Secret Mission Me: eBooks That Help Children Communicate With Parents
An new platform uses the unique features of mobile phones and tablets to make it easier for children and parents to have meaningful conversations about school life.
Secret Mission Me is a concept ebook series from Chia-Wei Liu of the School of Visual Arts' Interaction Design program. The storytelling platform aims to not only take advantage of mobile and tablet features to make electronic books more interactive, but to also act as a subtle tool to help build meaningful communication between young children and their parents.
Children read through books on the tablet version of the app, which feature missions that reflect elements of the storyline. These missions are crafted to capture pieces of the child's life that are meaningful but difficult to bring up in a typical “how was your day” conversation. The story might include monsters that the main character faces, so the missions would ask the child to use a camera in the mobile app to photograph monsters in their own life – which may be bullies that the child would otherwise be uncomfortable talking about in dinner conversation. To make the process of reading the book a collaborative process among the whole family parents are prompted by children to contribute their own photos to collaborative missions as well, and so they can see how the child is expressing their lives through identifying with the story characters.