Storyteller at St Pauls School
Storyteller at St Pauls School

Young people on St Helena have been the first to trial and pilot a prototype learning device, called Storyteller, developed by the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, UK.  This has now been tested at the Island’s three primary schools by Heidi Bauer-Clapp from the Department for Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts in the USA, who is leading the project.

Heidi commented:

“I have received very positive responses from students on St Helena.  Even though this is a prototype device and when tested it does not always work well, the students remained enthusiastic and adaptable – especially liking the photos that were printed by Storyteller.”

Storyteller, shaped like a salad bowl, is activated by students shaking it.  The device then prints text, photos, facts and transmits audio files, in specific chapters – in this case based on the slavery exhibition relating to St Helena currently on display at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.  The eventual idea is that the device will be used by schoolchildren who are due to visit the museum, and actually at the museum, to give them a more comprehensive experience of exhibits.

Heidi said:

“The device allows students to be able to think about topics in advance and to better connect with the story told by exhibitions. This particular device is loaded with information based on St Helena’s role in the transatlantic slave trade and the findings in Rupert’s Valley.”  

Feedback from the students included that the pace of issuing information could be quicker, and that you need to be able to go back to a chapter if you wish to hear an audio file again or concentrate on that one area.  The design team will take these suggestions, and others from children on St Helena, into account when designing the final device – that will be linked to the internet and widely used at the International Slavery Museum.

Heidi has also been collaborating with Years 5 and 6 in St Helena’s Primary Schools on an exhibition which will be shown at the Jamestown Museum.  Here, students will showcase what they have learnt about Liberated Africans, the Rupert’s excavation and on what archaeologists do.  Opening times are as follows:

  • Friday 25 July, 10am-4pm (Storyteller device will be on view from 2-4pm)
  • Saturday 26 July, 10am-12pm and 6-8pm (Storyteller device will be on view at both times)
  • Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 July, 10am-4pm
  • Wednesday 30 July, 10am-12pm

One picture is attached to this release.



18 July 2014


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