When Uncle Julian Saved the Day: sailing stories on the iPad.

Today, i am Uncle Julian and it’s great. Admittedly, it’s just an honorific title, as Ed is the son of some very old friends, but it still counts. And yesterday i saved the day.

Well, when i say the day, i mean that small portion of it after the day has ended for a three year old, but before the evening has started for the adults, and i saved it with the iPad and some photos of Gypsy, my boat.

It had been an exciting day really, a trip to the zoo, playing on the beach and, best of all, a giant beanbag to jump on in the lounge. All in all, Ed saw no reason for the day to end. So various techniques to coax and cajole him towards his bed all failed.

Eventually, in desperation, i asked him if he wanted to see my boat as i had photos on the iPad. This caused a spark of interest, which was followed by us creating a story around the photos. Admittedly a story that involved more pirates and adventures than i actually recall (and slightly more sailing prowess on my part than may be strictly true), but nonetheless a good story.

The funny thing about children is that you feel a bit closer to the process of learning. As we looked at the boat, the questions came flooding out. What is that? A sail. Why does it have a number? So she knows how old she is. Why is Cath wet? Because you have to launch the boat then climb in. Where is your lunch? And so on.

You can also gauge engagement more easily with children: they either have it or they don’t!

As an occasional Uncle, these moments are rare for me, but the sense of achievement when you find yourself engaged in learning are lovely. Makes me feel worthy of the title.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Learning, Stories, Storytelling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to When Uncle Julian Saved the Day: sailing stories on the iPad.

  1. julianstodd says:

    Using the iPad to help me narrate a story to a three year old was fascinating. I made up a story around some photos that i had of sailing and kayaking, explaining who the ‘crew’ were on my ship and the islands we explored and adventured to.

    Even at three, he interacted with the iPad effortlessly, zooming and swiping between photos, asking intense questions each time, usually around what things were. What’s that (pointing to the paddles), who’s that, why is he wet?

    More interactive and immersive than a book, more of a constructed story. Interesting to feel how the device is an aid to storytelling, a very old way of communicating.

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