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Two Mice and a Klump Make Stories

Added: (Tue Nov 21 2000)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Press Release
November 7th, 2000

Two Mice and a Klump Make Stories

A new kind of computer technology has been developed, which will make the classroom of the future flourish with stories. The technology includes two mice and a Klump (a virtual 3D object) and makes children create stories collaboratively.

The technology has been developed in an English/Swedish project called KidStory by a team of researchers from various disciplines, as well as teachers and children at schools in England and Sweden.
The team is part of the European organisation i3 (short for Intelligent Information Interfaces).

KidStory has developed two storytelling platforms: KidPad and The Klump. Both of these are designed to support ”shoulder-to-shoulder” collaboration by supplying users with multiple input devices (such as mice). The two tools are different yet complementary in nature.

The Klump
”Water … shall we swim? I see bananas! … And ice cream … with chocolate and pear-flavoured sprinkles” (two schoolchildren bouncing off ideas).

The source of inspiration for this little story is The Klump. The Klump can be shaped, stroked, played with and altered, and emits coloured patterns and sounds in the process. Studies have shown that is a fantastic generator of ideas for collaborative partners.

The KidPad
What would an application look like that empowers children to become authors? One way would be to present children with a blank canvas, good tools, and methods for defining narrative structure. That is what the KidStoryteam has done with the KidPad application. The KidPad tools include crayons and eraser. The narrative structure of the story is defined by creating spatial hyperlinks between objects on the canvas.

The Partners of the KidStoryproject are The University of Nottingham, England, The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and The Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden. The schools involved are The Albany Infant School in Stapleford near by Nottingham, England and Rågsvedskolan, located in a suburb near Stockholm, Sweden.

The Classroom of the Future
The KidStoryproject is part of the i3 research programme ESE (Experimental School Environments). ESE explores learning for children aged four to eight in order to develop innovative IT-based learning tools and environments that support things such as collaboration, curiosity, creative problem solving, learning about learning and young children’s natural ease with images, touch, colour, fantasy play and stories.

More Facts About i3
i3 in was founded by the European Union in 1996. It aims to change technology by developing radically new ways of computing, as well as interfaces that are transparent and intuitive to use. These radical changes give more scope to things that the technological developers have largely neglected so far: social contact and communitybuilding, creativity, joy and play, mobility - the kinds of things that enhance the quality of life, and makes life easier instead of harder.
People of various backgrounds (teachers as well as computer scientists, psychologists alongside designers and artists) work together in i3 to make this happen.

Computing For Communities of Ordinary People
i3 currently has two research programmes: ESE and CI. CI is short for Connected Community and Inhabited Information Spaces. The CI programmes explores computing for communities of ordinary people, virtual communities as well as local and physical ones.

Photo about the KidStory-project: Photo is available by contacting Mr Svend Kiilerich (please see below for his address).

Additional Information

For further information about the KidStory-project, please contact:

Mr Steve Benford
University of Nottingham
Computer Science
University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham

Phone: +44 115 951 4203
Email: sdb@Cs.Nott.AC.UK

Or the KidStory-project homepage:

For further information about i3 and other i3 projects, please contact:

Mr Svend Kiilerich
i3net manager

Natural Interactive Systems Laboratory
University of Southern Denmark
Main Campus: University of Odense
Science Park 10
5230 Odense M

Tel: (+45) 6550 3543
Fax: (+45) 6315 7224
Email: kiil@nis.sdu.dk

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