The interaction between a child and a robot is not designed the same way in human-robot interaction (HRI) and in educational uses of robotics (R4L). For instance, HRI researchers aim at minimizing misunderstandings between humans and robots, which makes perfectly sense. However, in education, misunderstandings and disagreements are the fuel for learning: learning is the side effect of the cognitive effort - verbal elaborations- required to repair misunderstandings or resolve conflicts. This approach does not make the design of such agents easier, since the robot must be able to perceive them and to repair them, which is not a trivial design task. This additional cognitive effort is close to the concept of 'germane cognitive load', proposed in instructional psychology, i.e. the cognitive load induced by the construction of new schemas. No pain, no gain. I will illustrate it with our work on robots for learning to read and to write, based on the learning-by-teaching paradigm. Despite having escaped from the trap of anthropomorphism and its uncanny valley, educational robotics seem to be still affected by the myth of media richness, i.e. the belief that the more a robot interacts as a human (understands language, perceives emotions), the better it will be for learning. This is not totally false, but what learners learn depends first upon the cognitive activity they have to perform, hence upon the fine tuning of their germane load, and only indirectly on the robot properties.
Although technology is evolving to connect people in new and exciting ways, it still falls short of truly embracing the power of human connection. And for kids, that gap is all too evident. It is time to take a step back and let children inspire us to create technology that supports truly magical experiences. Designing "for" kids will disrupt the trajectory of telepresence and help us create environments that embody new forms of copresence. This talk with reflect on my years of research examining children playing together with technology. This work started with supporting children's play through multiple mice on a desktop computer, and evolved to include shared experiences with a plethora of telepresence prototypes. Although the insights gained from this work have been enlightening, I am still disappointed with the current offerings we have to support children's remote play. Not only do our kids deserve better, I believe they can inspire new evolutions in this space, if we make them a priority in our design.
This keynote talk focuses on teaching children through innovation and interaction with technology, and the presentation will focus on experiences from two highly successful technological innovations: EduApp4Syria and Kahoot!. EduApp4Syria, was an international innovation competition launched by the Norwegian government with the goal of creating the best game-based learning apps to help Syrian children to learn their mother tongue. The initial competition resulted in 78 bids from companies based in 31 countries. The end results of the competition were two innovative game-based learning apps that have a proven positive effect on learning and psychosocial learning. The second part of the talk will focus on experiences and research on children's interaction with Kahoot!. Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform invented at NTNU which has reached in 2017 70 million monthly active users, and is currently the fastest growing learning brand in the world. You can read more about EduApp4Syria at: http://norad.no/eduapp4syria and more about Kahoot!at: http://kahoot.com.
Augmented and Mixed Reality mobile technologies are becoming an emerging trend in the development of play and learning experiences for children. This tendency requires a deeper understanding of their specificities to adequately inform design. To this end, we ran a study with 36 elementary school children to compare two AR/MR interaction paradigms for mobile technologies: (1) the consolidated "Window-on-the-World" (WoW), and (2) the emerging "World-as-Support" (WaS). By analyzing children's understanding and use of space while playing an AR/MR mystery game, and analyzing the collaboration that emerges among them, we show that the two paradigms scaffold children's attention differently during the experience and elicit different forms of collaboration. We conclude by presenting a conceptual framework to distinguish the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of the two AR/MR paradigms, as well as the comparison between marker-based and marker-less technical solutions. This study aims at helping practitioners in taking design decisions for AR/MR technologies for children.
Among younger people, game-based group workouts have become very popular. Thus, as design resources, the social settings become as important as the technology. However, there is still limited knowledge about how to exploit the full design potential of bodily interplay in social exertion games and how technology can be used as a social exertion "shaper" rather than a "limitation". To contribute to this topic, we present a multiplayer version of our adaptive exergame "Plunder Planet". It can be played with two controllers demanding either haptic or gesture-based input movements. We conducted a study and investigated the social and bodily potential of our game. Playing the game with both devices supported good social gameplay experiences. The haptic device supported a greater feeling of empathy and engagement. Children's preferred version and employed play strategies depended on their skills/preferences in sports and gaming. Results help identify design approaches for future social exertion games.
Museums have been long recognized as legitimate places for out-of-school learning, offering unique experiences for large student groups. However, the challenges of assessing learning and engagement outcomes using technological interventions for large audiences, often undermine the value of these practices. To address the need for understanding how learning unfolds within the context of a museum visit as an interplay between the people, the interactives, and the mediators, we conducted a design evaluation in a science museum. Our focus was understanding the impact of audience interaction on learning and engagement during collaborative games for large student groups. For the purposes of this case study we also designed a physical board game having the dual purpose of a learning activity and an assessment tool. We present the results of our observations and discourse analysis, and discuss them in the light of our previous study in public schools.
Physical Education (PE) is beneficial for students' mental and physical health, however, teenagers are increasingly becoming less motivated to actively participate in the current form of PE. Motivational studies show that collective physical activity augmented by playful interactions could encourage more participation and social engagement in physical activities (PA). In this paper, we present a within-subject field study with 20 teenagers formed into five groups sized equally. The study is conducted using Shuttlezap, a prototype that provides real-time playful audio augmentation to the process of the activity. Results show that the teenagers enjoyed playful audio augmentation and were socially engaged with an enhancement of their perception of competence. By further comparing the conditions between with and without the audio augmentation, we found that the playful audio augmentation positively contributed to the playfulness in terms of perceived relaxation and expression. We conclude with design implications for social play in the context of PE for teenagers.
This paper explores the design of voice user interfaces for smart homes with teenagers. The work was motivated by two research questions: How can we co-design voice interfaces with teenagers? and What ideas and expectations do teenagers have in relation to voice interfaces in a smart home? A design process was used which involved the participants initially scripting exchanges with a smart home on paper then prototyping at a higher level of fidelity using a tablet app with speech output. The study was carried out in a high school in the UK with 55 pupils in Year 10 (14--15 years old). This work is the first of its kind to explore the co-design of VUIs with teenagers. The key contribution of this paper is the design method that was used which proved successful and gave insights into the use of dual prototyping fidelities and the impact of scaffolding on the designs produced. Other contributions include the themes which emerged from the designs and a set of four themes related to teenagers' expectation of smart homes. The wide range of findings reported in the paper also bring insights that are valuable to those wishing to design and develop VUIs with and for younger users.
Children ages 8--12 spend nearly six hours per day with digital content, but they receive little formal instruction related to managing privacy online. In this study, we explore how games and storytelling can inform the development of resources to help children learn about privacy online. We present results from three co-design sessions with a university-based intergenerational design team that included eight children ages 8--11. During these sessions, we reviewed existing privacy resources with children and elicited design ideas for new resources. Our findings yield several recommendations for designers. Specifically, online privacy-focused educational resources should: (1) include relatable elements such as familiar characters and easily understandable storylines, (2) go beyond instructing children through "dos and don'ts" and equip children to make privacy-related decisions, and (3) expose children to a range of privacy consequences, highlighting the positive and negative outcomes that can result from disclosing and managing information online.
Maker movement has recently gained worldwide recognition. Educating children in making activities has also become advocated. Studies have reported experiences on engaging children in making activities and the importance of nurturing a maker identity in children has been advocated. This study reveals findings from a case where, in the spirit of genuine participation of children, 10--12-year-old children gained initial experiences in design and making activities within an elective mathematics class as part of their primary school education. The study shows that children adopted multiple subject positions and relied on various discourses when describing their experiences. We argue that none of them developed a designer or a maker identity as such during the project, whereas many of the children reported of having developed some sort of meaningful relationship to design and making. We argue that this is a valuable outcome per se. Implications for HCI research and design are discussed.
We examine the use of "Audio Journaling" as a multi-faceted practice and participatory research method to engage young participants in forms of creative expression, self and peer-based reflection, and participatory assessment. We share our experiences from incorporating this approach in three different participatory media programs conducted with adolescents in Gaza, Jerusalem, and New York City since 2011. In prior work, audio diaries have been used as reflective probes with young adults for conducting social research, and with the visually impaired to elicit rich contextual experiences informing HCI design. Our findings illustrate how audio journaling can be used with adolescents in participatory media programs to capture spontaneous and introspective experience-focused accounts with emotional resonance, while revealing the process of sense-making in a lightweight and unobtrusive manner. We believe these practices can enhance participatory learning, co-creation, and peer-based evaluation of program outcomes.
Digital technologies to support children on the autism spectrum often offer predefined content for modelling, communicating and training. However, children may not relate to the content, and it may not match their own personal interests and motivations. This paper investigates the use of MyWord, an interest-based, child-led technology, as an exploratory probe. This audio-visual dictionary app supports a child to build their own personalised catalogue of favourite words, images and audio over time. We undertook a field study over two school terms in an autism-specific primary school with 12 minimally-verbal children aged 5 to 8 and their teachers and speech therapists. Findings indicate that creating dictionary entries involved processes of personal choice, representation of the self and interests, and dynamic action and play. Use of personally and contextually relevant words enhanced engagement, interaction and self-expression. We contribute a novel, flexible, interest-based technology, and reflections on its use in autism-specific school contexts. We highlight the importance of the child's lived experience and holistic child-led approaches to technology design.
This paper presents Apraxia World, a remote therapy tool for speech sound disorders that integrates speech exercises into an engaging platformer-style game. In Apraxia World, the player controls the avatar with virtual buttons/joystick, whereas speech input is associated with assets needed to advance from one level to the next. We tested performance and child preference of two strategies for delivering speech exercises: during each level, and after it. Most children indicated that doing exercises after completing each level was less disruptive and preferable to doing exercises scattered through the level. We also found that children liked having perceived control over the game (character appearance, exercise behavior). Our results indicate that (i) a familiar style of game successfully engages children, (ii) speech exercises function well when decoupled from game control, and (iii) children are willing to complete required speech exercises while playing a game they enjoy.
Cerebral activity is an intangible physiological process that is difficult to apprehend, especially for children. To overcome this difficulty, Teegi was designed as a new type of educational support. This tangible interface enables children to discover the relationship between brain activity and the functions of the human body. We developed a multimethods research approach to estimate the pedagogical potential of Teegi used in a real-life educational context. Using this interdisciplinary methodology, we conducted a user study (N=29) that highlighted the strengths of this interface, both in terms of its usability and its impact on learning. Moreover, results revealed possible improvements to further increase pedagogical effectiveness. This type of interface, as well as the evaluation method that we propose, contribute to extending our knowledge concerning the pedagogical use of new interactive tools at school.
Parent-child interaction during a collaborative activity can empower children if parents are able to envision their child's mental state and regulate their behavior. However, this ability is a great challenge for many parents. We designed a simple tangible 'Awareness Object' (AO) intended to raise parents' awareness of the roles they can play and help them shift their focus to the interaction with their child. We present results from 12 parent-child interactions with the AO. Our qualitative analysis reveals that the AO raised parents' awareness of their roles during the activity and led to various types of reflection by both parents and children. In addition, the AO increased children's involvement in evaluating their parent's role, which some parents found intriguing while others found inappropriate. We conclude that a simple tangible interface can enhance parent-child interaction. However, this interaction is sensitive and should be approached with caution.
Children's play objects are increasingly shaped by technological innovations that can transform them into hybrid, internet-connected toys, a phenomenon referred to as the Internet of Toys. Previous research has presented user research on connected toys, but little is known how to approach them from a design perspective. This paper investigates whether and how an animistic design perspective can foster a fruitful exploration of the design potentialities of connected toys. It addresses this question by analysing three design concepts of connected toys that were developed in the course of an R&D project. These included a high-tech bracelet with digital passport, a card game with a customizable 3D-printed figurine, and a robot as a board game play mate. The results show how the design qualities of connected toys can be categorized on a spectrum ranging from a certainty-driven, problem-solving logic to an uncertainty-driven, animistic design perspective. The contribution of this study is a better understanding of how connected toys emerge in a broader ecology of children, toys, and data that all act upon each other. By embracing the uncertainty in this complex and fluid network of subjects and objects, the animistic design perspective allows to explore a broad set of design opportunities relevant in the realm of the Internet of Toys.
Three-dimensional design software is challenging for novices and non-experts; when working with objects that already exist, the task becomes even more difficult. We present Printy3D, a system that enables children to design customized containers for electronic modules using tangible interaction and spatially augmented reality feedback. Our system allows users to position physical objects in three dimensions relative to a virtual container, providing feedback on placement location and validity. We implemented two different interaction styles and conducted a user study with 26 participants, 23 of them children. We detail the results of our study and suggest implications for design as well as opportunities for future research for systems of this kind.
This paper describes research aimed at supporting children's reading practices using a robot designed to interact with children as their reading companion. We use a learning by teaching scenario in which the robot has a similar or lower reading level compared to children, and needs help and extra practice to develop its reading skills. The interaction is structured with robot reading to the child and sometimes making mistakes as the robot is considered to be in the learning phase. Child corrects the robot by giving it instant feedbacks. To understand what kind of behavior can be more constructive to the interaction especially in helping the child, we evaluated the effect of a deictic gesture, namely pointing on the child's ability to find reading mistakes made by the robot. We designed three types of mistakes corresponding to different levels of reading mastery. We tested our system in a within-subject experiment with 16 children. We split children into a high and low reading proficiency even-though they were all beginners. For the high reading proficiency group, we observed that pointing gestures were beneficial for recognizing some types of mistakes that the robot made. For the earlier stage group of readers pointing were helping to find mistakes that were raised upon a mismatch between text and illustrations. However, surprisingly, for this same group of children, the deictic gestures were disturbing in recognizing mismatches between text and meaning.
Social robots are increasingly being developed for long-term interactions with children in domains such as healthcare, education, therapy, and entertainment. As such, we need to deeply understand how children's relationships with robots develop through time. However, there are few validated assessments for measuring young children's long-term relationships. In this paper, we present a pilot test of four assessments that we have adapted or created for use in this context with children aged 5--6: the Inclusion of Other in Self task, the Social-Relational Interview, the Narrative Description, and the Self-disclosure Task. We show that children can appropriately respond to these assessments with reasonably high internal reliability, and that the proposed assessments are able to capture child-robot relationship adjustments over a long-term interaction. Furthermore, we discuss gender and population differences in children's responses.
In this paper, we present a robotic approach to improve the teaching of handwriting using the tangible, haptic-enabled and classroom-friendly Cellulo robots. Our efforts presented here are in line with the philosophy of the Cellulo platform: we aim to create a ready-to-use tool (i.e. a set of robot-assisted activities) to be used for teaching handwriting, one that is to coexist harmoniously with traditional tools and will contribute new added values to the learning process, complementing existing teaching practices.
To maximize our potential contributions to this learning process, we focus on two promising aspects of handwriting: the visual perception and the visual-motor coordination. These two aspects enhance in particular two sides of the representation of letters in the mind of the learner: the shape of the letter (the grapheme) and the way it is drawn, namely the dynamics of the letter (the ductus).
With these two aspects in mind, we do a detailed content analysis for the process of learning the representation of letters, which leads us to discriminate the specific skills involved in letter representation. We then compare our robotic method with traditional methods as well as with the combination of the two methods, in order to discover which of these skills can benefit from the use of Cellulo.
As handwriting is taught from age 5, we conducted our experiments with 17 five-year-old children in a public school. Results show a clear potential of our robot-assisted learning activities, with a visible improvement in certain skills of handwriting, most notably in creating the ductus of the letters, discriminating a letter among others and in the average handwriting speed.
Moreover, we show that the benefit of our learning activities to the handwriting process increases when it is used after traditional learning methods. These results lead to the initial insights into how such a tangible robotic learning technology may be used to create cost-effective collaborative scenarios for the learning of handwriting.
Intelligent toys and smart devices are becoming ubiquitous in children's homes. As such, it is imperative to understand how these computational objects impact children's development. Children's attribution of intelligence relates to how they perceive the behavior of these agents . However, their underlying reasoning is not well understood. To explore this, we invited 30 pairs of children (4--10 years old) and their parents to assess the intelligence of mice, robots, and themselves in a maze-solving activity. Participants watched videos of mice and robots solving a maze. Then, they solved the maze by remotely navigating a robot. Solving the maze enabled participants to gain insight into the agent's mind by referencing their own experience. Children and their parents gave similar answers for whether the mouse or the robot was more intelligent and used a wide variety of explanations. We also observed developmental differences in childrens' references to agents' social-emotional attributes, strategies and performance.
Digital literacy is an important educational topic because most children consume and create digital media regularly. We used procedural rhetoric to iteratively design an educational game for 11--13 year olds about digital literacy topics. We conducted three empirical user studies to evaluate the game's usability and effectiveness throughout the design process. Results from our summative study showed that children's digital literacy knowledge and intended behavior improved significantly immediately after playing the game and one week later. They also found the game usable, fun, and relatable. We present a case study of our design process, and use insights from our work to propose recommendations for designing children's educational games using procedural rhetoric.
Cognitive-affective states during learning or interactions with technologies is dependent on the mental effort of the learner and / or the cognitive load imposed by the system. Despite the growing research on the importance of understanding cognitive-affective state and their relationship to learning, measurement of such states during the learning process in Kindergartners is still unclear. While most assessments of learning and usability evaluations with Kindergartners focus on performance, self-reports and inferring from observable behaviours, they provide limited insights into the cognitive load and emotional state during the learning or interaction that are essential for a holistic picture of learning. Through a study with 18 kindergartners, we explore the feasibility of understanding cognitive-affective states associated with mental effort by triangulating the data obtained from observations, physiological markers, self-reports and performance as they performed tasks of varying mental effort. We present findings on the reliable markers within these sources across tasks. Results reveal that such a triangulation offers deeper insights into the cognitive-affective state of the learner. We believe this work would be a step towards better understanding of the learning process thereby facilitating instruction that is more aligned with the learner's cognitive-affective architecture as well as establishing guidelines for comprehensive usability / evaluation processes based on well-defined associations between child behaviour and child action.
The ubiquitous use of social media by children offers a unique opportunity to view diverse funds of knowledge that may otherwise be overlooked. To leverage this insight, we have coupled the iterative development of our community-focused, Science Everywhere life-relevant science learning program together with an integrated social media app to engage learners aged 6--16 in science with parents, teachers, and mentors throughout their community. We found that learners' scientific funds of knowledge were often not evident in their posts alone; rather, they emerged through our triangulation of posts, interviews with youth and their parents, and observations of their learning experiences in our life-relevant science education program. Our findings suggest that leveraging new social media features to support contextual information, scientific scaffolds and creative expression may make children's implicit and more unconventional scientific funds of knowledge more apparent. Additionally, social media sharing in conjunction with other practices, such as discussing posts with learners and encouraging non-science posts, can uncover the rich contexts of children's social media sharing, which can illuminate their scientific thinking.
In primary education, concepts are commonly introduced through concrete instantiations, such as physical manipulatives and kinaesthetic activities, with an expectation that learners will gradually move towards working with abstract representations. There has been considerable research in subjects such as mathematics on how children can move from working with concrete to abstract materials, but relatively little research on how this can be achieved in computing, which has recently become a more prominent subject at primary level. This paper reports on the design and evaluation of a low-fidelity prototype learning environment that aims to teach children aged 9--10 about a key computing concept (internet routing), using a concreteness fading approach commonly applied in mathematics. An empirical study with 59 children showed that those following a concreteness fading progression scored significantly higher on a post-test than those using a concrete only prototype, and had an increase in positive attitude towards computing in line with alternative approaches. We highlight the potential for an augmented reality implementation of the prototype to support investigation of further key questions raised by this research.
This paper presents a survey of computational kits that enable young children (ages 7 years old and under) to explore computing ideas and practices. We examined physical, virtual, and hybrid kits across three different perspectives: how they are designed, how they support children to explore computational concepts and practices, and how they enable children to engage in a range of projects and activities. Based on our analysis, we present design suggestions and opportunities to expand the possibilities in how children can engage in computing, what kinds of projects children can make, and what kinds of computational ideas children can explore.
The pervasive availability of voice assistants may support children in finding answers to informational queries by removing the literacy requirements of text search (e.g., typing, spelling). However, most such systems are not designed for the specific needs and preferences of children and may struggle with understanding the intent of their questions. In our investigation, we observed 87 children and 27 adults interacting with three Wizard-of-Oz speech interfaces to arrive at answers to questions that required reformulation. We found that many children and some adults required help to reach an effective question reformulation. We report the common types of reformulations (both effective and ineffective ones). We also compared three versions of speech interfaces with different approaches to referring to itself (personification) and to the participant (naming personalization). We found that children preferred personified interfaces, but naming personalization did not affect preference. We connect our findings to implications for design of speech systems for families.
We describe the design and use of a visual self-reporting technique that enables children to materialize their emotions. Inspired by an artistic practice, we investigate how this technique helps unfold and interpret the affective dimension of children's mediated activities, while fostering reflective conversations that may influence how they later re-engage in these activities. We first present the artistic process behind our self-reporting technique. We then describe a situated exploration of its use an elementary school classroom with 22 children (6--7 year olds), where a digital system was introduced to mediate learning activities. This exploration shows some of the benefits of eliciting children's perspectives on their mediated activities, and highlights the interplay between their perspectives and their activities. Finally, we discuss the value of our technique---and more broadly techniques that bring forward experiential qualities of materials to help reflect on experience---for conducting situated HCI and CCI research.
Our research focuses on facilitating access to cross-cultural collaborative applications for schoolchildren. In this paper, we present two user studies with students from an underprivileged region in Delhi. In the first study, we found that Indian students were hesitant when using the application as compared with Finnish students in a similar study, for example. We purport these challenges were social - related to face-saving and power-distance - and technical - related to lack of access to and experience with computers. In the second study, we presented a dramatized scenario before the task to address the socio-technical challenges. Our findings suggest that adding a dramatized scenario facilitated meaningful collaboration by (a) overcoming the lack of previous computer and gaming experience and (b) reducing social and cultural barriers towards communication. We believe these findings extend to cross-cultural collaboration between students with varying computer experience.
In this study, we examine the conversational repair strategies that preschoolers use to correct communication breakdowns with a voice-driven interface. We conducted a two-week deployment in the homes of 14 preschoolers of a tablet game that included a broken voice-driven mini-game. We collected 107 audio samples of these children's (unsuccessful) attempts to communicate with the mini-game. We found that children tried a common set of repair strategies, including repeating themselves and experimenting with the tone and pronunciation of their words. Children were persistent, rarely giving up on the interaction, asking for help, or showing frustration. When parents participated in the interaction, they moved through four phases of engagement: first making suggestions, then intervening, then making statements of resignation, and finally pronouncing that the interaction could not be repaired. Designers should anticipate that in this context, children will borrow behaviors from person-to-person communication, such as pivoting strategies to probe the source of failed communication and structuring communication into turn-taking attempts.
This paper presents a study conducted to observe motivations for playful interaction of children with the prototype version of the robotic toy Ixi-play. Fourteen children from two age groups (4--5 and 8--9 year-olds) participated in the study. The features of the robotic toy that intrinsically motivate children for interaction were identified through qualitative analysis. The types of child-robotic toy interaction were revealed as: physical interaction, facial expressions, verbal communication, and visual engagement. Four factors were identified as affecting children's intrinsic motivation for an engaged interaction with robotic toys: i) evolving needs and abilities of children, ii) ease of bonding, iii) playfulness, and iv) clarity of responses and multiple feedback.
Ubiquitous touch projection technology is entering the market and allows touch screens to be projected onto any smooth surface at a lower cost. We created a mathematics manipulative application for a low-cost, ubiquitous touch projection system, and we conducted an observational study with 18 third-grade elementary students. Through our analysis of both video and system data, we identify common student interaction problems, evaluate how those interaction problems affect usability, engagement, and pair-work, and we make practical suggestions to aid future developers, educators, and students in using such a platform.
Paper prototyping is an important tool for designing and testing early technologies during development. However, children have different relationships with technology and thus one cannot expect children to assess paper prototypes with the same mental model as adults. In this paper, we examine the effect of incorporating paper circuitry into low-fidelity paper prototypes, in order to add a level of interactivity that is not present in traditional paper prototypes. We conducted a study with 20 children ages 3 to 10 years old where participants used a cardboard prototype of a voice-controlled rocket on a pretend play mission to Mars. Children chose between buttons that lit up when pressed using paper circuitry, and buttons that did not light up, and explained their selections to the researchers. Our results show that children indeed preferred buttons augmented with paper circuitry, demonstrating more attention for and increased believability in the function of these buttons as well as the overall system. These findings show how designers can use paper circuitry to more effectively engage children while play-testing their paper prototypes.
Most technology designed for young children at mealtime centers around conceptions of how the child should eat or behave at the table. Expanding this view to include children's perspectives, we present a two-part study to explore the design of technology for mealtimes in preschools. We first worked to identify existing value tensions through interviews and observations, then designed three prototypes to address different value tensions (e.g., the tension between children's interest in experimenting with food versus the teachers' interest in cleanliness). Although there are specific ways adults' and children's values are in conflict, our work suggests the potential for novel designs to provide creative and meaningful experiences such as playful productivity that support the needs of both parties.
We report on a participatory design project that explored the use of child-created Personas to enable child designers to empathize with other children thereby contributing multiple divergent perspectives. The ongoing project aims to promote reading and creative writing skills among young children in Namibia. For decades libraries worldwide have been the key actors in fostering reading. Hence, in order to maintain their relevance, they are being re-conceptualized to cater for new needs and aspirations in the 21st century. In Namibia, dysfunctional public and school library services are lagging behind in this renovation effort, and are not contributing to the promotion of a reading culture. In an ongoing collaboration with a school in Windhoek, to design and implement an interactive tech library, 19 young learners engaged in weekly participatory design workshops to redesign their own school library. The children first created four distinct Personas for which they then modelled spaces and technologies. This paper reflects on the techniques used to enable children to become active design partners and to gain an understanding of designing for other children.
Creative iterative development over the past several years has generated an extensive set of computational tools, learning resources, and materials in the realm of paper mechatronics - an educational craft and design approach that weaves computational and mechanical elements into established traditions of children's construction with paper. Here, we both reflect upon our past and recent work of paper mechatronics, then look to the near- to medium-term future to speculate upon both the emerging trends in technology design and expanding learning potential of this medium for children along material, spatial, and temporal dimensions. We summarize lessons learned through various children's workshops with our materials; and we use these lessons as a foundation upon which to create a wide variety of novel tools and activities in educational papercrafting. We speculate upon the frontiers of this work based on current convergences and shifts in tangible creative computational media.
Although seemingly evident, 'fun' in Participatory Design (PD) processes involving children generally remains implicit. In this paper, we explore fun as a user gain since the benefits that children gain from PD are relatively unexplored. We reflect on 'Making Things!', a case study involving children in the design of FabLab workshops for the future. Our findings show that the child-participants gain from the process through fun in overcoming challenges, working towards finalised objects, experimenting, and interacting with others. Based on our findings, we posit that fun can be a direct gain of children participating in PD, but also relates to additional user gains (e.g. developing self-esteem). Furthermore, we hypothesise that opening up the assessment of children's user gains would fit the notion of the child as process designer. These findings extend the debate on benefits children can gain through PD and highlight the importance of fun as a user gain.
Independent novice programmers in open-ended contexts rely on help systems to support their learning. These help systems are often laboriously hand-authored by experts. This paper describes a semi-automatic process for the creation of a suggestion-based help system. We demonstrate and evaluate the potential utility of our approach within a blocks-based programming environment for children. With less human effort per suggestion, our approach generated a set of suggestions comparable to a hand-authored set and a set of original suggestions. We ran a study to explore the number and types of suggestions children received, accessed, and used. In 30 minutes, children on average received 9 suggestions, accessed 2.6 suggestions, and inserted 0.8 new concepts from suggestions.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have impairments in social interactions with peers. Digital technology, in the form of computerized applications, can be used as a remedy for this, even though there is a paucity of such applications in low-resource regions like Sri Lanka. Therefore, we conducted co-design workshops to develop tablet applications to improve social interactions of children with ASD in Sri Lanka. 18 experienced practitioners who work closely with children with ASD in Sri Lanka participated in the workshops and co-designed two prototypes called Picture to Object Matching Application (POMA) and Word to Picture Matching Application (WPMA). We present the design process along with the insights gained from the workshops, which we believe are valuable for designing software applications for children with ASD in Sri Lanka.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) show difficulties in reading skills acquisition with syllabic methods (used in ordinary schools). So that, specific learning methodologies are needed. Thanks to their good visual competences, global reading methods seem to be very useful. This paper presents a technology-driven serious game, based on global reading methodologies and personalized experience to promote children' first contact with literacy skills. This app is called "Leo con Lula" ("reading with Lula", in Spanish) and it is available on mobile platforms.
The paper reports about a pilot study with 9 children, aged 3 to 8 years old. The pilot is based on questionnaires and direct observation to gather teachers' thoughts, discover possible limitations and value game suitability as a tool in class context.
In this paper, we investigated how variations in the level of gaze (no-gaze, semi-ideal mutual gaze, and ideal mutual gaze) in a video mediated communication system affect children's feeling of social presence and socio-emotional response during a remote collaborative gameplay. Our results showed that the absence of gaze badly effects the overall interaction because children seem to despise playing games with no-gaze condition. However, their appreciation for semi-ideal mutual gaze and ideal mutual gaze conditions were comparable. Although, children preferred the ideal mutual gaze condition, their appreciation for the semi-ideal mutual gaze condition was remarkably high.
Co-design is considered a powerful tool to empower users to be part of the design process. In the United States, co-design with children is often associated with academic organizations. In one form of co-design, Cooperative Inquiry, children and adults design together in a lab environment. Unfortunately, children who live in non-affluent areas may have trouble participating in groups like this because they are unable to attend design sessions due to a combination of lack of transit options or parental involvement.
This paper reflects on four years of co-design in an American, economically depressed city with the sole purpose of trying to include more voices in the design process. Working within and then beyond Cooperative Inquiry, the authors discuss the city's history of racial segregation and classism and how researchers can be more equitable and equal in their construction of co-design teams in urban environments. Shorter, more focused design sessions in locations easily accessible by children are the key to more inclusive co-design.
Tablet games are flooding the market and large numbers of these are designed for children. The expansion of quantity has not seen an associated expansion of quality. Studies of the usability of tablet games for children typically take place in laboratory settings and fail to understand the context of use. This paper describes a study of 'at home' use of tablet games with children and their families that sought to examine how such games were played and how parents managed such game play. The children who participated in the study had cognitive, sensory or physical needs and these multiple needs brought many difficulties to the surface for parents mediating tablet use. A thematic analysis using four codes was applied to bring findings from diaries and interviews. Challenges for general tablet game design have emerged around designing for family routines, designing for working together, and designing to scaffold children's understanding.
This paper introduces Scratch Memories --- a new data-driven web-based system that empowers children to celebrate and reflect on their creative journey with Scratch, an online community for programming and sharing interactive projects. The system dynamically generates personalized visualizations in the form of a video, highlighting a user's key moments, diverse creations, and collaborative experiences in the community. Existing tools for visualizing children's progress in computational learning are primarily designed for educators, and often focus exclusively on evaluating specific concepts in individual projects. The goal of Scratch Memories is to present a new approach towards designing positive reflective experiences that value the full range of children's contributions as members of a creative community. I highlight the key design principles and iterative development process. Based on semi-structured interviews with 14 children ages 10--18 years, and observations from testing the system at two public events, I describe how Scratch Memories not only sparked children to reflect on their personal trajectories, but also to express motivation towards increasing their participation.
During past years, an increasing interest has been placed on critical design in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and design research communities. Child Computer Interaction (CCI) research community, however, has remained quite silent about these recent developments. There are no studies explicitly addressing critical design for, with and by children nor studies explicitly embracing critical research tradition. Yet, there are some works that clearly still can be linked with critical research and design traditions. Those works can be seen to represent seeds of critical design already evident in the CCI community. This paper introduces critical design discourse into CCI research. First critical research and design traditions are presented, after which existing developments in CCI research that can be linked with critical research and design are identified. The paper ends up by proposing a research agenda for future critical CCI research and by discussing associated benefits and challenges.
Contact and bonding between grandparents and grandchild might not be easy to achieve, but still, both parts might benefit from communicating with each other, sharing experiences.
This paper describes a student project, still under development, designed to facilitate and differentiate connection between senior citizens and children. The proposed solution consists of two prototypes (a birdhouse and a music board) which were built with the open source platform of Arduino and Processing, both of them are connected to the theme of nature and birdwatching.
Deceptive Cadence is an interactive sound installation for audience participation. The artwork is relating to Umberto Eco's commentaries on so-called open work, as well as theories of relationality, intuition and individuation in the works of Bergson, Deleuze and other process theorists as expounded upon by artist and theorist Sher Doruff. The installation creates a playful tension between how the participants place a series of color tracked objects in relation to each other, and a sound composition that is being manipulated via a Max/MSP patch depending on how these objects are placed or moved. In addition to being an artwork in its own right, Deceptive Cadence is a cross-disciplinary project that employs artistic strategies to create an aesthetically organized space for an open work, where the audience is motivated to co-create and build together. For children, the installation functions as a tangible experience which stimulates cooperation and listening skills, as well as facilitating explanations of the technical basis for color and motion tracking.
UPDATED---April 30, 2018. In math curriculum, probability is one of the most difficult concepts for students to understand . With the intention of making abstract math concepts more concrete, we designed Tree It to facilitate third and fourth grade students' construction of the sample space for probabilistic events through the visualization of a tree diagram. With a constructionist perspective in mind, our design incorporates a tangible user interface (TUI) along with customizable tangibles and activities. This gives learners the ability to explore concepts of permutations through systematic enumeration by moving tangible objects.
Engaging with emotional communication, especially for special needs students or anyone who might struggle with verbalizing certain mental states, is a crucial component to feeling safe and comfortable inclassroom and home environments. Our research shows that such a skill is important for all students and that utilizing physical objects can be just as meaningful as digital versions, but that digital technologies do have the power to enhance this process, especially during reflection process. We created a three leveled character, called a Tinget, for in time emotional communication, accompanied by a digital reflection journal. Express, Reflect, Repeat. That's our motto.
The Storytellers Project is a library service connecting a community of senior readers to children and their families for remote reading aloud sessions. Children use the Storybell robot at home to connect with seniors willing to read, the Storybell robot transmits their reading and projects on the wall pictures of the story being read. The paper describes the people centred research process as the project is still a concept in its research phase.
This paper presents the development of an augmented reality (AR) application for visualizing the five convex-regular polyhedrons, known as platonic solids. The application provides a virtual interactive environment for the visualization, construction, deconstruction and manipulation of these polyhedrons, allowing users to explore the properties of each platonic solid, e.g. faces, vertices and edges as well as the respective spatial constructions (in 3D) with or without animation. A pilot study showed that the students enjoyed using the application and considered it facilitated the study of the solids.
Learning to program is difficult for most children. Most of the interfaces designed to help children experience and understand programming are based on imperative programming. However, early exposure to functional programming have been found to have many benefits over imperative programming. We describe a tangible interface, Testudinata, that helps to make a fundamental concept of functional programming - function composition - more approachable to younger learners in elementary and middle school. Using Testudinata, learners can design, implement, and test various compositions of pre-made functions on a tangible user interface (TUI), while observing and comparing results on a graphical user interface (GUI). Through the combination of a TUI and GUI, the learners will be able to gain basic understanding of of function composition in a fun and engaging way.
We introduce a simple, tangible interface for sequencing digital videos that combines the intuitiveness of physical film editing with the flexibility of current digital video editors. Users interact with the interface by moving around physical clip and effect blocks, with options to preview their built video, save videos, and import new videos. This project aims to engage users in basic video editing, foster collaboration, and build digital storytelling literacy.
Transitioning students from arithmetic to algebraic thinking is a primary challenge in mathematics education. Visual patterns and physical manipulatives can be helpful, but students often struggle to see the connections between different representations. Manipul8 combines visual patterns with physical manipulatives and provides digital scaffolding to help students develop representational fluency. Using a tabletop tangible user interface, students manipulate equation frames with cutouts for quadratic, linear, and constant terms. Tangible, interchangeable terms are represented either traditionally or as quantities of shapes. The projected digital image provides real-time feedback showing algebraic growth patterns generated from the user-chosen equation structure and terms. Color provides scaffolding for noticing the connections between the equation's terms and visual-pattern-based representations.
As the importance of computational devices grows in today's technology-driven society, tools for teaching computational literacy are becoming more necessary. While microcontrollers have been shown to be an effective way to develop computational literacy in young learners, microcontrollers' accessibility is limited due to their cost. We present domino, a mobile platform that turns the phone into a microcontroller using its inbuilt sensors and actuators. Learners can create their own cause-and-effect apps with the phone's sensors as inputs and existing applications as outputs. In this paper, we reflect on the design aspects of domino that enable learners to use their phones to problem-solve in everyday life, as well as the app's implications for future work in the area of computational literacy.
In this paper we present a serious game about collaborative storytelling in an effort to promote and give an outlet for empathy. It uses smartphones to provide cues and to visualize a story structure. This way, players will invent a story together. They have to play by turns, so this facilitates the empathic response inherent in both hearing and telling stories.
Although educators, researchers, and designers have increasingly advocated for developing computational thinking (CT) in young children, the vast majority of CT learning environments fail to support the development of positive attitudes towards problem solving, confidence in dealing with complexity, and communicating and working with others to achieve a goal. To address this issue, our design team developed a music-based puzzle game called SynthSync. The game challenges players to work collaboratively to "debug" jumbled musical compositions through close listening, tinkering, and communication. SynthSync players manipulate controls to adjust musical variables (pitch, note length, and the length of rests) in arhythmic and dissonant musical puzzles based on popular songs until they "discover" the original piece of music.
In this paper we present AssisT-Task, a mobile assistive application based on smartphones and QR Codes to help people with cognitive disabilities to do activities of the daily living. The system relies on dividing complex tasks into simpler steps, a strong visual support and adaptation to users' needs and contexts. As an example of use of the system, we describe a real world experience in uncontrolled settings in which AssisT-Task were used to teach one child how to wash his hands.
The Paper Piano is a beginner-friendly hands-on activity where participants build a working piano using paper and conductive paint and tune it to the notes of the pentatonic scale. The piano is powered by an Arduino microcontroller. This is part of a series of activities to teach science and engineering concepts using building, crafts, and art.
In this activity, participants learn about electrical resistance, how electricity flows through circuits, conductive materials, and the pentatonic scale. We have successfully demonstrated this activity to learners from elementary school age to college students, and participants frequently express genuine astonishment at their ability to construct a working electronic musical instrument out of everyday craft materials.
Research suggests that children with better social-emotional skills have greater academic success; but most schools still do not have a set social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum. 'Inside Out' is a three-part online tool for middle school classrooms that makes social-emotional learning accessible and supports teachers to track emotions and facilitate SEL activities. Students can evaluate how they experience and express emotion, understand others' emotional states and address these emotions through guided SEL activities in the classroom. Our initial demonstration received positive feedback, and we observed high engagement from children and teachers.
Though critical engagement with identity usually does not begin until adolescence, children begin developing the foundations of their understanding about identity at a young age. Patchwork is an interactive construction kit which enriches learners' experiences with identity reflection and expression. Learners are prompted to create patches with scaffolded electronic textile elements to express pieces of their own identity. Patchwork builds on the self expressive nature of traditional patches. Ultimately, the learner is scaffolded through both learning electronics as well as identity reflection and formation.
Haptic devices have the potential to enhance the learning experience by foregrounding embodied, sensory and multi-modal elements of learning topics. In this paper, we report on-going work investigating a game prototype with haptic feedback for seven year old children's engagement with geometrical concepts as part of an iterative design study. Our findings include a new game play mode adopted by the children, that empowers the use of haptic feedback in game play and has the potential to enable the enactment of shape properties in the game play process.
With increasing use of technology and the Internet among children, we explore how they create passwords to protect their personal information. We conducted a study with children 11 to 13 years to understand their password practices. The results of the study indicated that these children create simple passwords consisting of their personal information, believe that these passwords are hard for a stranger to guess and do not have good understanding of creating strong passwords.
In this article, we present DBugs, a large-scale physical tool designed for school children to learn computer programming. DBugs was designed to support the social aspects of classroom learning. In user two studies we found DBugs supported collaboration between students as the large-scale tangible cubes meant each student found a role in the group work. We also found that with the larger size of artefacts the individual students' actions became public and this promoted communication and collaboration between the group members for a successful outcome.
We describe work in progress on Deep Making, a framework for the design of curricular modules that facilitate learning of transferable content-knowledge in makerspaces and FabLabs. Concern about epistemological dilution and our experience in co-design work with educators in these settings has informed this theoretical framing. We discuss the need for such a set of modules and the educational theories that guide us in the process of designing them. We present a few examples of such modules and sketch out a research design to test their efficacy.
This paper presents the preliminary findings of a co-design study with children with mixed visual abilities to create a multisensory joint storytelling platform. Storytelling is a valuable way for children to express their imagination and creativity, and can be used as tool for inclusive learning. Children with visual impairments are typically educated in mainstream schools, and often encounter barriers to learning, particularly in group settings. To address some of these issues, we have been working with a group of children with visual impairments, their Teaching Assistants (TAs), and sighted friends, to design and develop multisensory storytelling technologies. This paper presents the findings of the first five design sessions. We also present the outcomes and challenges of working with mixed stakeholder, mixed visual-ability groups in participatory design.
Machine Learning (ML) processes are integrated into devices and services that affect many aspects of daily life. As a result, basic understanding of ML concepts becomes essential for people of all ages, including children. We studied if 10--12 years old children can understand basic ML concepts through direct experience with a digital stick-like device, in a WoZ-based experiment. To assess children's understanding we applied an experimental design including a pretest, a gesture recognition training activity, and a posttest. The tests included validating children's understanding of the gesture training activity, other gesture detection processes, and application to ML processes in daily scenarios. Our findings suggest that children are able to understand basic ML concepts, and can even apply them to a new context. We conclude that ML learning activities should allow children to sample their own examples and evaluate them in an iterative way, and proper feedback should be designed to gradually scaffold understanding.
The Reader's Theatre (RT) is a pedagogical activity, in which the children read aloud to an audience. Prior research established that the RT can be used to foster reading fluency and ultimately to increase reading skills . However, this activity still has the margin to grow its potential. One way to support and empower children in this pedagogical activity is by allowing them to collaboratively define digital media effects that can be triggered when the reading activity takes place. In this paper, we describe STREEN (Story Reading
Environmental Enrichment), an immersive multimodal learning environment, which was inspired in the classical Reader's Theatre. STREEN is being directed towards primary school children and follows a Design-Based Research approach. Following the description of the system, we share findings gathered in the co-design sessions with children and discuss the obtained design insights.
The Telling Board uses the concept of storyboarding (organizing graphics in sequence) to enable children ages 6 and up to conceptualize and build their own narratives. By populating square grids on the board with their choice of either pre-illustrated or their own hand drawn "story cards," children practice crafting stories in sequence from beginning to end. They are able to tell those stories and share them via a built-in recording mechanism on the board.
We hope to discover how The Telling Board drives creative thinking and may encourage children to practice verbal communication of personally meaningful stories. In this paper, we describe the design of The Telling Board, analyze the meaning of storyboarding, story crafting, and storytelling. In addition, we will explore future direction of the tool.
Popular tools used to search for online resources are tuned to satisfy a broad category of users---primarily adults. Because children have specific needs, these tools may not always be successful in offering the right level of support in their quest for information. While search tools often provide query assistance, children still face many difficulties expressing their information needs in the form of a query. In this paper, we share results from our ongoing research work focused on understanding children's interactions with query suggestions and their preferences with respect to suggestions offered by a general-purpose strategy versus a counterpart designed exclusively for children. Our goal is to inform researchers and developers about when it is necessary to turn to technologies tailored exclusively for children and to further outline needs that should be addressed when it comes to designing query-formulation-related technology for children.
Given the contemporary state of journalism and the frequent attacks to the press, more scholars, institutions and teachers have been claiming the importance of news literacy (NL) education. However, few studies exist about the impact of digital games designed to educate about the news making process. This paper presents the evaluation of a web-based prototype to teach NL to children from seven to ten years old. Findings show that children were very engaged with journalism simulation and gaming elements. Results also suggest that the system has the potential to have a positive learning outcome. This study contributes to the scholarly debate by giving voice to children in evaluating what features work best in systems designed to teach NL. Based on this exploratory approach we discuss design improvements for this kind of platform. We also describe approaches for future studies in this area.
Blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) is an intensive therapy for patients with life-threatening hematologic cancer as well as non-cancer diagnoses. Children, adolescents and young adults undergoing BMT ("pediatric patients") experience intensive medical procedures during their treatment and post-treatment recovery phases. We conducted a field study to identify common barriers that interfere with pediatric patient engagement in the management of their health and challenges that caregivers confront. Our study revealed four main factors. By exploring emerging themes, we suggest design opportunities for health technology to support patients and their caregivers over the course of long-term outpatient management.
Outdoor play has known benefits for children's development, and studies show it is in decline. Heads-Up Games have been proposed as a possible solution, in some cases with an integrated coding platform to enrich play variety. In this pilot study we set out to evaluate a Scratch-based coding platform for outdoor play. The code primitives control digital features of a stick-like outdoor play object. We observed children's play patterns with the coding platform and with the play object, and report on three distinct patterns: "Basic Exploration", "Advanced Exploration", and "Game Invention". Our preliminary findings show that all children began with "Basic Exploration" and progressed either to "Advanced Exploration" or "Game Invention". With regards to outdoor play benefits, the "Game Invention" pattern was associated with more collaborative social interaction, physical activity, and "heads up" interaction. We discuss the implications for future coding platforms designed for outdoor play.
School mission statements promising to transform students into leaders have become commonplace. Yet there appears to be a disconnect between educational practices and their application to real challenges pertaining to students' communities and to society as a whole. This gap results in a low sense of agency and presents an opportunity to develop tools that foster informed civic engagement and participation.
In this paper, we describe a participatory design study conducted with high schoolers from multiple cities in California, USA. After four months, researchers and students developed an interactive map-based tool to weave narratives of local participation and lead adolescents to act upon their neighborhoods' challenges. By manipulating map layers, students were able to augment physical spaces and learned to conceive critical stories about their surroundings. Our preliminary results show that the context of use, sustained interest, and motivation are key factors of success. We finish this article by describing the upcoming steps of our work.
Programming is an effective way to foster children's computational thinking. We present AR-Maze, which is a novel tangible programming tool using Augmented Reality (AR) technology for young children. AR-Maze superposes constant feedback on the physical world and maintains a positive, low-cost learning environment. Using this system, children could create their own programs by arranging programming blocks and debug or execute the code with a mobile device. In addition, they will be able to learn fundamental programming concepts, such as parameters, loop logic, debug, etc. We design and implement this system, as well as conduct a preliminary user study and analyze the results, which can guide a better design of AR-Maze. With this work, we intend to help children programming in an interesting and intuitive way.
This paper presents a co-design toolkit, Storytelling Shapes, that enables children to tell personal stories using various wooden shapes. Starting from these stories, designers can engage in a conversation about children's needs and wishes. The toolkit was tested and improved based on a pilot study and two co-design sessions with 16 children aged 6 to 11. After introducing the toolkit and discussing its iterative development, the paper concludes with a set of guidelines for using Storytelling Shapes in co-design activities with children.
Today's children are growing up with smart toys, Internet-connected devices that use artificial intelligence to drive interactive play. In a prior research study, we found that children ages 4--10 perceive these toys as worthy of trust . This leads us to inquire if children in this age range could be directly influenced by these devices. In this work, we used a conformity test and a disobedience task to study how children are influenced by a talking doll. We found that the doll could influence children to change their judgments about moral transgressions, however it was unsuccessful in persuading children to disobey an instruction. Finally, we analyzed children's perceptions of the smart toy and discusses implications of this work for future child-agent interaction.
Social capital and privilege, along with the constrictions of social stereotypes, can adversely impact a child's perception of the world. This paper describes the development and implementation of an interactive tangible tool for children aged 7--9, to be played with in schools across Pakistan to assess levels of socioeconomic and gender biases among them, as well as to gauge its comparative benefits over traditional detection methods. In order to obtain more concrete results, the tool has been developed as a theme-based game board for obfuscation, to divert the users' attention from the attributes being evaluated so that the investigative nature of the tool does not significantly hinder users from responding naturally.
Algebra is deemed necessary for access to STEM courses and career fields. Research suggests that the low performance experienced nationwide is due to a weakened arithmetic foundation needed before the transition to algebraic thinking. African-Americans, in particular, are underperforming in Algebra, and many other levels of math. This research explores the intersection of African-American culture and educational technology to strengthen their foundation by improving skills necessary for success in Algebra 1. 6th and 7th grade African-American students were participants in a gesture elicitation to garner gestural input for the development of an educational technology designed to assist in pre-Algebra practice. Preliminary classification results suggested agreement for eight of the nine functional tasks assigned to the participants.
Programming has become an essential subject for today's education curriculum and as a result, the importance of creating the right environments to teach is increasing. For such environments, featuring tangible tools enhances creativity and collaboration. However, due to their high prices, current tangible tools are not reachable by most of the students. We developed Code Notes as a low-cost, attainable and tangible tool aimed to motivate children to support programming education. Code Notes is comprised of an Android app and code-cardboards to teach the basic concepts in programming. We continue to develop the platform with insights gained from children. This paper shares the design phases of Code Notes and observations from our two-month programming project. We also presented some future concepts of Code Notes that offer an active and embodied interaction with the teaching material.
We developed and explored four increasing levels of embodied interaction - animation, mouse, joy-stick and haptic - to support chemistry students in grasping the attraction-repulsion forces and energy changes involved in chemical bonding. These topics are difficult to grasp as there are no analogues from everyday life for both attractions and repulsions happening simultaneously. Our theoretical framework is based on embodied learning theory by relating conceptual learning to bodily experiences. The study uses quantitative and qualitative methods with 48 high-school students in a pretest-intervention-posttest design. Our findings show that there is an increase in students' conceptual understanding in all four levels of embodiment, with significant higher learning gain in the haptic condition. Additional differences in the higher embodied levels are higher resolution of the information accessed and described, more scientific descriptions of bonding, and multiple perspectives of the phenomenon.
Play-in particular adult-child play---is an important component of child development. This article investigates how to design for adult-child play through Sound Happening, an interactive installation for musical play. We present a preliminary analysis of participant interactions with Sound Happening at The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, where a total of 112 children and 53 adults interacted with the exhibit. The data from these interactions indicates that Sound Happening can facilitate both verbal parental engagement and partnered adult-child play. We highlight several features of Sound Happening that can be used as design principles for adult-child play environments. These include incorporating embodied interfaces, designing for multiple levels of engagement, and utilizing culturally recognizable interaction modalities.
In this paper, we discuss possibilities for how digital tools can support children with intellectual disabilities to carry out leisure activities. Leisure activities play an important role for physiological and psychological well-being, but children with intellectual disabilities carry out less leisure activities than others. In order to investigate what factors are important for supporting children with intellectual disabilities to carry out leisure activities, we have developed a mobile application, Plan&Do, acting as a technology probe. The contribution of this paper is based on results from a situated evaluation, and consist of a raised awareness of the many challenges parents and children face when choosing and preparing for taking part in a leisure activity, as well as early results from how this can be supported, and directions for future work.
This paper explores how co-design activities in schools can contribute to developing children's empathy. A pilot case study is presented in which eight 10- to 12-year-old children participated. The design theme was outdoor education. After discussing the co-design procedure, preliminary results about three empathic techniques are discussed: (1) reflection on the role of empathy in design, (2) storytelling to introduce the design challenge, and (3) defining the needs and wishes of the story's protagonists. The lessons learned are taken into account in a comprehensive follow-up study.
Past efforts have demonstrated efficacy in broadening maker learning and participation by leveraging the material affordances and implicit presumptions associated with content creation tools. Past work has found that the purposeful integration of activities that blend multiple toolkits to create integrated designs [17;19;20] can both broaden the understanding of these affordances and demonstrate equitable and inclusive outcomes for adolescent youth. We illustrate early stage findings from an interaction analysis of the micro- and meso-level learning and collaborative processes that children and early adolescent learners engaged in throughout purposefully arranged multi-interface design projects to understand their agency and engagement over time and across activities.
With increasing focus on integrating 3D printing in educational settings, more emphasis needs to be placed on how to introduce young students to the complexities of the 3D printing process. Inspired by the patrons of 3D printer services, we engage children in a simplified 3D printing process. We conducted a study with two 3rd grade public school science classes over 4 days, where students were tasked to print 3D designs they find online for use in a class presentation. Initial findings identify challenges within this process, and show indications of emerging interest towards 3D printing.
In this paper, we explore the possible contribution of game modification (or modding) process to the development of Computational Thinking skills by discussing the design of ChoiCo (Choices with Consequences), an online digital environment for game creation and modding. ChoiCo integrates three different affordances for designing its games: a map-based (GIS) game scene, a simplified database and block-based programming editors. We also present a pilot study in which Junior High School students used ChoiCo for creating mods of a given digital game, based on a three-step modding scenario.
Distance has become inevitable in this modern society. Families are separated temporarily or permanently depending on different contexts as migration, divorce or death. Hence, it becomes a great challenge on parents and children separated through long distance. However, parents struggle to keep intimacy through technology in order to create memorable impacts in the lives of their children. Children have a strong sense of recalling events which contributes to bonding and intimacy after such distant relationships. This paper reflects on the researcher's experience of distant separation to present design opportunities as work in progress for using life logging technologies within this context.
In this workshop, we invite researchers to jointly explore how the Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) field can establish intermediate-level knowledge, being a kind of design knowledge that resides in the realm between the design of particular artifacts and theories. In this full day workshop we want to invite (1) researchers and designers who position themselves as producing intermediate-level knowledge (2) people in the field of design research who have not necessarily thought about their work as producing intermediate-level knowledge. Together we will discuss the pros and cons of different kinds of intermediate-level knowledge and how we can promote the creation of these kinds of knowledge in the CCI field.
Resources for children are abundant, but finding suitable and appropriate resources for children in our information-rich society can be challenging. Due to this abundance of information, systems to find and recommend appropriate information for children are needed. Recommender systems (RS) for children have only recently begun to be researched. This area of research brings together researchers in education, child-development, computer scientists, designers, and more who address several issues including those related to education, algorithms, ethics, privacy, security. In this workshop we will: discuss and identify issues related to RS designed for children including challenges and limitations, discuss possible solutions to the identified challenges and plan for future research, and of critical importance work to build a community that explicitly looks at these critical issues. This workshop has a specific theme of educationally-related recommendations, but welcomes other child-oriented recommender system contributions.
The fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), computer gaming and activities with digital technologies associated with the Maker movement are still dominated by a rather homogeneous group of (mostly white male) people though there are numerous initiatives and research attempting to change this. With this workshop we aim to bring together researchers, designers, educators and practitioners in IDC to share experience and explore how we can shape and create (learning) environments and tools to sustainably engage girls of diverse backgrounds and all ages in STEM, gaming and Making.
Robotics is a multidisciplinary and highly innovative field. Recently, multiple and often minimally connected sub-communities of child-robot interaction have started to emerge, variously focusing on the design issues, engineering, and applications of robotic platforms and toolkits. Despite increasing public interest in robots, including robots for children, child-robot interaction research remains highly fragmented and lacks regular cross-disciplinary venues for discussion and dissemination. This workshop will bring together researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds. It will serve as a venue in which to reflect on the current circumstances in which child-robot research is conducted, articulate emerging and "near future" challenges, and discuss actions and tools with which to meet those challenges and consolidate the field.
Teams of students creating digital artefacts using crafts, 3D printing, electronics, microcontrollers, and computer programming can result in significant science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) learning. An ecosystem of carefully selected tools, diverse project ideas, and a well-designed pedagogic structure can greatly facilitate this.
The workshop will begin with a presentation by the eCraft2Learn project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework. This includes a unified user interface to a large set of tools for ideation, planning, creating, programming, and sharing. Support has been developed to enable children to create AI programs that rely upon cloud services . Learning analytics provides guidance to teachers and coaches  . An augmented reality application has been developed to aid team 3D design. Results from pilot studies will be presented.
Following the eCraft2Learn presentations researchers from the world over that are working on incorporating the maker movement into education and learning will present and demonstrate their work. Participants will determine topics for panel discussions.
The design of Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) has often involved children. Nowadays, the term co-creation is gaining momentum and extending the already established role of children as co-designers. In this sense children become creators of new personalized experiences not only during the design process but also when using the final interactive products. Such dynamic opens new possibilities reshaping the role and the development of tangibles by providing users "building blocks" for creative experimentations. This workshop aims at bringing together researchers and practitioners from relevant disciplines and expertise to reflect on the co-creation approach, and on the possibilities that it opens for the development of innovative tools that place the users in the center of the creative process. Contributions to this workshop may address diverse aspects related to co-creation from different perspectives. The ultimate aim of the workshop is to discuss the research challenges and the pedagogical issues that need to be addressed when designing TUIs for co-creation.
The objective of this course, is to introduce participants to location-based games and the challenges relating of designing such games for children. Key characteristics of this game genre are introduced first, followed by a design framework and a set of design guidelines. Examples of location-based games will be presented and typical design patterns as extracted from previous workshops will be discussed. Typical course participants include interaction designers, game designers and developers, practitioners and researchers interested in location-based games and mobile learning.
Doing research with children requires special attention to recruitment, fair inclusion, and methods. Drawing on over fifteen years of experience of working with children in HCI contexts, this practical course will give attendees essential knowledge to do safe, effective and ethically sound research with children. The course covers the whole research journey, from recruitment through to publication. The course is delivered in a two-hour session.
Designing technology for and with children comes with unique ethical challenges and responsibilities, related both to the inclusion of children in the research and design processes and to the outcomes of that work. With this panel, our intention is to create a forum for critical reflection and debate about best practices, underlying drivers and persistent or emergent ethical challenges. As a starting point, this panel aims to focus on questions around the involvement of children in our research and we aim to hear from designers and researchers in this community with different backgrounds and perspectives to reflect the diversity of work being done and cultures in which they are conducted.
Create will be a platform that allows pre-adolescents (8--11 year olds) to collaboratively illustrate short stories. The core function of the app allows children to read a daily story, and then connect with other users online to illustrate different elements from the story at the same time. Each user within a group will be assigned one element (such as a character, location, or prop) to draw. After a set amount of time, the drawing session will end, bringing the users to the resulting illustrated story. Additional functions in the platform include browsing others' creations from past stories and allowing children to illustrate freely and independently. This project is meant to be an opportunity for children to use their imagination while improving their artistic skills, and to see how others visually interpret the same stories.
We propose a tablet-based learning game that features cultures from all countries based on a selected time period. Children are a part of a world that is vast, and they want to interact with it. Discovering and exploring new lands is an activity that promotes open-mindedness, respect and other traits that are important for children in multicultural societies. The child will navigate through a timeline and see selections and locations that had a large impact during that time period, giving them an experience that includes space and time. This will allow them to immerse themselves completely in a culture or time of their choosing to acquire a more complete understand of the world and the cultures in it.
Dream Stones is a set of physical programmable robotic balls that facilitates new intercultural meanings for children. It weaves together the benefits of physical embodied play with tinkering in material making of technology that connects and transcends. The paper is contextualized in over 40 ideas from children around the world who facilitated our design thinking.