Proceedings of ACM IDC11 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 IDC11 Interaction Design and Children":
Abrahamson, Dor and Trninic, Dragan (2011): Toward an embodied-interaction design framework for mathematical concepts. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 1-10. Available online
Recent, empirically supported theories of cognition indicate that human reasoning, including mathematical problem solving, is based in tacit spatial-temporal simulated action. Implications of these findings for the philosophy and design of instruction may be momentous. Here, we build on design-based research efforts centered on exploring the potential of embodied interaction (EI) for mathematics learning. We sketch two emerging, reciprocal contributions: (1) a sociocognitive view on the role of automated feedback in building the perceptuomotor schemes that undergird conceptual development; and (2) a heuristic EI design framework. We ground these ideas in vignettes of children engaging an EI design for proportion. Increasing ubiquity and access to mobile devices geared to avail of EI principles suggests the feasibility of mass-disseminating materials evolving from this line of research.
Rick, Jochen, Marshall, Paul and Yuill, Nicola (2011): Beyond one-size-fits-all: how interactive tabletops support collaborative learning. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 109-117. Available online
Previous research has demonstrated the capacity of interactive table-tops to support co-located collaborative learning; however, these analyses have been at a coarse scale -- focusing on general trends across conditions. In this paper, we offer a complimentary perspective by focusing on specific group dynamics. We detail three cases of dyads using the DigiTile application to work on fraction challenges. While all pairs perform well, their group dynamics are distinctive; as a consequence, the benefits of working together and the benefits of using an interactive tabletop are different for each pair. Thus, we demonstrate that one size does not fit all when characterizing how interactive tabletops support collaborative learning.
Antle, Alissa N., Wise, Alyssa F. and Nielsen, Kristine (2011): Towards Utopia: designing tangibles for learning. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 11-20. Available online
We describe a tangible user interface-based learning environment for children called Towards Utopia. The environment was designed to enable children, aged seven to ten, to actively construct knowledge around concepts related to land use planning and sustainable development in their community. We use Towards Utopia as a research prototype to investigate how and why tangible users interfaces can be designed to support, augment, or constrain learning opportunities. We follow a design-oriented research approach that includes a theoretically grounded analysis of design features of Towards Utopia to understand how and why design choices influence the kinds of learning opportunities created. We also describe the results of our empirical evaluation of learning outcomes in order to validate the effectiveness of our design. We conclude with general guidelines for the design of tangibles for learning.
Tseng, Tiffany, Bryant, Coram and Blikstein, Paulo (2011): Collaboration through documentation: automated capturing of tangible constructions to support engineering design. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 118-126. Available online
In this paper, we present and evaluate the design and learning affordances of Mechanix, an interactive display for children to create, record, view, and test systems of tangible simple machine components. By documenting children's interactions, Mechanix provides opportunities for children to learn from user-generated examples and to reflect on their own designs. Through a series of user studies with children, we examine the system's capabilities for documenting tangible design work, facilitating social learning and collaboration, and providing distinct entry points that appeal to a broad range of learners. Our results illustrate the potential of incorporating automated documentation with tangible toolkits to support learning about physics and engineering systems design.
Wang, Danli, Zhang, Cheng and Wang, Hongan (2011): T-Maze: a tangible programming tool for children. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 127-135. Available online
This paper presents a tangible programming tool 'T-Maze' for children aged 5 to 9. Children could use T-Maze to create their own maze maps and complete some maze escaping tasks by the tangible programming blocks and sensors. T-Maze uses a camera to, in real-time, catch the programming sequence of the wooden blocks' arrangement, which will be used to analyze the semantic correctness and enable the children to receive feedbacks immediately. And children could join in the game by controlling the sensors during program's running. A user study shows that T-Maze is an interesting programming approach for children and easy to learn and use.
Yarosh, Svetlana, Radu, Iulian, Hunter, Seth and Rosenbaum, Eric (2011): Examining values: an analysis of nine years of IDC research. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 136-144. Available online
Explicitly examining the values held by a research community provides a tool in which participants can define its culture, conduct informed research, and reflect on their design process. We conducted a content analysis of the values expressed in the full text of IDC papers between 2002 and 2010, as well as a survey of the first authors of these papers. We discuss the types of contributions IDC papers make, the behaviors and qualities they seek to support in children, the audience for which IDC designs, the role of the child in creating these designs, the theories and models that inform this research, and the criteria that inform IDC's technical design choices. Based on our findings, we discuss trends, core values, and implications for the community and highlight opportunities for future IDC contributions.
Chang, Angela and Breazeal, Cynthia (2011): TinkRBook: shared reading interfaces for storytelling. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 145-148. Available online
Today, the way children learn to read is very different from the way they learn from playing with toys. Books present static images and text on the page, whereas toys allow for manipulation and interactive exploration of cause-effect relations. What if books were "tinkerable"? What if children could actively explore and modify a story, through voice and touch, to dynamically explore meaning as conveyed by the relationship of text to illustrated concept? How might this change how books are experienced, explored, and shared between parent and child? How might interactivity support and enhance existing shared reading practices? We report the development of interaction design techniques for encouraging storytelling behavior during shared book reading. The design of our storytelling platform, the TinkRBook, encourages active exploration when parents read to very young children (ages 2-5 years old). Our approach uses findings from in-situ parent-child ethnographies and advice from 24 participatory design interviews with researchers, designers and professionals from relevant domains. We believe that our approach addresses the environmental conditions in which interactive storytelling with preschoolers is most likely to be adopted, and is compatible with current shared reading practices.
Curtis, Aaron, Shim, Jaeeun, Gargas, Eugene, Srinivasan, Adhityan and Howard, Ayanna M. (2011): Dance dance Pleo: developing a low-cost learning robotic dance therapy aid. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 149-152. Available online
In this paper, a low cost system for child interaction through turn taking and dance based on the Pleo robot platform is presented. This system is easily taught new dance movements through visual and haptic cues and provides immediate feedback of the learned motion, making it possible for individuals unfamiliar with robotics programming to alter its behavior through natural interaction.
Göttel, Timo (2011): Reviewing children's collaboration practices in storytelling environments. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 153-156. Available online
Traditional Storytelling fosters creativity, imagination, socialization, and full body engagement. On the other hand, digital storytelling promises additional benefits as for example multi-media use and more kinds of expressions. While this is comprehensible, digital storytelling should still appreciate benefits of traditional storytelling. In reviewing digital storytelling literature we found that many described case studies and systems may potentially fulfill these requirements but are still in need for improvement. We found three understandings of storytelling within the papers (remote authoring, collocated authoring, and enriched experiences). To fully meet the benefits of traditional storytelling future digital storytelling environments should provide authoring tools that support children's collaboration practices to create, share, and perform stories.
Harms, Kyle J., Kerr, Jordana H. and Kelleher, Caitlin L. (2011): Improving learning transfer from stencils-based tutorials. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 157-160. Available online
To support children learning to use new software applications independently, tutorial systems should prevent errors and ensure that users are able to transfer tutorial skills to a new context effectively. In this paper, we describe the formative development and evaluation of on-request stencils, an interaction technique that both prevents children from making errors within a tutorial and significantly improves their ability to transfer tutorial skills to a related task. Using on-request stencils, users can attempt a task independently. If they encounter difficulty, users can request step by step tutorial overlays to guide them through the current task. In a study comparing tutorial performance, task performance, and attitudes, we found that users of on-request stencils successfully completed 47% more transfer tasks than users of persistent stencils. There were no significant differences between the two groups in tutorial performance or attitudes towards the software system.
Horn, Michael S., Davis, Pryce, Hubbard, Aleata K., Keifert, Danielle, Leong, Zeina Atrash and Olson, Izabel C. (2011): Learning sustainability: families, learning, and next-generation eco-feedback technology. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 161-164. Available online
Eco-feedback technology is a growing area of interest in interaction design research. From smart meters to ambient feedback displays, well-designed technology has the potential to help families cut costs, reduce waste, and increase environmental sustainability. In this paper, we reflect on this trend and pose two interrelated design challenges that we believe are important for the development and evaluation of next-generation eco-feedback technology. First, how can we design technology to encourage entire families, children as well as adults, to become meaningful and active participants in the management of household resource consumption? And second, how can we design interactive systems to engage families in inquiry-based learning around concepts of consumption and sustainability?
Huang, Yingdan and Eisenberg, Michael (2011): Steps toward child-designed interactive stuffed toys. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 165-168. Available online
Within the past decade, computationally-enhanced toys have become a staple of children's environments. In large part, this is due to the small size, robust operation, and low cost of embedded computing that enables computers (and associated electronic devices) to be included within toys of all descriptions. More recently, a variety of powerful technologies have emerged so that children can design their own computational artifacts: that is, small (and inexpensive) processors, sensors, and actuators have been developed that are well-suited to combination with "soft" materials such as textiles. This paper describes Plushbot, a system-in-development that allows children to create their own plush toys and stuffed animals, and to include computational enhancements within the toys that they create. Thus, Plushbot represents a step toward expanding children's creative design of their own interactive, computationally-enhanced characters. The paper describes the current state of the Plushbot software, shows a sample project created with the system, and describes plans for upcoming pilot tests with the system.
Joshi, Asmi and Walsh, Greg (2011): Twooter: designing a musical expression tool for use in social networks. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 169-172. Available online
This paper reports on the design of Twooter, a tool for non-verbal, music-based expression in an online social network. Borrowing ideas from popular social networks and influenced through recent educational endeavors by a large cultural institution, Twooter is being designed with the hope of bridging the gap between the ease of updating one's status in a profile and the difficulty in content creation. Twooter is being designed through the Cooperative Inquiry method. Adults and children are working together to design this technology for use in an online, educational environment. Several design sessions have informed researchers on the features and interactions required to accomplish this goal.
Leong, Zeina Atrash and Horn, Michael S. (2011): Representing equality: a tangible balance beam for early algebra education. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 173-176. Available online
In this paper we describe the design and implementation of a tangible balance beam that we created for early algebra education. We also present data from an exploratory study with seven children (ages 9-10 years) in a local elementary summer school classroom. Our results provide insight into how students solve algebra problems using our tangible interface, how they coordinate multiple representations (both digital and physical) in the problem solving process, and how they understand the concept of algebraic equality in this context. The data suggests that our interface helps students think about equations in a relational context, which has been shown to be an important skill for understanding more advanced concepts in algebra. Whether or not the combination of physical and digital representations provided by our interface helps students apply this relational understanding to equations written using standard algebraic notation is an open question that we hope to investigate in future work.
Lindgren, Robb and Moshell, J. Michael (2011): Supporting children's learning with body-based metaphors in a mixed reality environment. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 177-180. Available online
We describe an approach to designing immersive learning experiences for children using body-based metaphors. Previous research shows benefits for learning through physical interactions in virtual spaces (e.g., [1, 16]) -- here we look specifically at using mixed reality to embed children as elements within the systems they are attempting to learn. Using gross body-movements the children are able to test predictions and have their intuitions challenged, laying the foundation for deeper conceptual understanding. We present data from a study we conducted comparing the mixed reality experience with a desktop version of the same simulation. Results suggest that children's interactions with designs supporting body-based metaphors can lead them to better grasp the "deep structure" of the learning domain.
McCrindle, Carrie, Hornecker, Eva, Lingnau, Andreas and Rick, Jochen (2011): The design of t-vote: a tangible tabletop application supporting children's decision making. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 181-184. Available online
Children are not necessarily motivated to collaborate if no common ground can be found. In this paper, we present t-vote, a system supporting children's decision making. To encourage collaboration in a museum's context, we employ tangible pawns on a tabletop interface and implicitly script the decision making process of children. We describe the system design, our design process, and rationale.
Millen, Laura, Cobb, Sue and Patel, Harshada (2011): A method for involving children with autism in design. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 185-188. Available online
COSPATIAL is a 3-year collaborative, technology-focused project exploring the use of collaborative virtual environments (CVE) and shared active surfaces (SAS) for supporting social competence for children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). The UK team are developing CVE technology through a user centered design approach to inform design decisions and review prototype development. Teachers are involved throughout the design process to ensure that the technology developed is useful and effective. Involving children with ASC is also an important aspect of our design process. However, there are few published methods and guidance to support this involvement. This paper presents a method for involving children with ASC in the design of CVE.
Olson, Izabel C. and Horn, Michael S. (2011): Modeling on the table: agent-based modeling in elementary school with NetTango. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 189-192. Available online
In this paper we describe NetTango, an agent-based modeling environment designed for elementary school students to use on a multi-touch tabletop surface. We review literature on the use of interactive tabletops for learning and present examples from an exploratory study that we conducted with 28 children (ages 6-10). We also discuss two design challenges that emerged during our study and consider possible solutions.
Peer, Firaz, Friedlander, Anne, Mazalek, Ali and Mueller, Florian 'Floyd' (2011): Evaluating technology that makes physical games for children more engaging. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 193-196. Available online
Throwing is an important physical skill that lays the foundation for the ability to participate in many physical activities and sports experiences. We aim to support the development of physical skills through exertion game design; our focus here is on the design of an exertion based throwing game that aims to help children improve their ability to throw. We discuss the results of some initial play testing, and how these observations informed our game design.
Peters, Vanessa L. and Songer, Nancy Butler (2011): Evaluating the usability of an interactive map activity for climate change education. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 197-200. Available online
We report the results of usability testing on a professional modeling tool designed to support students' learning about climate change impacts. Using a questionnaire and test responses as data sources, we evaluated the efficacy of an interactive map activity that was completed by 84 middle school students. An analysis of the data showed that students had difficulties manipulating simple data overlays when answering questions about tree distributions with the model. The findings from this study have implications for researchers who wish to design interactive map-based activities for science education, and for technology developers seeking to improve the usability of complex learning environments for middle school students.
Raffle, Hayes, Mori, Koichi, Ballagas, Rafael and Spasojevic, Mirjana (2011): Pokaboo: a networked toy for distance communication and play. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 201-204. Available online
How might we build on the physical interactivity of children's play to help children communicate over a distance? Pokaboo is a networked toy for children ages 2-5 to physically play even when they are far apart. Envisioned almost like a low-frame rate video chat, the system combines physically-linked buttons with photo and audio communication. A child will press a button down to take their own photo, and their self-portrait will pop up on their partner's device. The device was tested with both photo sharing and video chat. Children were most engaged when the buttons were part of a mobile video chat, where one child could press a button down and see their partner's button pop up in front of their far-away playmate. When the playmate responded with a button press, their button would magically pop up in front of them, in a form of physical call-and-response. Pokaboo shows how networked toys can help children to form engaging connections through physical play over a distance.
Sánchez, Iván, Cortés, Marta, Riekki, Jukka and Oja, Mika (2011): NFC-based interactive learning environments for children. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 205-208. Available online
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology enables interactive, participatory learning applications that integrate digital learning material seamlessly to our everyday environment. NFC permits tagging objects in the environment and interacting with applications by touching the tagged objects with mobile devices. Touching a tag triggers an application in the mobile device to perform an operation that is related to the touched object. In this paper, we report how NFC can be used to create interactive applications that help children in their learning process and persuade them to do physical exercise. We report fully working applications we have developed to support children in learning to read, in learning a foreign language, in studying biology, and one application developed to persuade children to run outdoors.
Walsh, Greg, Brown, Quincy and Druin, Allison (2011): Social networking as a vehicle to foster cross-cultural awareness. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 209-212. Available online
The growth of online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Linked-In has transformed the way in which individuals establish and maintain relationships for both business and entertainment. In this paper we present the analysis of a similar online social network that was used to foster cross-cultural awareness among users ages 14-17. The social network provided students across the globe with an environment to establish online identities, explore their own culture and the culture of peers who were located in three different countries. We make recommendations to network designers to reconsider friendship metaphors, work within existing network tools, and replace text as the default medium in communication.
Cahill, Clara, Kuhn, Alex, Schmoll, Shannon, Lo, Wan-Tzu, McNally, Brenna and Quintana, Chris (2011): Mobile learning in museums: how mobile supports for learning influence student behavior. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 21-28. Available online
Nomadic scientific inquiry -- technology-supported authentic inquiry done on-the-go, across settings -- has the potential to engage students in learning new concepts and practicing essential science skills. We developed the Zydeco system to support nomadic inquiry in part through enabling the collection and annotation of multimodal data (photographs and audio notes). The system was designed to bridge school and museum contexts through project-based science inquiry. In this study, we explore how Zydeco influences student behavior and sensemaking in the museum. We compared the behaviors of middle-school students who used either Zydeco or paper worksheets to perform inquiry in a museum, and found that, while both the worksheets and the system engendered heads-down behavior, the Zydeco system increased active sociocultural engagement.
Wistort, Ryan and Breazeal, Cynthia (2011): TofuDraw: a mixed-reality choreography tool for authoring robot character performance. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 213-216. Available online
TofuDraw combines an expressive semi-autonomous robot character (called Tofu) with a new mixed reality DigitalPaint interface whereby children can draw a "program" on the floor that governs the robot character's behavior. Initial evaluations of the TofuDraw system with children ages 3-8 suggest that children can successfully use this interface to choreograph the expressive robot's behavior. Our ultimate goal for this tool is to enable young children to engage in STEM learning experiences in new contexts such as creating interactive robot theatre performances.
Yarosh, Svetlana and Kwikkers, Mark Robert (2011): Supporting pretend and narrative play over videochat. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 217-220. Available online
Remote play over videochat may increase opportunities for social interaction for children who are geographically separated from their preferred playmate or who live beyond walking-distance from their friends. We investigated how currently available videochat technologies may be used for remote play and the role of visual and physical structure in supporting pretend and narrative play between children. We invited 10 pairs of children to play with three videochat prototypes: phone-to-phone, phone-to-laptop, and laptop-to-laptop. Consistent with previous research, we found that laptop-to-laptop videochat was better for pretend play. However, our findings were different from previous work in that we found some evidence that laptop-to-laptop videochat may also be better at supporting narrative play and is higher-rated by children in terms of preference.
Yusoff, Yusrita Mohd, Ruthven, Ian and Landoni, Monica (2011): The fun semantic differential scales. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 221-224. Available online
In this paper, we report on our experience developing an evaluation tool called the Fun Semantic Differential Scales (FSDS). The FSDS has been developed for use with and by very young children (3 to 5 years old) to express their feelings when interacting with computer products. We applied an iterative approach in designing and evaluating early versions before finalising the FSDS. A series of small studies have been conducted in one UK local nursery to investigate and understand how young children respond to all the FSDS versions.
Asgar, Zain, Chan, Joshua, Liu, Chang and Blikstein, Paulo (2011): LightUp: a low-cost, multi-age toolkit for learning and prototyping electronics. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 225-226. Available online
LightUp is a constructionist platform to teach novices about electronics, and also a low-cost rapid-prototyping platform for more advanced users. The LightUp kit contains many basic electronic components attached to magnetic building blocks and a connection base. Various project-based educational materials are also included. Initially designed as an interactive and transparent learning tool, the concept behind LightUp is to provide a "low threshold, high ceiling" learning experience for self-motivated individuals who want to better understand the complex electronics inside the devices they rely on every day. In addition, LightUp also serves as a user friendly, low-cost prototyping tool for people who do not have a strong engineering background but still want to build electronic circuits. This paper gives an overview of the LightUp platform, the construction process and future developments and implementations.
Electric Agents is a cross-media game that presents new ways for children to actively engage with television content. In the game Manny, a member of the Pranksters, steals words out of the mouth of Hector, a member of The Electric Company team, and hides them to prevent the story from progressing. Children collaborate through a mobile augmented reality experience to find and collect the missing vocabulary words relevant to the show narrative. The players return the stolen words back to the show by "throwing" the words towards the television using their mobile devices. This blend of a narrative and a game strives to make educational television content more engaging and participatory while fostering collaborative play and use of specific vocabulary words.
Bertran, Ishac (2011): Pas a Pas: a platform for enabling schools to teach educational content using stop motion animation. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 231-233. Available online
Pas a Pas is a tool to support education using stop motion animation. The platform aims to bridge the gap between abstract concepts from educational content to reality using the physicality and animated outcome of stop motion. This paper describes the research, prototype and conclusions of user testing, and provides design ideas for further iterations of the concept.
Blikstein, Paulo and Sipitakiat, Arnan (2011): QWERTY and the art of designing microcontrollers for children. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 234-237. Available online
Microcontroller-based or physical computing devices have been used in educational settings for many years for robotics, environmental sensing, scientific experimentation, and interactive art. In this paper, we discuss design principles underlying the several available platforms for physical computing, based on a historical analysis of the development of these devices, and data from workshops conducted with students. We evaluate two of the main frameworks for physical computing ("Cricket" model and "Breakout" model), discuss affordances of each platform, and propose a new software and hardware design for microcontroller -- based platforms.
Freed, Natalie, Qi, Jie, Setapen, Adam, Breazeal, Cynthia, Buechley, Leah and Raffle, Hayes (2011): Sticking together: handcrafting personalized communication interfaces. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 238-241. Available online
We present I/O Stickers, adhesive sensors and actuators that children can use to handcraft personalized remote communication interfaces. By attaching I/O Stickers to special wirelessly connected greeting cards, children can invent ways to communicate with long-distance loved ones. Children decorate these cards with their choice of craft materials, creatively expressing themselves while making a functioning interface. The low-bandwidth connections -- simple actuators that change as the sensor stickers are manipulated -- leave room not only to design the look and function of the card, but also to decide how to interpret the information transmitted. We aim to empower children to implement ideas that would otherwise require advanced electronics knowledge. In addition, we hope to support creative learning about communication and to make keeping in touch playful and meaningful. In this paper, we describe the design of the I/O Stickers, analyze a variety of artifacts children have created, and explore future directions for the toolkit.
Mickelson, Jason, Canton, Matthew and Ju, Wendy (2011): Pattern poses: embodied geometry with tangibles and computer visualization. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 242-245. Available online
This paper describes a digital learning tool that engages math teachers and students with geometry through physical movement, tangible controls, and computer visualization. It was developed through iterative prototype testing in actual grade 6-10 math classes. Students actively create geometries using their own movements which are captured by a simple web camera. A tangible interface allows them to transform the captured images and create complex patterns through mathematical relationships. We evaluated the collaborative and kinesthetic participation promoted by the tool and the way teachers and students reacted to using it. Pattern Poses was deployed at a learning workshop with a group of 35 students of grade 5 and grade 8 and their parents in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The COSPATIAL (Communication and social participation: collaborative technologies for interaction and learning) project explores how we can develop effective and useful educational technologies in the form of shared active surfaces (SASs) and collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) to support the enhancement of social competence skills for children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). This paper presents a description of the COSPATIAL suite of applications, comprising of two CVE programs and two SAS programs.
Millner, Amon and Baafi, Edward (2011): Modkit: blending and extending approachable platforms for creating computer programs and interactive objects. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 250-253. Available online
This paper describes Modkit -- a toolkit that makes it possible for novices and experienced designers to create their own interactive objects by combining graphical blocks inspired by the Scratch programming environment and the Arduino platform. The demonstration will feature the current Modkit components, activities, and projects that illustrate how the toolkit blends Scratch and Arduino platforms to extend what and how young people are able to create. We will present example projects made by young people, discuss the details of the system implementation, and highlight the implications our design decisions had in informal learning environments.
Worsley, Marcelo, Johnston, Michael and Blikstein, Paulo (2011): OpenGesture: a low-cost authoring framework for gesture and speech based application development and learning analytics. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 254-256. Available online
In this paper, we present an application framework for enabling education practitioners and researchers to develop interactive, multi-modal applications. These applications can be designed using typical HTML programming, and will enable a larger audience to make applications that incorporate speech recognition, gesture recognition and engagement detection. The application framework uses open-source software and inexpensive hardware that supports both multi-touch and multi-user capabilities.
Gilutz, Shuli, Bekker, Tilde, Fisch, Shalom and Blikstein, Paulo (2011): Teaching interaction design & children within diverse disciplinary curricula. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 257-259. Available online
This one-day workshop will bring together instructors who teach Interaction Design&Children at a university level from a wide spectrum of disciplines and research communities (HCI, Engineering, Design, education, Psychology and Communications). Our goal is to explore the various current ways IDC is taught, and to discuss and develop a core syllabus of literature and teaching activities for the benefit of the IDC community. Topics discussed will include: various disciplines that house IDC and their effect and needs, best practices for IDC teaching methods, and core literature (both disciplinary and multidisciplinary).
Garzotto, Franca and Gonella, Roberto (2011): Children's co-design and inclusive education. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 260-263. Available online
Interactive technology for disabled children at school is typically used as an assistive tool or a learning facilitator, and promotes inclusion by enabling a more effective participation to school activities by students with special needs. In this paper, we discuss how we can achieve a wider form of inclusive education by involving non-disabled children as co-designers of technology for their disabled schoolmates. We describe examples of this approach in the context of an ongoing project at a local school, involving tangible technology.
The school context provides a fruitful and at the same challenging environment to get children engaged in creative development activities. Within this paper we highlight the opportunities and challenges when involving children in the design and development process of interactive technologies with a special focus on this educational context. A summary of the contributions to this IDC 2011 workshop is provided pointing out the main highlights from the position papers. We conclude by discussing future research challenges and opportunities when working with children in the school context.
Read, Janet C. (2011): Creating a child computer interaction curriculum. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 268-270. Available online
Child Computer Interaction (CCI) is a relatively new area of interest and as such, it does not have a taught curriculum of its own. In addition, interest in CCI is relatively limited and so the demand for specialist courses in this area is limited. The author of this paper has designed several courses focused on and around CCI and has also implemented short courses in the subject. In designing these courses, there is a need to take decisions about what to include and what to leave out given the size of the area and the limitations of demand. This paper discusses the content of these several courses and discusses how and why decisions were made as to what to include. The paper concludes with a rubric for selection of material that might be useful for others in this field.
Chipman, Gene, Fails, Jerry Alan, Druin, Allison and Guha, Mona Leigh (2011): Paper vs. tablet computers: a comparative study using Tangible Flags. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 29-36. Available online
Concurrent collaboration is a critical skill for cognitive and social development. Tangible Flags is a system designed to facilitate collaboration and exploration, and bridge the gap between the physical and the digital. The system enables children to tag an item of interest in the real world with a flag, scan the flag, and create a corresponding digital artifact on a tablet computer. Another child can see the flag and its context, scan it, and view and modify the digital artifact in a form of collaboration. This paper describes a study that compares two Tangible Flag systems; a paper system and a tablet computer system. The study identifies several collaborative advantages of using the technology-based system, including increased awareness, more shared experiences, and longer time participating in activities.
Desjardins, Audrey and Wakkary, Ron (2011): How children represent sustainability in the home. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 37-45. Available online
This paper describes an exploratory study about children's perspective on sustainability in the house through a drawing-telling method. Here, we describe the methodological framework used for interviewing children about issues related to sustainability using the drawing-telling technique as described by Susan Wright . The participants (children from age 9 to 13) were asked to draw two houses and then describe their drawings in terms of sustainable actions and features. The results show how the participants understand sustainability and how they represent it in the context of a house. This pilot study is an initial step to investigate if there are opportunities to develop eco-visualizations (EVs) for children. The goal of this study is to inform the design of eco-visualizations for children based on their understanding of sustainability and their own visualization of their homes.
Fisch, Shalom M., Lesh, Richard, Motoki, Beth, Crespo, Sandra and Melfi, Vincent (2011): Cross-platform learning: children's learning from multiple media. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 46-51. Available online
Educational media projects often span several platforms (e.g., games, TV, hands-on materials), under the assumption that multiple platforms elicit greater learning than a single medium. To test this assumption, 672 fourth graders were assigned to use different combinations of math-based Cyberchase media for eight weeks: DVD Only, Web Only, DVD + Web, All Materials, or No Exposure (control). Mathematical problem solving was assessed via hands-on, pretest-posttest tasks, and by tracking software that recorded performance in three Cyberchase online games. Consistent with past research, significantly greater problem solving gains appeared among Cyberchase users than the control group. Pre-post effects were often stronger in the DVD + Web group than in groups that used either medium alone. Moreover, users of multiple media employed significantly more sophisticated mathematical strategies -- and produced more correct responses -- while playing online games. Thus, a unique benefit of cross-platform learning seems to lie in transfer of learning, i.e., applying educational content learned from one medium (e.g., television) to support learning in another medium (e.g., games), resulting in richer engagement and greater posttest gains.
Garzotto, Franca and Gonella, Roberto (2011): An open-ended tangible environment for disabled children's learning. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 52-61. Available online
In the domain of disabled children learning, requirements are heterogeneous and ever changing, because of these learners' peculiar characteristics and the nature of their educational needs. Technology for this complex problem space should be highly flexible, evolvable, and easy modifiable to address the developmental, emotional, and cognitive level of each single child. The paper describes an open-ended environment that supports the creation and customization of tangible learning experiences for disable children learning and meets the above requirements. The toolkit implements an End User Development paradigm and a Meta-Design approach, as educators, teachers and therapists, can use it autonomously, without depending on skilled programmers. In its current version, the system is a model-based and pattern-based web application framework, and has been iteratively designed, prototyped, and evaluated along a period of three years in partnership with therapists and teachers at a local primary school.
Lamberty, K. K., Adams, Stephen, Biatek, Jason, Froiland, Katherine and Lapham, Jay (2011): Using a large display in the periphery to support children learning through design. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 62-71. Available online
Learners benefit from creating personally meaningful artifacts for an audience, especially when those artifacts embody the concepts that the learners aim to understand. Our past work examined artistic design as an anchor for mathematical discussions between learners as they explored concepts like symmetry and fractions. In this paper, we present the work from two field studies where we explored ways to expand opportunities for mathematical discussions with a larger audience (beyond learners seated next to each other) by incorporating structured ways to share finished and in-progress work on a large display that all participants could view peripherally. We observed that the large display provided support for sharing designs with children anywhere in the room. The large display increased the students' awareness of their peers' designs, and the displayed designs became an anchor for their discussions. More work remains to increase the frequency of discussions about mathematical aspects of their artifacts.
Leduc-Mills, Ben and Eisenberg, Michael (2011): The UCube: a child-friendly device for introductory three-dimensional design. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 72-80. Available online
Currently there is a burgeoning interest in three-dimensional construction and design: 3D printing and fabrication devices have -- with almost shocking swiftness -- become available to students and home hobbyists, allowing a vastly expanded audience to imagine, and then print out, their own tangible designs. Still, while the fabrication devices themselves are becoming available to younger children, the task of 3D design itself remains difficult for youngsters. The difficulty lies in the "2D screen bottleneck": three-dimensional objects for printing must generally be designed in complex software that works exclusively with, and through, a flat two-dimensional screen. This paper introduces the UCube, a spatial input device designed specifically with children and "3D novices" in mind. The basic idea behind the UCube is that it provides a spatial, volumetric array of light switches that can be turned on and off individually by the user; the pattern of lights is then input to a desktop computer, where it can be employed to specify a collection of 3D points in space. The result is that 3D design -- at least for simple shapes -- becomes a matter of moving one's hands in space to (e.g.) select the boundary points of the desired shape. We describe the design of the UCube, the influences behind it, and some early encouraging pilot tests of the device with middle-school-age children.
Manches, Andrew and Price, Sara (2011): Designing learning representations around physical manipulation: hands and objects. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 81-89. Available online
The role of physical actions in learning has fostered enthusiasm for developing novel learning representations using emerging technologies such as tangibles. Indeed, as emerging devices blur the distinction between physical and graphical interfaces, it is important to build our understanding of how different forms of action and interaction will affect children's conceptual development. However, the mechanisms underpinning which actions support learning are often unclear. This paper offers a new perspective for examining the role of physical manipulation in learning by drawing a distinction between the actions generated by the hands and the resulting change in external representation. Arguments from existing research are revisited before using this distinction to identify implications for design.
Novellis, Francesco and Moher, Tom (2011): How real is 'real enough'?: designing artifacts and procedures for embodied simulations of science practices. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children 2011. pp. 90-98. Available online
In this paper we describe AquaRoom, a classroom-based spatial simulation of subterranean water flow. Beginning with the conceit that their classroom is a small town, students are asked to determine the topography and directional flow of a series of aquifers running beneath the town. Over the course of six sessions, students work in groups to enact a "dye tracing" method, using a variety of metaphorical procedures and "low fidelity" electronic and physical artifacts to simulate drilling, injection of dye tracers, and extraction and analysis of water samples, combining their data to construct an aggregate map. Outcomes of a pilot study based on observation and post-intervention surveys and interviews provide support for the adequacy of the activity design and artifacts in supporting the collaborative investigation, and in situating students within the virtual domain of hydrology. Students found the low-fidelity artifacts useful in supporting the activity, even in cases where they (correctly) discounted their functional need.
This paper outlines a series of experiments to develop asynchronous messaging systems for preschool aged children. Three unique systems build on a foundational design called Toaster, a jack-in-the box toy with embedded mobile phone that allows children to playfully take and share electronic media. Orange Toaster allows children to create and share self-portraits; Family Toast allows children to browse family photos with physical tokens, and shares their self-portrait reactions with remote family members; Play with Elmo allows children and distant adults to asynchronously share playful video messages. Observations with over 30 children suggest that asynchronous photographic or video messaging with very young children is possible. The results of these studies indicate specific guidelines including (1) children's UI's need to be playful and immediate (2) UI designs for children should create the "here and now" feel of real-time interaction, and (3) adults' UI's must provide emotionally meaningful feedback from children to engage adult users.