with autism spectrum disorders, and work with students to establish joint-attention skills and behaviors. My hunch is that this is an area that warrants further exploration, especially for children and teens with autism spectrum disorders, their classmates, peers, and families.
The Co-Viewing Connection: "A blog for grown-ups about using media and technology with kids"
The New Coviewing: "Promoting Children's Learning Through Joint Media Engagement"
Game On.... Girls: Associations Between Co-playing Video Games and Adolescent Behavioral and Family Outcomes (Sarah M. Coyne, Laura M. Padilla-Walker, Laura Stocdale, Randal D. Day, Brigham Young, School of Family Life, in Journal of Adolescent Health, 2/3/11)
Why this is important:
My grandson, "reading" at 6 months old:
My mom and my grandson reading together: