IDC ’19: Proceedings of the 18th ACM International Conference on Interaction Design and Children

Free access from June 12, 2019 to June 12, 2020!

 

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library 

 

SESSION: Keynote, Panels, Award

Keynote: Experiencing the Body as Play 

  • Florian Floyd Mueller 

Playing with computers mostly means focusing on the mind, rather than the body. However, children’s play teaches us how powerful experiences can be if the human body is involved. In consequence, I propose to see the body as a design opportunity for unique human-computer interactions, this enables us to “experience our bodies as play”. Drawing on phenomenology to unpack what we mean by “body” and “experience”, I argue that designing technology for the human body, whether for young children, teens or adults, is uniquely different than designing for keyboard or touch. As such, I propose to put the human body into the center of the digital play experience. I illustrate this thinking by presenting recent work that puts the human body into the center of the digital play experience, including a flying robot as jogging companion, family games for children in hospital, 3D printed heart rate souvenirs, shared reading apps, illuminated bicycle helmets, on-body robotic arms, wireless pills and singing ice cream.

Broadening the Discussion of Ethics in the Interaction Design and Children Community 

  • Christopher Frauenberger Jerry Alan Fails Alissa N. Antle Monica Landoni Janet C. Read Pauline Gourlet 

Interaction Design and Children (IDC) as an academic field, and as a community, has a responsibility to engage with the many and diverse ethical challenges that arise from work that concerns the creation of digital technology for and with children — both in terms of research and industry contexts. This panel builds on a short history of similar events at previous conferences and aims to foster and strengthen the debate about ethical conduct and moral responsibilities in IDC. In this year’s panel, we seek to broaden the discussion by collecting ethical concerns, issues or dilemmas from within the community to be discussed at the conference. To this end, we will issue an open call for input that will be publicised via the usual channels. The organisers then will synthesise the responses and facilitate the discussion and debate at the panel.

Paths to Partnering 

  • Allison Druin 

Successful collaboration between any two entities takes a lot of work, and understanding the context and constraints within which each entity is working. In this highly interactive panel, conference attendees will join the conversation and learning experience led by a moderator and panelists who have years of experience collaborating. Hear their — and share your — successes and failures in collaborating with industry and academia.

2018 Edith Ackermann Award: Bildungsmedien: where TechKreativ meets Footwork 

  • Michael Horn Heidi Schelhowe 

In 2017, Paulo Blikstein, Dor Abrahamson, and the Interaction Design and Children Community established an annual award in the memory of Edith Ackermann to recognize the work of two scholars, one emergent and one eminent. These individuals would be acknowledged for their accomplishments but also tasked with a mission to complete for the following year’s conference. Through a series of meetings they would produce an artifact that would be shared with IDC. In 2018, Michael Horn was recognized as the emergent scholar and Heidi Schelhowe was recognized as the eminent scholar. Through a series of conversations culminating in an in-person visit, Mike and Heidi have written this essay in which they share resonating themes from their conversations.

SESSION: Methods

Using Gameplay Design Patterns with Children in the Redesign of a Collaborative Co-located Game 

  • Eva Eriksson Gökçe Elif Baykal Staffan Björk Olof Torgersson 

In this paper, we discuss the applicability of using design patterns to enhance the participation of children in the design process. This is illustrated by a study in which gameplay design patterns have been used to evaluate and re-design a collaborative co-located game focused on training collaboration skills in a special education context. The results show that patterns helped as a way of focusing the analysis of observations, as tools for noting suggestions for change, supported the children’s involvement in co-design activities, worked as an extendable collection of intermediate-level knowledge elements, and that patterns functioned as a way to introduce a common vocabulary. The contribution of this paper is a number of opportunities and challenges for working with gameplay design patterns with children.

Engaging Teenagers in Asynchronous Online Groups to Design for Stress Management 

  • Arpita Bhattacharya Calvin Liang Emily Y. Zeng Kanishk Shukla Miguel E. R. Wong Sean A. Munson Julie A. Kientz 

Teenagers have unique needs for mental wellbeing that can be supported by interactive technologies. Teens also have valuable input in the design of technology, so designers and researchers must seek new methods for involving them in the design process. We enrolled 23 unacquainted teenagers in an Asynchronous Remote Communities (ARC) study consisting of two private online groups. Teens participated in 10 weekly design activities on stress management across three months. We found that teens sought support from technology tailored to their perception of control in stressful contexts, developing sense of self, and varying social needs, including asking for no intervention from others. Teens appreciated that the ARC design experience allowed for flexibility in participation and supported selective disclosure. However, there were limited interactions between teenagers online. Reflecting on our study, we provide design implications for tools to support teenager mental health and discuss how the ARC method can be adapted for designing with teenagers.

Assessing Children’s Perceptions and Acceptance of a Social Robot 

  • Jacqueline M. Kory-Westlund Cynthia Breazeal 

Children’s interactions with social robots and other technologies are increasingly longitudinal, especially in areas such as healthcare, therapy, and education. As such, we need to understand how children perceive social robots over time and the kinds of relationships they develop. Relatively few validated assessments exist that measure young children’s relationships or their perception and acceptance of social robots. Thus, we present pilot tests of two assessments created for use with children aged 4–7: the Picture Sorting Task and the Social Acceptance Questionnaire. Through a single-session study and also a long-term study, we found that children responded appropriately to the assessments and that the assessments could capture changes in children’s perception and relationship over multiple encounters.

Evaluating Long Term User Experience with Children: Comparing the MemoLine with Interviews 

  • Matthew Horton Gavin Sim Bieke Zaman Karin Slegers 

This paper reports on a study to understand the effects the MemoLine visualization tool has on the interview process for evaluating long term user experience with children. Modifications were made to the MemoLine to try to improve consistency in reporting periods of no play. A within-subject design study was conducted using the MemoLine with interviews, and just interviews, of a suite of educational games over a 12-week period. The participants were 22 children, aged between 8 and 9 years, from a UK primary school. Three constructs were analyzed: Game Play, Learning and Ease of Use. The results showed that using the MemoLine’s visualization tool did not aid the children to recall past experience in comparison to just conducting an interview. In addition, the changes to the tool did not appear to aid consistency when reporting periods of no play and the appropriateness of the MemoLine is critically reflected upon.

SESSION: Fostering Science

Supporting Parent-Child Collaborative Learning through Haptic Feedback Displays 

  • Elham Beheshti Katya Borgos-Rodriguez Anne Marie Piper 

Haptic feedback displays are an emerging technology that have the potential to enhance how children and their parents interact with and learn about science concepts. Yet, we know little about how to design haptic feedback applications for science learning or how children and their parents make use of these interactive features. This paper presents the design and evaluation of TCircuit, an application for a variable friction touch-screen display (i.e., Tanvas Tablet) that enables parent-child dyads to feel electric current flowing through a circuit diagram by touching the display. We describe results from a formative design study with 10 parent-child dyads that reveal which texture patterns and mappings are most appropriate for representing the concept of electrical current through haptic feedback. We also report results of a comparative study with 40 parent-child dyads in a museum setting. Our analysis shows that dyads in the haptic condition performed slightly better when predicting their answers to learning tasks. However, we found that haptic feedback introduced new complexities for how dyads perceived and discussed the exhibit content. We discuss the potential for haptic feedback displays to support science learning, particularly in collaborative settings, and design considerations for future systems.

Supporting Interest in Science Learning with a Social Robot 

  • Joseph E. Michaelis Bilge Mutlu 

Education research offers strong evidence that social supports, learning interventions situated in meaningful social interaction, during learning can aid in developing interest and promote understanding for the content. However, children are often asked to complete homework tasks in isolation. To address this discrepancy, we build on prior work in social robotics to demonstrate the effectiveness of a socially adept robot, as compared to a socially neutral robot to generate situational interest and improve learning while reading a science textbook. We conducted a randomized controlled experiment (N = 63) of one reading interaction with either the socially adept or socially neutral robot. Our results show that children who read with a socially adept robot found the robot to be friendlier and more attractive, reported a higher level of closeness and mutual-liking for the robot, had higher situational interest, and made more scientifically accurate statements on a concept-map activity. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications of these findings.

Understanding Context in Children’s Use of Smartwatches for Everyday Science Reflections 

  • Sharon Lynn Chu Brittany Garcia Beth Nam 

Although much has been written about the benefits of situated learning, its technology implementations have remained bounded in space and time in the form of scheduled sessions or designated spaces. Relatively little research has investigated how learning can be situated in the messy world outside of formal learning contexts. We propose that wearables like smartwatches, because of their intrinsic attributes such as persistence and ease-of-access, present an apt opportunity to explore how such ‘messy’ situated learning can happen. This paper investigates the notion of context in a 3-week study whereby 18 elementary school students used a custom smartwatch app called ScienceStories to record reflections related to specific science topics throughout the course of their everyday lives.

We advance a context model of wearables as situated reflection tools, and present our study findings that detail ‘when’ (time periods), ‘where’ (locations), ‘why’ (triggers) and ‘how’ (interactions of contextual dimensions) children made science reflections using the smartwatches. We conclude from our findings that a certain tension exists between watch interactions for the purpose of reflections and real-life experiences. We expected the watch to function alongside the child’s everyday life but evidence points to a dialectic model. The work serves to inform the design of educational wearable apps perhaps to eventually move towards becoming effectively context-aware.

Discussion Prompts to Support Family Engagement in Science: Talking about Astroengineering in Library-based Making Programs 

  • Heather Toomey Zimmerman Zachary A. McKinley Soo Hyeon Kim Katharine E. Grills 

Situated within a three-year design-based research project, this case study investigates how families learned about astroengineering. Eleven families (11 adults, 12 children) engaged in activities related to making a lunar rover in four library programs. To support their engagement in design tasks and engineering thinking, think-pair-share discussion prompts were employed between two- and four-times during workshops. Analyses of the implementation of the prompts by the astronomer leading the program and the family talk that resulted from the prompts found that parents were integral to supporting participation in the engineering activities. Youths often did not answer the astronomer’s questions directly; instead, the parents re-voiced the prompts prior to the youths’ engagement. The family prompts supported reflecting upon prior experiences, defining the design problem, and maintaining the activity flow.

Exploring Parent Use of Early STEM Media to Inform Design for Children 

  • Brianna Hightower Kelly Sheehan Alexis Lauricella Ellen Wartella 

This paper explores how parents identify and use science and math media to engage their preschool children in informal science and math learning. Through an interview study, we examine parental beliefs about media’s role in their preschool-aged children’s science and math learning. We report how parents approach finding and incorporating different forms of media into their child’s informal learning and conclude with a discussion of design implications for creating educational media for preschool-aged children.

SESSION: Lowering Barriers

Query Formulation Assistance for Kids: What is Available, When to Help & What Kids Want 

  • Jerry Alan Fails Maria Soledad Pera Oghenemaro Anuyah Casey Kennington Katherine Landau Wright William Bigirimana 

Children use popular web search tools, which are generally designed for adult users. Because children have different developmental needs than adults, these tools may not always adequately support their search for information. Moreover, even though search tools offer support to help in query formulation, these too are aimed at adults and may hinder children rather than help them. This calls for the examination of existing technologies in this area, to better understand what remains to be done when it comes to facilitating query-formulation tasks for young users. In this paper, we investigate interaction elements of query formulation–including query suggestion algorithms–for children. The primary goals of our research efforts are to: (i) examine existing plug-ins and interfaces that explicitly aid children’s query formulation; (ii) investigate children’s interactions with suggestions offered by a general-purpose query suggestion strategy vs. a counterpart designed with children in mind; and (iii) identify, via participatory design sessions, their preferences when it comes to tools / strategies that can help children find information and guide them through the query formulation process. Our analysis shows that existing tools do not meet children’s needs and expectations; the outcomes of our work can guide researchers and developers as they implement query formulation strategies for children.

Youth Learning Machine Learning through Building Models of Athletic Moves 

  • Abigail Zimmermann-Niefield Makenna Turner Bridget Murphy Shaun K. Kane R. Benjamin Shapiro 

Machine Learning-based (ML) technologies impact many facets of our lives. Given ML’s ubiquity, and the ways it offers creative computational possibilities distinct from programming, we believe it could be a powerful tool for youth to leverage in making, creativity, and play. We investigate how youth with no programming experience can incorporate ML classifiers into athletic practice by building models of their own physical activity. In this paper, we describe a design experiment exploring how to introduce youth to making ML models within the context of their athletic interests. We present AlpacaML, an iOS application that connects to wearable sensors and allows young people to model physical movement using an ML classifier, and detail its use in a three-hour workshop with middle- and high-school athletes. We found the youth were able to collect data, build models, test and evaluate models, and quickly iterate on this process. We finish with a discussion of why this is a promising direction for the incorporation of Machine Learning into novice youth making, exploration, and play.

Joint Emotional State of Children and Perceived Collaborative Experience in Coding Activities 

  • Kshitij Sharma Sofia Papavlasopoulou Michail Giannakos 

This paper employs facial features to recognize emotions during a coding activity with 50 children. Extracting group-level emotional states via facial features, allows us to understand how emotions of a group affect collaboration. To do so, we captured joint emotional state using videos and collaborative experience using questionnaires, from collaborative coding sessions. We define groups’ emotional state using a method inspired from dynamic systems, utilizing a measure called cross-recurrence. We also define a collaborative emotional profile using the different measurements from facial features of children. The results show that the emotional cross recurrence (coming from the videos) is positively related with the collaborative experience (coming from the surveys). We also show that the groups with better experience than the others showcase more positive and a consistent set of emotions during the coding activity. The results inform the design of an emotion-aware collaborative support system.

Smart Homes Programming: Development and Evaluation of an Educational Programming Application for Young Learners 

  • Mazyar Seraj Cornelia S. Große Serge Autexier Rolf Drechsler 

In light of the complexity of introductory programming for young learners, visual programming has become more and more popular. In particular, block-based educational programming systems have emerged as an area of active research. This paper introduces an educational block-based programming application, enabling young learners to learn and make programs in the context of smart homes. In this application, smart objects have a set of primitive behaviors which can be integrated in the general features of programming languages like variables, conditionals, loops, and functions. The programming language is shown in a graphical interface to enable young students to program with the application. The development and implementation of this application, along with helping features for the students are described. In a pilot study with 20 7th grade students, the application’s effectiveness and ease of use are evaluated. The results show that students can fairly solve programming problems and make real programs in the context of smart homes. Feedback of the learners is presented and discussed.

Exploring Globally Inclusive Online Collaboration for Indian and Finnish Schoolchildren 

  • Sumita Sharma Pekka Kallioniemi Jaakko Hakulinen Tuuli Keskinen Markku Turunen 

We present our exploratory work on globally inclusive online collaboration for schoolchildren in India and Finland, using CityCompass, an online virtual navigational application for conversational language learning. User studies with Indian children, who collaborated with a Finnish researcher, showed several barriers towards communication and collaboration, including issues from limited access to computers and gaming to socio-cultural effects of a large power distance and face-saving. By adding a dramatized scenario, the Bollywood Method, these barriers were reduced. Next, we replicated the study with Finnish children, who collaborated with an Indian researcher. Here, previous computer and gaming experience reduced the motivation towards communication. In this paper, we present studies conducted in Finland, compare it with the Indian ones, and discuss opportunities for inclusive collaboration between Indian and Finnish children. Overall, our findings indicate that online collaboration is affected by differences in computer skills, video gaming experience, and socio-cultural communication norms.

SESSION: Adolescents & Teens

A Review of Design Interventions for Promoting Adolescents’ Physical Activity 

  • Yudan Ma Annemiek Veldhuis Tilde Bekker Jun Hu Steven Vos 

Participating in physical activity (PA) is beneficial for adolescents’ physical and mental development. Therefore, many studies have been conducted to design and evaluate interactive interventions to facilitate adolescents’ PA. Despite the knowledge produced by this large number of studies, the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) still lacks a comprehensive set of guidelines to guide our design processes, help us make informed design decisions, as well as provide niche for innovation. This paper reports a systematic literature review of studies on technology-supported interventions in adolescents’ PA. We reviewed 25 design related studies in HCI over the past 10 years, analyzing 1) the process phases of design practice, 2) the design requirements and related design decisions, and 3) how these phases and requirements are internally related to each other and what are their influence on design value. Our findings suggest four design phases with seven design requirements and its corresponding design decisions emerged in the process of design. Furthermore, we outline a framework to demonstrate the internal relations of design requirements. We generalize opportunities and challenges for supporting the aforementioned design decisions making, and implementing the findings for future design and research on technology-supported adolescents’ PA.

Behind the Scenes: Design, Collaboration, and Video Creation with Youth 

  • Sarah McRoberts Ye Yuan Kathleen Watson Svetlana Yarosh 

Youth content creators have been under-researched on video platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, etc. In order to better understand the ways that technology could support youth as content creators we conducted a 30-week series of workshops with an intergenerational design team including pre-teen youth and undergraduate designers-in-training. Qualitative analysis of workshop videos and notes revealed underlying challenges in video creation related to the social dynamics of creating videos in groups. In line with previous work, we note that a primary motivation for using social media is to spend time with friends. We found that existing video technology reveals opportunities and challenges to support the collaboration and interaction that motivates youth creators. We offer illustrative designs of potential collaborations in video sharing technology and propose that some of the concerns of youth social media use could be addressed by incorporating more opportunities for social creation.

Enacting Identities: Participatory Design as a Context for Youth to Reflect, Project, and Apply their Emerging Identities 

  • Merijke Coenraad Jen Palmer Diana Franklin David Weintrop 

Participatory design is an essential design strategy for creating artifacts and experiences that reflect the voices of the population being designed for and with. The participatory design process can serve not only to research resulting artifacts but also as an empowering activity for those who participate. This paper explores how participatory design can serve as a context for young participants to enact and voice their emerging identities and reveals how different participatory design activities have unique affordances for supporting this identity enactment. Focusing on a group of 12 and 13-year-old African American girls, this paper presents a case study showing how participatory design activities served as venues for the girls to reflect characteristics of their current identities, project future identities, and apply aspects of their identities to shape materials for others. In doing so, we contribute a case study showing how participatory design allows participants to enact their identities, helping researchers gain insight into characteristics of those they are designing with and for. This paper advances our understanding of participatory design as a design approach for youth, especially as it relates to issues of broadening participation, identity, and equity.

Brokering Data: Co-Designing Technology with Latina Teens to Support Communication with Parents: Leveraging Cultural Practices of Latinx Youth through Co-Design 

  • Ralph Vacca 

Adolescent Latina emotional health is positively impacted by open communication with caregivers around issues important to teens, with many community health approaches focusing on promoting teen-caregiver communication. However, little research has explored Latina perspectives on the role of technology in framing and promoting such communication. Through a participatory design study with eight Latina teens, a tool and memes that challenge parental assumptions about Latina teen norms and behavior were co-designed. Drawing on analysis of design discussions, memes created, and interviews with eight Latina parents, we find that Latina youth viewed technology as a tool for creative argumentation that enacted certain cultural practices. In turn, Latina parents reflected on the authoritative source of the memes reconciling the subjective argumentation of the teen voice with the perceived objectivity of open data incorporated into the memes. Drawing on theories of brokering and Latina emotional health, we present theoretical and design ideas for supporting Latinas to improve teen-caregiver relationships through digital media creation platforms.

SESSION: Makers & Coders

Is My Game OK Dr. Scratch?: Exploring Programming and Computational Thinking Development via Metrics in Student-Designed Serious Games for STEM 

  • Giovanni Maria Troiano Sam Snodgrass Erinç Argımak Gregorio Robles Gillian Smith Michael Cassidy Eli Tucker-Raymond Gillian Puttick Casper Harteveld 

Computational thinking (CT) is key to digital literacy and helps develop problem-solving skills, which are fundamental in modern school. As game design shows potential for teaching CT, metrics like Dr. Scratch emerge that help scholars systematically assess the CT of student-designed games, particularly with Scratch. Compared to other CT metrics, Dr. Scratch scores the CT of Scratch projects automatically and can be used to describe CT development. However, previous research using Dr. Scratch summatively assessed CT, but did not look at CT development. We use Dr. Scratch to assess the CT development of Scratch games designed by 8th-grade students in STEM curricula. We show how CT proficiency in student-designed games develops differently in each CT dimension, where parallelism, synchronization, and logic develop proficiently, while developing abstraction seems hard. We discuss insights into game-based CT development for STEM, and suggest improvements for metric-based CT assessment.

Tinkering with Music: Designing a Maker Curriculum for an After School Youth Club 

  • David Bar-El Marcelo Worsley 

In recent years, researchers have focused on the design and implementation of maker activities across formal and informal settings. As a result, the research community is gradually articulating the challenges and design considerations relating to these settings. These include: tools, facilitation, and curricular requirements. In this paper we present the design and implementation of Tinkering with Music, a 10-week youth club curriculum around popular music appreciation and instrument building with electronics. Reflecting on our design and implementation, we report on: (1) our curricular activities; (2) design challenges which we had to overcome throughout implementation, and (3) a failure to engender long term engagement with tools and practices from the curriculum.

Programs in the Palm of your Hand: How Live Programming Shapes Children’s Interactions with Physical Computing Devices 

  • Lautaro Cabrera John H. Maloney David Weintrop 

As physical computing devices proliferate, researchers and educators push to make them more engaging to learners. One approach is to make the act of programming them more interactive and responsive via live programming so that program edits are immediately reflected in the behavior of the physical device. To understand the impact of live programming on interactions with physical computing devices, we conducted a comparative study where children ages 11-15 programmed a BBC micro:bit device using either the MicroBlocks live programming environment or MakeCode, the micro:bit default environment. Results show that MicroBlocks users spent more time interacting directly with the physical device while showing different patterns of interaction compared to MakeCode users. We also found variations in the differences between environments related to activity structures. This paper contributes to the growing body of literature on how the design of interfaces—like programming environments—for physical computing devices shapes emerging interaction patterns.

Facilitation in an Intergenerational Making Activity: How Facilitative Moves Shift Across Traditional and Digital Fabrication 

  • Stephanie T. Jones Melissa Perez Sarah P. Lee Kira Furuichi Marcelo Worsley 

Intergenerational making activities provide an opportunity for family collaboration where parents and children learn together. We discuss the facilitative moves that emerged between researchers, parents, and children during a half-day making program where participants played and created games. Four families with a variety of knowledge of digital fabrication technologies participated in three activities: playing a variety of games, designing and making their own games using arts and crafts materials, and optionally utilizing digital fabrication tools to complete their games. We position traditional fabrication and digital fabrication as two different modalities of making. Accordingly, we examine the facilitative moves and behavioral shifts that emerge across the two modalities and as observed through qualitative analysis. This work contributes insights to the field on program structure and the ways formal facilitators and parents can sustain child engagement in a making workshop.

Understanding the Practices and the Products of Creativity: Making and Tinkering Family Program at Informal Learning Environments 

  • Soo Hyeon Kim Heather Toomey Zimmerman 

This study investigates how families’ sociomaterial experiences influence the creative practices of novel idea generation and feasible solution generation and the products during family workshops using littleBits as prototyping tools. We conceptualize creativity as a distributed and materially-grounded activity. Methods are interaction analysis on video-based accounts of 31 families’ activities and creativity assessment metrics to analyze the novelty scores of families’ products. We take an exploratory approach to understand families’ sociomaterial interactions in high and low novelty score groups. Findings illustrate that collaborative idea exchange and ongoing generative tinkering with materials support the emergence of novel ideas and feasible solutions.

SESSION: VR/AR

PrototypAR: Prototyping and Simulating Complex Systems with Paper Craft and Augmented Reality 

  • Seokbin Kang Leyla Norooz Elizabeth Bonsignore Virginia Byrne Tamara Clegg Jon E. Froehlich 

We introduce PrototypAR, an Augmented Reality (AR) system that allows children to rapidly build complex systems using paper crafts and to test their designs in a digital environment. PrototypAR combines lo-fidelity prototyping to facilitate iterative design, real-time AR feedback to scaffold learning, and a virtual simulation environment to support personalized experiments. Informed by three participatory design sessions, we developed three PrototypAR applications: build-a-bike, build-a-camera, and build-an-aquarium—each highlights different aspects of our system. To evaluate PrototypAR, we conducted four single-session qualitative evaluations with 21 children working in teams. Our findings show how children build and explore complex systems models, how they use AR scaffolds, and the challenges they face when conducting experiments with their own prototypes.

I’m Drowning in Squirrels!: How Children Embody and Debug Computational Algorithms Through Designing Mixed Reality Games 

  • Breanne K. Litts Apoorva Chauhan Chase K. Mortensen Kamaehu Matthias 

As mobile technologies become more ubiquitous, design work at the intersection of mixed reality and embodied learning is growing. While much of this work focuses on designing technologies and environments for children, we contribute a unique perspective of children as designers of these technologies. In this paper, we explore how children embody and debug computational algorithms through designing their own mixed reality games. We conducted two afterschool workshops with 19 middle school aged children (3 girls, 16 boys, ages 10-13) during which participants designed mobile, location-based games with mixed reality technologies about local plants and animals. Findings reveal how participants across workshops embody a key game mechanic (digitally spawning characters in the real world) by engaging in an iterative digital-to-physical-to-digital debugging process that led to their understanding of the underlying computational algorithm. We further present design considerations for authoring platforms that allow children to design with mixed reality, place-based technologies.

Designing for Impact: Shifting Children’s Perspectives of Civic and Social Issues Through Making Mobile Games 

  • Julie Lamarra Apoorva Chauhan Breanne Litts 

Within the growing movement to teach children computational skills and practices, it is important to understand how children engage and identify with the content they are designing. In this paper, we explore how children’s perspectives of civic and social issues shift or do not shift as they make a location-based mobile game using augmented reality and location-based mobile technologies. We conducted two workshops with children, where they individually or in pairs created a narrative-based game around civic and social engagement topics such as pollution, waste management, or animal rights. We present one illustrative case in this paper to highlight how mobile, augmented reality, and location-based mobile technologies afford impactful shifts in perspective. Findings indicate that these technologies may contribute to a shift in children’s perspectives about the world around them and in some cases may prompt meaningful action towards civic engagement.

MaR-T: Designing a Projection-Based Mixed Reality System for Nonsymbolic Math Development of Preschoolers: Guided by Theories of Cognition and Learning 

  • Ceylan Beşevli Elif Salman Tilbe Goksun Hakan Urey Oğuzhan Özcan 

Recent developmental studies state that nonsymbolic number representation (i.e., more-less comparisons) is important for math development, and children’s judgment about such non-numerical magnitudes can be affected by sensory properties (i.e., volume, space). Yet, to our knowledge, there are no tangible based systems for training this math concept. Building on theories of cognition and learning, we developed MaR-T, a projector-camera setup. This paper is a step towards investigating the effects of projection-based mixed-reality (MR) system with tangibles on nonsymbolic number representation of 3- to 5-year-old children. We present our user studies with a total of 14 participants, conducted to observe their interaction with the setup and the possible effects of our design on learning. The results indicate that MaR-T can provide active, engaging, and social learning, and our insights can inspire other interaction design and education studies.

An Exploration of Using Virtual Reality to Assess the Sensory Abnormalities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

  • Ankit Koirala Zhiwei Yu Hillary Schiltz Amy Van Hecke Kathleen A Koth Zhi Zheng 

Sensory abnormalities are prevalent among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Precise and objective assessment of sensory processing is important for ASD diagnosis and intervention. Traditionally, the assessment is done through psychological interviews, observations, and questionnaires. While these methods have important diagnostic utility, they are subject to biases and have limited resolution. Therefore, we explored the potential of using VR, which provided objective measurements and a higher observation resolution, to assess the sensory processing differences between children with ASD and typically developing (TD). For this pilot investigation, we focused on visual and touch processing. The system can record real-time behavioral data in high temporal and spatial resolutions. An experimental study was conducted with six children with ASD and six TD children aged 11-17 years old. Results showed that the system could reveal sensory differences between these two groups. Strong and moderate correlations were observed between the system’s detection and that of the most commonly used standardized psychological assessment questionnaire of sensory processing.

SESSION: Youngest

Hey Google, Do Unicorns Exist?: Conversational Agents as a Path to Answers to Children’s Questions 

  • Silvia B. Lovato Anne Marie Piper Ellen A. Wartella 

Children are known to be curious and persistent questionaskers. The pervasiveness of voice interfaces represents an opportunity for children who are not yet fluent readers to independently search the Internet by asking questions through conversational agents such as Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and the Google Assistant. Through a two-week, in-home deployment study involving 18 families (children aged 5-6 and their parents), we report on which questions children choose to ask the conversational agent, the answers the agent provided, challenges in use, and their perceptions of the technology. Based on our analysis, we identify several considerations for the design of voice-based conversational agents that aim to support young children’s question-asking behavior and subsequent development.

Voice Agents Supporting High-Quality Social Play 

  • Luiza Superti Pantoja Kyle Diederich Liam Crawford Juan Pablo Hourcade 

While the design of Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) has mostly focused on applications for adults, VUIs also provide potential advantages for young children in enabling concurrent interactions with the physical and social world. Current applications for young children focus mostly on media playing, answering questions, and highly-structured activities. There is an opportunity to go beyond these applications by using VUIs to support less structured, developmentally appropriate activities. In this paper, we describe our first step in pursuing this opportunity through an exploration of voice agents to facilitate high-quality social play guided by a partnership with eight 3-4 year old children. During 24 design sessions, we explored making voice agents tangible and enabling children to control what voice agents say. After analyzing the sessions, we learned voice agents could help keep children socially engaged in play and children liked incorporating the agents with the physical aspects of their play. On the other hand, enabling children to control the voice agents caused distractions from play.

Designing Tangible ABCs: Fröbel’s Sticks and Rings for the 21st Century 

  • Heidy Maldonado Ariel Zekelman 

In this paper we discuss why and how we combined the advantages of digital technology with physical manipulatives to scaffold children’s learning of letter shapes, names, and sounds. Tangible interactions have been shown to lead to greater learning gains than traditional instruction in several contexts and subject matter. Yet most children are learning their ABCs the same way as they were taught more than a hundred years ago. If there was an engaging, interactive, hands-on alternative to learn the ABCs, what would it look like? To answer that question, we embarked on a design-based research journey based on continued user evaluations and redesign cycles informed by quantitative and qualitative assessments. Inspired by Fröbel and Montessori manipulatives, we discuss the design tradeoffs faced as playful learning goals balanced against constraints including healthy screen time limitations, fine motor control, competing attention targets, and choking hazards.

Active Listening: Encouraging Sound Awareness Through Tangible Sonic Toys 

  • Kristin Carlson Greg Corness prOphecy Sun 

This paper explores how sound-based tangible toys can encourage children to engage with sounds in their environment through active listening and collaboration with their peers. Twenty-eight children, aged 3 to 4.5 years old, explored sound in their environment through three toy prototypes. One toy focused on hearing sounds in relation to their environment; such as traffic and children playing. Another toy explored the recording and playback of their own sounds, being “caught” in a racket and blown out. The third toy explored a combination of shaking in sounds, stirring them to manipulate them, and pouring the mix out. This project uses a mixed-methods approach and is presented as a step towards further studies comparing toys with different approaches to sound.

No Touch Pig!: Investigating Child-Parent Use of a System for Training Executive Function 

  • Anonymity 

Strengthening early executive function (EF) skills has the potential to improve an individual’s quality of life throughout their lifetime, a fact that has led to many EF-training suites. In this work, we empirically investigate how children and parents engaged with Cookie Monster’s Challenge (CMC), a tablet game designed to train EF in preschoolers. Through analysis of child-parent co-play with CMC, we describe children’s and parents’ thematic behaviors, documenting their effective and ineffective strategies for engaging with the game, particularly when it challenged children’s EF skills. We further show that these behaviors led to a small but significant short-term increase in an unrelated EF task. Drawing on these patterns of interaction, we propose design directions for EF training interfaces, such as increasing contextual relevance and specific forms of scaffolding. Our work is the first illustration of how preschoolers exercise their EF and inhibitory control by collaboratively using a commercial tablet app together with a parent.

SESSION: Storytelling

Intergenerational Family Storytelling and Modeling with Large-Scale Data Sets 

  • Daryl B. Axelrod Jennifer Kahn 

Open large-scale data sets (LSDS; [4]) and visualization tools have opened a new design space for youth and family collaborative learning. Using a corpus of video-recorded interviews, we examine how youth and parents together explore their personal family migration histories—their geobiographies—and broader socioeconomic, historical trends using dynamic data visualization tools. We introduce the Family Alignment of data Models and Stories (FAMS) process to describe how parent-child interactions with LSDS, through cycles of aligning family narratives to data, produce family stories about migration. Applying the FAMS model to four family cases revealed that grounding family narratives in jointly constructed interpretations of data sets encourages generative co-constructions of those stories, which contrasts with family storytelling settings in which narrators’ interpretations compete to become the basis for the accepted version of events [23]. We discuss how the FAMS model can facilitate deeper understandings of intergenerational engagement with LSDS.

Co-designing Inclusive Multisensory Story Mapping with Children with Mixed Visual Abilities 

  • Clare Cullen Oussama Metatla 

Story mapping is used in schools to promote children’s understanding of stories and narrative structure. As a collaborative activity, it can support creativity and facilitate group interaction. However, most techniques used in primary schools rely on visual materials, which creates a barrier to learning for children with visual impairments (VI). To address this, we set out to design a collaborative story mapping tool with a group of children with mixed visual abilities and their teaching assistants. Using co-design approaches over ten workshops, we designed and prototyped different ideas for engaging children in storytelling and design. We present our co-design process and findings, and the resulting story mapping system. We outline how using multisensory elements can facilitate creativity and collaboration to help children with mixed visual abilities create and share stories together, and support learning and social inclusion of VI children in mainstream classrooms.

Together Together: Combining Shared and Separate Activities in Designing Technology for Family Life 

  • Peter Knøsgaard Christensen Christoffer Øland Skovgaard Marianne Graves Petersen 

There is a growing concern that the pervasive individualized, digital means for connecting with others is challenging family togetherness, such as Sherry Turkle expresses it in her book entitled “Alone Together”. As a response to this concern, we explore a new direction for designing technologies supporting families being ‘Together Together’ through using separate activities as drivers for shared activities in designing for domestic family life. The direction derives from the use of Participatory Design techniques, engaging six families in a series of in-situ workshops, envisioning how technology can support shared domestic family experiences. We explore this design space through the design of the STORIES prototype and we present the results from in-situ deployments of the STORIES prototype. We conclude that designing for a combination of separate and shared family activities is a promising approach in designing for Family Togetherness.

Detecting Gender Stereotypes in Children Digital StoryTelling 

  • Elisa Rubegni Monica Landoni Antonella De Angeli Letizia Jaccheri 

Gender is a major variable affecting identity and life opportunities from a young age. Our research aims to explore the persistence of gender stereotypes in multimedia stories created by children with the final purpose of attenuating this stereotypical thinking by proposing new processes and tools. The paper investigates the following research question: how can gender stereotypes be detected in the stories produced by children with Digital StoryTelling? We addressed this issue by analyzing 23 multimedia stories created by 83 children, aged 11-12 years. The main contribution of our work is an evaluation methodology to detect gender stereotypes.

SESSION: Apps

Stranger Danger!: Social Media App Features Co-designed with Children to Keep Them Safe Online 

  • Karla Badillo-Urquiola Diva Smriti Brenna McNally Evan Golub Elizabeth Bonsignore Pamela J. Wisniewski 

Mobile social media applications (“apps”), such as TikTok (previously Musical.ly), have recently surfaced in news media due to harmful incidents involving young children engaging with strangers through these mobile apps. To better understand children’s awareness of online stranger danger and explore their visions for technologies that can help them manage related online risks (e.g., sexual solicitations and cyberbullying), we held two participatory design sessions with 12 children (ages 8-11 years old). We found that children desired varying levels of agency, depending on the severity of the risk. In most cases, they wanted help resolving the issue themselves instead of relying on their parents to do it for them. Children also believed that social media apps should take on more responsibility in promoting online safety for children. We discuss the children’s desires for agency, privacy, and automated intelligent assistance and provide novel design recommendations inspired by children.

Creating a Framework to Support the Critical Consideration of Dark Design Aspects in Free-to-Play Apps 

  • Dan Fitton Janet C. Read 

The majority of mobile apps are free-to-play and so include a variety of forms of advertising and other mechanisms for monetization. These monetization mechanisms often have deceptive elements and closely resemble what designers know as Dark Patterns. In-app advertising and purchasing have been studied with adults but, to-date, younger users have received comparatively little consideration despite their increased susceptibility to manipulation. This paper addresses the gap in research by creating the ADD (App Dark Design) framework which brings together insights from practitioners, theory from existing related research, and the findings from a user study which gathered qualitative data from 39 girls aged 12-13 years. We also derive a set of emerging issues and identify future research questions. This work is the first of its kind to create a framework to support the critical consideration of the design of free-to-play apps. We have identified a set of problematic Dark Design aspects that young people across the world are encountering in their apps every day and we hope this paper will both raise awareness and stimulate further research work on this important topic.

A Framework of Touchscreen Interaction Design Recommendations for Children (TIDRC): Characterizing the Gap between Research Evidence and Design Practice 

  • Nikita Soni Aishat Aloba Kristen S. Morga Pamela J. Wisniewski Lisa Anthony 

HCI researchers have established a number of evidence-based design recommendations for children’s touchscreen interfaces based on developmental appropriateness. Yet, these recommendations are scattered within the academic literature and lack a cohesive framework that makes them accessible to app designers. We created a framework of actionable Touchscreen Interaction Design Recommendations for Children (TIDRC, “tide-rock”) by conducting a comprehensive review of the relevant literature. We used our TIDRC framework as a lens to empirically evaluate whether these evidence-based design recommendations were implemented within 50 popular iPad apps designed for children. We found a significant gap between research and practice. On average, only 63% of these apps followed design recommendations for meeting children’s cognitive (51%), physical (67%), and socio-emotional (72%) needs. We characterize the nature of this gap and discuss opportunities for closing it when designing mobile touchscreen interfaces for children.

The Added Challenge of Digital Reading: Exploring Young Children’s Page Turning Behaviors 

  • Ying Xu Joanna C. Yau Stephanie M. Reich 

Electronic books (e-books) with audio narration are often touted as enabling pre-literate children to read independently, which, indeed, is the most common way children utilized e-books in the U.S. However, young children may have trouble navigating e-books, as their cognitive and fine motor skills are still developing. Compared to print-books, e-books lack the tactability and tangibility of print books and thus may pose additional challenge to book navigation. To examine this issue, we randomly assigned 174 children aged 3-5 to be read either a print book by an adult (n = 85) or an e-book with audio narration (n = 89) and compared their page-turning behaviors, including disruptive turning (i.e., turning before narration ends), delayed turning (i.e., being inattentive for over one minute after the narration ends), and incorrect page-turning motions. We found that screen-based reading imposes additional cost to children’s navigation of the book, especially for children under four years old and those who are less experienced with tablet devices. The learning curve to navigate e-books appears to be steeper than that for print-books. Future e-book design may want to provide scaffolding for young users and those lacking familiarity with touchsreen technologies.

SESSION: Work-in-Progress A

Anon what what?: Children’s Understanding of the Language of Privacy 

  • Stacy Black Rezvan Joshaghani Dhanush kumar Ratakonda Hoda Mehrpouyan Jerry Alan Fails 

Internet usage continues to increase among children ages 12 and younger. Because their digital interactions can be persistently stored, there is a need for building an understanding and foundational knowledge of privacy. We describe initial investigations into children’s understanding of privacy from a Contextual Integrity (CI) perspective by conducting semi-structured interviews. We share results — that echo what others have shown — that indicate children have limited knowledge and understanding of CI principles. We also share an initial exploration of utilizing participatory design theater as a possible educational mechanism to help children develop a stronger understanding of important privacy principles.

Designing Sensory-Inclusive Virtual Play Spaces for Children 

  • LouAnne Boyd 

In this work in progress, I explore five interaction designs for the highly variable sensory needs of three neurodiverse children. I aim to create a repertoire of interactions that can be employed in future systems aimed at inclusive play. The three children in this work have educational labels of neurotypical, ADHD, and autism, but rather than design for their general labels or IQ scores, I designed for their individual sensory profiles. Based on clinical tools for sensory integration, I take the next step in a long-term project—this is the second stage where I explore three users’ experience with five high fidelity VR prototypes across 26 user sessions. I aim to understand how virtual environments and user interactions can support sensory needs—and thus how to make future collaborative VR systems “sensory-accessible”. I contribute empirical findings for accommodating sensory differences for neurodiverse children regarding interaction design for children by tying clinically-supported design features to sensory-inclusive techniques.

Designing Software to Prevent Child Marriage Globally 

  • Jostein Brevik Juan Carlos Torrado Vidal Letizia Jaccheri 

Child marriage is any marriage where one or both of the participants is under the age of 18. Today, more than 12 million such marriages happen every year [11]. Giving children and the communities around them access to information about the dangers of child marriage is crucial in order to change the cultural norms that enable and perpetuate it. Mobile applications have so far seen sparse use to combat this problem. This paper covers a project that looks to evaluate the effect of different design options for mobile applications in this field. It covers seven different design approaches, as well as the testing and evaluation of these in a case study amongst youth in Malawi. During Spring 2019, an initial testing round will be held there in cooperation with Plan International. There, we will gather feedback from local youths on what they know and think about child marriage, as well as seeing how they interact with the designs we have made.

Trove: A Digitally Enhanced Memory Box for Looked after and Adopted Children 

  • Stuart Gray Kirsten Cater Chloe Meineck Rachel Hahn Debbie Watson Tom Metcalfe 

For looked after and adopted children, physical objects are often the only remaining link to their past; a portal to stories of birth families, former homes, and significant people. Yet, often these stories can be littered with traumatic events preventing them from moving forward with their lives. Through reminiscence of these stories and attempting to develop narratives of past events, known as ‘life story work’, we can help children to emotionally process their past. This paper introduces, trove, a digital and physical memory box for storing and curating stories about precious objects. trove creates a safe space for keeping these objects in transient environments and constructing life story narratives.

Co-adapting a Design Thinking Activity to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities: Insights and Lessons Learned 

  • E. Lynne Harden Emily Moore 

Teaching students with learning disabilities about design thinking can prepare them to be active co-designers of learning tools and resources that will ultimately benefit them and their peers. In this paper, we outline an introductory design thinking activity conducted with students with learning disabilities and share two specific and contrasting student interactions that occurred during the activity. The two interactions highlight how being able to engage in open, respectful, and constructive idea sharing can lead to a more sophisticated and evolved design prototype. Student collaboration observed also provides insight into improved ways to scaffold learners in introductions to design thinking. We share lessons learned and ideas for how to modify this activity to better support a positive introduction to design thinking experience.

Designing a Collaborative Virtual Reality Game for Teen-Robot Interactions 

  • Ada S. Kim Simran Bhatia Elin A. Björling Dong Li 

Virtual reality (VR) offers potential as a prototyping tool for human-robot interaction. We explored a way to utilize human-centered design (HCD) methodology to develop a collaborative VR game for understanding teens’ perceptions of, and interactions with, social robots. Our paper features three stages of the design process for teen-robot interaction in VR; ideation, prototyping, and the game development. In the ideation stage, we identified three important design principles: collaboration, customization, and robot characterization. In the prototyping stage, we developed a card game, conducted gameplay, and confirmed our design principles. Finally, we developed a low-fidelity VR game and received teens’ feedback. This exploratory study highlights the potential of VR, both for collaborative robot design and teen-robot interaction studies.

Design implications from Cognitive Event Analysis: A case study of digitally mediated interaction in autistic children 

  • Margaret Holmes Laurie Sue Fletcher-Watson Andrew Manches 

A key question is how technologies can influence social interaction in autistic children, and how opportunities for interaction can embedded into design. Here, we present observations from video recordings of autistic children playing with different technological interfaces and use cognitive event analysis (CEA) to identify instances of child-led interactions. Artefacts which fostered interaction include i) visual prompts for collaboration, ii) multi-media feedback, and iii) expansion of opportunities through tangible interactions.

Co-Designing an Intelligent Conversational History Tutor with Children 

  • Naja A. Mack Robert Cummings Dekita G. Moon Rembert Juan E. Gilbert 

In a world that demands independent and cooperative problem solving to address complex social, economic, ethical, and personal concerns, core social studies content is as basic for success as reading, writing, math, and computing. Nationally, only 20% of 4th grade students are at or above Proficient level in U.S. History, the lowest among the core disciplines of social studies. Reaching proficiency requires students to ask more profound questions of the past as well as construct deeper understandings of it. This research explores the intersection of natural language dialogue and intelligent tutoring systems to enhance history learning of upper elementary students in 3rd and 4th grade. Elementary and middle school students were participants in a participatory design study to extract their design needs for the development of an educational learning technology for social studies.

A Serious Videogame to Support Emotional Awareness of People with Down Syndrome 

  • Marisela Hernández Lara Ana I. Martinez-García Karina Caro 

Among the characteristics of people with Down syndrome is the difficulty in identifying and expressing their own emotions. This difficulty stems from the lack of development of their emotional awareness which can cause them anxiety, and depression when they are exposed to significant situations in their lives, and they do not have the skills to express their emotions.

In the literature, several works focus on using serious videogames to support motor skills and literacy of children with Down syndrome. These show that the videogames maintain children’s attention and motivate them to develop and practice the corresponding skills. However, research exploring serious videogames to support emotional awareness of children with Down syndrome is scarce. In this work, we present the design of a serious videogame for supporting the emotional awareness of people with Down together with the design process followed.

Broadening Participation for Remote Communities: Situated Distance Telepresence 

  • Osazuwa Okundaye Sharon Chu Francis Quek 

Our work is concerned with how embodied communication involving speech and gestures may be mediated through mobile tele-robotics and augmented reality to support hands-on distance mentoring. Following work in the psycholinguistics of embodied communication (e.g., meaning is expressed through gesture, gaze, and speech), a four design-implement-test-deploy-evaluate study was undertaken. We investigated whether and how powerful multimodal language to support explanation and mentoring may be mediated over distance through the designs.

My Name Is My Password: Understanding Children’s Authentication Practices 

  • Dhanush kumar Ratakonda Tyler French Jerry Alan Fails 

Children continue to use technology at an increasing rate, more and more of which require authentication via usernames and passwords. We seek to understand how children ages 5-11 years old create and use their credentials. We investigate children’s username and password understanding and practices from the perspective of both children and adults within the context of three security categories: credential composition (e.g. length of password), performance (e.g. time to enter), and credential mechanisms (e.g; a pattern or characters). We conducted a semi-structured interview with 22 children and an online survey with 33 adult participants (parents and teachers) to determine their practices and involvement in facilitating authentication for their children. Our study illustrates how children have a limited understanding of authentication, and that there are differences between children’s and adult’s understanding of good authentication and security practices, and what they actually do.

Comic-based Digital Storytelling with Primary School Children 

  • Carolina Beniamina Rutta Massimo Zancanaro Gianluca Schiavo Elisa Rubegni 

In this paper, we describe a pilot study of a digital storytelling project conducted with primary school children. The study investigates how comic-based storytelling supported by a digital tool, named Communics, can facilitate primary school children in creating stories and in reflecting on situations involving discrimination within the classroom context. In a first stage, two teachers have been involved to negotiate the intervention, as well as define graphical and textual content on which to base the narrations in Communics. In a second stage, we piloted an intervention within a class of 12 children to investigate the scaffolding opportunities offered by Communics as well as different aspects of storytelling, as engagement and motivation, and explore the use of the storytelling practice as a reflective process. Finally, we discuss preliminary insights and suggestions for future studies.

Creative Learning Kits for Physical Microworlds: Supporting the making of meaningful projects using low-cost materials 

  • Mariana Aki Tamashiro Ricarose Roque Leo Burd 

Creative learning kits are physical, low-cost and easy to fabricate materials that support creative learning experiences. The kits were designed to be used in the context of physical microworlds: environments that support learning through the making of personally meaningful projects. Since the microworlds were first proposed by Seymour Papert in the 1980s, implementations of microworlds tend to use primarily technology-based kits that require high-end materials like computers. In low-resourced settings, what might the possibilities be to implement this approach using primarily low-cost and familiar materials? To explore these questions, we present the design of four physical, low-cost kits: Creature Creature Creation Kit, Interior Design Kit, Wearable Kit, and Automata Kit.

Based on observations from initial tests in workshops with kids ages 6-8 years old, we share some preliminary insights: children were not only able to create and express themselves with the kits, but also able to see familiar materials in new ways. We conclude by reflecting on challenges and opportunities for designing creative learning kits that use affordable, accessible, and reproducible materials to implement physical microworlds.

Children’s Assessment of Co-design Skills: Creativity, Empathy and Collaboration 

  • Maarten Van Mechelen Alice Schut Mathieu Gielen Antonia Clasina Södergren 

This paper presents a co-design project in a school with 16 children ages 10 to 11 in which three learning goals were defined upfront: creativity, empathy, and collaboration. The first part of the paper demonstrates how these co-design skills were implemented through an iterative process of explanation, practice, reflection, and application. Based on the results of post-interviews and short questionnaires, the second part discusses children’s assessments of these skills. Whereas children reported fluctuations in applying these skills, the findings show an overall positive trend towards the end of the project. In future work, these findings will be triangulated with observational data.

Hey Emotion Companion, Can You Be My Friend? 

  • Rojin Vishkaie 

Affective technology is increasingly becoming common in everyday life. To better understand how teachers perceive this technology in classrooms, and the role it can have in mediating the emotions of their students, we interviewed elementary (PreK-4) teachers. Our aim was to gain insights into how to design a child-emotion companion for the classroom that is mediated by teachers. From our initial interviews, we identified four interaction themes for child-emotion companions: perceived emotions, self-report contexts, playfulness, emotional wellbeing. Our early findings show how different interactions and modalities in a classroom space may change the way children perceive and communicate their emotions, and how to improve their emotional wellbeing in a classroom. We also propose design considerations that are illustrated through a low-fidelity prototype for future child-emotion companion that are mediated by teachers.

ARCat: A Tangible Programming Tool for DFS Algorithm Teaching 

  • Xiaozhou Deng Qiao Jin Danli Wang Fang Sun 

In this paper we present ARCat, a tangible programming tool designed to help children learn Depth First Search (DFS) algorithm with augmented reality (AR) technology. With this tool, children could use tangible programming cards to control a search process, rather than control virtual characters directly. With the special design of card semantics and real-time feedback, the cognitive load of the learning process had been proved to be affordable to children (ages 8-9) with the result of our preliminary evaluation, which shows the possibility of basic algorithm education for young children with tangible interface.

Timeless Homes: Exploring Genealogy and Family Histories through Co-Design with Children 

  • Wenting Cheng Elizabeth Bonsignore Jiahui Wu 

Genealogy and family history build the narratives of our family. By exploring these topics, children can make concrete and personal connections to larger historical themes. However, little is known about how to design genealogy and family history interactive applications for children. In this exploratory study, we consider what children want to know about these topics and how children want to interact with genealogical tools. We conducted 2 co-design sessions using the Cooperative Inquiry approach, Big Paper and Layered Elaboration, with an intergenerational design team that included 8 children ages 7-11. Our exploratory results indicate that 1) children are more interested in “fun facts” than kinship; 2) they are interested in geographical aspects of genealogy and family history such as migration history; and 3) they express and develop interests in broader historical topics such as artifacts from ancestors’ eras during the design process.

SESSION: Work-in-Progress B

Peppy: A Paper-Based Augmented Reality Application to Help Children Against Dysgraphia 

  • Maira Abid Muhammad Ahmed Bhimra Muhammad Mubeen Azan Bin Zahid Suleman Shahid 

Over the years, researchers have found an increase in learning problem among young children especially related to writing. Among these is a drop in dexterity or developmental dysgraphia due to a lack of fine motor skills. Also discovered is that handwritten activities on paper help work out these problems and with the advancement in technology in today’s day and age, better combative measures can be taken against these problems. With Peppy, a mobile application using augmented reality (AR), our aim is to fight these problems using technology as well as paper by augmenting it into something that is both interactive and useful for child development. Although educational AR applications already exist, they don’t focus on improving children’s fine motor skills using paper-based exercises. Peppy brings enjoyable, thought-provoking and intriguing paper prototypes consisting of colouring, games, and puzzles to life through AR.

Designing Social Play to Support Young Hospitalised Children 

  • Valentina Andries Judy Robertson 

Appropriately designed technology could help children feel less anxious by providing play opportunities with familiar technology in clinical settings as paediatric hospitals invest in making these spaces more child-friendly. However, the potential of technology-supported play in hospital environments has not been investigated extensively. This project thus aims at exploring how technology can support social play in a paediatric hospital with young children. A participatory approach to game design has been adopted, and a preliminary overview of children’s insights of the first app iterations is provided here.

HugBot: A soft robot designed to give human-like hugs 

  • Hooman Hedayati Srinjita Bhaduri Tamara Sumner Daniel Szafir Mark D. Gross 

As robots increasingly enter our daily lives, there is a need to understand how to design robots capable of emotional interaction with humans, especially children, due to their sensitivity and vulnerability. For example, robots that provide children with social and emotional support might be more effective at also helping children develop cognitive abilities, rather than designing robots that focus solely on helping children acquire cognitive skill. In this paper, we examine the design of robots that can provide human-like hugs as a particular form of social and emotional support. We first discuss the need to design robots that can interact emotionally with children. Then, we present the development of a shirt augmented with pressure sensors used to collect data on how humans hug each other. Finally, we detail the design of “Hugbot”, a soft robot that could use this data to give human-like hugs, and discuss our planned future work on this system.

Thought Disposal: Co-Designing a virtual interaction to reduce stress in teens 

  • Elin A. Björling Rachael Cicero Aditya Sankar Anand Sekar 

Repeated stress during adolescence has been shown to decrease cognitive function while increasing rates of anxiety and depression. Eighty-one percent of teens report stress stemming from their school environment and yet, schools are struggling to manage the increase of teen mental health needs. Virtual-reality (VR) has been shown effective at treating post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, and pain due to its immersive experience. The following paper presents a participatory, human-centered design process utilizing teens as co-designers to develop a VR interaction intended to reduce stress.

We describe our co-design process including research, storyboarding, group interviews, and prototyping of our thought disposal interaction. In addition, we discuss our design of an immersive measurement tool to capture the immediate effect of the interaction. Finally, we describe next steps and future research related to our project.

Searching for spellcheckers: What kids want, what kids need 

  • Brody Downs Tyler French Maria Soledad Pera Katherine Landau Wright Casey Kennington Jerry Alan Fails 

Misspellings in queries used to initiate online searches is an everyday occurrence. When this happens, users either rely on the search engine’s ability to understand their query or they turn to spellcheckers. Spellcheckers are usually based on popular dictionaries or past query logs, leading to spelling suggestions that often better resonate with adult users because that data is more readily available. Based on an educational perspective, previous research reports, and initial analyses of sample search logs, we hypothesize that existing spellcheckers are not suitable for young users who frequently encounter spelling challenges when searching for information online. We present early results of our ongoing research focused on identifying the needs and expectations children have regarding spellcheckers.

Mixed Reality for Learning Programming 

  • Joonyoung Kim Kristina Marotta Jonathan Leo Sudeep Agarwal Siwei Li Duen Horng Chau 

We present our ongoing investigation into leveraging mixed reality (MR) to help students learn coding more easily and with more fun. We have developed an MR coding learning platform using Apple’s ARKit 2 on iOS, with a physical user-configurable coding game board. Our approach could provide major benefits over conventional augmented reality (AR) approaches for learning coding and debugging: (1) allowing teachers to tailor the platform to their instructional needs, and spark creativity and engagement among students in designing programming problems that interest them; (2) enabling students to physically interact with a program, concretizing coding errors and providing real-time visual feedback to aid students’ program understanding and reduce cognitive load. We present our preliminary results that uses ARKit’s image tracking and object detection to enable core mixed-reality interaction capabilities on our platform.

Exploring Tangible Interaction and Diegetic Feedback in an AR Math Game for Children 

  • Jingya Li Jun Hu Erik van der Spek Loe Feijs 

Augmented Reality is becoming an emerging trend in the development of play-and-learn experience and increasingly accessible to children. However, there is a lack of understanding of how to design AR games to effectively improve children’s learning experience, especially with respect to the novel interaction and representation paradigms that AR affords. In this study, we describe the design and the implementation process of different interaction types (screen-touch and tangible interaction) and feedback mechanisms (non-diegetic feedback and diegetic feedback) in an AR math game for children aged 7 and 8. We report the insights based on our current prototypes and discuss the design implications for our future work.

Diverso: make learning relevant for all students 

  • Livia Macedo Andrew McCabe 

Studies show that the academic performance and learning engagement of students can be improved when teachers recognize how they may serve their culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. In this paper, we describe a study conducted with middle and high school teachers in the United States and Brazil to develop Diverso, a tool that supports teachers in shaping their instruction around the cultural backgrounds of their students. When using Diverso, a teacher’s real needs provide the vehicle upon which culturally relevant theory and strategies are delivered at the moment they are most relevant. Diverso’s friendly, chat-driven interface allows teachers to describe their classroom challenges and receive powerful theory and practices in return. While using the tool, teachers build a critical understanding of how culture shapes learning and teaching. Our preliminary results show Diverso’s ability to introduce new mindsets and teaching strategies to teachers in a way that is efficient and engaging. We finish this article by describing our reflections on this work and our next steps.

Exploring the Needs and Interests of Fifth Graders for Personalized Math Word Problem Generation 

  • DeKita Moon Rembert Juan E. Gilbert Naja A. Mack 

This paper presents the initial results of an ongoing research project to develop a Math Word Problem (MWP) generator with engaging personalized content to improve students’ math achievements and attitudes. A mixed methods study was used to observe the interests of 5th-grade students’ and their attitudes and challenges as it relates to MWPs. Among this study’s sample of students, we found contrasting interests that are specific to several of their task values. The baseline data and interests received through the interviews and the participatory drawing session will be used to inform the development of the prototype.

Knowledge Places: Embedding Knowledge in the Space of the Classroom 

  • Anthony Perritano Tom Moher 

This research investigates a novel approach to supporting classroom learning communities through the use of proxemic interaction and ambient visualizations. Specifically, community knowledge is embedded within the physical space of the classroom, with the aim of mediating opportunistic inter-group interactions, instigated through proximity and shared artifacts. This approach entails decomposing the community knowledge-base into a collection of independent thematic sub-stores, and then conceptually distributing those sub-stores to mapped, demarcated locations around the classroom, called “Knowledge Places.” This necessitates physical movement among and proximity to those places in order for students to contribute to or otherwise access their peers’ contributions to the emerging knowledge-base. The present research studies the materialization of Knowledge Places over the course of ten weeks within a sixth-grade life science curriculum, with topics of food webs and ecosystems.

Participatory design with teens: A social robot design challenge 

  • Emma J. Rose Elin Björling Maya Cakmak 

Design requirements can be gathered through a variety of ways; however, engaging teen audiences in design process can be challenging. We present a novel method for engaging teens in design through a social robot design challenge. Groups of teens participated in the challenge to prototype a social robot that would live in their high school and help address stress, a persistent and pervasive problem for this age group. In this paper, we present our methods and share preliminary findings.

Gesture-based Video Games to Support Fine-Motor Coordination Skills of Children with Autism 

  • Aurora Ruiz-Rodriguez Karina Caro Ana I. Martinez-Garcia 

Children with autism have fine-motor coordination problems, which have a significant impact on the execution of activities of daily living. To practice their fine-motor coordination skills, they attend occupational therapy, which involves repetitive motor activities. However, sometimes traditional therapy can be perceived by children as tedious and boring. On the other hand, games-based therapy has shown to be effective and more fun. In this sense, gesture-based video games, digital games with gestural interaction as a game controller, might have the potential to support the fine-motor coordination skills of children with autism. In this paper, we present the design of a gesture-based video game to support the fine-motor coordination skills of children with autism, with the goal to contribute to the proper execution of activities of daily living, required for achieving independent living; and the process followed in the design.

Investigating the Social and Temporal Aspects of Children’s Physical Activity Games 

  • Ankita Samariya Jerry Alan Fails Derek Hansen 

There are a variety of fitness technologies such as activity trackers, exergames and mobile applications available to promote physical activity. Based on our previous research, we found that children prefer having social interaction, a narrative and flexibility while interacting with such technologies. Other research has shown that persuasive displays encouraged adults towards physical activity. In this research, we present the initial results from a user study conducted on 16 children (ages 6-11) who used the Kidfit suite, a collection of mobile applications that combine and utilize the elements found from previous research to promote activity in children.

Towards Better Transitions for Children with Diabetes: User Experiences on a Mobile Health App 

  • Ji Youn Shin Bree E. Holtz 

Children with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) are required to manage their illness to alleviate further long-term complications. Although children are expected to engage in appropriate self-management activities once they become older, many of the children remain passive actors in managing their condition. Due to the lack of knowledge and skills, as well as changes in parent-child relationships, children demonstrate low self-care adherence. Consequently, parents also face difficulties in defining their role in long-term care. This study, part of a larger study, comprised of three phases: mobile app development, prototype feasibility testing, and usability testing with child-parent dyads users. As part of the third phase, this study used qualitative interviews with 24 child-parent dyads to understand the existing facilitators and barriers in using the app. Our findings suggest that users found that the app reminded them to track their blood glucose (BG) values and facilitated child-parent communication in a user-friendly manner. By capturing the emerging themes in adopting the app from the children’s perspective, we will iteratively refine the app to better suit the users’ requirements.

Towards a child-led design process A pilot study: when pre-schoolers’ play becomes designing 

  • Antonia Clasina Södergren Maarten van Mechelen 

This paper explores how a co-design process can be centred around pre-schoolers’ enjoyment of constructive play practices, so that they, rather than adults, become protagonists in a design process. The pilot study was conducted involving 25 children from 3-6 years of age in an intuitive three-step design process that allowed the children to self-reliantly express themselves and make their own design decisions. Generative tools, storytelling, and a set of open-ended design tasks stimulated the pre-schoolers to design tactile 3D shapes. Observational data provided insight in the children’s playtime and focus during the design process. The results showed that it is possible for pre-schoolers to (1) establish focus on construction play (environment), (2) that their explorative playing is led through distinctive phases of a design process (activity), and (3) that they are able to construct something specific by playing (concept).

Supporting self-evaluation for children with mental disabilities through Augmented Reality 

  • Juan C. Torrado Letizia Jaccheri Javier Gomez 

Self-evaluation is the ability to assess one’s work, and is a key element in the psycho-pedagogical development of children with special needs in their path towards autonomy and self-determination. Acquiring this skill requires explicit training and materials, and it is often cumbersome and time-consuming. In this paper we present a study to ascertain to what extent systems based on Augmented Reality (AR) are a suitable and less expensive alternative to help children with cognitive disabilities to train self-evaluation skills in special education schools. For this purpose, we have developed tablet application (BART) that offers assistance to children with special needs to self-evaluate basic arithmetic operations. The system was designed through the involvement of 2 educators, 2 experts on psycho-pedagogy, and 2 software designers. The contribution of this paper is the description of BART, an innovative system for children with special needs and a concrete plan for an empirical study that is to be carried out on a short-term basis. Here we describe the methodology that is to be applied to the proposed study and outline the main expectations about the results and their implications in the issue of self-evaluation skills acquisition for children in special education.

From Doodles to Designs: Participatory Pedagogical Agent Design with Elementary Students 

  • Joseph B. Wiggins Jamieka Wilkinson Lara Baigorria Yingwen Huang Kristy Elizabeth Boyer Collin Lynch Eric Wiebe 

Participatory design practices create informed designs by bringing stakeholders into the design process early and often. This approach is a powerful tool, especially when the designer and the intended user are very different. This paper reports on work in which researchers co-design pedagogical agents to support collaborative computer science learning with elementary school students using an iterative drawing methodology. In the open drawing phase, students drew what they believe good collaboration looked like. Next, researchers analyzed those drawings under the requirements of the broader project and created a drawing scaffold (similar to a coloring book page). In the scaffolded drawing phase, students ideated within the more focused context. This process resulted in actionable design guidelines for the appearance of pedagogical agents.

DEMONSTRATION SESSION: Demo & Art

The Sensing Bridge Between Perceptuomotor Experience and Scientific Investigation 

  • Amy Voss Farris 

How can computational media support young learners to collect and model measurement data from their lived and contextualized experiences in the classroom? While Tinker and Papert [1] discussed children’s use of electronic sensors in scientific inquiry as early as the 1980s, children rarely have opportunity to create sensing devices that interact with real-time computational models as part of the science curriculum. I present a prototype of a heart rate system that integrates littleBits electronic building blocks [2] with the NetLogo modeling platform [3]. This is a proof-of-concept design for what it might look like for children and K-8 teachers to have greater agency in using sensors to collect and model perceptuomotor information that could otherwise be difficult to measure or represent.

VisualNote: Physical Image Tagging for Building a Personal Visual Library 

  • Kenneth Fernandez Caitlin Go Jiayu He 

Effective note-taking strategies can benefit learners over a lifetime. Studies have shown that students who take notes by hand learn more than those who take notes on a laptop. Additionally, adding drawings to notes to represent concepts and relationships significantly effects memory and learning. This practice of representing ideas through diagrams and drawings in notes is referred to as visual note-taking. To engage learners in taking handwritten visual notes, we developed VisualNote: (1) a toolkit that facilitates purposeful practice of visual note-taking, and (2) a tangible tagging process that allows for online storage of notes and sharing within class and amongst broader communities. Guided by Universal Design for Learning (UDL), we took a constructivist approach to provide alternative approaches of expression, representation, and engagement that can be leveraged to equip learners with tools to pursue more pathways to learn and make learning visible.

Harmonious: expressive confidence through explorative construction of chord progressions 

  • Rundong Jiang Vishesh Gupta 

Novice music learners need to learn music theory to boost their musical self-expression, but they are often intimidated by its abstract and symbolic representation. To harness the musical intuition of novice learners and lower the barriers around theory, we present Harmonious, a tangible interface where learners explore chord progressions, reflect on their emotions, and build expressive confidence.

City Settlers: Participatory Games to Build Sustainable Cities 

  • Vishesh Kumar Mike Tissenbaum 

In this paper, we present the motivation for, and design of, City Settlers, a participatory simulation. In City Settlers learners engage in collaborative embodied play, competition, and sensemaking within the domains of sustainability, environmental complex systems, and city building. Learners work in teams running separate but interconnected cities, and need to deal with the interrelatedness of economic, ecological, and social systems which are integral to understanding sustainable development. Competing over some shared resources, and developing ad-hoc alliances during play — players have the ability to optimize for different goals (industrial progress, agricultural progress, or social longevity). Learners are also scaffolded to reflect on the ways different desired goals lead to different individual and collective outcomes.

Rewire: A Game About Neuroplasticity 

  • Stephanie Zhang Emily Ling 

Twenty years ago, Carol Dweck published a seminal article showing that students with a fixed mindset underachieve compared to students with a growth mindset. Many existing approaches promote a growth mindset by teaching about neuroplasticity, but include little interactivity and dynamism — two important aspects in neuroscience education. We present Rewire, a web-based game that introduces students to neuroplasticity and growth mindset through constructionist approaches. Learners build neural networks using principles from neuroscience, such as Hebbian learning and myelination. In the process, they build an intuition for how the brain changes and grows through targeted effort and practice. In this paper, we reflect on the design mechanics that allow students to discover neuroscience principles, and the game’s implications for future work in teaching students about growth mindset.

Programmable Battery as a Computational Crafting Material for Children 

  • Hideki Mori 

A programmable battery is a tiny computer that children can use to control motors and other devices by manipulating buttons on the board. Since it is simpler to use than other programming and computational tools for children, no detailed instruction is needed to start playing and designing with it. As a result, children can concentrate on their creative activities related to the projects in the workshops. This design also demonstrates the possibilities of computational tools as playthings for children.

Mazi: a Tangible Toy for Collaborative Play between Children with Autism 

  • Antonella Nonnis Nick Bryan-Kinns 

Playtime is an important activity for child development as it stimulates as well as predicts cognitive, motor, emotional and social skills. Children with autism may find it difficult to socialize, particularly initiating and maintaining human interactions. Consecutively, it is thought that playing with peers is often a challenge that many children avoid by simply playing in solitary mode. We present the design of Mazi, an e-textile sonic tangible user interface (TUI) designed with the aim of promoting basic social skills; stimulating spontaneous, independent and collaborative play; and providing sensory regulation opportunities. Mazi was tested in a Special Education Needs (SEN) School based in NorthEast London, with a group of five minimally verbal children with autism aged between 6 to 9. The results show great potentials for TUI implementation in educational settings as a way of promoting social skills through carefully designed playful and recreational activities.

WORKSHOP SESSION: Workshops

ACM’s New SIGCHI Extended Abstracts Sample File 

  • Janet C. Read Dan Fitton Gavin Sim Michail Giannakos Maarten Van Mechelen Martha Bjorklund Suzanne Clarke Nanna Borum Steve Perry 

The Interaction Design and Children (IDC) Community has a long history of innovating methods and techniques for the design and evaluation of technologies for children. Many innovations have been reported in the academic literature but the uptake of methods by industry has been slow and the community has hitherto failed to seriously consider how best to develop, present and promote their methods beyond academia. The aim of the workshop is to weave together IDC researchers and IDC key personnel coming from the industry, with genuine interest in industry-academia collaboration, into a community interested in building a coherent, high-impact collaboration channel. The goal of the workshop is to encourage a critical discussion and debate about how IDC methods can be further adopted, modified or even extended by the IDC related industry. This workshop is expected to reinforce IDC industry-academia collaboration with an ultimate goal to increase understanding and develop a community of interest that is going to co-develop ideas and novel design approaches that can bring IDC methods closer to the industrial practice

3rd KidRec Workshop: What does good look like? 

  • Theo Huibers Natalia Kucirkova Emiliana Murgia Jerry Alan Fails Monica Landoni Maria Soledad Pera 

Today’s children spend considerable time online, searching and receiving information from various websites and apps. While searching for information, e.g. for school or hobbies, children use search systems to locate resources and receive site recommendations that might be useful for them. The call for good, reliable, child-friendly systems has been made many times and the thesis that the algorithms of “adult” information systems are not necessarily suitable or fair for children is widely accepted. However, there is still no clear and balanced view on what makes one search/recommendation system for children good or better than other systems, nor on what content should be considered “good enough to be retrieved” or recommended. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers and practitioners in education, child-development, computer science, and more who can address this questions while considering issues related to education, algorithms, ethics, privacy, evaluation.

Immersive Media Design and Children 

  • Kiley Sobel Lori Takeuchi Lisa M. Castaneda Samantha W. Bindman 

This one-day workshop will bring together a community of researchers, designers, practitioners, and other experts who are interested in the responsible design of immersive media—or augmented, virtual, mixed, and cross reality—for children, while taking into account children’s developmental needs, equity, and inclusivity. At the workshop, participants will discuss and make connections across their work, participate in hands-on activities, and begin producing a set of design guidelines for immersive media for children, grounded in their collective experiences, research, and knowledge of the field. After the workshop, we will publish these guidelines as a white paper to distribute to interested industries, developers, designers, and more to positively influence the thoughtful design of immersive media for children.

Pushing the Boundaries of Participatory Design with Children with Special Needs 

  • Aurora Constantin Jerry Alan Fails Cristina Adriana Alexandru Mihaela Dragomir Helen Pain Eva Eriksson Franca Garzotto Jessica Korte Judith Good Juan Pablo Hourcade Annalu Waller 

Despite its inherent challenges, participatory design (PD) has unique benefits when designing technology for children, especially children with special needs. Researchers have developed a multitude of PD approaches to accommodate specific populations. However, a lack of understanding of the appropriateness of existing approaches across contexts presents a challenge for PD researchers. This workshop will provide an opportunity for PD researchers to exchange and reflect on their experiences of designing with children with special needs. We aim to identify, synthesize and collate PD best practices across contexts and participant groups.

SESSION: Courses

Child Development and Interaction Design 

  • Juan Pablo Hourcade Kyle Diederich Luiza Superti Pantoja 

This course will cover child development frameworks from the “classics” that have had a significant impact on interaction design, such as Piaget, Vygotsky, and Papert, to more recent ideas, such as dynamic systems approaches. The materials presented will include concepts such as embodiment, emergence, and plasticity. Hourcade will examine how these frameworks can inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of technologies for children with the goal of promoting healthy development.

Quantitative Methods for Child-Computer Interaction 

  • Lisa Anthony 

This course will introduce quantitative methods for use in research on child-computer interaction. We will discuss the types of research questions that can be answered with quantitative methods. Experiment design, data logging, data analysis, and simple statistical techniques will be covered. We will also cover important considerations for conductive quantitative work with young children, especially attentional issues that may affect data quality.

Craft- and Project-based Pedagogy for Digital Fabrication and Making 

  • Calkin Suero Montero 

Digital technology is radically changing people’s lives and work in industry, finance, services, media and commerce, and this requires a change in the education and training arena as well. However, changes in educational practices are taking a long time to reflect the increasingly pervasive use digital technologies in our 21st century society. In this course I will draw from the experiences of introducing digital fabrication and making to formal and informal education contexts using a solid craft- and project-based pedagogical approach deployed within five interconnected stages: ideation, planning, creating, programming and sharing. The course covers the use of making technologies in education, detailing this design thinking and inquiry-based pedagogical methodology as well as technological platforms that support the deployment of digital fabrication and making tools within learning ecosystems. The course is carried out as a three-hours practical session, including hands-on group work to develop a physical computer-supported artefact.

SESSION: Doctoral Consortium

Supporting Friendship Development for Children with Autism and Their Typically Developing Peers 

  • Aljawharah Alabdullatif 

Children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are at high risk of depression and anxiety, which can be caused by loneliness and lack of friends. Friends becomes even more important for young adolescents because of the value they place on peer acceptance. Difficulty in social interactions makes developing meaningful relationships with peers challenging for children on the spectrum. Researchers encourage the integration of children with ASC into mainstream schools. But are these schools ready to be more inclusive? How can we create an environment that can support friendship between children with ASC and Typically Developing (TD) children? What role can technology play in scaffolding peers interactions? The primary aim of this research is to answer these questions and bridge the gap in the current literature by a) studying how children with ASC can be supported in developing and maintaining higher quality friendships and b) exploring the role of technology in creating such supportive environments.

Designing to Support Teen Mental Health Using Asynchronous Online Groups 

  • Arpita Bhattacharya 

The majority of teenagers experience high levels of stress and technology can help increase access and engagement for mental health support. While it is important to incorporate teens’ input in designing for their mental health, it is challenging to involve teens in design research due to constraints in access and time burden on teens. Researchers have feasibly used the method of Asynchronous Remote Communities (ARC) to involve adults in design research on private online groups. In my dissertation, I aim to use the ARC method to (1) understand the design needs of teens and clinicians to support stress management and (2) develop and evaluate technology probes based on evidence-based support for stress management. My work will contribute to the research and design of future technologies to scaffold teens in learning healthy coping strategies for their mental wellbeing.

Youth Design of Digital Stories to Promote Indigenous Voices 

  • Merijke Coenraad 

Stories are powerful tools to share life, culture, and experiences with others while promoting learning and engagement in the storyteller. Working with a group of high school Alaska Native youth, this project will guide students through the process of designing and creating digital stories to promote Indigenous voices and encourage reflection. Twenty Southeast Alaska Native youth will create digital stories sharing their experiences with culture and language revitalization on an immersion trip. The final products and materials used for designing will be analyzed to identify the affordances of digital storytelling tools the youth use, the level of reflection present within their final products, and the cultural connections the youth make.

The Development of Face-to-Face Collaboration Technology for Young Children 

  • Kyle Diederich 

Face-to-face communication and collaboration are important aspects of children’s healthy development. With technology becoming ubiquitous in children’s lives, we need to better understand how to best support face-to-face activities when they use technology. My dissertation research will support social physical activities for young children through interactive technologies, where the technology does not distract or impede the social and physical aspects of play. To obtain lessons from existing research, I conducted a content analysis of research design trends relating to face-to-face collaboration systems for children presented in publications between 1991 and 2017. I completed the initial stages of a system to classify collaborative technologies, and I created a system, StoryCarnival, which utilizes Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) to support high-quality, creative social play. My contributions are the design, development, and evaluation of technologies that best support social, collaboration activities through interactive technologies for children under five.

User Experience challenges for designing and evaluating Computer-Based Assessments for children 

  • Florence Kristin Lehnert 

Computer-Based Assessment (CBA), i.e., the use of computers instead of paper & pencil for testing purposes is now increasingly used, both in education and in the workforce. Along with this trend, several issues regarding the usage of computers in assessment can be raised. With respect to CBA, test validity and acceptance appear at stake during interacting with a complex assessment system. For instance, individual differences in computer literacy (i.e. ability to handle technology) might cause different outcomes that are not related to the problem-solving task. Prior investigation has shown that there is a scarcity of research on the User Experience (UX) in the context of CBA, also due to a focus on adult users. This doctoral thesis aims to adapt and develop new evaluation methods from the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) field, applied in the context of CBA. The contributions will result in the development of best practices guidelines for both research and practitioners by adopting design and evaluation methods drawn from the field of Child-computer Interaction (CCI).

Can Haptic Feedback Improve STEM Learning for Young Children?: Lessons from an Experiment and Teacher Focus Groups 

  • Sarah Pila 

The purpose of this dissertation is to evaluate whether young children playing a digital STEM application (app) designed to explore the concepts of weight and balance learn better from this experience when it is presented on a haptic tablet vs. the traditional medium (Study 1). I also explore how early childhood educators might consider using these haptic devices in their classroom to support STEM learning (Study 2). Results from these studies will contribute to the literature on the effectiveness of haptic feedback for preschool STEM learning and present the contexts in which educators think these devices could be most useful in the classroom to support this important area of learning.

Children’s Authentication: Understanding and Usage 

  • Dhanush kumar Ratakonda 

With the widespread infusion of technology into society, children (ages 5-11) not only interact with technology but are also required to create and use credentials in order to authenticate and use various platforms. My primary goal with this research is to investigate children’s understanding and practices in terms of creating and using credentials — across the globe. I describe an initial study conducted via semi-structured interviews with children and an online survey with adults (parents and teachers), that help us to understand the adult’s understanding of authentication and the role they play in children’s credential creation and usage. Results shows that children have limited knowledge and understanding of credential creation and usage and that there is also a gap in adult’s theoretical knowledge and practical implementations.

Exploring Embodied Learning for Early Childhood Education 

  • Marion Voillot Joël Chevrier Frédéric Bevilacqua Claire Eliot 

This PhD project is multidisciplinary, at the intersection of Early Childhood Education, Design, and Human-Computer Interaction. The PhD goal aim at developing new approaches for early childhood education focusing on the role of body in the learning process. We leverage digital tangible and interactive technologies to develop specific scenarios that are evaluated in preschools. Our work proposes novel paradigms and uses of digital technologies currently not found in typical preschool environments.

SESSION: Research & Design Competition

Digipack Pro: Revamping Social Interactions and Supporting Physical Activity 

  • Calkin Suero Montero Kwok Ng Eija Kärnä 

Digipack Pro is a backpack that facilitates youngsters’ social interactions and promotes playful activities during social encounters. It combines wearables technologies with universal design practices to transform an everyday item into a tool that supports social inclusion and well-being. Here we present our contextualisation of the Digipack Pro from several ideas of children around the world on issues of health, gaming and well-being.

EmotoTent: Reducing School Violence through Embodied Empathy Games 

  • Alissa N. Antle Iulian Radu Victor Cheung Ofir Sadka Boxiao Gong Uddipana Baishya 

EmotoTent is an interactive socio-emotional learning system developed in response to escalating levels of violence, inequality and marginalization in schools seen in the early 21st Century. The system is inspired by advances in biosensing wearables, tattoo displays, brain sensors, robotic agents, artificial intelligence (AI), gestural interaction and 3D holographic displays. By 2030, technological advances will enable us to prototype and investigate questions related to experiential and embodied emotional learning; emotion-based human-computer interaction, affective biosensing, empathetic AI agents, and 3D interactive holographic environments. We envision EmotoTent as a modular, emotion-sensing Holodeck. In the EmotoTent program children learn and practice emotion regulation and empathy with peers, pets and a robotic dog agent in ways that are experiential, embodied and playful. We propose EmotoTent as a core element of a K-6 socio-emotional learning curriculum designed to improve school culture through the enhancement of children’s ability to regulate emotions and interact with human and non-human species with empathy and compassion. Enhancing these qualities has been shown to lead to reductions in violence and bullying, racism, gender inequality and other forms of marginalization. We predict that the EmotoTent socio-emotional learning program will improve school cultures and create a foundation for children’s lifelong well-being.

KidLED: A colorful approach to children’s activity awareness 

  • Ankita Samariya Anud Sharma Margiawan Fitriani Tucker Ferguson Jerry Alan Fails 

Obesity in children is a growing cause of concern as it affects more than 18% of children in the United States. Sedentary behaviour is one of the contributors to childhood obesity. Technological interventions like activity trackers and fitness games have been introduced to motivate both children and adults to be physically active. Most of these technologies encourage activity by making them aware of their activity levels. While awareness of current activity levels may help motivating adults, it can be difficult for children to understand their activity levels in terms of number of steps (the most common method used by adults). Instead children should be made aware of their activity levels via simpler and easier to understand technology. Within this context, we present KidLED — an LED activity display that represents user’s activity via a simple color display rather than numbers — designed to simplify activity tracking for children.