Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children
Time and place:
The IDC conference is a leading international forum for exploring childrens' and youngsters' needs in relationship to technology, i.e. exploring how to create interactive products for and with them, and investigating how technology-mediated experiences affect their life.
The following articles are from "Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children":
Cole, Charlotte (2008): The world's longest street: how Sesame Street is working to meet a diversity of children's needs across the globe. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 01. Available online
For nearly four decades, Sesame Workshop has brought the joy of learning to the world's youngest citizens through locally-produced co-productions of the preschool television series, sesame street. With their own puppet characters and sets, these multi-media projects are specifically designed to forward educational messages that reflect the cultural, linguistic and developmental contexts of the children making up their various audiences. This address will describe the process by which these adaptations are developed in-country by local production teams and will highlight examples of content from some of the nearly thirty indigenously produced versions of Sesame Street's television, radio, on-line and other media projects. The challenges of providing a diverse array of educational messages -- from gender equity in Egypt, to HIV/AIDS education in South Africa -- will be at the heart of the presentation. The talk will conclude with an outline of what research says about the impact of Sesame Street's international work.
Ackermann, Edith (2008): Toys to fall for or live with?. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 02. Available online
Children's Attachments to Artifacts tackles some of the paradoxes generated by "instant" consumer satisfaction approaches, including cognitive studies, and advocates a developmental approach to studying how a child's relation with artifacts evolves over time (I grow with my toys, and my toys grow with me).
Alfano, Kathleen (2008): What works, what doesn't, and/or how to make it work?. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 03. Available online
Industry collaborates with developmental experts to gain a deeper understanding and broader perspective of how particular toys, or products, can meet desired developmental goals. Experts' evaluations are valued and recommendations taken seriously. However the collaboration doesn't always result in a magical toy that is brought to market and sells millions. This talk describes some successful and some not-too-successful collaborations and suggest best practices for successful ones.
Strommen, Erik (2008): Testing interfaces that do not exist. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 04. Available online
Traylor, Scott (2008): Rethinking product research when time is on your side, but funds are not!. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 05. Available online
This is the story of how a technology without a specific audience or guiding research was influenced by exploiting the uniqueness of the technology coupled with child research that influenced prototype development. My company has been working on a unique character recognition technology for preschoolers for many years now. It's a pet project that has not gone to market but keeps getting improved upon.
Gee, James Paul (2008): What's a screen mean in a video game?. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 06. Available online
Video games are not "screen based" activities in the sense in which television and movie watching are. In fact, for reasons I will discuss, players are actually, in a sense, both inside and outside the screen. This allows for the development of what I have called "projective identities", as well as a variety of other effects that cause video games to be interactive and to engage learning in different ways than do television, movies, or books, for that matter. In addition, these differences mean, as well, that narrative works differently in video games than it does in television, movies, and books. However, not all video games work in the way I will describe and, thus, there is not, as far as I am concerned, a general theory of video games, let alone screens.
Anderson, Dan (2008): Dan Anderson -- University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 07. Available online
Shribman, Bill (2008): Thinking inside the box: tales from the trenches. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 08. Available online
Guernsey, Lisa (2008): Screen cultures: cross-pollination between videogame and television research. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. p. 09. Available online
Charoenying, Timothy (2008): Accountable game designs for classroom learning. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 1-5. Available online
A simple yet powerful design strategy for leveraging children's natural proclivity to play has been to tie educational content to the rules of a game. A common criticism of many game designs used in classroom settings however, is that they fail to meaningfully embody content. Another, more subtle problem, is that design elements such as chance and skill; competitive versus cooperative roles; and criteria for success can influence the affective dispositions for students to participate, and by extension learn. While strategies for creating and understanding games ranging from athletic activities to video games have been articulated, there continues to be a need to examine the theoretical elements of game design in order to develop a practical, coherent pedagogy of implementation and use that is applicable to games, teacher practice, and curriculum. This study is focused on examining the socio-cultural forces that motivate students to play and, potentially, learn when they participate in in- and out-of-classroom games as well as the cognition and construction of knowledge structures that take place while playing, and is intertwined with my work on designs for accountable games -- playful activities that take into consideration both the learning requirements and goals of the educator and the social and developmental needs of the learner.
Garzotto, Franca and Schelhowe, Heidi (2008): Marginalized young people: inclusion through ICT. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 101-104. Available online
The paper introduces the field of Interaction Design for Marginalized Young People, which is the matter of discussion during the homonymous workshop held at IDC 2008. We summarize backgrounds, problems, and topics for this emerging field. We argue that awareness for the digital divide in today's societies has to become a major concern, even now when inclusion is no longer a matter of access to computers and the Internet only, but a matter of why and how. The paper gives a short overview on the papers that have been selected for presentation at the workshop. These contributions span from describing projects in developing countries to theoretical aspects of the field to practical software design solutions for overcoming the gap.
Dervan, Siobhán, Hall, Tony and Knight, Sarah (2008): Interaction design for kid's technology-enhanced environmental education. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 105-108. Available online
In this paper we describe a technologically enhanced, environmental peer-education project. This intergenerational program is called the Digital Hedge School (DHS) project; the central focus of which is the students' visit to a local informal learning environment i.e. Brigit's Garden . At the garden students explore and play, learning about habitats, food chains, indigenous species and our relationship with the environment. Species field notes recorded by the students during the visit are uploaded to Brigit's Virtual Garden , a replica garden in a Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE). Pre and post visits are made to their schools to scaffold the informal garden experience which is supplemented with technological and traditional learning tools. Design-based research (DBR) methods were employed to devise the DHS program and technological interventions. The iterative design process involved technical experts, educators, domain experts, garden staff and the student's themselves.
Goodwin, Matthew S., Intille, Stephen S., Velicer, Wayne F. and Groden, June (2008): Sensor-enabled detection of stereotypical motor movements in persons with autism spectrum disorder. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 109-112. Available online
Stereotypical motor movements are one of the most common and least understood behaviors occurring in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Problems with traditional methods for measuring movement stereotypy make it difficult to accurately determine when and why these behaviors occur. The current research overcomes previous measurement problems by utilizing wireless accelerometers and pattern recognition software to automatically and reliably detect stereotypical motor movements such as body rocking and hand flapping in children with ASD.
Ito, Toshitaka, Nguyen, Tuan Ngoc and Sugimoto, Masanori (2008): A storytelling support system using robots and handheld projectors. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 113-116. Available online
In this paper, a system called GENTORO that supports children's storytelling activities is proposed. By using GENTORO, children can make a robot play their story in the real world augmented with mobile projected graphical images. Preliminary user studies have been conducted in collaboration with elementary school children and university students, in order to investigate the acceptance level of GENTORO and clarify its design requirements, respectively. The development of GENTORO is in progress. The future plans of the GENTORO project are discussed.
This paper introduces robot intervention, a novel approach to usability testing with children. A social robot is used as a proxy for a test administrator who conducts an active intervention session remotely in a Wizard of Oz fashion. The motivation of the technique is that children will feel at ease and enjoy interacting with the social robot, and thus produce more frequent and informative verbalizations regarding their interaction with the product under test. First experiences regarding this method are positive with regards to the feasibility of the method and with regards to how well it is received by children.
Monibi, Mohamad and Hayes, Gillian R. (2008): Mocotos: mobile communications tools for children with special needs. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 121-124. Available online
Children with special needs often struggle to communicate about even the most basic of concepts. For children who cannot verbally communicate, augmentative visual communications tools can enable them to get their needs met, to socialize, and more. Despite these benefits, the tools currently available have many shortcomings. In this paper, we present results from a preliminary formative study focused on understanding current tools, and determine needs for the design of new tools. We also present the design of Mocotos, a new class of mobile communications tools for children with special needs.
This poster presents the ongoing prototyping and development of interactive environments that seek to support physical and virtual exploration, collaboration and co-construction, called ThinkeringSpaces. Starting with the description of the system, it is focused on the progression of iterations, based on research findings, giving a macro view of the design process and some details of the prototyping methods applied.
Nelson, Elia J. and Freier, Nathan G. (2008): Push-me, pull-me: describing and designing technologies for varying degrees of reflection and invention. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 129-132. Available online
This poster suggests a terminological continuum from reflection (push) to invention (pull) for describing children's technologies. Situated as social actors in the zone of proximal development, children's technologies support diverse developmental processes, from the invention sparked by a blank canvas to the metacognitive reflection suggested by maintaining and revisiting a progress portfolio. It is suggested that affect-neutral terminology for situating specific technologies along this continuum will assist designers in their own processes of invention and reflection.
Girard, Sylvie and Johnson, Hilary (2008): Designing and evaluating affective open-learner modeling tutors. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 13-16. Available online
Research in educational technology is interested in the creation of learning environments providing an optimized learning experience for its users. Researchers have been seeking design methods and techniques that help create applications capturing the user's attention without distracting him/her from the task at hand. However, there are few ergonomics guidelines, design or evaluation principles/heuristics currently available concerning the learner modeling component of educational software designed for children. The research aims to investigate the impact of embedded interactive user models and emotive interface personas in educational software for primary school children. The contribution of the work will provide an understanding of the design and evaluation techniques that can be used to create attractive learner models, easily accessible and understandable by children, through the use of affective components.
Paulson, Brandon, Eoff, Brian, Wolin, Aaron, Johnston, Joshua and Hammond, Tracy (2008): Sketch-based educational games: "drawing" kids away from traditional interfaces. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 133-136. Available online
Computer-based games and technologies can be significant aids for helping children learn. However, most computer-based games simply address the learning styles of visual and auditory learners. Sketch-based interfaces, however, can also address the needs of those children who learn better through tactile and kinesthetic approaches. Furthermore, sketch recognition can allow for automatic feedback to aid children without the explicit need for teacher to be present. In this paper, we present various sketch-based tools and games that promote tactile learning and entertainment for children.
Peppler, Kylie A. and Kafai, Yasmin B. (2008): Youth as media art designers: workshops for creative coding. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 137-140. Available online
We describe our efforts to bring media arts into design work with the goals to introduce new expressive forms in programming to urban youth. We're presenting the findings from a series of workshop organized together with professional media artists that focused on immersion, interaction, color and perspective using Scratch, a media-rich programming environment. Our findings illustrate that a focused introduction of these features can be easily accomplished and help young designers to become more sophisticated in their creative expression. In the discussion we outline suggestions for activity and theme designs for future workshops.
Reichel, Milena and Schelhowe, Heidi (2008): Living labs: driving innovation through civic involvement. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 141-144. Available online
In this paper we describe our approach of involving children and young people in processes of innovation using the concept of "living labs". For this purpose we use construction kits made for children and young people for high-fidelity prototyping. We argue that design with children can be extended from educational intentions towards participation in innovation processes and towards civic engagement. As a showcase we demonstrate novel products children invented and created during a design session in the field of "Smart Textiles".
Riekhoff, Joanne and Markopoulos, Panos (2008): Sampling young children's experiences with cultural probes. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 145-148. Available online
This paper discusses our experience with combining Cultural Probes and Experience Sampling as a design research method for inquiries involving young children. While we report on just a single case, we believe this to be a valuable experience showing some of the problems that have to be addressed in surveying emotions and experiences over time, some of the solutions we proposed but also the potential of the method.
Shimabukuro, Renata Yumi (2008): Designing an interactive spoken help application for preschool children. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 149-152. Available online
Interactive television applications for preschool aged children lack suitable instructions. The applications available provide only textual help, which is a barrier for young children who can not read yet. The aim of this study is to present spoken help guidelines and interactive conversation principles as an alternative when designing instructions for preschoolers. This paper also provides a brief overview of an on-going project to develop an interactive spoken Help.
Silva, Maria Joao, Pestana, Bruno and Lopes, João Correia (2008): Using a mobile phone and a geobrowser to create multisensory geographic information. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 153-156. Available online
This document describes how we are using mobile phones together with Google Earth to allow children to create multisensory geographic information in learning and participatory contexts.
Smith, Andrew Cyrus (2008): Handcrafted physical syntax elements for illetterate children: initial concepts. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 157-160. Available online
We present two technology-augmented physical materials that illetterate coders can sculpt for use as physical syntax elements in a tangible early-programming learning environment. Two physical coding sequences are given. We conclude with the listing of further work required.
KEI-Time Traveler is a system using commercially available phones equipped with GPS. It enables students to do fieldwork with a visit to a past environment from the corresponding location in the present world. Students experienced such fieldwork to visit the site of a landslide disaster in 1938. We evaluated the system and found that KEI-Time Traveler enhanced motivation and helped students learn about their local area's history.
The multibillion-dollar educational toy industry is fueled, in part, by parents who feel pressured to promote their children's learning beginning in the first three years of life. Parents buy educational and electronic learning toys even in the absence of evidence of their efficacy. In this study, parents were administered a survey designed to probe parental perceptions of the developmental claims on toy packaging as well as toy purchasing patterns. We found that parents intuitively assign claims to major developmental domains and that parents themselves formed distinct clusters with regard to the level of influence they reported for these categories of claims. That ambivalent parents consistently purchased the most toys suggests that media and societal influences may be a persuasive factor in parental thinking and toy purchasing especially for receptive parents. One implication of this research is that children's play and learning environments and their exposure to device interfaces is proximally mediated by parental factors.
Noack, Nicholas, Lindtner, Silvia, Nguyen, Josef and Hayes, Gillian R. (2008): LoRy: a locative story game to encourage playful and social learning. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 169-170. Available online
In this paper, we introduce LoRy, a system for an interactive story telling game that engages children in reflective ways on issues around healthy nutrition. LoRy provides distributed information from different perspectives in a ubiquitous computing environment where children can explore, gather, combine, and reconfigure information.
The LinguaBytes-project is a three-year research project aimed at developing an adaptive, interactive, tangible play and learning system to stimulate the early language competencies of toddlers at a developmental age between 1 and 4 years -- with severe motor and/or multiple disabilities. It serves as the main case study for the first author's PhD research on designing adaptive products. We believe that children from the above-mentioned, highly heterogeneous user group could benefit greatly from products or interfaces that could either be adjusted (adaptability) or adjust themselves (adaptivity) to their individual needs. Advances in technology are gradually enabling designers to create such products, but guidelines that help designers do this are scarce. Designers need more insight in the implications of adaptivity and adaptability on the form and content of their design in order to make good design decisions. Using a research-through-design method, we try to generate some of the knowledge that can help designers, not only when designing products or interfaces for this specific user group, but also for heterogeneous user groups in general.
Ohring, Peter (2008): Web-based multi-player games to encourage flexibility and social interaction in high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 171-172. Available online
In this Demo we demonstrate work in progress on the Flexibility Learning on the Web (FLOW) project. This project centers on developing interactive, multi-player, cooperative web-based games and activities to reduce rigidity and enhance social interaction in children with high-functioning autism and Aspergers. These games and activities are targeted at primary-school aged children.
Silver, Jay (2008): Camera for the invisible. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 173-174. Available online
I built a camera for exploring and experimenting with the urban environment. The camera doesn't sense light, but rather things that the eye can't see like CO2, temperature, wind, etc. I plan to try out this "camera for the invisible" with urban-explorers-to-be, guided by Duckworth's Piagetian-derived Critical Exploration methodology.
Staudt, Carolyn, Zucker, Andrew, Hazzard, Ed, McIntyre, Cynthia and Fentress, Sam (2008): Universal design for learning in science: more than multiple representations. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 175-177. Available online
In this paper we describe how a science curriculum designed with Universal Design for Learning principles could make all elementary classrooms more accessible for young students.
Antle, Alissa N., Droumeva, Milena and Corness, Greg (2008): Playing with the sound maker: do embodied metaphors help children learn?. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 178-185. Available online
In this paper we present the results of a comparative study that explores the potential benefits of using embodied interaction to help children, aged 7 to 10, learn abstract concepts related to musical sounds. Forty children learned to create musical sound sequences using an interactive sound making environment. Half the children used a version of the system that instantiated a body-based metaphor in the mapping layer connecting body movements to output sounds. The remaining children used a version of the same environment that did not instantiate a metaphor in the mapping layer. In general, children were able to more accurately demonstrate sound sequences in the embodied metaphor based system version. However, we observed that children often resorted to spatial rather than body-based metaphors and that the mapping must be easily discoverable as well as metaphorical to provide benefit.
Garzotto, Franca (2008): Broadening children's involvement as design partners: from technology to "experience. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 186-193. Available online
Many existing studies discuss the participation of children as design partners in the development of technology. In this paper, we shift the focus from technology to experience, and propose to broaden the role of children to become experience designer partners. We exemplify our approach by discussing a case study in the educational domain. We conducted a contextual inquiry study in a local primary school for over three months, working with twenty four children aged 10-11 who used an online tool for cooperative hyperstorytelling. Our research shows that children of this age can participate in experience design not only as informants but also as co-designers. This intergenerational partnership brings a number of educational benefits to children involved in this process. It also suggests innovative solutions in the way technology can be exploited in an educational setting.
Horn, Michael S., Solovey, Erin Treacy and Jacob, Robert J. K. (2008): Tangible programming and informal science learning: making TUIs work for museums. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 194-201. Available online
In this paper we describe the design and initial evaluation of a tangible computer programming exhibit for children on display at the Boston Museum of Science. We also discuss five design considerations for tangible interfaces in science museums that guided our development and evaluation. In doing so, we propose the notion of passive tangible interfaces. Passive tangibles serve as a way to address practical issues involving tangible interaction in public settings and as a design strategy to promote reflective thinking. Results from our evaluation indicate that passive tangibles can preserve many of the benefits of tangible interaction for informal science learning while remaining cost-effective and reliable.
Hourcade, Juan Pablo, Perry, Keith B. and Sharma, Aditya (2008): PointAssist: helping four year olds point with ease. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 202-209. Available online
Children's difficulty in point-and-click tasks using indirect pointing devices such as the mouse has been documented in several studies. This difficulty is manifested in a lack of control near the target, which often results in children clicking inaccurately. This paper presents and evaluates PointAssist, a tool that helps children in pointing tasks by detecting the type of motion that occurs when children have difficulty pointing at a target, and triggering a precision mode that slows the speed of the mouse cursor in those cases. We conducted a study with 30 four year old participants who completed point-and-click tasks with and without PointAssist. PointAssist provided participants with significant advantages in terms of click accuracy, enabling them to be as accurate as 18 to 22 year olds in a previous study with a very similar setup.
Horn, Michael S. (2008): Tangible computer programming for informal science learning. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 21-24. Available online
The goal of this project is to develop a tangible programming language for use in informal science learning and to evaluate its effectiveness. As part of this effort, we will explore the relative strengths and weaknesses of tangible and graphical interaction for this task in the context of an exhibit on robotics on display at the Boston Museum of Science. We hypothesize that a tangible programming language will be practical for use in informal science settings and will offer significant advantages in terms of learning and quality of interaction.
Huang, Kevin, Smith, Jesse, Spreen, Kimberly and Jones, Mary Frances (2008): Breaking the sound barrier: designing an interactive tool for language acquisition in preschool deaf children. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 210-216. Available online
This paper introduces a new interactive tool for teaching ASL to deaf preschool children. Our design makes use of a familiar form-factor, that of a teddy bear, to create a tangible media solution to presenting video content and providing intuitive means of interaction. Children interact with the system by "showing" the bear RFID flash cards to trigger ASL videos on an embedded LCD screen. The system supports different modes of learning and the ability to track the user's progress over time. Here we describe the design, prototyping, and evaluation of this system, which has been well-received in our initial pilot study. At the time of submission, a more empirically-based evaluation is under development.
Katterfeldt, Eva-Sophie and Schelhowe, Heidi (2008): A modelling tool to support children making their ideas work. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 218-225. Available online
Children can be considered as innovative thinkers and as contributors to novel creations in emerging fields of science and technology, e.g. robotics or smart textiles. How can we support them in making their ideas for future society work? Based on a constructionist learning approach, this paper proposes a modelling tool -- a software application which enables children to implement running prototypes even of their intricate ideas. It supports them in abstracting their concrete ideas gradually into rather formal programs for their prototypes. The tool follows a novel approach by combining reverse storyboarding with diagrammatic representation techniques, while holding a strong connection to concrete construction objects. Children's first tests imply that they succeed in modelling their ideas with the tool, and that it can support the implementation of own ideas along with the modelling and abstraction process.
Lamberty, K. K. (2008): Creating mathematical artifacts: extending children's engagement with math beyond the classroom. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 226-233. Available online
Math manipulatives help children understand abstract concepts through concrete interactions. In this paper, I describe children's use of a computational manipulative and how that use spread beyond the classroom context. The manipulative supports children as they attempt to make connections between the abstract targeted content (in this case, fractions and symmetry) and concrete instantiations of those concepts (in this case, quilt block designs they have created). The children engaging with the software in this socio-technical environment were excited about creating designs to share, and they talked about their designs in a mathematical way. Their math talk seemed to be supported in many ways during the activities, and the artifacts they created extended their engagement with this learning activity outside of math class.
Malcolm, Peter, Moher, Tom, Bhatt, Darshan, Uphoff, Brian and López-Silva, Brenda (2008): Embodying scientific concepts in the physical space of the classroom. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 234-241. Available online
Several simulation environments exist that create a place in which students can explore scientific phenomena. In this paper, we propose design guidelines for creating a classroom environment that puts scientific concepts directly into that physical space. We examine the results of two implementations of WallCology, which we characterize as an embedded phenomenon, in elementary and middle-school classrooms. Several instances of innovative student inquiry emerged as a result of the design features. Along with the results of learning, we look at the relationship between an embodied approach to design and the imaginative role of the student.
Scharf, Florian, Winkler, Thomas and Herczeg, Michael (2008): Tangicons: algorithmic reasoning in a collaborative game for children in kindergarten and first class. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 242-249. Available online
In this paper, we describe the use of Tangicons, nonelectronic physical programming cubes for kindergarten and first grade children. Tangicons have been developed with the help of kindergarten children during various sessions of observing, playing and talking to them. Most tangible computing environments are too complex for young children. We developed an appropriate educational environment on a pedagogical basis resulting in easy to use tangible bricks, integrated in a physical game. Tangicons are haptic programmable bricks for programming a sequence of operations. Their symbol design is related to real world objects. With Tangicons, children are able to learn first steps of programming in a playful way.
Millner, Amon (2008): Supporting children as they program to make physical and virtual objects interact. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 25-28. Available online
I develop technological tools to help communities of children creatively solve problems as they program computers. The Hook-ups project introduces computational tools that support children in building physical input devices for computer programs they create. Research questions guiding my work are presented, as are the methods by which I investigate them in informal learning environments.
Teh, James Keng Soon, Cheok, Adrian David, Peiris, Roshan L., Choi, Yongsoon, Thuong, Vuong and Lai, Sha (2008): Huggy Pajama: a mobile parent and child hugging communication system. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 250-257. Available online
Huggy Pajama is a novel wearable system aimed at promoting physical interaction in remote communication between parent and child. This system enables parents and children to hug one another through a novel hugging interface device and a wearable, hug reproducing pajama connected through the Internet. The hugging device is a small, mobile doll with an embedded pressure sensing circuit that is able to accurately sense varying levels of the range of human force produced from natural touch. This device sends hug signals to a haptic jacket that simulates the feeling of being hugged to the wearer. It features air pockets actuating to reproduce hug, heating elements to produce warmth that accompanies hug, and color changing pattern and accessory to indicate distance of separation and communicate expressions. In this paper, we present the system design of Huggy Pajama.
Sturm, Janienke, Bekker, Tilde, Groenendaal, Bas, Wesselink, Rik and Eggen, Berry (2008): Key issues for the successful design of an intelligent, interactive playground. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 258-265. Available online
An Intelligent Playground is an environment with interactive objects that, using advanced technology such as sensors and actuators, react to the interaction with the children and actively encourage children to play. Thus, an intelligent playground stimulates children to move and play together. In this way, it provides for a healthy alternative for popular pastimes such as computer games and television. We propose a design research agenda for Intelligent Playgrounds, identifying key issues regarding the design of these playgrounds: social interaction, simplicity, challenge, goals and feedback. We illustrate these issues by referring extensively to related work in this area. In addition, we present our design approach, initial findings and future plans on the basis of two case studies of new intelligent playground concepts.
This paper describes a study in which the outcome of early design sessions with eight-to-twelve-year old children is assessed through expert judgment. Experts compare the outcomes of two early design methods: brainstorming and prototyping. The design case was to come up with a solution for incapacitated children that need to attend class from home. The hypothesis is that children will generate more creative design solutions when prototyping than when brainstorming, because we reason that prototyping requires a wider range of intelligences according to Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The outcome of the sessions is assessed on creativity and five explanatory criteria. The results show that a brainstorming method generates design solutions that are more creative. However, both methods produce creative design solutions; the brainstorming sessions generate more surprising and novel design solutions, the prototyping results are considered more relevant and workable.
Virnes, Marjo, Sutinen, Erkki and Kärnä-Lin, Eija (2008): How children's individual needs challenge the design of educational robotics. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 274-281. Available online
Educational robotics has the potential for improving special needs education and for eliminating barriers to learning if it can be focused squarely on the special needs of children. This case study examines a variety of special needs that have the potential to enrich educational robotic design. Educational robotics should be used to meet the individual needs of children and to expose them to the possibilities of various forms of self-expression and exploration. It should facilitate advanced hands-on programming, increase the rate of two-directional communication between child and robot, and improve the quality of instruction and intervention. We designed this study as a qualitative action research project with eight special needs education children who worked with LEGO Mindstorms NXT and Topobo robots over a nine-month period. The research convinced us that properly adapted educational robotics can be suited to a variety of users who have different individual needs.
Weller, Michael Philetus, Do, Ellen Yi-Luen and Gross, Mark D. (2008): Escape machine: teaching computational thinking with a tangible state machine game. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 282-289. Available online
We present a methodology for building objects-to-think-computationally-with and illustrate its application in developing our Escape Machine game. The input mechanism for this game is a tangible state machine built with Posey, our computationally enhanced construction kit. Through manipulating this state machine children create an algorithmic specification for the behavior of both the avatar and its enemies in an attempt to navigate a maze without being eaten. We outline several strategies for success at Escape Machine and discuss how it embeds an important computational thinking concept in interaction with a tangible device.
Virnes, Marjo (2008): Robotics in special needs education. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 29-32. Available online
The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of robotics as an educational tool in special needs education. Qualitative case studies are used to increase knowledge about programmable LEGO NXT and Topobo robotics constructions kits in special needs education, and about the social robot and Topobo that are used in early childhood education when possible learning disabilities have not yet been diagnosed. This study aims to provide suggestions about how robotics might be used to recognize disabilities at an early stage of education and to compensate for them in learning.
Yarosh, Svetlana (2008): Supporting parent-child interaction in divorced families. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 33-36. Available online
Divorce affects a significant number of children and parents. In this work, I discuss the challenges that these families may face and present two systems that may help address some of these challenges. Finally, I highlight the expected contributions of this work.
Barakova, Emilia, Gillesen, Jan and Feijs, Loe (2008): Use of goals and dramatic elements in behavioral training of children with ASD. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 37-40. Available online
We describe the development of a multi-agent platform and adequate games that aim to stimulate social behavior of autistic children. User tests with two games, one with emerging patterns and another with goals and dramatic elements were compared. The results show that most of the children recognized the dramatic elements, which makes us believe that by longer exposure and proper guidance autistic children might be tough social skills. Test results are described quantitatively and qualitatively.
Bozelle, Christelle, Betrancourt, Mireille, Deriaz, Marielle and Pelizzone, Marco (2008): Evaluation of technology acceptance of a computer rehabilitation tool. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 41-44. Available online
This paper focuses on the evaluation of technology acceptance of a computer-based rehabilitation tool developed for young children with cochlear implants. Interviews with the children's parents before and after having used the program were carried out to evaluate their attitudes towards such computer rehabilitation tool. Results showed that the parents' attitude depended on the perception of the tool efficacy, which was related to the improvements they noticed in their children auditory ability. Recommendations are made in order to increase acceptance of rehabilitation computer tool for very young children.
Leo, Gianluca De and Leroy, Gondy (2008): Smartphones to facilitate communication and improve social skills of children with severe autism spectrum disorder: special education teachers as proxies. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 45-48. Available online
We present an overview of the approach we used and the challenges we encountered while designing software for smartphones to facilitate communication and improve social skills of children with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We employed participatory design, using special education teachers of children with ASD as proxies for our target population.
Feil-Seifer, David and Mataric', Maja (2008): Robot-assisted therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 49-52. Available online
We present an overview of the approach we used and the challenges we encountered while designing software for smartphones to facilitate communication and improve social skills of children with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We employed participatory design, using special education teachers of children with ASD as proxies for our target population.
Daily, Shaundra Bryant and Brennan, Karen (2008): Utilizing technology to support the development of empathy. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 5-8. Available online
Empathy is a fundamental component of positive and productive human relationships. In the context of civic engagement, the ability to "stand in the shoes of another" increases opportunities to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings, to work together in cooperative settings, and, as a result create innovative solutions to social issues. In this proposal, we present a fourteen-week workshop being conducted with a diverse group of middle school children to use technology to foster the development of empathy and support civic engagement.
Fickas, Stephen, Sohlberg, McKay and Prideaux, Jason (2008): TREK: transportation research, education, and knowledge. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 53-56. Available online
In this paper we describe a TV-based reminder system for helping people with cognitive disabilities get to appointments on time and with the items they need. The TVBox uses a person's own TV to deliver reminders about trips that the person needs to make. The TVBox is also used to make sure that the person has the items that they need when at their destination.
Guha, Mona Leigh, Druin, Allison and Fails, Jerry Alan (2008): Designing with and for children with special needs: an inclusionary model. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 61-64. Available online
In order to design for children with special needs, we need to design with children with special needs. The inclusionary model proposed in this paper suggests that appropriate involvement of children with special needs in the design process begins with the level of involvement a team expects from children, and is additionally influenced by the nature and severity of the child's disability and the availability and intensity of support available to the child.
Hayes, Gillian R., Patterson, Donald J., Monibi, Mohamad and Kaufman, Samuel J. (2008): Interactive and intelligent visual communication systems. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 65-68. Available online
Interventions to support children with cognitive and social developmental disabilities often include visual elements. Use of visual artifacts has been shown to increase the communication and understanding levels of children with disabilities. We describe a research agenda for expanding these capabilities using interactive, collaborative and intelligent systems.
Hornof, Anthony (2008): Working with children with severe motor impairments as design partners. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 69-72. Available online
This paper discusses attempts that have been made to team with children with severe motor impairments in the design of technology to help those children express themselves. The project is still new, and the endeavor extremely challenging, but small successes as well as enormous challenges can be reported and discussed. Much can be learned from the literature and practice of alternative and augmentative communication, in which children are asked to assist in the design and implementation of a communication scheme for that child. The challenge is to integrate these approaches with what has been learned when collaborating with typically-developing children in the design of new technology.
Hurewitz, Felicia and Beals, Katharine (2008): A role for grammar in autism CAIs. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 73-76. Available online
Both computerized and traditional instruction programs dedicated to remediating language for people with autism emphasize single word picture associations or scripted responses to question prompts. We propose that software should focus on the production of fully compositional phrases. Other desirable qualities in language CAIs for autism are discussed and motivated.
Kaliouby, Rana El and Goodwin, Matthew S. (2008): iSET: interactive social-emotional toolkit for autism spectrum disorder. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 77-80. Available online
Many first-hand accounts from individuals on the autism spectrum highlight the challenges inherent in processing high-speed, complex, and unpredictable social information such as nonverbal cues in real-time. In this paper, we describe iSET (Interactive Social-Emotional Toolkit): a suite of wearable technologies that can enable individuals on the autism spectrum to capture, quantify, analyze, and share aspects of their own and others' social interactions in order to facilitate learning and generalization of social-emotional communication. We present several applications of iSET we are currently piloting, and highlight the technical, usability, and experimental challenges we face in designing, implementing, and evaluating this technology.
Merryman, Julia, Tartaro, Andrea, Arie, Miri and Cassell, Justine (2008): Designing virtual peers for assessment and intervention for children with autism. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 81-84. Available online
Our research focuses on the use and design of virtual peers (life-sized, computer-animated children) as intervention and assessment tools for the social and communication skills of children with social skills deficits, such as autism. To best design a virtual peer that simulates human interaction, we observe and analyze the behaviors of both typically-developing children and children with autism as they play with peers. Later, we apply these behavioral characteristics to the behavioral repertoire of the virtual peers. This analysis identifies the key design attributes of a virtual peer that best elicits the social and communication skills we are interested in evaluating and addressing during the assessment and treatment procedures.
Schmidt, Carla and Schmidt, Matthew (2008): Three-dimensional virtual learning environments for mediating social skills acquisition among individuals with autism spectrum disorders. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 85-88. Available online
In this paper we will discuss the unique possibilities of using three-dimensional virtual environments as an educational tool for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This paper will focus primarily on nonacademic skills such as social skills.
Westeyn, Tracy L., Kientz, Julie A., Starner, Thad E. and Abowd, Gregory D. (2008): Designing toys with automatic play characterization for supporting the assessment of a child's development. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 89-92. Available online
In this paper, we describe the design considerations and implementation of the Child'sPlay system, a technology for supporting the automatic recording, recognition, and quantification of a child's object play behaviors for retrospective analysis. Our prototype system consists of six varieties of toys augmented with wireless sensing capabilities and a mobile computing platform which uses statistical pattern recognition techniques to automatically classify sensed play behaviors. This paper discusses our choices in toy design both in form factor as well as sensing capabilities. In addition, we also describe the play activities the system supports and provide an overview of our initial recognition algorithms.
Ficheman, Irene Karaguilla and Lopes, Roseli de Deus (2008): Digital learning ecosystems: authoring, collaboration, immersion and mobility. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 9-12. Available online
The dissemination of digital technology in the past decades has made digital media part of children's everyday life and can be used to support learning activities inside and outside schools in formal and informal situations. The design of such tools should consider learners' access to technology in these different contexts. This paper presents a Digital Learning Ecosystem Model, which similarly to nature ecosystems consists of species, populations and communities interacting with each other and with the environment. The proposed model supports the analysis of four important learning tools' aspects: authoring, collaboration, immersion and mobility. The model was applied to recently developed learning tools and pointed out their characteristics and how they can be extended.
Decortis, Francoise and Lentini, Laura (2008): Semiotics artifacts, space and community: a case study on pinholes. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 93-96. Available online
Given the fracturing of virtual and physical spaces, young people are less involved in their local surrounding spaces. Yet, investing the community space is related to sense of community and elicits social inclusion. We explore the complex relations among social inclusion, sense of community, spaces and artifacts through a case study on pinholes. Pinholes appeared to be powerful semiotics artifacts, simple to use, that allow equally empowered groups of participants of different ages and cultures to jointly explore, produce and share meanings about their territories and identities.
Blas, Nicoletta di and Poggi, Caterina (2008): Can ICT support inclusion?: evidence from multi-user edutainment experiences based on 3D worlds. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC08 Interaction Design and Children 2008. pp. 97-100. Available online
Can ICT support inclusion? This paper presents some evidence collected during a 6-years experience with educational programs based on multi-user virtual worlds, involving more than 9,000 students from 20 different countries across 3 continents. Eloquent anecdotes, supported by quantitative data, tell us that, under some conditions, ICTs can be a powerful tool to involve disaffected students, raise interest, promote socialization and trigger important changes of attitude.