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Fiabot!: Design and evaluation of a mobile storytelling application for schools

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Abstract

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about how digital technology can be integrated into the formal education system. Within a longitudinal research study, which lasted four years, we conducted an investigation on how mobile technology can support educational activities as defined by a school curriculum. Among the topics included in the school curriculum, we focused on the literary field and developed a Digital StoryTelling (DST) application, Fiabot!, to support this activity. Here, we describe the design of the application and how we evaluated its impact on educational activities. The application was designed and evaluated in two primary schools. The study had the objectives of exploring whether Fiabot! supports children in achieving educational objectives defined by the curriculum, how this effectively supports teachers, and to what extent children like using it for the creation and sharing of their stories. Our findings show that the application has a positive impact on curriculum enactment and effectively supports the related educational activities. Overall, Fiabot! was demonstrated to be very effective in stimulating children's discussion of a story's plot and characters. Thus, Fiabot! supported children not only in being creative but also in organizing their work and exploring a digital media opportunity. This resulted in the development of new skills and the better grounding of previously acquired knowledge, while teachers also had the opportunity to expand their teaching skills and get a taste of ICT's potential in education. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).