Romeo, 5 y.o., and Aristide, 70 y.o., had their first remote reading aloud session a couple of days ago. This was the first experience prototyping of The Storytellers Project performed through an early prototype of the Storybell. The Storybell had a bluetooth speaker inside which was "broadcasting” the voice of the reader to Romeo and transferring the voice of Romeo to the reader. The communication was done through a phone call from Romeo’s mother mobile. Btw, Romeo’s mother is myself ;).
They had a 40 minutes session, read two books. One without picture and one with. I instructed both to do so, so to try 2 different reading interactions. They had problems to communicate because the microphone in the Storybell was not working fine.
The session generated several insights, such as the importance for the reader to “be informed” during the reading how the child is engaged. That will be key in the further development of the prototype. The reader needs to be constantly reinsured that the child is engaged and listening to the story since there is no visual feedback.
I drawed from this insight a new opportunity area:
Providing the reader with a backward reading interaction to sense the child engagement, guide his reading style (to keep the child focused) and motivate him to read further.