At work, we’ve been experimenting with using the new Directr app to enhance adult experiences in children’s exhibits. The initial result, at least for my teen colleagues, has been a fast track to playfulness.

But first, a little about Directr– Directr is an iPad and iPhone social video app that aims to go beyond sharing videos by helping people make better videos, ones that tell more interesting stories. It does this by offering in-camera storyboards that guide each shot, and then it edits it all together in seconds.

Our decision to explore Directr as an exhibit engagement tool came from two observations: A. Parents and other adults at a children’s museum often report feeling bored while their kids play. B. Parent and other adults often respond to this boredom by turning to their mobile devices– taking photos, checking email, etc.

What if we could use a video app to enhance mindfulness/increase engagement during the museum experience?

We met with the creators of the app last week to explore ways we might create a museum-specific storyboard– more on that in a later post. But in preparation for the creation of that storyboard, the Teen Ambassadors played with Directr in a few exhibits. Suddenly, we and the TAs– already a playful group– were able to use movie-making to act silly, do crazy things, and, together, imagine a short storyline. The buffer of the iPhone or iPad gave them a licence to play.

In the meantime, as we develop these ideas, here’s an example of how the iPad-induced playfulness played out:

Construction Zone Dance Party

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