i-Theatre draws on the ancient art of storytelling utilizing new digital media to provide a powerful framework to combine childhood media education with a truly multisensory experience. This combination is a powerful way to incorporate art and design with STEM and STEAM education.

The culmination of an intra-European research project, i-Theatre extols the benefits of storytelling as a learning methodology. It is a unique learning system for early years and primary aged children that facilitates story-creation and multimedia storytelling. Suited to any educational context where learning-through-play is a theme, i-Theatre engages students using a multi-sensory approach.

To create a story using i-Theatre, children first produce the characters, backgrounds, and other content for their stories using traditional media such as paper, pencils, markers, etc. Hardcopy materials are then converted to digital content using the unit’s built-in scanner and stored for later use.

Children use a variety of physical chip-embedded objects such as wooden shapes, durable function cards, and scene recording boxes to interact with i-Theatre in a sensory-rich manner that facilitates the development of social and emotional skills, cause and effect, sequencing, collaboration, creativity, fine motor skills, independence and other vital skills.

Lessons may also include the creation of storyboards to map out and plan their productions. Stories are brought to life by children manipulating their content on screen and recording sounds and their voices for characters and narration. Later, stories can be played back through the i-Theatre’s screen, projected onto a larger screen, or exported via USB to be shared with friends and family.
 
Learning frameworks
The collaborative nature of storytelling combined with i-Theatre’s mix of digital and tangible elements allows children to: “resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials” (Early Years Learning Framework). Building on the framework, i-Theatre fulfils many requirements of the Australian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 2. The underpinning methodology pays homage to the Italian holistic early learning pedagogies of Reggio Emilia and Montessori.
 
Document and evaluate
The digital archive of multimedia created by students makes it easy to document and evaluate their learning and share material with parents.

iTheatre is available exclusively in Australia and New Zealand from The Brainary. Tel: 03 5229 2260 and www.brainaryinteractive.com