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IDC Tables of Contents: 03040506070809101112131415

Proceedings of ACM IDC'13: Interaction Design and Children 2013-06-24

Fullname:Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children
Editors:Nitin Sawhney; Emily Reardon; Juan Pablo Hourcade; Ellen A. Miller; Anna Egeland
Location:New York, New York
Dates:2013-Jun-24 to 2013-Jun-27
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-1918-8; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: IDC13
Links:Conference Website
  1. Full Papers
  2. Short Papers
  3. Demos
  4. Workshop summaries
  5. Workshop best position papers
  6. Doctoral consortium

Full Papers

Designing ScratchJr: support for early childhood learning through computer programming BIBAFull-Text 1-10
  Louise P. Flannery; Brian Silverman; Elizabeth R. Kazakoff; Marina Umaschi Bers; Paula Bontá; Mitchel Resnick
ScratchJr is a graphical programming language based on Scratch and redesigned for the unique developmental and learning needs of children in kindergarten to second grade. The creation of ScratchJr addresses the relative lack of powerful technologies for digital creation and computer programming in early childhood education. ScratchJr will provide software for children to create interactive, animated stories as well as curricula and online resources to support adoption by educators. This paper describes the goals and challenges of creating a developmentally appropriate programming tool for children ages 5-7 and presents the path from guiding principles and studies with young children to current ScratchJr designs and plans for future work.
Automatically generating tutorials to enable middle school children to learn programming independently BIBAFull-Text 11-19
  Kyle J. Harms; Dennis Cosgrove; Shannon Gray; Caitlin Kelleher
Enabling middle school children to learn from code shared on the internet may provide computer science learning opportunities to those who would not otherwise have them. We augmented a programming environment designed for middle school children to automatically generate tutorials from code snippets in order to help users learn new programming skills. In our new system, users select code snippets from a program shared on the web and then complete an automatically generated tutorial in order to re-create that snippet within their own program. To evaluate the potential learning gains from our generated tutorials, we conducted a between-subjects study in which we evaluated the performance of children introduced to new programming constructs through automatically generated tutorials. Participants who used the automatically generated tutorials performed 64% better on a near transfer task compared to participants without generated tutorials.
A curriculum for teaching computer science through computational textiles BIBAFull-Text 20-27
  Kanjun Qiu; Leah Buechley; Edward Baafi; Wendy Dubow
The field of computational textiles has shown promise as a domain for diversifying computer science culture by drawing a population with broad and non-traditional interests and backgrounds into creating technology. In this paper, we present a curriculum that teaches computer science and computer programming through a series of activities that involve building and programming computational textiles. We also describe two new technological tools, Modkit and the LilyPad ProtoSnap board, that support implementation of the curriculum. In 2011-12, we conducted three workshops to evaluate the impact of our curriculum and tools on students' technological self-efficacy. We conclude that our curriculum both draws a diverse population, and increases students' comfort with, enjoyment of, and interest in working with electronics and programming.
From surveys to collaborative art: enabling children to program with online data BIBAFull-Text 28-35
  Sayamindu Dasgupta
Being able to store and access data online enables a wide range of creative possibilities, starting from surveys to collaborative art, from global high-score-lists for games to real-time chat-rooms. While end-user tools in these categories are increasingly becoming available to children, what is still missing is the opportunity for children to program and create such systems. Causes behind this lack of opportunity include, among other things, high barriers to entry due to complex client-server technologies, as well as hard to understand topics such as access control, etc. This paper presents Cloud data-structures -- a feature in the online visual language Scratch 2.0 that enables children to programmatically store and retrieve data online. While standard data-structures are stored in memory, for Cloud variants, all operations (and data) on the data-structure are additionally sent to remote servers over the Internet. This has two consequences for a given Scratch 2.0 project: (1) Cloud data-structures are persistent across multiple execution instances, and (2) they are shared between simultaneous instances. This paper describes the motivations behind, and the design of Cloud data-structures, along with case studies describing projects created by children with this system, with a focus on the learning outcomes.
Learning extended writing: designing for children's collaboration BIBAFull-Text 36-45
  Philip Heslop; Ahmed Kharrufa; Madeline Balaam; David Leat; Paul Dolan; Patrick Olivier
We describe the learner-centered design of an application for collocated collaborative writing on digital tabletops. Learning writing is an activity that is traditionally undertaken as a non-collaborative, non-visuospatial activity. We demonstrate how framing writing as a visuospatial manipulation of elements of writing sub-tasks can promote collaboration. While collaborative visuospatial activities lend themselves to digital tabletops in particular, not all activities naturally translate into such tasks. Our application allows for (or supports) writing as a collaborative task, as well as providing a platform for students to learn extended writing. We describe the mapping between the design principles used, and the pedagogical and thinking theories that are incorporated into the design. The design is described at each iteration, including the associated user studies, and we conclude with a discussion of more widely applicable design implications. This research shows how traditional non-collaborative learning activities can, using visuospatial representations, be reconfigured as collocated collaborative learning activities.
Design to support interpersonal communication in the special educational needs classroom BIBAFull-Text 46-55
  Abigail Durrant; Jonathan Hook; Roisin McNaney; Keir Williams; Thomas Smith; Mathew Kipling; Tony Stockman; Patrick Olivier
This paper describes our Experience-centered Design (ECD) inquiry into the current and potential role of digital photography to support interpersonal communication and expression in a class at a mixed special education needs school. Presented as a case study, we describe five classroom-based Creative Photography workshops that engaged pupils with a broad range of complex special needs, along with classroom staff. We further describe how, from these workshops, we generated a set of qualitative considerations for the design of digital photographic tools to support interpersonal communication and expression in this setting. Additionally, we present the preliminary evaluation of a photo-sorting tool that we developed in response. Our case study demonstrates how an ECD approach can guide an interaction design process in a special education needs setting, supporting interaction designers in understanding and responding pragmatically to the complex and dynamic interactions at play between the stakeholders.
Discrepancies in a virtual learning environment: something "worth communicating about" for young children with ASC? BIBAFull-Text 56-65
  Alyssa M. Alcorn; Helen Pain; Judith Good
This paper explores the phenomenon of young children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC; aged 5-8 years) detecting discrepancies (i.e. novel or rule-violating occurrences) in a virtual environment (VE), and their subsequent reactions. Analysis of existent video data of 8 children with ASC interacting with the ECHOES VE showed that they detected and reacted to a range of discrepancies. More importantly, these discrepancies motivated a range of positive, social initiations, such as sharing affect, commenting, and social referencing. These early results suggest that deliberately including discrepancies in VEs may motivate initiation for children in this group. However, little is known about the possible types of discrepancies that might exist in a VE, how this population understands them, and how they might practically be incorporated into future designs.
moosikMasheens: music, motion and narrative with young people who have complex needs BIBAFull-Text 66-73
  David Meckin; Nick Bryan-Kinns
We present moosikMasheens, a novel system for musical expression by young people who have physical impairments or complex needs, playing music in a mixed ability group context. moosikMasheens consists of three electro-mechanical musical instruments that can be controlled via simple tablet computer-based interfaces. An adapted glockenspiel, guitar and a set of electro-mechanical drumsticks have the potential to provide feedback through many perceptual channels including sonic, visual, vibro-tactile and kinsaethetic. Through the use of both a priori theory and an extended participatory requirements analysis, the system has been designed for use by both teachers/workshop leaders and students, as this has previously been found to be the most common form of group musical interaction. The technical implementation of the system is outlined with an initial evaluation.
Rapid prototyping of outdoor games for children in an iterative design process BIBAFull-Text 74-83
  Iris Soute; Susanne Lagerström; Panos Markopoulos
This paper reflects on the design process of games that are played by multiple players, involving high pace activity and embodied interaction. More specifically it argues that user testing with low fidelity prototypes, which is recommended in mainstream literature on methodology in the fields of human computer interaction and game design, is not appropriate when designing these kind of games. Designers should instead, as early as possible in the design process, experiment with technology and expose working prototypes to play test with children. A case study, in which we designed several games and tested in three iterations, is also presented. The games were designed for and tested with RaPIDO, a specially designed platform for prototyping mobile and interactive technology. Finally, we argue that our hypothesis regarding technology-rich prototyping is confirmed, since the feedback from the children concerned the realized interaction, and aspects of play and social interaction were experienced in real context, instead of an imagined way as a mock-up would have allowed.
Design strategy to stimulate a diversity of motor skills for an exergame addressed to children BIBAFull-Text 84-91
  Pascal Landry; Joseph Minsky; Marta Castañer; Oleguer Camerino; Rosa Rodriguez-Arregui; Enric Ormo; Narcis Pares
A rich variety of videogames promoting physical activity has followed the emergence of new full-body interfaces. Known as exergames, these active videogames are often presented in the market as a ludic substitute to traditional sport. Although they present the benefit of being engaging, to date, the content and modality of interaction of these games cannot be granted as a regular mean to do exercise. This is an issue of particular relevance when they are perceived as a valid alternative to develop children's motor skills. This paper presents the design strategies and evaluation of the "Fish Game", an exergame that has been specifically designed to spur children to execute specific types of movement determined by health experts. In a controlled assessment with 150 children, we compared the diversity of movement in the Fish Game with respect to a previously designed game. Video analysis shows a richer variety of movements was executed in the Fish Game. We discuss the limitations of our current design procedure and future avenues that could be explored with health experts to enhance it.
Leaving room for improvisation: towards a design approach for open-ended play BIBAFull-Text 92-101
  Linda de Valk; Tilde Bekker; Berry Eggen
Open-ended play with interactive objects provides children with the freedom to construct their own rules, goals and meaning. Instead of games with strict rules, open-ended play designs offer interaction opportunities as a trigger for creating personalized games. The process of developing these designs differs from designs with predefined use. This paper presents the further development of a design approach on how to design for open-ended play. We give an overview of related work and analyze eight existing open-ended play designs. Next, interviews with design students are discussed that illustrate the process of developing open-ended play designs. As a conclusion, we describe our design approach for open-ended play, including an improved definition of open-ended play, an overview of which design parameters have to be considered and advice for tailoring a design process to consider these parameters.
Exploring motion-based touchless games for autistic children's learning BIBAFull-Text 102-111
  Laura Bartoli; Clara Corradi; Franca Garzotto; Matteo Valoriani
Our understanding of the effectiveness of motion-based touchless games for autistic children is limited, because of the small amount of empirical studies and the limits of our current knowledge on autism. This paper offers two contributions. First, we provide a survey and a discussion of the existing literature. Second, we describe a field study that extends the current body of empirical evidence of the potential benefits of touchless motion-based gaming for autistic children. Our research involved five autistic children and one therapist in the experimentation of a set of Kinect games at a therapeutic center for a period of two and a half months. Using standardized therapeutic tests, observations during game sessions, and video analysis of over 20 hours of children's activities, we evaluated the learning benefits in relationship to attentional skills and explored several factors in the emotional and behavioral sphere. Our findings show improvements of the considered learning variables and help us to better understand how autistic children experience motion-based touchless play. Overall, our research sheds a light on the opportunities offered full body touchless games for therapy and education of these special users.
In-car game design for children: child vs. parent perspective BIBAFull-Text 112-119
  Guy Hoffman; Ayelet Gal-Oz; Shlomi David; Oren Zuckerman
Family car rides can become a source of boredom for child passengers, and consequently cause tension inside the car. In an attempt to overcome this problem, we developed Mileys -- a novel in-car game that integrates location-based information, augmented reality and virtual characters. It is aimed to make car rides more interesting for child passengers, strengthen the bond between family members, encourage safe and ecological driving, and connect children with their environment instead of their entertainment devices. We evaluated Mileys with a six-week long field study, which revealed differences between children and parents regarding their desired in-car experience. Children wish to play enjoyable games, whereas parents view car rides as an opportunity for strengthening the bond between family members and for educating their children. Based on our findings, we identify five key challenges for in-car game design for children: different expectations by parents and children, undesired detachment, short interaction span, poor GPS reception, and motion sickness.
Translating Roberto to Omar: computational literacy, stickerbooks, and cultural forms BIBAFull-Text 120-127
  Michael S. Horn; Sarah AlSulaiman; Jaime Koh
We present the design and evaluation of an interactive storybook to support emerging computational literacy skills for preschool and early elementary school children. We structured our designs to take advantage of existing language literacy practices between parents and children around the cultural form of a children's storybook. We evaluated our design with 14 families from two distinct cultural backgrounds: families from the United States Midwest and families from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Our findings describe ways in which parents support and structure children's programming activities, and how parental involvement varied across the two groups.
PBS KIDS mathematics transmedia suites in preschool homes BIBAFull-Text 128-136
  Betsy McCarthy; Linlin Li; Michelle Tiu; Sara Atienza
There is growing evidence that economically disadvantaged preschool children have less extensive mathematical knowledge than their middle-income peers [14, 37]. This study addresses a program to foster low-income parents' support for their preschool children's mathematical development. Parents use PBS KIDS LAB web- and mobile-based mathematics transmedia game suites with their children. The study used a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group design, which assigned 90 parent/child dyads from two Head Start centers serving primarily low-income families to an intervention or comparison group. The results indicate that the intervention was positively associated with gains in children's knowledge and skills in mathematics (p<.05), as measured by Test of Early Mathematics Ability (TEMA-3), after accounting for differences in baseline assessment results and participant demographic characteristics. The use of these age-appropriate digital media and related home activities also led to increases in parents' awareness of strategies to support their child's mathematics learning and their direct support of mathematics learning in the home environment.
Designing healthcare games and applications for toddlers BIBAFull-Text 137-146
  Marikken Høiseth; Michail N. Giannakos; Ole A. Alsos; Letizia Jaccheri; Jonas Asheim
Healthcare games are becoming increasingly popular because of their potential to improve patients' wellbeing before, during, and after medical treatment. Even though young children (here referred to as toddlers) make up a growing group of gamers, there is a lack of research focusing on healthcare games for this group. Since toddlers often express unmotivated behavior towards receiving medical treatment, the potential of healthcare gaming applications for this group should be explored. The purpose of our study is to provide a set of research-derived design considerations for healthcare games and applications for toddlers. Our approach included an initial best practices collection through a workshop involving experts from pediatric healthcare and pedagogy, and an affinity diagramming categorization by a focus group with HCI and health researchers. This resulted in a robust set of best practices that was further used for establishing a connection with game components and transformation into design considerations. As an illustrating example we present a prototype of a healthcare game developed to improve nebulizer treatment for toddlers. The final result of this work is a set of key aspects to consider when designing healthcare games and applications for toddlers. The results should be useful for designers and researchers who work in the intersection between health and young user groups.
Translating preschoolers' game experiences into design guidelines via a laddering study BIBAFull-Text 147-156
  Véronique Celis; Jelle Husson; Vero Vanden Abeele; Leen Loyez; Lieven Van den Audenaeren; Pol Ghesquière; Ann Goeleven; Jan Wouters; Luc Geurts
Over the past decades, preschoolers emerged as frequent and experienced users of new digital media. As this trend continues, it is important for game designers to address the gratifications of this new gaming audience. Unfortunately, existing theoretical frameworks on meaningful gameplay for preschoolers are rare, outdated, or they lack a comprehensive validation. In this paper, we present a User Experience (UX) Laddering study to unveil the gameplay preferences of preschoolers, relying on five-year olds (n=25) as active research participants. The results of this study provide a set of meaningful and useful guidelines for future game designers, directed at this young target group.
Examining the need for visual feedback during gesture interaction on mobile touchscreen devices for kids BIBAFull-Text 157-164
  Lisa Anthony; Quincy Brown; Jaye Nias; Berthel Tate
Surface gesture interaction styles used on modern mobile touchscreen devices are often dependent on the platform and application. Some applications show a visual trace of gesture input as it is made by the user, whereas others do not. Little work has been done examining the usability of visual feedback for surface gestures, especially for children. In this paper, we present results from an empirical study conducted with children, teens, and adults to explore characteristics of gesture interaction with and without visual feedback. We find that the gestures generated with and without visual feedback by users of different ages diverge significantly in ways that make them difficult to interpret. In addition, users prefer to see visual feedback. Based on these findings, we present several design recommendations for new surface gesture interfaces for children, teens, and adults on mobile touchscreen devices. In general, we recommend providing visual feedback, especially for children, wherever possible.
Games as neurofeedback training for children with FASD BIBAFull-Text 165-172
  Regan L. Mandryk; Shane Dielschneider; Michael R. Kalyn; Christopher P. Bertram; Michael Gaetz; Andre Doucette; Brett A. Taylor; Alison Pritchard Orr; Kathy Keiver
Biofeedback games help people maintain specific mental or physical states and are useful to help children with cognitive impairments learn to self-regulate their brain function. However, biofeedback games are expensive and difficult to create and are not sufficiently appealing to hold a child's interest over the long term needed for effective biofeedback training. We present a system that turns off-the-shelf computer games into biofeedback games. Our approach uses texture-based graphical overlays that vary in their obfuscation of underlying screen elements based on the sensed physiological state of the child. The textures can be visually customized so that they appear to be integrated with the underlying game. Through a 12-week deployment, with 16 children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, we show that our solution can hold a child's interest over a long term, and balances the competing needs of maintaining the fun of playing, while providing effective biofeedback training.
Gears of our childhood: constructionist toolkits, robotics, and physical computing, past and future BIBAFull-Text 173-182
  Paulo Blikstein
Microcontroller-based toolkits and physical computing devices have been used in educational settings for many years for robotics, environmental sensing, scientific experimentation, and interactive art. Based on a historical analysis of the development of these devices, this study examines the design principles underlying the several available platforms for physical computing and presents a framework to analyze various platforms and their use in education. Given the now widespread use of these devices among children and their long history in the field, a historical review and analysis of this technology would be useful for interaction designers.
Towards an ecological inquiry in child-computer interaction BIBAFull-Text 183-192
  Rachel C. Smith; Ole S. Iversen; Thomas Hjermitslev; Aviaja B. Lynggaard
This paper introduces an Ecological Inquiry as a methodological approach for designing technology with children. The inquiry is based on the "ecological turn" in HCI, Ubiquitous Computing and Participatory Design that shift the emphasis of design from technological artifacts to entire use ecologies into which technologies are integrated. Our Ecological Inquiry extends Cooperative Inquiry in three directions: from understanding to emergence of social practices and meanings, from design of artifacts to hybrid environments, and from a focus on technology to appropriations through design and use. We exemplify our approach in a case study through which we designed social technologies for hybrid learning environments with children in two schools, and discuss how an Ecological Inquiry can inform existing approaches in CCI.
Understanding the fidelity effect when evaluating games with children BIBAFull-Text 193-200
  Gavin Sim; Brendan Cassidy; Janet C. Read
There have been a number of studies that have compared evaluation results from prototypes of different fidelities but very few of these are with children. This paper reports a comparative study of three prototypes ranging from low fidelity to high fidelity within the context of mobile games, using a between subject design with 37 participants aged 7 to 9. The children played a matching game on either an iPad, a paper prototype using screen shots of the actual game or a sketched version. Observational data was captured to establish the usability problems, and two tools from the Fun Toolkit were used to measure user experience. The results showed that there was little difference for user experience between the three prototypes and very few usability problems were unique to a specific prototype. The contribution of this paper is that children using low-fidelity prototypes can effectively evaluate games of this genre and style.
Brownies or bags-of-stuff?: domain expertise in cooperative inquiry with children BIBAFull-Text 201-210
  Jason Yip; Tamara Clegg; Elizabeth Bonsignore; Helene Gelderblom; Emily Rhodes; Allison Druin
Researchers often utilize the method of Participatory Design to work together with users to enhance technology. In particular, Cooperative Inquiry is a method of Participatory Design with children that involves full partnership between researchers and children. One important challenge designers face in creating learning technologies is that these technologies are often situated in specific activities and contexts. While children involved in these activities may have subject expertise (e.g., science inquiry process), they may not have design expertise (e.g., design aesthetics, usability). In contrast, children with design expertise may be familiar with how to design with researchers, but may not have subject expertise. Little is known about the distinction between child design and subject experts in Cooperative Inquiry. In this paper, we examine two cases -- involving children with design expertise and those with subject expertise -- to better understand the design process for both groups of children. The data from this study suggests that similarities do exist between the two cases, but that design and subject knowledge does play a significant role in how children co-design learning technologies.
Interaction design research with adolescents: methodological challenges and best practices BIBAFull-Text 211-217
  Erika S. Poole; Tamara Peyton
Adolescents represent nearly one-fifth of the planet's population, yet the interaction design literature offers little guidance on the unique needs, opportunities, and challenges of designing for this age group. In this paper, we provide guidance on interaction design with adolescents, grounded in methodological and behavioral sciences literature. We clarify what adolescence is and what the needs of adolescents are with respect to their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical changes. We present and discuss common pitfalls that can occur in research and design projects involving adolescent populations. We single out of video data gathering methods as a particularly apropos approach to understanding teen populations and offer up an overview our own approach to videography, called 'mobile video collage'. We conclude with a call to the field of interaction design and children to better understand the unique position, needs and values of adolescents.
Toward a taxonomy of design genres: fostering mathematical insight via perception-based and action-based experiences BIBAFull-Text 218-227
  Dor Abrahamson
In a retrospective analysis of my own pedagogical design projects over the past twenty years, I articulate and compare what I discern therein as two distinct activity genres for grounding mathematical concepts. One genre, "perception-based design," builds on learners' early mental capacity to draw logical inferences from perceptual judgment of intensive quantities in source phenomena, such as displays of color densities. The other genre, "action-based design," builds on learners' perceptuomotor capacity to develop new kinesthetic routines for strategic embodied interaction, such as moving the hands at different speeds to keep a screen green. Both capacities are effective evolutionary means of engaging the world, and both bear pedagogical potential as epistemic resources by which to build meaning for mathematical models of, and solution processes for situated problems. Empirical studies that investigated designs built in these genres suggest a two-step activity format by which instructors can guide learners to reinvent conceptual cores. In a primary problem, learners apply or develop non-symbolic perceptuomotor schemas to engage the task effectively. In a secondary problem, learners devise means of appropriating newly interpolated mathematical forms as enactive, semiotic, or epistemic means of enhancing, explaining, and evaluating their primary response. Whereas my analysis distills activities into two separate genres for rhetorical clarity, ultimately embodied interaction may interleave and synthesize the genres' elements.
Augmenting play and learning in the primary classroom BIBAFull-Text 228-236
  Marie Bodén; Andrew Dekker; Stephen Viller; Ben Matthews
In this article we present the design and study of Save the wild, a system designed to support augmented play and learning for children. Save the wild is an augmented reality (AR) based system with which children can interact by creating origami paper characters printed with fiducial markers that can be recognised via the webcam attached to the computer. The system aims to give students a level of awareness around problems with sustainability. As children make visible their origami creations to the camera, the system displays animated virtual characters that are attached to simple storylines that relate to sustainability and environmental consciousness.
   We studied how Save the wild was used and interacted with by students in two environments: at a public exhibition and within a classroom. We found that the technologies that were used (fiducial markers) can be used to create environments that support multiple modes of interaction and different forms of engagement with educational content. The technology allows designers of these systems to augment physical play and activity without requiring new technologies to be introduced, rather using technologies already found within the classroom. We find that by using AR, it is possible to enhance play-based learning without it becoming focused on the technology -- rather it augments and guides the learners' own narrative. We conclude with a discussion on how AR/marker technology can enable technology to create a more exciting interactive and social experience for young students while they are learning.
Playing for real: designing alternate reality games for teenagers in learning contexts BIBAFull-Text 237-246
  Elizabeth Bonsignore; Derek Hansen; Kari Kraus; Amanda Visconti; June Ahn; Allison Druin
An Alternate Reality Game (ARG) is a form of transmedia storytelling that engages players in scavenger hunt-like missions to collectively uncover, interpret, and reassemble the fragments of a story that is distributed across multiple media, platforms, and locations. ARGs are participatory experiences, because players have a central role in reconstructing the storyline. Furthermore, players interact with the game as themselves, not via avatars. Although transmedia formats like ARGs have garnered increasing attention in entertainment and education, most have been targeted for adults 18 and older. Few studies have explored the design process of education-based ARGs for children. In this paper, we detail the design and implementation of an ARG for middle school students (13-15 years old). We describe the strategies we used to distribute story elements across various media and to encourage players to participate in an authentic inquiry process. We found that a "protagonist by proxy", or in-game character with whom players related closely, served as a strong motivator and a model for positive participation. We highlight student interactions and offer insights for designers who implement ARGs and similar immersive learning experiences.
Designing for science learning and collaborative discourse BIBAFull-Text 247-256
  Todd Shimoda; Barbara White; Marcela Borge; John Frederiksen
A prototype Web-based environment, called the Web of Inquiry, was developed that built on previous work in science learning and technology. This new system was designed to meet constructivist-learning principles, support self-reflection, and meet specific interaction goals within the classroom environment. The system was tested it in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade (ages 10-13) classrooms. Mixed methods results suggest that the system met many of the initial design goals and also identified areas that could be improved in future iterations of the system.

Short Papers

Revisiting PointAssist and studying effects of control-display gain on pointing performance by four-year-olds BIBAFull-Text 257-260
  David Ahlström; Martin Hitz
Previous in-depth analyses of the cursor paths taken by young children when they point at screen targets have shown that the fine-tuning movements that are necessary to accurately position the cursor over a small target can be very troublesome. We present two mouse pointing experiments with four-year-olds; the first re-evaluates the effect of PointAssist, a technique designed to help children performing fine-tuning movements by tracking the cursor and manipulating the cursor control-display gain in problem situations. The results partially confirm previously reported results showing that PointAssist can improve children's pointing accuracy when pointing at small targets. The second experiment investigates the effect of various (constant) cursor control-display gains on children's pointing performance. The results suggest a preference for higher gains.
Things to imagine with: designing for the child's creativity BIBAFull-Text 261-264
  Sharon Lynn Chu; Francis Quek
How does the physicality of an object impact creativity? Our work investigates how objects that possess affordances varying in perceptual and manipulative specificity affect the imagination of the elementary school child. The use of three different kinds of objects was compared: cultural, physical and across three objects (frying pan, pickaxe, lantern) by children enacting parts of a story. We measure the child's 'broader imagination'. Results showed that the physical object type provides better support to extend the imagination of the 9-year old child. There were however gender differences that suggest differing affinity to specific objects. We discuss how our results inform the design of tangibles for enactment-based story authoring systems.
Drawing the electric: storytelling with conductive ink BIBAFull-Text 265-268
  Sam Jacoby; Leah Buechley
We explore conductive ink as an expressive medium for narrative storytelling and interaction design with children, introducing StoryClip, a toolkit that integrates functional materials, computation, and drawing. The StoryClip kit consists of silver ink, ordinary art supplies, and a hardware-software tool, allowing a child's drawing to function as an audio recording-and-playback interface. We exploit craft and artistic practice to motivate technological exploration, turning a conventional illustration into a multimedia interface that promotes multi-level engagement with children. In this note, we describe the design of our system and discuss our findings from two workshops with children.
Building an experience framework for a digital peer support service for children surviving from cancer BIBAFull-Text 269-272
  Pontus Wärnestål; Jens Nygren
Childhood cancer survivors adjust to the physical, mental, and social difficulties associated with their illness and treatment. This process can be facilitated by social support from peers. For children, this is often problematic due to geographical, clinical, and age-related limitations. This paper reports on a stakeholder assessment study that confirms the relevance of a digital peer support service for childhood cancer survivors. The analysis establishes where in the existing health care process the digital peer support service should be introduced, what actors play a key role in facilitating service onboarding and use, and characterizes desirable user experience qualities. The analysis also yields a collection of design challenges to be addressed in the development of the digital peer support service.
Quantified recess: design of an activity for elementary students involving analyses of their own movement data BIBAFull-Text 273-276
  Victor R. Lee; Joel Drake
Recess is often a time for children in school to engage recreationally in physically demanding and highly interactive activities with their peers. This paper describes a design effort to encourage fifth-grade students to examine sensitivities associated with different measures of center by having them analyze activities during recess using over the course of a week using Fitbit activity trackers and TinkerPlots data visualization software. We describe the activity structure some observed student behaviors during the activity. We also provide a descriptive account, based on video records and transcripts, of two students who engaged thoughtfully with their recess data and developed a more sophisticated understanding of when and how outliers affect means and medians.
A Wizard-of-Oz elicitation study examining child-defined gestures with a whole-body interface BIBAFull-Text 277-280
  Sabrina Connell; Pei-Yi Kuo; Liu Liu; Anne Marie Piper
This paper explores the use of a guessability study to examine child-defined gestures with Kinect. Applying a Wizard-of-Oz approach, gestures were elicited from six children (age 3-8) through a series of 22 task stimuli including object manipulation, navigation-based tasks, and spatial interaction. Gestures were video recorded, transcribed, and coded by three researchers employing an inductive, qualitative method of analysis. Five themes emerged from the data: (1) the influence of 2D touchscreens on children's interactions in 3D, (2) the role of contextual cues in designing a stimuli set, (3) individual preferences for dominant styles of interaction, (4) different approaches children employ to simulate the same object path, and (5) and allocentric versus egocentric approaches for manipulating objects on screen. While we did not achieve strong consensus among all of the gestures produced by children in our study, our results provide a basis for further refinement of the stimulus set and methodology used for future work examining child-defined gestures for whole-body interfaces.
Designing the LIT KIT, an interactive, environmental, cyber-physical artifact enhancing children's picture-book reading BIBAFull-Text 281-284
  George J. Schafer; Keith Evan Green; Ian D. Walker; Elise Lewis; Susan King Fullerton; Arash Soleimani; Matthew Norris; Katrina Fumagali; Jingjie Zhao; Reisha Allport; Xuefei Zheng; Reinaldo Gift; Ajay Padmakumar
The outcome of a multidisciplinary and iterative process, the LIT KIT is a portable, cyber-physical artifact supporting children's picture-book reading. The LIT KIT follows from the hypothesis that children's literacy can be advanced in a tangible, co-creative environment that is both physical and digital. The LIT KIT employs color, sound and movement to scaffold meaning-making through the creation of an environment that is evocative of the picture-book being read. Designed with a Sifteo™ cube [16] interface, the LIT KIT creates room-scaled audio-visual and spatial effects to both contextualize language and provide feedback during dialogical interactions between a child and an adult reader. Children can customize the LIT KIT settings to actively interpret the ideas, concepts and environments inherent in the picture-book's words and images. The LIT KIT is an outreach component, for home or classroom use, of our developing room-scaled LIT ROOM for a major public library. Presented here are motivations for the LIT KIT, and an elaboration of its design and development. Usability evaluations have begun and continue, as we further the prototype with expected completion in Summer 2013.
MemoLine: evaluating long-term UX with children BIBAFull-Text 285-288
  Jorick Vissers; Lode De Bot; Bieke Zaman
Recently, there has been an increased interest in long-term user experience. This paper reports an explorative study concerning the MemoLine instrument, a child-friendly adaptation of the UX Curve method to study long-term user experience concerning games in a retrospective way. The results suggest that children aged 9-11 years were able to use this instrument for recalling and relocating memories on a timeline in a dedicated and consistent way. Furthermore the results also indicate that the children heavily relied upon the visual recognition points, which were added to support recalling and relocating experiences in time.
Low-tech and high-tech prototyping for eBook co-design with children BIBAFull-Text 289-292
  Luca Colombo; Monica Landoni
This paper draws on a Cooperative Inquiry study conducted at a children's library that aimed to design and develop more engaging eBooks for children, with children as design partners. The study was characterized by four different stages where we experimented both low-tech and high-tech prototyping by introducing tablet computers as tools for supporting co-design. At the end of the study we analyzed pros and cons of each approach.
Children initiating and leading cooperative inquiry sessions BIBAFull-Text 293-296
  Jason C. Yip; Elizabeth Foss; Elizabeth Bonsignore; Mona Leigh Guha; Leyla Norooz; Emily Rhodes; Brenna McNally; Panagis Papadatos; Evan Golub; Allison Druin
Cooperative Inquiry is a Participatory Design method that involves children (typically 7-11 years old) as full partners with adults in the design of technologies intended for use by children. For many years, child designers have worked together with adults in Cooperative Inquiry approaches. However, in the past children have not typically initiated the design problems tackled by the intergenerational team, nor have they acted in leadership roles by conducting design sessions -- until now. In this paper, we detail three case studies of Cooperative Inquiry in which children led the process of design, from initial problem formulation through one iteration of design review and elaboration. We frame our analysis from three perspectives on the design process: behaviors exhibited by child leaders and their fellow co-designers; supports required for child leaders; and views expressed by child leaders and their co-design cohort about the sessions that they led.
Students' use of mobile technology to collect data in guided inquiry on field trips BIBAFull-Text 297-300
  Wan-Tzu Lo; Chris Quintana
This study was conducted during a two-week summer science camp that included two field trips to a local river and to a botanical garden. During the camp period, fifth and sixth graders learned about water quality in the class, collected data using Zydeco (a mobile-based inquiry learning system) on field trips, and reviewed data in the classroom. This paper is aimed to discuss how students make decision to capture multimedia data (video, audio, photo) and metadata (tag) on the Zydeco system to answer their driving question, and to explore students' perspectives on this type of guided inquiry learning with the use of the supportive mobile-based program.
Beelight: helping children discover colors BIBAFull-Text 301-304
  Yuebo Shen; Yiwu Qiu; Ke Li; Yi Liu
Despite the modern technology being used at preschool, how children learn about colors remains in a traditional, lacking of interaction way, teachers show a color object and make children know the color. We found that children are fascinated about exploring the world through the direct manipulation of physical objects. In this paper, we present Beelight, a novel digital manipulative aimed at preschool children, aged four and up, to improve children's color recognition ability. Cooperative inquiry and iterative prototype design are conducted during the project in order to evolve our prototype. Our Beelight system has a powerful ability to engage preschool children in active playing, which promotes their color cognitive development. Beelight is a great companion for young children to learn and discover colors. This study is a tangible interactive attempt of the preschool teaching system.
Programming robots at the museum BIBAFull-Text 305-308
  Caroline Pantofaru; Austin Hendrix; Andreas Paepcke; Dirk Thomas; Sharon Marzouk; Sarah Elliott
We describe our experience exhibiting a human-size robot in a museum, encouraging visitors to interact with the robot and even program it to perform a sequence of timed poses. At the museum, users' programs were run on a real robot for all to see. The installation attracted and engaged visitors from age two to adult. The most intuitive of our interfaces was equally captivating for young and older visitors. We present the pros and cons of our interfaces and the engagement of visitors at the exhibit as lessons for other exhibitors who aim to achieve active prolonged engagement with robots in museum settings.
TUI, GUI, HUI: is a bimodal interface truly worth the sum of its parts? BIBAFull-Text 309-312
  Amanda Strawhacker; Amanda Sullivan; Marina Umaschi Bers
This study aims to explore the relative differences in efficacy of three different computer programming interfaces for controlling robots designed for early childhood education. A sample of N=36 kindergarten students from 3 different classrooms participated in this research. Each classroom was randomly assigned to one of the following three conditions: a tangible user interface, a graphical user interface, and a hybrid user interface. Comparisons between the three conditions focus on which interface yields better understanding of the programming concepts taught. Implications for designing developmentally appropriate computer programming interfaces for early childhood education are discussed.
Recruiting and retaining young participants: strategies from five years of field research BIBAFull-Text 313-316
  Elizabeth Foss; Allison Druin; Mona Leigh Guha
This paper discusses the challenges inherent in conducting research with young participants. Based on a series of three studies with children ranging in age from 7-17 as examples, the paper contains descriptions of participant recruitment approaches and challenges. Also included is a discussion of issues surrounding the retention of participants for longitudinal studies, including specific issues for participant retention and loss. Overall, this paper provides detailed experiences of the challenges of large-scale long-term field work with children, and provides guidance for others who are in similar research situations.
PuppetPlay: testing interactive puppets to promote reading comprehension in Uganda & El Salvador BIBAFull-Text 317-319
  Amy Ahearn; Vincent Kizza; José Douglas Martinez
PuppetPlay is a dynamic puppet theater kit that combines embodied and virtual play to foster reading comprehension. It demonstrates the potential of basic augmented reality technologies to promote literacy development. PuppetPlay consists of a set of low-cost puppets tagged with fiducial markers that display corresponding images on a virtual screen when detected by a laptop's web camera. Children can use the physical puppets to animate and record their own digital retellings and extensions of stories. It aspires to make creative co-production of digital media accessible to young children in developing country contexts and enable local language stories to be captured for later use as teaching resources. In this paper, we present the design of PuppetPlay and its application in Uganda and El Salvador.
Exploration of videochat for children with autism BIBAFull-Text 320-323
  Sanika Mokashi; Svetlana Yarosh; Gregory D. Abowd
Autism is characterized by language delays and difficulties in social interactions. Remote synchronous communication technologies may provide children with autism with new opportunities to practice social interaction when in-person interaction may not be possible. We conducted an empirical investigation, asking children with autism to interact with a teacher using two different videochat prototypes. We found that the teachers were able to engage the children in social interactions using videochat, using certain techniques to draw the children away from distractions or fixations. We describe the effective strategies used by the teachers and discuss opportunities and challenges in using a traditional video-conferencing layout compared to an alternative side-by-side layout.
CASTOR: listening to engaging context-aware stories outdoors BIBAFull-Text 324-327
  Fabio Pittarello; Luca Bertani
In this paper we present a novel tablet application for the delivery of narrations that uses an extended set of context dimensions (i.e., location, weather, season, time of the day and social context) for determining the availability of the content. The application is part of a software suite that has been designed for managing all the phases of creation and processing of context-aware stories, and that has been tailored and tested with a class of children aged 7. While many context-aware applications take advantage of the knowledge of the context for diminishing the cognitive load of the users or simply informing them, in this work context-awareness is used for augmenting the user engagement. The paper will present the results of an exploratory study of the application outdoors, focusing on two primary issues: the engagement, defined as the sum of six relevant parameters, and the relevance of the context dimensions as perceived by the children listening to the stories.
You are the real experts!: Studying teenagers' motivation in participatory design BIBAFull-Text 328-331
  Elin Irene Krog Hansen; Ole Sejer Iversen
Participatory Design (PD) engages those who are affected by a future design artefact in the design process. Participatory Design literature mostly describe how users are engaged in the process and tools, techniques and methods for facilitating the process as one of mutual learning. Nevertheless, the study of how users are motivated in engaging with the design process is still uncovered. This paper examines how PD researchers motivates teenagers to engage in a Participatory Design project. By analyzing the core activities in a PD project, we will present the means used for motivating teens to participate in the design process.
Participatory design workshops with children with cancer: lessons learned BIBAFull-Text 332-335
  Susanne Lindberg
The design and development of information technology for use in health services presents a complex and sensitive situation. It includes not only managing differing interests and situations, but does so in a context that might give rise to negative emotions among the participating users. When the future users are children, this design process becomes even more complex. Participatory design is considered suitable for design with children. The premise for the participation of the children in this study was that they were, or had been treated for cancer. Therefore, their participation could awaken negative emotions, and make the situation difficult for them to handle. How participatory design with children can be conducted in such a sensitive context is therefore explored, grounded in the experience from six design workshops. The workshops evolved around the concept of comics as a way to allow the children to express themselves with familiar means. Three main lessons were learned from the workshops: working in pairs promotes an efficient work situation and the possibility to keep an eye on the children's wellbeing; proxies need to be distanced from the participating children; and the scenarios in the comics set the level of realism of the result.
Designing creative activities for children: the importance of collaboration and the threat of losing control BIBAFull-Text 336-339
  Michail N. Giannakos; Letizia Jaccheri
Creative activities for children have drawn great interest in the last years. The advent of programming languages for children (i.e., Scratch) combined with accessible programmable hardware platforms (i.e., Arduino) makes it possible for children to engage in creative development of digital artifact, like robots and interactive installations. However, there are limited studies towards the design and improvement of these activities. The goal of this study is to provide validated knowledge about the trade-off between collaboration and control throughout creative programming activities. To this end, a group of researchers and artists designed and implemented two workshop programs of a total of 51 pupils, exploring their experiences with open source software. The workshops were based on Reggio Emilia philosophy of creative reuse and the open-source software Scratch. Qualitative and quantitative approaches of the research are based on data collected through interviews, surveys and observations. The results of this paper argue that: (a) collaboration among children improves the value of the workshops, (b) however big groups lead children to lose the control over their actions during the workshop, and (c) children's control significantly affects workshop's usefulness.
Playful taste interaction BIBAFull-Text 340-343
  Christiane Moser; Manfred Tscheligi
Human-food interaction is an emerging research area, dealing with problems people can have related to food, such as a lack of nutrition knowledge. Recently, more attention has been put on investigating pseudo-gustatory interfaces. As food is a central part of our life and brings people together, it inspired us to think about possible playful taste interactions. The recently developed LOLLio prototype enabled us to investigate how children experience the interaction with a gustatory interface. It provides a long lasting sweet taste through a lollipop, a taste-based output using citric acid and allows some degree of tangible input through moving around its handle equipped with accelerometers. Within a user study in a laboratory with 10 children, we investigated users' game experiences and the perceived taste while playing a gustatory game. The results revealed that the interaction with the LOLLio provided fun, mainly positive game experiences and raised curiosity. Additionally, the chosen taste-based output seemed to be appropriate for the interaction with a game, as the taste was rated to be delicious and never disgusting.
TanPro-kit: a tangible programming tool for children BIBAFull-Text 344-347
  Danli Wang; Yunfeng Qi; Yang Zhang; Tingting Wang
This paper describes a new tangible programming tool -- TanPro-Kit which was designed for children aged 5 to 9. It consists of programming blocks and a LED pad. The LED pad presents visual animations and audible feedback according to the arrangement of blocks with which children make program to play a maze game. Aiming at lowering the cost of TanPro-Kit, we adopted LED, RFID, wireless and infrared technology to develop the whole system. The system acquires the programming blocks' physical information which is then translated into programming semantic. TanPro-Kit is low-cost, which is more acceptable in developing countries. We ran a user study with 16 children involved, which showed TanPro-Kit to be attractive to children and easy to learn and use.
The mobile learning exploration system (MoLES) in semantically modeled ambient learning spaces BIBAFull-Text 348-351
  Thomas Winkler; Michael Herczeg
This paper focuses on educational insights that led to the development of the Mobile Learning Exploration System (MoLES). We explain how the system, as part of wider research on ambient learning spaces, has been developed on the basis of systemic-constructivist pedagogy, which emphasizes the design of learning environments for contemporary teaching. For the design of such learning environments key elements of educational theories play an important role. With the recent redesign of MoLES -- now part of ambient learning spaces where different applications use the same multimedia objects -- we introduce semantic multimedia cloud computing and linked data models as a key educational element in the context of situated and mobile learning.
Fun and fair: influencing turn-taking in a multi-party game with a virtual agent BIBAFull-Text 352-355
  Sean Andrist; Iolanda Leite; Jill Lehman
Language-based interfaces for children hold great promise in education, therapy, and entertainment. An important subset of these interfaces includes those with a virtual agent that mediates the interaction. When participants are groups of children, the agent will need to exert a certain amount of turn-taking control to ensure that all group members participate and benefit from the experience, but must do so without being so overtly directive as to undermine the children's enjoyment of and engagement in the task. We present a hierarchy of nonverbal and verbal behaviors that a virtual agent can employ flexibly when passing the conversational turn. When used effectively, these behaviors can equalize participation, and potentially decrease the amount of overlapping speech among participants, improving automatic speech recognition in turn. We evaluated the behaviors by having children play a language-based game twice, once with a flexible host and once with an inflexible host that did not have access to the behaviors. Post-game opinion cards revealed no difference between the conditions with respect to fun or likability of the host, despite the flexible agent eliciting more evenly distributed play.
The play grid BIBAFull-Text 356-359
  Rune Fogh; Asger Johansen
In this paper we propose The Play Grid, a model for systemizing different play types. The approach is psychological by nature and the actual Play Grid is based, therefore, on two pairs of fundamental and widely acknowledged distinguishing characteristics of the ego, namely: extraversion vs. introversion and agency vs. communion. The former pair concerns a person's orientation towards either inner or outer reality, while the latter has to do with orientation towards autonomy vs. being a part of something. When placing these pairs of characteristics on different axes and combining them, we arrive at the Play Grid. Thus, the model has four quadrants, each of them describing one of four play types: the Assembler, the Director, the Explorer, and the Improviser. It is our hope that the Play Grid can be a useful design tool for making entertainment products for children.
The DEVICE project: development of educational programs with a specific focus on design for children BIBAFull-Text 360-363
  Chiara Ferrarini; Eva Eriksson; Roberto Montanari; Ruth Sims
This paper describes the aim and preliminary results obtained during the first year of the project: "DEVICE: DEsign for Vulnerable generatIons- Children and Elderly". The aim of the project is to develop new educational programs for students and professionals with a specific focus on design for vulnerable generations, mainly children and elderly. The paper, whose focus is on design for children, describes the methodology and the preliminary results of the state of the art and analysis undertaken within the project, which consists of a list of training needs and educational programs that will be developed and validated during the next project months.
Human SUGOROKU: full-body interaction system for students to learn vegetation succession BIBAFull-Text 364-367
  Takayuki Adachi; Masafumi Goseki; Keita Muratsu; Hiroshi Mizoguchi; Miki Namatame; Masanori Sugimoto; Fusako Kusunoki; Etsuji Yamaguchi; Shigenori Inagaki; Yoshiaki Takeda
In this study, we developed a simulation game called "Human SUGOROKU" that consists of a full-body interaction system to enable elementary school students to enjoy and learn vegetation succession. The students' sense of immersion is improved by enabling them to play this game using their body movements. We conducted an experiment with the students and investigated the affects of the full-body interaction through interviews. The results showed that the full-body interaction promotes a sense of immersion in the game. This paper describes the structure of this system and the interview results.
Invent-abling: enabling inventiveness through craft BIBAFull-Text 368-371
  Sibel Deren Guler; Michael Everett Rule
Computationally enhanced craft items have created a new genre of educational toys and construction kits. Previous work shows that such activities increase interest in STEM particularly among female audiences [11]. However, there are few affordable kits for children, and current projects leave room for improvement. Many kits provide "cookie cutter" projects that call for blind following of instructions. Additionally, they market to girls with stereotyped branding (e.g. using colors like pink or activities like baking) and with preconceived ideas about their interests. We are working to expose these concepts in gender-neutral ways that encourage creativity and resourcefulness. The Invent-abling project, outlined in this paper, addresses gender inequality in STEM learning tools by exploring how aesthetics, materials, applications, and learning styles, impact girls' engagement with educational materials.
Learning in critter corral: evaluating three kinds of feedback in a preschool math app BIBAFull-Text 372-375
  Kristen Pilner Blair
We describe a freely available iPad app for preschoolers aimed at helping children develop robust early number concepts for the numbers 1-10. We will present results of an in-progress study, involving pre-post learning measures, in-game learning measures, and video data, aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the app and of comparing three models of feedback. We created three versions of the app, each of which employs a different kind of feedback when the learner solves a problem incorrectly. In the Implication Feedback condition (IF), the learner sees that their incorrect answer resulted in too many or too few, and they add more or take some away to fix it. In the Corrective Feedback condition (CF) the learner is shown the correct answer after a mistake and why it is correct, and they imitate the correct answer. In the Answer until Correct condition (AUC), learners are given an indication that they have made a mistake, and they continue trying until they answer correctly.
Designing early childhood math games: a research-driven approach BIBAFull-Text 376-379
  Ashley Lewis Presser; Philip Vahey; Christine Zanchi
This paper describes the iterative research and development process used by the Next Generation Preschool Math project, which integrates content analysis, logic model processes, and iterative design and research approaches. An innovative aspect of this process is the inclusion of an adapted version of evidence-centered design -- an approach traditionally used to create assessments -- to align the mathematical goals with the design of instructional materials as well as with the assessment.
Digital culture creative classrooms (DC3): teaching 21st century proficiencies in high schools by engaging students in creative digital projects BIBAFull-Text 380-383
  David Tinapple; John Sadauskas; Loren Olson
Children and young adults are immersed in digital culture, but most are not familiar with the computational thinking behind the latest tools and technologies. There are few opportunities in secondary school curricula for students to learn such practices, but we believe that skills such as computational thinking, creative coding, collaboration, innovation, and information literacy can be taught in a highly effective manner by using aesthetic challenges as a motivation. In other words, by engaging students in creative digital arts projects they are naturally driven to acquire the many new skills to effectively use and understand the computational tools and techniques involved in creating digital and interactive projects. In this paper, we outline a project-based digital arts curriculum through which novice middle/high school students are intrinsically motivated to learn and apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and computational thinking.
Engaging children in cars through a robot companion BIBAFull-Text 384-387
  Liang Hiah; Tatiana Sidorenkova; Lilia Perez Romero; Yu-Fang Teh; Ferdy van Varik; Jacques Terken; Dalila Szostak
Having children as passengers in a car influences the parents' experience of driving. Concern for their safety often supersedes other considerations. When designing in-car solutions to address the special needs of children as passengers, one could aim for assisting the parents with this task. For such systems, it is important that the proposed solution is able to engage the children and keeps them from distracting the driver, while offering the children an interesting and meaningful way to spend their time in the car. We propose and evaluate a conceptual design that involves an interactive, full-speech companion that uses information from the drive to entertain and educate children. Our evaluation reveals that a robot companion is able to engage the children more than a similar system without a physical companion, giving them an entity to direct their interactions to. This finding makes it a worthwhile consideration for designers to add such components to their solutions.
Using gamification to motivate children to complete empirical studies in lab environments BIBAFull-Text 388-391
  Robin Brewer; Lisa Anthony; Quincy Brown; Germaine Irwin; Jaye Nias; Berthel Tate
In this paper, we describe the challenges we encountered and solutions we developed while collecting mobile touch and gesture interaction data in laboratory conditions from children ages 5 to 7 years old. We identify several challenges of conducting empirical studies with young children, including study length, motivation, and environment. We then propose and validate techniques for designing study protocols for this age group, focusing on the use of gamification components to better engage children in laboratory studies. The use of gamification increased our study task completion rates from 73% to 97%. This research contributes a better understanding of how to design study protocols for young children when lab studies are needed or preferred. Research with younger age groups alongside older children, adults, and special populations can lead to more sound guidelines for universal usability of mobile applications.
A comparative evaluation of touch and pen gestures for adult and child users BIBAFull-Text 392-395
  Ahmed Sabbir Arif; Cristina Sylla
In this paper, we present results of two user studies that compared the performance of touch-based and pen-based gesture input on capacitive touchscreens for both adult and 8-11 years old child users. Results showed that inputting gestures with pen was significantly faster and more accurate than touch for adult users. However, no significant effect of input method was observed on performance for child users. Similarly, user experience evaluation showed that a large number of adult users favoured one technique over the other and/or found a technique more comfortable to use than the other, while child users were mostly neutral. This trend, however, was not statistically significant.
Engaging children in longitudinal behavioral studies through playful technologies BIBAFull-Text 396-399
  Olga Lyra; Evangelos Karapanos; Rúben Gouveia; Valentina Nisi; Nuno J. Nunes
Measuring children's behaviors and experiences has been one of the core interests of the field of Child-Computer Interaction. However, maintaining children's engagement in the evaluation process is one of the challenges that researchers need to meet. In this paper we introduce Playful Booth, a system that aimed at engaging children in playful photo taking practices with the goal of capturing their social interactions over prolonged periods of time. We then present a 4-week-long deployment of Playful Booth with a total of seventy children that aimed at addressing three research questions. First, does playful booth create initial engagement on children and does it sustain this engagement over prolonged periods of time? Second, can the deployment be sustained for prolonged periods of time with minimal resources? Last, do behavioral data as captured from playful booth reflect children's actual social participation in the school community?
Feel the burn: exploring design parameters for effortful interaction for educational games BIBAFull-Text 400-403
  Leilah Lyons; Brenda Lopez Silva; Tom Moher; Priscilla Jimenez Pazmino; Brian Slattery
This paper describes an empirical study conducted to explore the expressive design space for what we dub "effortful interaction." Effortful interaction is a form of human-computer interaction where different degrees of physical effort are intentionally incorporated into the interaction design in order to communicate information. In this sense effortful interaction is similar to haptics, where devices provide physical force feedback to users, except the perceived feedback occurs entirely within users' proprioception: i.e., users' perception of their own bodies. Our larger design goal is to use effortful interaction to communicate quantitative information to children who aren't yet proficient with graphs. First, though, we had to establish if we could reliably induce sensations of effort. This study examined the sensitivity of children to three different design parameters (the duration of interaction, the intensity required by the interaction, and the physical modality of the interaction), and compares their responses to those of adults.
Pirate island: an immersion-style language-learning RPG BIBAFull-Text 404-407
  Alexander Goldman; Monchu Chen
This paper presents Pirate Island, a role-playing videogame for foreign language learning. Pirate Island utilizes new learning and gameplay mechanics developed through research into the cognitive science of language learning, and the process and impact of immersion experiences. In particular, the immersion experience informs the game's approach to exposing players to content traditionally more advanced than what students would encounter in class. Players complete quests in the detailed virtual world, teaching themselves through exploring and interpreting multiple forms of learning content. The game is targeted toward 10-12 year old children and is being developed to help teach Portuguese children English. At its core, Pirate Island incorporates Rosetta Stone-style tools with role-playing gameplay to create an intrinsically motivating learning experience.
Know your enemy: learning from in-game opponents BIBAFull-Text 408-411
  David Weintrop; Uri Wilensky
In this paper we present a novel approach to the design of game-based learning environments in which the content to be taught is embodied by the opponents the learners compete against as they play. By providing the player with the resources to make sense of the concepts exemplified by their opponents, as well as the tools needed to incorporate the concepts into their own gameplay strategy, players are challenged to learn from their opponents in order to advance in the game. This paper introduces RoboBuilder, a blocks-based, program-to-play game that uses this design strategy to introduce programming novices to core computer science concepts. Along with more fully developing this design principle, we provide evidence from a preliminary study conducted with RoboBuilder of players learning from their opponents to create winning strategies that use the concepts designed into the opponents they are facing.
Embodied metaphor elicitation through augmented-reality game design BIBAFull-Text 412-414
  Iulian Radu; Yan Xu; Blair MacIntyre
In this paper we present our experience of eliciting metaphors through the process of game design with children. For the purpose of determining a set of user interactions desired in children's augmented-reality experiences, we have conducted a study in which children used craft materials to design augmented-reality games. Game interactions and mappings between physical and virtual worlds were then analyzed to reveal metaphors in children's thinking. We describe the wide range of elicited metaphors, and argue for the use of game design as a process for metaphor elicitation.
Little backpackers: studying children's psychological needs in an interactive exhibition context BIBAFull-Text 415-418
  Petri Saarinen; Timo Partala; Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila
Psychological needs have become an important viewpoint in understanding user experience (UX), however there have been few attempts to operationalize the existing need theories for studying children's experiences. The aim of this research was to experiment with two methods, a laddering interview and a new quantitative theory-based questionnaire, in studying the fulfillment of ten basic psychological needs. A mixed-method approach consisting of these methods was tested in evaluating an interactive children's activity called Backpack Tours in an exhibition center with 18 children of 6-9 years of age. The laddering interviews made it possible to connect the designed elements of the activity to fulfillment of six psychological needs: pleasure-stimulation, relatedness, self-actualization-meaning, autonomy, physical thriving, and competence. The quantitative results showed significant variations in the children's evaluations of the fulfillment of the ten needs. The results of the evaluation are useful in understanding the strengths of various design solutions and as a basis for further development of the activity.
Children as webmakers: designing a web editor for beginners BIBAFull-Text 419-422
  Thomas H. Park; Rachel M. Magee; Susan Wiedenbeck; Andrea Forte
In this short paper, we describe the design of a new web editor for beginners called openHTML and our initial evaluation with children aged 10 and 11 in an after-school web-building workshop. Drawing on data from verbally administered surveys and participant observation, we identified three kinds of engagement with the workshop tasks: a homework orientation, an artistic orientation, and a social orientation. We describe the kinds of scaffolding that the children needed to complete their web pages, the places where they struggled, and translate these observations into implications for the design of a web editor for children.
Designing interactive activities within Scratch 2.0 for improving abilities to identify numerical sequences BIBAFull-Text 423-426
  Luis Armería Zavala; Sara C. Hernández Gallardo; Miguel Ángel García-Ruíz
This paper presents the progress of an ongoing research aimed at developing the number sense in third graders. Based on assessment results of a sample of elementary schools in the Municipality of Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, we investigate the problem of mathematics learning with a cognitive approach. The study identifies the student's weakness related to their abilities to conceptualize the meaning of the numbers and its relationships. We present the main ideas of pedagogical design of a serious game developed in Scratch 2.0 that enhances the ability to identify and build sequences. Preliminary results suggest the use of a webcam to increase student's interaction and improve their numerical abilities.
Using social media and learning analytics to understand how children engage in scientific inquiry BIBAFull-Text 427-430
  June Ahn; Michael Gubbels; Jason Yip; Elizabeth Bonsignore; Tamara Clegg
Children are increasingly using social media tools in their lives. In addition, there is great interest in understanding how to design and evaluate social technologies to aid in children's learning and development. We describe two research endeavors that begin to address these issues. First, we introduce SINQ, a social media application that encourages children to practice Scientific INQuiry skills through collaborative participation. Second, we conducted a case study of SINQ with six children, ages 8-11, and collected log data of their interactions in the app. We applied learning analytics on this log data using a visual analytic tool called LifeFlow. The event-sequence visualizations showed how children engaged with scientific inquiry within the SINQ app, and most importantly illuminated how inquiry is not a linear process with a defined start and end. The children in our study traversed the inquiry process via diverse pathways, all of which were supported by the SINQ app.
The digital economy: a case study of designing for classrooms BIBAFull-Text 431-434
  Meg Cramer; Gillian R. Hayes
We present the results of an empirical study of elementary school classrooms and show how these results informed the design of a mobile web application for teachers to manage "digital economies" in their classrooms. A Classroom Economy is a program that aims to teach financial literacy while encouraging focus and on task behavior. The Digital Economy captures transaction data as students participate in a Classroom Economy, replacing paper-based transactions and record keeping. The design of the Digital Economy application builds on our own prior work in which we partnered with teachers to collaboratively design ubiquitous computing technologies for classrooms. Our design is based on our analysis of classroom observations, interviews with teachers, design workshops and a usability study of a prototype application. We consider three major guidelines for designing for classrooms: classroom flow, individual assessments, and peer groups. We describe the negotiation of these guidelines when designing for the management and curriculum goals of teachers. This case study demonstrates how guidelines that emerged from the design research process were negotiated in the development of this financial literacy tool for classrooms.
Towards the design of technology for measuring and capturing children's attention on e-learning tasks BIBAFull-Text 435-438
  Nadia Mana; Ornella Mich
Being able to be attentive as necessary on an e-learning task is not always easy for a young student, especially for children affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. To support this category of students, we aim to design a software module able to: (a) automatically detect their level of attention when working on a learning task and, (b) propose suitable stimuli to re-capture their attention on it. This paper describes the first two steps towards this application: (1) the building of an attention model, meant as the base of the software module for automatically measuring the attention level, and (2) the study of a face tracker to measure the attention level in real time. Finally, it proposes some possible stimuli which can be used to re-capture the lost attention.
The education arcade: crafting, remixing, and playing with controllers for Scratch games BIBAFull-Text 439-442
  Richard Davis; Yasmin Kafai; Veena Vasudevan; Eunkyoung Lee
The recent development of low cost tangible construction kits has lowered the barriers to entry for amateur and youth hardware designers. In this paper, we discuss the outcomes of a pilot study in which middle school youths set up a game arcade by remixing Scratch games and crafting physical game controllers using the MaKey MaKey and Play-Doh. The analyses focused on the youths' designs and reflections on Scratch remixes, their game controllers, and the culminating arcade. Designing game controllers and setting up the arcade was a productive learning experience for the youths in which they were able to glean insights about how to improve their designs by watching younger students play their games. In the discussion we highlight the parts of the workshop that were most successful, address what we learned about the youths' experiences, develop suggestions for the design of future workshops, and discuss the significance of authentic audience designs.
Once upon a time in the Bronx: working with youth to address violence through performance and play BIBAFull-Text 443-446
  Melanie Crean
In the Once Upon a Time in the Bronx project, a group of teenage girls from the South Bronx created a story telling card game to facilitate their community to tell its own stories in its own way. During the project, participatory, systems-based approaches such as game modification, collaborative story telling, and interactive theater were successful methods in empowering the young women to facilitate community dialog and model potential solutions to the endemic violence they described in their every day lives. These approaches also facilitate critical thinking and creative problem solving skills often left out of current school curricula largely shaped by standardized testing.
Comic creation, comic relief: kids expression of self and others BIBAFull-Text 447-450
  Shelley Goldman; Molly Bullock
During a weeklong design thinking camp, youth ages 11-14 created comic books. This activity served as a "take away" product used as a tool for reflection and representation of their experiences. Together, students in design teams documented the week's activities using an iPod touch, generating the media they then included in comic books created using the software, Comic Life. Most studies of comics for learning examine the benefits of comic consumption. By contrast, we aim to understand the possible value of comic production. We found that youth vividly depicted themselves, their teammates, and their group work. Humor and joking dominated comics and our analysis indicated that the comic form was expressive, with depictions of self and others made possible by the ease of the technology and the comic form. The comics also generated excitement and a desire among students to share their experiences with friends and family.
Enacting orbits: refining the design of a full-body learning simulation BIBAFull-Text 451-454
  Michael Tscholl; Robb Lindgren; Emily Johnson
Interactive and immersive digital environments offer promising avenues for embodied interaction -- learning by enacting concepts through one's body. These environments have the potential to generate intuitive forms of understanding about processes and principles in areas such as science. More needs to be known, however, about how to design systems that effectively elicit both the desired physical actions and the relevant conceptions, such that they become amenable for change. In this paper we describe the design of a full-body simulation environment where students are tasked to enact trajectories of a virtual asteroid projected onto the floor. The paper presents preliminary analyses of semi-structured interviews that allow insights into how the experience of "creating an orbit" shaped the participants' developing understanding about orbital motion, the role of gravity, and general principles about how things move in space. An initial evaluation of the effectiveness of the design and future work is discussed.
Acquiring educational access for neurodiverse learners through multisensory design principles BIBAFull-Text 455-458
  Angela M. Puccini; Marisa Puccini; Angela Chang
Educational interface designers are in an unprecedented position to facilitate autonomous learning in neurodiverse learners (children with special needs). These learners are particularly in need of special design, given the disproportionate impact it can have on their quality of life and the current vulnerability they experience due to changes in special education law. In response to the urgent conditions facing these students, we construct and define a set of design principles that are grounded in maximizing the potential of these learners by importing the meta-cognitive skills, algorithmic structures, and multiple sensory modalities that are both proven successful in their remediation and uniquely suited to technological design adaptation.
   We draw from our main author's experience as a heavily remediated Dyslexic, a lifelong user of modified, adaptable and assistive technology, and a self-aware learner taught to understand why the methods behind her remediation worked. We additionally draw on our cumulative experience as users, teachers and developers of technology and on interviews with participants from a wide variety of sociocultural functions and pedagogical practices involved with special education. Based upon these and existing methods and applications, we present our insights in the form of guidelines for universal design that have the potential to not only embrace the differences of all learners but to maximize the potential of underserved neurodiverse learners so they can become self-sufficient masters of their own skills and interests across their lifetime.
Cloudcommuting: games, interaction, and learning BIBAFull-Text 459-462
  Dimitris Papanikolaou
This paper discusses the design, process, and results of an experimental workshop with mid-school students that introduced the theory, underlying technologies, and operational challenges of smart urban systems. Students brainstormed ideas of how to use electronics, interaction design and game theory to make bike-sharing systems that incentivize users to rebalance bikes through rewards/penalties. Furthermore they tested their ideas by collaboratively designing, prototyping, and playing an interactive board game implementing both theory and technology. Through their game students explored questions such as: how can we create coordinated behavior from self-interested players? How and when can the game reach a sustainable equilibrium? In what other systems can we apply similar concepts?
Go go games: therapeutic video games for children with autism spectrum disorders BIBAFull-Text 463-466
  Alexis Hiniker; Joy Wong Daniels; Heidi Williamson
In this paper, we describe the design of a therapeutic video game suite for early elementary children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The purpose of this work is to present our hypothesis that games that are both fun and faithful to evidence-based therapies could serve as a mechanism to reduce the gap between the amount of therapy recommended for children with ASD and the amount they receive. We describe our process of creating a suite of games modeled on Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), a technique known to be effective in educating children with ASD. We also describe early indicators of game engagement and outline planned future work to test the games' efficacy as therapeutic tools.
Evaluation of interactive puppet theater based on inclusive design methods: a case study of students at elementary school for the deaf BIBAFull-Text 467-470
  Egusa Ryohei; Wada Kumiko; Adachi Takayuki; Goseki Masafumi; Namatame Miki; Kusunoki Fusako; Mizoguchi Hiroshi; Inagaki Shigenori
In this study, evaluation experiment was conducted on an interactive puppet theater, a puppetry system designed for deaf children to enhance their enjoyment of performances. An interactive puppet theater has two features: a feature that ensures the transmission of information by textualizing dialogue information and a feature that encourages deaf children to participate in the story by using physical movements. For this study, experiment was conducted to evaluate whether the feature of participation in the story by using physical movements prompts these children to engage with the story setting in a puppet theater viewing experience. The evaluations were also aimed at ascertaining whether this feature could ensure an enjoyable viewing experience. This study targeted deaf children. The results obtained from the experiments revealed that this feature could be an effective way to encourage them to participate in the story setting, and to assist them in having an enjoyable viewing experience.
Pre-pilot findings on developing a literacy tablet BIBAFull-Text 471-474
  Angela Chang; David Nunez; Tom Roberts; David Sengeh; Cynthia Breazeal
We report observations on how children in a developing country respond to a literacy tablet that is designed to initiate and scaffold literacy learning toward self-sufficiency. This paper describes our first lessons from developing an educational system for enabling children who have no access to schooling to read with minimal outside intervention. We share lessons learned from challenges in the design process, discuss implementation considerations for deploying in remote developing areas, and discuss observations of how children use the technology. We reflect how this experience impacts ongoing work on developing countries regarding collaboration and literacy learning.
Rethinking transparency: constructing meaning in a physical and digital design for algebra BIBAFull-Text 475-478
  Kiera Chase; Dor Abrahamson
In the course of developing an experimental algebra unit, the researchers noted variability in their design's instructional potential across a set of implementation media. In an effort to explain this variability, we revisited the classical theoretical construct of transparency. Transparency is the perceptual and conceptual accessibility of the mechanism, logic, and application of a tool. Corroborating earlier literature, it appears that participants saw only what they had built -- transparency is a subjective achievement of a learner rather than an inherent feature of a device. Our first design prompted students with an algebraic proposition, for example "3x+2=4x-1". The two equivalent expressions were to be interpreted by students as alternative quantifications of a single linear spatial interval; namely, the path that a giant took on two separate occasions to bury and recover treasure. Problem solving required manually adjusting the modeling media to coordinate two types of equivalence: (a) the total length represented by each expression; and (b) the length represented by the variable and known units. The researchers found that successful coordination was predicated on the subjective transparency of the models' perceptual. Therefore, in redesigning the activity as a computer-based application we will have learners first construct tools and only then automatize them.
On the aesthetics of children's computational modeling for learning science BIBAFull-Text 479-482
  Amy Voss Farris; Pratim Sengupta
We posit that in the context of learning science using generative computational media, the lens of aesthetic experiences can provide us with a framework to understand how learners begin to develop representational fluency by appropriating computational tools into personally meaningful, computational expressions. We report two cases to illustrate how students' experiences of computational modeling activities, using agent-based visual programming and musical composition environments, can represent Dewey's notion of aesthetic experience. We highlight two important aspects of the process through which children transform these computational tools into expressive media for modeling: engaging in personal excursions and leveraging multi-modality. The children's work was both personally meaningful and representative of the curricular goals.
Meta-modeling knowledge: comparing model construction and model interaction in bifocal modeling BIBAFull-Text 483-486
  Tamar Fuhrmann; Shima Salehi; Paulo Blikstein
In this paper we will examine students' meta-modeling knowledge in the context of their participation in a Bifocal Modeling activity. Bifocal Modeling is an inquiry-based approach for science learning, which incorporates both physical experimentation and virtual modeling. The current study combines three separate case studies of students participating in different implementation modes of the Bifocal Modeling process. Different implementation methods require different modeling practices, and we will examine the consequences of these practices for students' meta-modeling knowledge. The concern of our investigation will be the ways that students critically evaluate scientific models and their understanding of the limitations of those models. Data suggest that model construction (as opposed to simple interaction) lead to deeper meta-modeling knowledge.
Papert's prison fab lab: implications for the maker movement and education design BIBAFull-Text 487-490
  Gary S. Stager
For three years, the author collaborated with Seymour Papert in the planning, design, operation, teaching and documentation of the Constructionist Learning Laboratory at the Maine Youth Center. This work is significant as it represents Dr. Papert's last institutional research project and marks his first attempt to design an educational environment based on the theory of constructionism from scratch. The implications for education reform and school reform are numerous. However, in the context of the 2013 Interaction Design and Children focus on DIY/maker culture, the overlooked work of the Constructionist Learning Laboratory the work of Papert, Stager and their colleagues is particularly pertinent. More than a decade before maker culture and "fab labs" emerged as a popular addition to formal education, Papert succeeded in creating a school built entirely upon the ideals of that movement.
LightUp: an augmented, learning platform for electronics BIBAFull-Text 491-494
  Joshua Chan; Tarun Pondicherry; Paulo Blikstein
We present and evaluate the design of LightUp, an augmented, learning platform for electronics. LightUp helps children explore engineering and electronics by foregrounding fundamental concepts and backgrounding the extraneous intricacies of circuit construction. LightUp consists of electronic components (e.g. wire, bulb, motor, microcontroller) mounted on blocks that connect to each other magnetically to form circuits. In addition, LightUp provides an "informational lens" through a mobile app that recognizes the components in a photographed circuit and augments the image with visualizations of otherwise invisible circuit behavior. Our study findings demonstrate the experiential learning made possible by augmenting an intuitive circuit-building platform with information that allows children to learn skills that will help them develop engineering skills and agency.


Graph hopping: learning through physical interaction quantification BIBAFull-Text 495-498
  Timothy Charoenying
The proposed demo is influenced by principles of embodied interaction design for supporting mathematics learning. In brief, student participants are literally tasked with jumping up and down in playful competition with one another, while a graphic representation dynamically grows and enumerates their physical activity. The intent is to create a "bodily-syntonic" experience that helps students draw a direct correlation between the frequency of their jumps and the magnitudes represented on the bar graph. In this manner a routine lesson is transformed into an opportunity for promoting both mathematics learning and physical exercise. The proposed installation will allow conference attendees to interact with various iterations of the original design and to explore how design choices affect user's experience and learning.
Bilingual storybook app designed for deaf children based on research principles BIBAFull-Text 499-502
  Melissa Malzkuhn; Melissa Herzig
The Baobab is a storybook app for the iPad that was designed and developed based on research in visual learning, visual phonology, bilingualism, and Deaf children's cognitive development by the National Science Foundation-funded Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) at Gallaudet University. Developed by an all-Deaf team, the storybook app is designed for early and emerging readers, bridging design principles in ASL storytelling and English text to research foundations, in order to facilitate reading and language acquisition for children who rely heavily on the visual modality for learning.
SINQ: designing social media to foster everyday scientific inquiry for children BIBAFull-Text 503-506
  June Ahn; Jason Yip; Michael Gubbels
In this paper, we describe a mobile, social media app called SINQ that was the product of a 15-month co-design process with a child design team. The goal of SINQ is to utilize social media design features in ways that help children conceptualize Scientific INQuiry practices through intuitive sharing of media and ideas from their everyday lives. We describe how SINQ builds from prior work in software for science learning and mobile technology for children. We also highlight how SINQ is a distinct evolution of technology for scientific inquiry learning. We argue that by taking seriously, the affordances of social media applications, new opportunities and design challenges arise for interaction design for learning technologies.
Cloud rhymer: prototype demo and intervention proposal BIBAFull-Text 507-510
  David Robert; Peter Schmitt; Alex Olwal
We present the theoretical framework and design of a technologically-mediated informal learning experience aimed at assisting students of all ages playfully engage in a language game for fun. The game's activities center around rhyming over a beat with a robotic companion. We ground the work in developmental psychology literature on the importance of early rhyming skills for children and provide technical details of a working prototype. Our work advances an informal learning intervention for children at-risk of developing reading disabilities. We propose a study using validated, evaluation measures and conclude with a detailed report on extensions to the system currently in progress.
An educational application for botanical study in science classes at elementary schools BIBAFull-Text 511-514
  Tomoko Kajiyama
A previously reported botanical data retrieval system based on the 'Concentric Ring View' search interface for multi-faceted metadata has been improved, and an educational application has been developed for use in elementary school science lessons. This system enables students not only to search for plant names but also to learn about the morphological features and taxonomy of plants. The educational application was developed by first having 16 elementary school teachers perform a usability test to identify any problems with using this search interface in the classroom. The operations and displays for browsing the next set of retrieved candidates and for specifying search facets were then improved, and an operation for bookmarking favorite plants was added. A usability test with two elementary school students demonstrated that the improved system enables students to learn more plant features and common properties from the relationships between attribute values and retrieved results.
Interaction design and physical computing in the era of miniature embedded computers BIBAFull-Text 515-518
  Arnan Sipitakiat; Paulo Blikstein
ACM 978-1-4503-1918-8/13/06. This paper describes a new paradigm as well as a new platform which have been developed to demonstrate new robotics and physical computing programming models that are now possible as a result of miniature single-board computers. Here we investigate new design opportunities that bring with them the ability to embed an entire computer, such as the Raspberry Pi, within an interactive project. We call our new platform the "embedded computer" model, and we utilize the proposed Pi-Topping framework to demonstrate several cases in which the platform has already been employed. The new platform consists of a hardware add-on for the Raspberry Pi and, to drive and program the platform, a modified version of the Scratch programming environment. Smartphones are used as a portable screen that offers a touch sensitive input capacity. Case studies that demonstrate the new design possibilities are then described.
Blockuits: innovating building blocks BIBAFull-Text 519-522
  Paweena Prachanronarong
Blockuits is an exploration in the design of construction sets for children, resulting in three prototypes. All prototypes have simple interfaces, interactions and electronic outputs. These interactive toys foster creativity and artistic expression while introducing children to cause and effect and basic principles of circuitry.
   The first prototype is a wooden block set that incorporates buzzers, LEDs and vibration boards, built upon a magnetic power base for modularity and fastening. Each block also has embedded magnets painted over with conductive paint, completing the circuit. The second prototype is a set of monster plush toys. The toys are modular, allowing children to snap different heads onto the body, which is the power source. The heads light up, vibrate or buzz. The third prototype is a large, foam block set with electronic outputs, allowing children to build and manipulate spaces. Instead of being 100% screen based, all three toys provide a tactile, three-dimensional, and electronic experience.
A software infrastructure for managing the lifecycle of context-aware stories BIBAFull-Text 523-526
  Fabio Pittarello; Luca Bertani
This paper describes the features of CASTOR, a novel software infrastructure and set of interfaces that has been designed for supporting all the cycle of creation, management and delivery of context-aware stories. CASTOR has been designed for managing an extended set of context dimensions, including the location, the weather, the season, the time of the day and the social context, that are used for creating and delivering engaging listening experiences. The software infrastructure and the user interfaces were tailored to the skills of children of the Primary School, for being used in the context of educational curricula targeted at teaching the structures of narration. In [8, 9] we gave a description of the experimentation of CASTOR with a class of children, focusing on the effects on engagement and learning. In this work we'll focus instead on the technical features of the whole infrastructure and the set of user interfaces supporting all the story lifecycle. In particular the paper will show how, using these interfaces, stories can be created on the locations where they are supposed to happen, how they can be refined in the classroom for improving the quality and how they can be delivered to listeners, respecting all the context conditions specified by the story creators. At the end we'll give some details about the future development of the platform.
Next generation preschool math demo: tablet games for preschool classrooms BIBAFull-Text 527-530
  Christine Zanchi; Ashley Lewis Presser; Phil Vahey
This paper describes the Next Generation Preschool Math project, a $3 million, four-year research and development initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. Over the past year and a half we have developed and tested more than 50 interactive prototypes to teach preschool math learning. We will discuss the eight apps that emerged from that work, as well as the prototypes. We will detail the iterative and collaborative production process that included researchers, developers, and teachers.
Interactive reflexive and embodied exploration of sound qualities with BeSound BIBAFull-Text 531-534
  Giovanna Varni; Gualtiero Volpe; Roberto Sagoleo; Maurizio Mancini; Giacomo Lepri
The embodied and reflexive interaction paradigms separately proved to be effective for learning music in childhood. However, nowadays, there is a scarcity of research addressing the joined adoption of these paradigms, both from a theoretical and a technological point of view. BeSound supports children to explore -- by means of their own body -- rhythm, melody, and harmony and to creatively combine them together. Firstly, the child is engaged in a game in which she has to mimic the movement of the characters of stories BeSound tells her; then she can ad-lib a music dialogue with the characters. Each character was previously associated with a component of Laban's Effort and it was described through a set of whole-body movement features. These features are automatically detected, analysed, and used to control the music response of BeSound.
Owl pellets and head-mounted displays: a demonstration of visual interaction for children who communicate in a sign language BIBAFull-Text 535-538
  Michael Jones; Jeannette Lawler; Eric Hintz; Nathan Bench; Fred Mangrubang
This demonstration will provoke discussion of the role of head mounted displays (HMD) in Deaf science education for children. The demonstration mimics the classroom laboratory experience of children who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing. When these children dissect an owl pellet, their teachers can not stand behind them and offer instruction over their shoulder while the students looks at the specimen. A teacher can sign for the student but this requires the student to switch visual attention back and forth between the specimen and the signing teacher. This can be difficult if the specimen is on a table and the teacher is standing nearby. HMDs allow students to put the signing teacher and the laboratory specimen in close visual proximity. Participants in our demonstration will be given an owl pellet study kit and no verbal instruction. Participants will be asked to use visual aids to identify bones in the pellet. Some participants will view the visual aids on a poster placed behind them. Others will view visual aids in an HMD.
HygieneHelper: promoting awareness and teaching life skills to youth with autism spectrum disorder BIBAFull-Text 539-542
  Gillian R. Hayes; Stephen W. Hosaflook
In this paper, we describe a mobile system to support youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) learn about and track healthy hygiene behaviors, HygieneHelper. This mobile application was developed as the result of a multi-year action research project with six school districts and two county agencies all focused on using mobile technologies to help teens and young adults develop skills for independent living and employment. HygieneHelper includes multi-media learning modules, an interactive customizable interface for tracking and monitoring progress on hygiene routines, and prompting and feedback from a virtual coach.
RoyoBlocks: an exploration in tangible literacy learning BIBAFull-Text 543-546
  Jonathan Kleiman; Michael Pope; Paulo Blikstein
One of the cornerstones of early childhood education is literacy education. However, this process is often presented linearly: reading comes first, writing comes second. This neglects the creative capacities of the child until he is fully capable of reading. This paper presents RoyoBlocks, a project that explores literacy learning through a set of tangible wooden word blocks and a plush reading companion. By incorporating wireless technology with traditional childhood toys, RoyoBlocks provide pre-literate learners an opportunity to practice and hone both their reading and writing skills. In this paper, we discuss the learning processes that informed our design and the subsequent design decisions we made while developing RoyoBlocks.
AR-based chemistry learning with mobile molecules BIBAFull-Text 547-549
  Arlene Ducao; Catherine Milne; Ilias Koen
Since 2005, the Molecules and Minds project at NYU has addressed issues of multiple representation levels in chemistry education. Mobile Molecules is a new project that builds on Molecules and Minds by introducing a haptic learning element through augmented reality technologies.
Cyberchase 3D builder: a new way to look at geometry BIBAFull-Text 550-553
  Ellen Doherty; Michael Templeton; Marj Kleinman; Betsy McCarthy; Michelle Tiu
Cyberchase 3D Builder is an iPad game that allows children to turn 2D shapes into 3D structures in the cartoon world of the television series Cyberchase. Designed for kids ages 6-9, players will understand how 3-dimensional geometric shapes are made from simple 2-dimensional shapes (such as squares, triangles and rectangles), develop spatial reasoning skills and exercise the ability to visualize and manipulate objects in 3-dimensional space. The game follows the story of bumbling bots Buzz and Delete, who accidentally zap the houses in Botopolis totally flat. Players help rebuild the town by turning 2D nets into 3D structures in this geometry-focused app offering 8 unique levels with increasing challenges.
TOTA: a construction set for the impending apocalypse BIBAFull-Text 554-556
  Nathan Rudolph
Toys of the Apocalypse (TOTA) is a construction kit with an immersive narrative that allows children to create their own toys with simple components and homemade polymers. It gives children an entry point to electronics and programming that allows for complete creative control of both aesthetics and mechanics. The objective of TOTA is to introduce children to the basics of circuitry, programmed behavior, and mechanical engineering.
Plus minus: passive education of basic circuitry through DIY product design BIBAFull-Text 557-560
  Jun Sik (Jason) Kim
Today's children are immersed in technology. Not many children, though, understand or even attempt to understand the different technological components that make up basic electronics in which they use on a daily basis such as lamps, hair dryers, and speakers. DIY Product design, as being tangible objects with many affordances of interaction and room for creativity, has potential to introduce forms of information and instruction regarding the basics of technology. In this capacity, product design can instigate what is termed here as "passive education" or "informal learning." The core idea is to embed passive education and instruction in children's lifestyles outside of school environments -- where children actually spend the majority of their time. [1] This paper describes Plus Minus, a fully functional multipurpose light source that also introduces the basics of circuitry upon construction: a product that informs, an informational tool that is a product. Plus Minus is an engaging, minimal, easy-to-assemble lamp with intuitive affordances of color, form, conductivity, and magnetism that empower children to create, customize, and personalize their own multipurpose light source. Plus Minus enables ages nine and older to design and build their own light source within different environments and contexts. The kit consists of three parts: a head (light source), a tail (power source), and a body (conductive material that connects the head and tail). These parts can be constructed in diverse ways depending on the child's needs. Through the process of construction, children are introduced to the circulation of direct current between a power source (wall adapter) and a light source (LEDs). This paper introduces the latest version of Plus Minus and discusses the directions of future work regarding passive education through product design.
Dr. Wagon: a 'stretchable' toolkit for tangible computer programming BIBAFull-Text 561-564
  Kunal Chawla; Megan Chiou; Alfredo Sandes; Paulo Blikstein
Programming can be a challenging activity for young children. While there are numerous programming environments for children, relatively few of these environments take advantage of tangible interfaces. Research suggests that using tangible tools, such as physical blocks, can engage students to explore introductory programming concepts more easily than equivalent virtual programming environments. Dr. Wagon is a tangible programming toy that includes a series of programming blocks and a wagon-shaped robot. The programming blocks include basic functions ("move"), conditions ("if" statements), and loops ("repeat"). These blocks can be connected in various ways to control the behavior of the wagon. In this paper, we discuss our various design choices while creating Dr. Wagon, and shed light on the technical, cognitive, and usability details of the project.
Youtopia: a collaborative, tangible, multi-touch, sustainability learning activity BIBAFull-Text 565-568
  Alissa N. Antle; Alyssa F. Wise; Amanda Hall; Saba Nowroozi; Perry Tan; Jillian Warren; Rachael Eckersley; Michelle Fan
Youtopia is a hybrid tangible and multi-touch land use planning activity for elementary school aged children. It was implemented on a Microsoft Pixelsense digital tabletop. The main method of interaction is through physical stamp objects that children use to "stamp" different land use types onto an interactive map. Youtopia was developed to investigate issues surrounding how to design and evaluate children's collaborative learning applications using digital tabletops. In particular we are looking at how the interface design supports in depth discussion and negotiation between pairs of children around issues in sustainable development. Our primary concern is to investigate questions about codependent access points, which may enable positive interdependence among children. Codependent access points are characteristics that enable two or more children to participate and interact together. In Youtopia these implemented through sequences of stamps that are required for successful interaction, which can be assigned to children (codependent mode) or remain unassigned (independent mode).
Bridging book: a not-so-electronic children's picturebook BIBAFull-Text 569-572
  Ana Carina Figueiredo; Ana Lúcia Pinto; Pedro Branco; Nelson Zagalo; Eduarda Coquet
We present and technically describe the implementation of a book prototype: the Bridging Book, a children's mixed-media picture-book that blurs the line between printed and electronic books.
   Bridging book consists of a printed book and a digital device, placed side-by-side, with synchronized content. Thumbing through the book's pages triggers the device to display the complementary digital content. The physical book requires no batteries or wires.
   In the current version, the printed illustrations on each page of the physical book are extended into the device screen, offering further interaction.
   The content can be explored both linearly by reading and thumbing the printed book and/or exploring the interaction on the digital device.
   We also briefly explain the planned future study observation, with children, to evaluate our prototype.
Using Demibooks Composer to create remedial learning apps for the profoundly deaf BIBAFull-Text 573-576
  Karen Hart; Rafiq Ahmed
The iPad has opened the doors for innovation in digital storytelling, and helped unleash the power of storytelling as an aid in remedial learning. Demibooks Composer is an authoring platform for interactive book apps where content creation happens on the device itself and without the need for coding. Our system makes it easy for designers to create interactive stories quickly and inexpensively on a tablet device, and combine artistic creativity with computational thinking without actual programming. Innovative and powerful apps such as those useful for remedial learning are possible. We will demonstrate how our system can be used to create learning tools for the profoundly deaf. We will describe the motivation for the application and explain its functionality. The application will be implemented in the field in South Africa and elsewhere, and a formal study of the impact and outcomes of introducing these remedial learning apps is forthcoming.
Exploring early designs for teaching anatomy and physiology to children using wearable e-textiles BIBAFull-Text 577-580
  Leyla Norooz; Jon Froehlich
Unlike external body parts, organs are invisible and untouchable, making it difficult for children to learn their size, position, and function. Traditionally, human anatomy (body form) and physiology (body function) are taught using a mixture of techniques from worksheets to three-dimensional models. With the advent of low-cost sensing, ubiquitous computation, and emerging e-textiles, new teaching approaches are developing that link the physical and virtual worlds. In this demo, we explore and illustrate the use of a custom wearable e-textile shirt to teach anatomy and physiology to children. Our current implementation uses dyed fabric to show the size and position of body organs and a mixture of electronic sensors and visualizations to dynamically exhibit the wearer's physiology (e.g., heart beat). Though we are still in an early design stage, we discuss our design process, our progress thus far, and plans for future iterations.
VidCoach: a mobile video modeling system for youth with special needs BIBAFull-Text 581-584
  Rachel Rose Ulgado; Katherine Nguyen; Van Erick Custodio; Aaron Waterhouse; Rachel Weiner; Gillian Hayes
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is often characterized by a deficit in social skills, including the ability to interview successfully for jobs, a key hurdle to be overcome for independent living. One effective way that individuals with ASD can learn and retain valuable life skills is through the use of video modeling. Peer video modeling focuses on individuals imitating models similar to themselves (i.e., physical characteristics, age, ethnicity, gender, etc.), and self-modeling focuses on watching oneself successfully completing tasks. In this paper, we describe the design of VidCoach, a mobile application built to support both peer modeling and self-modeling for individuals with ASD. VidCoach can aid adolescents in work transition programs with learning and retaining job interview skills, and we present a scenario that highlights how a user might interact with VidCoach in this particular context. We conclude with a brief overview detailing our current work focused on evaluating the VidCoach application and a discussion of the potential for VidCoach to extend beyond our job-interviewing scenario to involve learning and retaining life skills in other areas.
BunnyBolt: a mobile fitness app for youth BIBAFull-Text 585-588
  Christine Keung; Alexa Lee; Shirley Lu; Megan O'Keefe
BunnyBolt is an interactive, maps-driven exercise game for youth. The app encourages physical activity by disguising in-app exercises with a youth-friendly storyline. Unlike games like Zombies, Run!, that lack a child-friendly fitness component, or games like FitQuestLite that cater too much towards children, BunnyBolt combines the fun of an interactive game with the practical concerns of workouts for an engaging app that is beneficial for all ages. Though our primary audience is youths who own smartphones, BunnyBolt's quick ten-minute workouts are appropriate for all ages. When developing this mobile application, our hope was to harness the elements of an engaging video game, and integrate it into an application that would encourage children to go outdoors and exercise.
   We used MIT App Inventor's block programming language to create the framework of our application. It is our hope that our game could become open source, and that it would inspire users to use MIT App Inventor to program their own episodes and continue the story. We believe that this sort of collaboration would not only improve the game, but also help the app grow in a way that encourages collaboration and engagement from its users. Furthermore, our app harnessed gamification principles to establish a reward system in the form of badge icons that users can collect. These additions in our game will be implemented with HTML5, Javascript, and Python and we will use Google App Engine to locally store data. We hope these aspects will give users an incentive to not only keep playing the game, but also to excel at it. In this paper, we will discuss the integration of location technologies like GPS with fitness related technologies, when considering the parameters of youth-targeted mobile app development. Our paper will also describe development goals, the structure of the game, and initial testing.
BeatTable: a tangible approach to rhythms and ratios BIBAFull-Text 589-592
  Engin Bumbacher; Amit Deutsch; Nancy Otero; Paulo Blikstein
Frameworks that create synergies across disciplines provide a powerful means for learning by relating concepts from the different fields that are usually difficult to grasp individually. We discuss the design of the BeatTable, a microworld that uses the relation between mathematics and music to engage learners in using ratios and proportions to create rhythms and learn about musical composition. The BeatTable is a physical table with a digital environment that can be controlled by tangible instruments, and through immediate auditory and visual feedback makes salient the relationships between math and music. With a low-floor, high-ceiling design philosophy, BeatTable provides learners the opportunity to build on their conceptions about music and to practice and hone their use of ratios and proportions. We present what our design choices, the technology used, and a description of initial user feedback.

Workshop summaries

Interactive e-books for children BIBAFull-Text 593-595
  Nadia Mana; Ornella Mich; Antonella De Angeli; Allison Druin
This one-day workshop is going to bring together top researchers and practitioners working in the area of interactive e-books for children. The goal of the workshop is defining key directions for future research in the design process and implementation of this kind of books. The workshop critically explores opportunities and challenges for making interactive e-books effective for children's learning and entertainment.
Interactive technologies that enhance children's creativity BIBAFull-Text 596-599
  Françoise Decortis; Elisa Rubegni; Anne Bationo Tillon; Edith Ackermann
Creativity and imagination play a key role in human learning and development. This workshop aims at promoting the discussion on interactive technologies that enhance children's creativity. Questions of interest include, but are not limited to: what is creativity in the first place, and how to design, develop and evaluate technologies that enrich children's expressive power, as well as their abilities to think "laterally" (out of the box). We seek contribution on the design of tools that encourage young people to explore differently their environment, to capture their experience of the world, to crystallize and transform these occurrences in a creative way.
Enhancing children's voices with media and technology BIBAFull-Text 600-602
  Juan Rubio; Kori Inkpen; Anna Ly; Jessica Kaminsky; Chris Plutte
New approaches in the use of media and technology provide the opportunity to give children's voices a space to express their unique interests. These new forms of video and audio use create a new type of engagement for children to communicate in ways that makes it relevant to their identity. We are looking to tap into the already prevalent use of these technologies by children to establish a conversation about issues that are important to them. Giving children the opportunity to create and exercise control over the content of their creation can foster children centered programs and establish a conversation with larger communities in a local, national and global stage. Exploring the potential of audio and video in innovative ways will be the focus of this workshop. Workshop participants will present specific case studies and projects and discuss informal trends identified through their work on children's new uses of media. This workshop will provide insight in how technology is being used and ways that it can provide a new communication platform for children.
Designing for and with children with special needs in multiple settings BIBAFull-Text 603-605
  Roisin McNaney; Madeline Balaam; Kevin Marshall; Abigail Durrant; Janet Read; Judith Good; Judy Robertson; Gregory Abowd
Interaction design methodologies have become increasingly popular in the design and development of technologies for children with special needs. However, designing within this area remains fraught with difficulties. This workshop aims to explore the issues that occur when working with children with special needs and seeks to establish a set of guidelines for interaction design researchers who are working with such a diverse group. This will be achieved through the discussion of a number of themes that have highlighted as important when designing within this complicated area.
Bridging books: the printed book as a support for digital experiences BIBAFull-Text 606-609
  Ana Lúcia Pinto; Nelson Zagalo; Cristina Sylla; Natalie Freed; Ana Carina Figueiredo; Jie Qi; Pedro Branco; Eduarda Coquet
It has been 20 years since Pierre Wellner published the article Interacting with paper on the digital desk [1] where he challenges us to imagine a space where "Instead of replacing paper with computers we could enhance paper with computation". Two decades after, we see the development of multiple projects that expand the expressive possibilities of traditional books by combining and crossing different media. Nevertheless the interest generated by those projects is limited, most of the time, to the research communities. The purpose of this IDC 2013 workshop is to bring together a community of researchers, publishers and authors to reflect and discuss the present and future impact of mixed media books.
Behaviour change interventions: teenagers, technology and design BIBAFull-Text 610-612
  Linda Little; Beth Bell; Greta Defeyter; Janet C. Read; Dan Fitton; Matthew Horton
There is growing emphasis on teenagers to adopt healthy behaviours and sustainable lifestyles. Innovative interventions delivered through pervasive technology or the internet are increasingly viewed as effective ways to motivate and help people change their behaviour. However, delivering interventions to change teenager's attitude or behaviour via pervasive systems need to be designed specifically for the target population. When working with teenagers relevant, teen-centric and appropriate activities need to be used. The aim of this workshop is to discuss and develop interdisciplinary research in the design of technology for behaviour change interventions in the teenage population.
The makers' movement and FabLabs in education: experiences, technologies, and research BIBAFull-Text 613-616
  Paulo Blikstein; Dennis Krannich
In this paper, we introduce the origins and applications of digital fabrication and "making" in education, and discuss how they can be implemented, researched, and developed in schools. Our discussion is based on several papers and posters that we summarize into three categories: research, technology development, and experiences in formal and informal education.
Evaluating accessibility in fabrication tools for children BIBAFull-Text 617-620
  Ben Leduc-Mills; Jaymes Dec; John Schimmel
In recent years, several new threads of research have found their way into the Interaction Design and Children community. Two of these threads-designing for children with special needs, and designing fabrication activities for children-have been especially fertile grounds for discussion and reflection. The intention of this workshop to bring interest to these two realms simultaneously by choosing to look at children's fabrication activities through the lens of accessibility. This paper presents the initial challenges of this enterprise, frameworks and best practices for inclusive fabrication activities with children, examples of current relevant research, as well as discussion and conclusions.

Workshop best position papers

Do animations in enhanced ebooks for children favour the reading comprehension process?: a pilot study BIBAFull-Text 621-624
  Nicol Dalla Longa; Ornella Mich
Textual eBooks and enhanced eBooks are becoming an important learning tool. However, very few studies have been performed so far to assess their effectiveness. This paper aims to provide a small contribution to this research area. More specifically, its goal is to study the effects of animated eBooks on the reading comprehension processes in children attending Elementary School. A pilot study was organized with four girls 7-9 years old, who were asked to first read an enhanced story using a tablet PC and then answer ten comprehension questions.
Designing for the needs of child patients in hospital settings BIBAFull-Text 625-627
  Judy Robertson; Madeline Balaam
This position paper reflects on a series of user centred design methods used with 8-14 year old patients in a children's hospital, with the aim of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of these methods within this unusual context. We conclude that there are significant challenges inherent in this type of work and question the appropriateness of participatory design and its methods for this user group.
Interaction design, books, and cultural forms BIBAFull-Text 628-631
  Michael S. Horn
What reasons do we have for continuing to incorporate traditional print media into interaction designs for children? In this position statement, I address this question from the perspective of cultural forms. My argument is that in the creation of novel forms of interaction it is advantageous to present strong and recognizable cultural forms to help parents and children structure their activity around familiar artifacts. This, in turn, helps activate valuable cognitive, physical, and emotional resources that parents and children can bring to bear on the new task.
Scatter!: a mobile non-parallel multiplayer exertion game BIBAFull-Text 632-634
  Alex Abreu; Gye Won Gho; Daragh Byrne
Mobile exertion games offer potential to increase physical activity levels by combining exercise with play. Yet, studies indicate that engagement and use of these games wane over time, reducing their effectiveness for promoting healthy physical activity and long-term behavior change. In this paper, we discuss the importance of non-parallel and multiplayer play modes as mechanisms to increase teen motivation to engage in non-exercise forms of physical activity. We conclude with an introduction to Scatter, a new mobile exertion game emphasizing non-parallel gameplay.
Making "making" accessible BIBAFull-Text 635-638
  Amy Hurst; Shaun Kane
Assistive technologies empower individuals to accomplish tasks they might not be able to do otherwise. Unfortunately, a large percentage of assistive devices that are purchased (35% or more) end up unused or abandoned [8], leaving many people with assistive technology that is inappropriate for their needs. This paper describes our ongoing work to help more people gain access to the assistive technology they need by empowering non-engineers to "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY), and thus create, modify, or build their own assistive technology. We discuss how a new generation of rapid prototyping tools and online communities can empower more individuals, and we describe two technologies we have developed to enable novices to prototype and create physical objects.

Doctoral consortium

Measuring learning and fun in video games for young children: a proposed method BIBAFull-Text 639-642
  Allan Fowler
As a student, educator, and researcher, I have long been interested in the learning opportunity that video games represent a corollary of a pedagogic awareness of the considerable benefit of applied and practical learning experiences.
   The advent of low cost computing has increased ownership of personal computers in the last twenty years. A result of these decreasing costs has seen significant growth in household ownership of personal computing equipment for entertainment, education and enterprise. The increased ownership of personal computing equipment has also seen a significant increase of ownership and use of video games. The increase interest and use of video games for entertainment has seen a similar increase of interest in the use of video games for education.
   In this paper, a proposed method is presented for obtaining a better understanding of the education potential of video games for young children.
The LIT ROOM: advancing literacy in children through a networked suite of architectural robotic artifacts BIBAFull-Text 643-646
  George J. Schafer; Keith Evan Green; Ian D. Walker; Elise Lewis; Susan King Fullerton
Illiteracy is a global problem that impacts societal and economic growth and development, and is directly correlated with the financial success, health and overall well-being of individuals. Studies indicate that picture-book reading within a facilitated story-time setting is an important tool for language acquisition in children. The proposed research hypothesizes that in an increasingly digital society, literacy can be cultivated in a robot-embedded environment that is, at once, physical, digital and evocative of the picture-book being read. Inspired by concepts of embodied interaction, the research team proposes the design, implementation and evaluation of an intelligent, fine-tunable suite of architectural-robotic artifacts -- the LIT ROOM -- distributed at room-scale in a public library setting. Through a reconfigurable, co-adaptive learning environment, the LIT ROOM aims to augment the dialogical reading of picture-books within an engaging and exploratory space for the advancement of literacy and learning.
Two-way play: early learners' experiences with bi-directional television BIBAFull-Text 647-650
  Meagan K. Rothschild
Microsoft Studios recently released Kinect Sesame Street TV, a new form of viewership for television that merges traditional means of watching episodes with game-like physical actions via the Xbox and Kinect. This paper presents an overview and early findings of an initial pilot study that took place during my research internship at Microsoft Research where I investigated how ideas of embodied cognition and comprehension could be leveraged to understand the experiences of young viewers, and explore the ways in which bidirectional television can facilitate new meaning-making. The data from this pilot study provides the corpus from which I ask additional research questions for my dissertation. The new questions qualitatively probe the ways participants demonstrated conceptual understanding, roles of co-viewing in embodied programming and knowledge performance, and issues in developing mediated assessments for early learners.
Designing a tangible interface for collaborative storytelling to access 'embodiment' and meaning making BIBAFull-Text 651-654
  Cristina Sylla
This paper describes research on designing a tangible system for collaborative storytelling, which addresses preschool children. The first part of the work focused on creating a tangible interface, for children aged four to five years, proposing to create a playful experimental space where children can collaboratively engage in creating their own multimedia narratives. Further research proposes to carry a long term study with a group of 25 five preschoolers interacting with the developed tangible system, trying to investigate how physical interaction and collaboration might influence and shape cognitive and social processes in real classroom settings. We describe the design process, as well as the final system, and report findings from a first preliminary study.
Infant emotional engagement in video mediated interactions BIBAFull-Text 655-658
  Elisabeth McClure
The "social relevancy" of a video presentation is critical for learning in viewers between 6 months and 3 years of age, possibly because the (simulated) responsiveness and the meaningfulness of the presenters in these demonstrations elicit greater emotional engagement from children. This study aims to explore the impact of social contingency on the emotional engagement of infants and toddlers in video mediated interactions with emotionally meaningful individuals.
Deliberate discrepancies as a design strategy for motivating social communication in virtual environments for young children with autism BIBAFull-Text 659-662
  Alyssa M. Alcorn
This PhD project explores the phenomenon of young children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC; 8 children aged 5-8 years) detecting discrepancies (i.e. novel or rule-violating occurrences) in existing video data from a virtual environment (VE), and the children's' subsequent social and non-social reactions. Children frequently initiated positive, social communication to human and virtual partners, with individuals appearing to prefer initiating about some discrepancy types over others. These early results suggest that deliberately including a range of discrepancies in future exploratory VEs may motivate initiation for children in this group. However, little is known about the possible types of discrepancy that might exist in a VE, how this population understands them, and how they might adaptively be incorporated into system designs. Missing too is a clear vocabulary or framework for discussing discrepancy research. The next phases of PhD work aim to approach these questions, with continued focus on taxonomizing discrepancy, and exploring design issues in single-user VEs for young children with autism.
Scripting and orchestration of collaborative inquiry in smart classrooms BIBAFull-Text 663-666
  Mike Tissenbaum
This paper describes a doctoral research study that examines a 13-week high school physics curriculum that engaged students as a knowledge community that leveraged user-contributed content for a series of scripted inquiry tasks. The focus of the study was the smart classroom culminating activity, in which students were orchestrated in a real-time activity to collaboratively solve ill-structure physics problems using Hollywood physics as their domain. The smart classroom leveraged the physical space of the room to contextualize student interactions, to connect students with peers in ad-hoc peer-to-peer networks, and to localize cooperative and collaborative tasks. Intelligent software agents aided in the complex orchestration of students and materials based on emergent class patterns, and provided the teacher with critical cues for intervention. Large-format interactive displays provided students a space for negotiation and a representation of their collaborative knowledge construction, and for the teacher to observe individual groups' knowledge at-a-glance. This paper attempts to analyze the designed curriculum in terms of its support for a cross-contexts knowledge community and the real-time orchestration of inquiry activities within a smart classroom setting.
An embodied approach to collaborative knowledge construction for science inquiry BIBAFull-Text 667-670
  Rebecca Cober
This research seeks to understand how embodied interactions that are enacted within a digitally-augmented learning environment can support collaborative knowledge construction. In particular, I want to discover how learners use motion- and gesture-based forms of input to make contributions to a community knowledge base. Throughout the duration of an investigation, students continually add to and draw upon the knowledge base and use it to support scientific reasoning. My doctoral work is part of a larger program of research known as Embedded Phenomena for Inquiry Communities. Following a design-based research approach, the learning materials, activities, and software applications that are created to support embodied interactions within this context will be implemented in upper elementary school science classrooms.