Conference Proceedings

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library

Session: Augmented and Virtual Reality

Big Buddy: Exploring Child Reactions and Parental Perceptions towards a Simulated Embodied Moderating System for Social Virtual Reality

  • Cristina Fiani
  • Robin Bretin
  • Mark Mcgill
  • Mohamed Khamis
Children experience new forms of harassment in Social Virtual Reality (VR), often inaccessible to parental oversight. We aimed to understand how an artificial intelligent moderator safeguarding children from harassment in social VR is perceived by children and parents, by introducing “Big Buddy”, a Wizard-of-Oz embodied AI-moderator. 43 children (aged 8-16) played a tower-block-construction game in a simulated Social VR classroom where fictitious competitors disrupted their game and, in experimental conditions where present, Big Buddy intervened. We measured children’s perceptions after the disruptions, towards Big Buddy, and the moderation actions it took. Children felt significantly less sad and safer when Big Buddy suspended the saboteur. Parents (n=17) noted Big Buddy’s usefulness and felt reassured but would remain in the supervision loop. We present the first empirical research of a VR-embodied AI-moderator with children’s and parents’ perspectives, and propose design directions for embodied AI-moderators in Social VR.

Co-Designing a Virtual Reality Intervention for Supporting Cognitive Reappraisal Skills Development with Youth

  • Alexandra Kitson
  • Alissa N. Antle
  • Petr Slovak
Cognitive reappraisal is a critical emotion regulation skill required for youth mental health. While it has been well theorized psychologically and many therapeutic approaches exist, youth still struggle to develop these skills. We explore the design space of using virtual reality to create technologically-mediated cognitive reappraisal supports for youth. We developed four VR prototypes that we used as prompts for feedback in a ten-session co-design workshop with nine youth (aged 15-17). Our work contributes youth-derived directions for further research in the design space of VR and mental health; and highlights opportunities to use VR for cognitive reappraisal skills training by generating meaningful emotionally laden situations, supporting body-based experiential learning, and providing technology-mediated social connection.

Designing Textual Information in AR Headsets to Aid in Adults’ and Children’s Task Performance

  • Julia Woodward
  • Jaime Ruiz
Augmented reality (AR) headsets are being utilized in different task-based domains (e.g., healthcare, education) for both adults and children. However, prior work has mainly examined the applicability of AR headsets instead of how to design the visual information being displayed. It is essential to study how visual information should be presented in AR headsets to maximize task performance for both adults and children. Therefore, we conducted two studies (adults vs. children) analyzing distinct design combinations of critical and secondary textual information during a procedural assembly task. We found that while the design of information did not affect adults’ task performance, the location of information had a direct effect on children’s task performance. Our work contributes new understanding on how to design textual information in AR headsets to aid in adults’ and children’s task performance. In addition, we identify specific differences on how to design textual information between adults and children.

Session: Co-Design

Collaborative Machine Learning Model Building with Families Using Co-ML

  • Tiffany Tseng
  • Jennifer King Chen
  • Mona Abdelrahman
  • Mary Beth Kery
  • Fred Hohman
  • Adriana Hilliard
  • R. Benjamin Shapiro
Existing novice-friendly machine learning (ML) modeling tools center around a solo user experience, where a single user collects only their own data to build a model. However, solo modeling experiences limit valuable opportunities for encountering alternative ideas and approaches that can arise when learners work together; consequently, it often precludes encountering critical issues in ML around data representation and diversity that can surface when different perspectives are manifested in a group-constructed data set. To address this issue, we created Co-ML – a tablet-based app for learners to collaboratively build ML image classifiers through an end-to-end, iterative model-building process. In this paper, we illustrate the feasibility and potential richness of collaborative modeling by presenting an in-depth case study of a family (two children 11 and 14-years-old working with their parents) using Co-ML in a facilitated introductory ML activity at home. We share the Co-ML system design and contribute a discussion of how using Co-ML in a collaborative activity enabled beginners to collectively engage with dataset design considerations underrepresented in prior work such as data diversity, class imbalance, and data quality. We discuss how a distributed collaborative process, in which individuals can take on different model-building responsibilities, provides a rich context for children and adults to learn ML dataset design.

Designing Together, Miles Apart: A Longitudinal Tabletop Telepresence Adventure in Online Co-Design with Children

  • Casey Lee Hunt
  • Kaiwen Sun
  • Zahra Dhuliawala
  • Fumi Tsukiyama
  • Iva Matkovic
  • Zachary Schwemler
  • Anastasia Wolf
  • Zihao Zhang
  • Allison Druin
  • Amanda Huynh
  • Daniel Leithinger
  • Jason Yip
Children’s online co-design has become prevalent since COVID-19. However, related research focuses on insights gained across several shorter-term projects, rather than longitudinal investigations. To explore longitudinal co-design online, we engaged in participatory design with children (ages 8 – 12) for 20 sessions in two years on a single project: an online collaboration platform with tabletop telepresence robots. We found that (1) the online technology space required children to play a role as technology managers and troubleshooters, (2) the home setting shaped online social dynamics, and (3) providing children the ability to choose their design techniques prevented gridlock from situational uncertainties. We discuss how each finding resulted from interplay between our long-term technology design and online co-design processes. We then present insights about the future of online co-design, a conceptual model for longitudinal co-design online, and describe opportunities for further longitudinal online co-design research to generate new methods, techniques, and theories.

Imagining Alternative Visions of Computing: Photo-Visuals of Material, Social, and Emotional Contexts from Family Creative Learning

  • Ricarose Roque
This pictorial presents visuals of families engaging with creative technologies as “knowledge-building artifacts” to provoke reflection on the social, material, and emotional context of designed interactions (“things that make you think”) as well as provocations to re-value these contexts and promote alternative visions in what and how engagement with computing can look like (“things that matter”). The selected images are from a large and ongoing collection of documentation from a family technology program. The images were captured using the Reggio Emilia documentation approach to documentation, which aims to “make learning visible.”

“Money shouldn’t be money!” : An Examination of Financial Literacy and Technology for Children Through Co-Design

  • Jason C. Yip
  • Frances Marie Tabio Ello
  • Fumi Tsukiyama
  • Atharv Wairagade
  • June Ahn
Financial literacy is the use of knowledge, skills, and behaviors around managing financial resources. Despite its importance, less is known from a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and child-computer interaction perspective about what financial literacy means for youth, especially the role of digital technologies. We examine children’s perspectives of financial literacy and digital technologies through a study of nine participatory design sessions with children (ages 7 – 11) centered around ideating, evaluating, and designing technologies for children’s finances. Our co-design findings demonstrate that children’s relationship to money can be quite complex in the digital world. Empirically, we report three inductive themes that demonstrate the role that technology plays in children’s financial literacy. Theoretically, we argue the need for child-computer interaction research to engage more in financial literacy for children. Finally, we reflect on co-designing for financial literacy, technology, and children.

Small CCI – Exploring App Evaluation with Preschoolers

  • Janet Read
  • Matthew Horton
  • Dan Fitton
  • Gavin Sim
  • Rhona Anne Dick
  • Emanuela Mazzone
  • Rachel Forbes
Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) is predominantly studied with school aged children. Working with preschool children, generally unable to read or write, involves addressing many challenges around planning, recruitment, and interpretation of findings. There are few examples in the literature of the challenges faced when conducting evaluations of technology with preschool children and very few evaluations conducted for commercial software companies. Our case study paper describes a six-week, twelve session, evaluation study of a commercial app (Lingokids) with children aged three and four in two nursery (preschool / kindergarten) schools. We describe challenges we met and describe how we adapted our plans to fit the context. We show how we were able to explore engagement and learning without gathering any personal data. With our practical tips and reflections, we hope our work will encourage others to work with young children in ways that respect their limited ability to understand assent and participation.

Session: Computational and Data Literacy

Concepts, practices, and perspectives for developing computational data literacy: Insights from workshops with a new data programming system

  • Ruijia Cheng
  • Aayushi Dangol
  • Frances Marie Tabio Ello
  • Lingyu Wang
  • Sayamindu Dasgupta
In this paper, we present a new visual block-based programming system designed for children to process, analyze, and visualize data. We introduce the system and describe how it was used during a series of 7 workshops with 27 children. During the workshops, children played the role of investigators and followed a storyline as part of the system to conduct data analyses to help the story’s protagonist locate a missing family member. We present our findings as a framework of computational data literacy that builds on the dimensions of Computational Thinking proposed by Brennan and Resnick [8], with a focus on aspects that are specific to using programming for data processing, analysis, and visualization. We conclude with a series of recommendations for future designers of systems to support the development of computational data literacy.

Constructionist approaches to critical data literacy: A review

  • Aayushi Dangol
  • Sayamindu Dasgupta
Increased technological capacity to collect and use data has created both new possibilities for benefiting individuals and societies, and critical questions of what is acceptable and just [31]. Because early definitions of data literacy have often excluded aspects of power, equity, empowerment, and emancipation, children’s learning experiences have focused more on the potential benefits compared to the critical questions. In this review article, we examine the importance of teaching critical data literacy to children as a key aspect of developing fluency with data. Using constructionist principles [67] as a guiding framework, we synthesize 48 educational research and design approaches that engage youth with data projects. We describe how these projects provide students with information about data’s origins and perspectives, and assist them in identifying, analyzing, and presenting data. Finally, we provide design implications and concrete examples on how constructionist approaches can be utilized for teaching critical data literacy.

Exploring Computational Thinking with Physical Play through Design

  • Junnan Yu
  • Ronni Hayden
  • Ricarose Roque
Physical play has often been leveraged to provide children with active and engaging learning experiences. However, coding activities are predominantly sedentary in front of the screen, and the application of physical play in Computer Science education is less explored, e.g., how can we engage in computational thinking (CT) through physical play? In this design-based exploration, we conducted three design activities where young children, college students, and researchers were invited to create physical play projects using the BBC micro:bit and reflect on their experiences. By examining participants’ projects and creating processes, we provide empirical evidence that remixing physical play activities with coding can engage learners in various CT concepts and practices, reveal how CT concepts and practices can be represented in physical play, and highlight implications for designing physical play-mediated computational learning experiences. Ultimately, we encourage more learning experiences to incorporate physical play into computing education for children.

Scaffolding Children’s Sensemaking around Algorithmic Fairness

  • Jean Salac
  • Rotem Landesman
  • Stefania Druga
  • Amy J Ko
Prior research has investigated children’s perceptions of algorithmic bias, but provides little guidance on engaging children in conversations on algorithmic bias that center their agency and well-being. To address this, we developed discussions and design activities based on three scenarios of algorithmic (un)fairness. We conducted these discussions and activities with 16 children (ages 8-12) in the US, and examined our data using qualitative thematic analysis. Grounded in lived experiences and situated knowledge, participants were capable of reasoning around both explicit and implicit effects of algorithmic bias. Participants also expressed distrust of technology, doubting technology’s abilities and preferring human approaches to resolve unfairness. This work contributes (1) a more nuanced understanding of children’s situated reasoning of technology, suggesting their potential for critical engagement and (2) a blueprint for engaging children in scaffolded yet open-ended sensemaking around algorithmic fairness, informing the design of tools, curricula, and other learning experiences for children.

The Tools Being Used to Introduce Youth to Data Science

  • Peter F Moon
  • Rotem Israel-Fishelson
  • Rachel Tabak
  • David Weintrop
Data is increasingly shaping the way people interact with each other and the world more broadly. For youth growing up in an increasingly data-driven society, it is critical they have foundational data literacy skills. A central component of data literacy is the ability to collect, analyze, visualize, and make meaning from data. All of these activities are mediated and shaped by the tools that youth use to carry out these data practices. Given the essential role tools play in enabling and supporting youth in engaging with and interpreting data, understanding what tools are used and how they are used in educational contexts will help us understand how youth are being prepared to be data-literate citizens. In this paper, we present the analysis of the data collection and analysis tools used in 4 widely adopted high school data science curricula. The analysis attends to both what tools are used as well as what datasets they are used to analyze. This work contributes to our understanding of the way youth are being introduced to concepts and practices from the field of data science and the role the tools play in shaping those experiences.

Session: Conversational Agents and NLP

“Rosita Reads With My Family”: Developing A Bilingual Conversational Agent to Support Parent-Child Shared Reading

  • Ying Xu
  • Kunlei He
  • Valery Vigil
  • Santiago Ojeda-Ramirez
  • Xuechen Liu
  • Julian Levine
  • Kelsyann Cervera
  • Mark Warschauer
Bilingual children have unique needs for school readiness as they navigate between two languages and cultures. A supportive home language environment, where children are frequently exposed to language through conversation and reading, can positively impact their language development and prepare them for school. However, current conversational agents and e-books designed for children do not typically take into account the cultural and linguistic needs of bilingual children and do not involve parents. This project presents the development of a bilingual conversational agent and accompanying e-book, designed to support parent-child interactions and promote language development for Latinx Spanish-English bilingual children. Results from a user study indicate that the bilingual agent effectively engages children verbally and encourages parental involvement in reading processes. The study also provides design insights for creating conversational agents for bilingual children.

Self-Talk with Superhero Zip: Supporting Children’s Socioemotional Learning with Conversational Agents

  • Yue Fu
  • Mingrui Zhang
  • Lynn K Nguyen
  • Yifan Lin
  • Rebecca Michelson
  • Tala June Tayebi
  • Alexis Hiniker
Socioemotional competencies are fundamental for children’s growth and success, and prior work shows that in some instances, technology can support children in acquiring these skills. Here, we examine whether children can learn to use a socioemotional strategy known as “self-talk” from a conversational agent (CA). To investigate this question, we designed and built “Self-Talk with Superhero Zip,” an interactive CA experience, and deployed it for one week in ten family homes to pairs of siblings between the ages of five and ten (N = 20). We found that children could recall and accurately describe the lessons taught by the intervention, and we saw indications of children applying self-talk in daily life. Targeting sibling pairs rather than individual users proved to be a design challenge in its own right, and families suggested design ideas for supporting this context, such as UI to manage conversational flow and reduce competition, and visuals and embodied activities to encourage focus. The dual-user context coupled with the audio modality prompted “preinput huddles” in which children conversed in whispers before responding to the system. We contribute evidence that CAs can support children in learning to use self-talk as well as design guidance for creating multi-user conversational interfaces.

What Do Children and Parents Want and Perceive in Conversational Agents? Towards Transparent, Trustworthy, Democratized Agents

  • Jessica Van Brummelen
  • Maura Kelleher
  • Mingyan Claire Tian
  • Nghi Nguyen
Historically, researchers have focused on analyzing Western, Educated, Industrialized Rich and Democratic (WEIRD), adult perspectives on technology. This means we may not have technology developed appropriately for children and those from non-WEIRD countries. In this paper, we analyze children and parents from various countries’ perspectives on an emerging technology: conversational agents. We aim to better understand participants’ trust of agents, partner models, and their ideas of “ideal future agents” such that researchers can better design for these users—for instance, by ensuring children do not overtrust agents. Additionally, we empower children and parents to program their own agents through educational workshops, and present changes in perceptions as participants create and learn about agents. Results from the study (n=49) included how children felt agents were significantly more human-like, warm, and dependable than parents did, how overall participants trusted agents more than parents or friends for correct information, how children described their ideal agents as being more artificial than human-like than parents did, and how children tended to focus more on fun features, approachable/friendly features and addressing concerns through agent design than parents did, among other results. We also discuss potential agent design implications of the results, including how designers may be able to best foster appropriate levels of trust towards agents by focusing on designing agents’ competence and predictability indicators, as well as increasing transparency in terms of agents’ information sources.

When Children Chat with Machine Translated Text: Problems, Possibilities, Potential

  • Dev Raj Lamichhane
  • Janet Read
  • Scott Mackenzie
Two cross-lingual (Nepalese and English) letter exchanges took place between school children from Nepal and England, using Digipal; an Android chatting application. Digipal uses Google Translate to enable children to read and reply in their native language. In two studies we analysed the errors made and the effect of errors on children’s understanding and on the flow of conversation. We found that errors of input negatively affected translation, although this can be reduced through initial grammar cleaning. We highlight features of children’s text that cause errors in translation whilst showing how children worked with and around these errors. Errors sometimes added humour and contributed to continuing the conversations.

Session: STEAM Tools for Learning I

Child-to-Child Public Health Messaging through a Portable Craft Tech Interactive in Rural South Africa

  • Roger Meintjes
  • Thembelani Makapela
  • Micyla Hobbs
  • Nandipha Jantjies
Museums play an increasingly important role in public health. In-house makerspaces, fab labs and other contexts fostering 21st century skills could expand children’s participation in these initiatives. This could open up new opportunities for children to learn through technology design and enable museums to enhance cultural relevance of health education materials for children. Here we report on a participatory action research study exploring child-to-child public health messaging through a portable craft tech interactive in a rural community museum. The interactive was a floor-based learning game using milk-carton foot switches connected to wireless sensor network hardware programmed with Scratch. The study was run during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) such as face masks and physical distancing were the principal means for slowing the spread of the virus. Five primary school children worked in a multigenerational team to design an interactive reinforcing COVID-19 NPI messaging. The interactive was presented in four primary schools and a day care centre, where it was used by 747 learners. A mixed methods approach was used to collect data on children’s participation in the design process and peer responses to the interactive in the presentations. Results suggest that portable craft tech interactives are a promising new medium for engaging children in public health messaging for children. Designers can make significant contributions to source, message and channel variables, which enhance the fit of education materials with target group culture and provide context and meaning for health messages. 92,9% of the 707 users who completed a post-use survey indicated they would use an interactive again if they had the chance; 88,8% indicated they would like to design an interactive with friends; and 59,4% chose a craft tech interactive game to teach a friend about the coronavirus – over a school textbook, colourful poster, TV advertisement, and radio programme.

“Look at Our Smart Shoe” – a Scalable Online Concept for Introducing Design as Part of Computational Thinking in Grades 1-6

  • Linda Mannila
  • Mia Skog
While programming is a process covering many stages, many of the tasks K-12 students meet at school are small with little need for, e.g., analysis or design. These earlier phases are, however, important to let children meet open-ended problems, brainstorm solutions and ideate their own creative designs. In this paper we present a model for an online, scalable and scaffolded design workshop for covering such aspects at K-12 level. Through a case study with 1200 students and 60 teachers on IoT and smart things, we describe the workshop and the resulting designs. While the students managed to design their own artifacts, more time had been needed for covering ethical aspects related to technology design. The results suggest creating separate workshops for different grade levels, and also for design and ethical aspects respectively. Moreover, additional resources could support teachers in continuing the discussion with the students after the workshop.

M-flow: a Flow-based Music Creation Platform Improves Underrepresented Children’s Attitudes toward Computer Programming

  • Yukyeong Song
  • Wanli Xing
  • Alec Barron
  • Hyunju Oh
  • Chenglu Li
  • Victor Minces
Because of the structural parallelisms between music and computing, it has long been suggested that coding music could be a good way for young children to engage in and learn about computer science (CS). Despite these suggestions, coding music has not reached a wider audience of young children, and the approach’s potential to engage them has not been thoroughly demonstrated. To facilitate the adoption of coding music activities, we created M-flow, a flow-based programming platform that allows young children to code music intuitively from the outset. Then, we developed a standards-aligned curriculum that teachers applied in their fourth-grade classrooms. Surveys indicate that children were greatly engaged, the experience successfully exposed them to and increased their self-efficacy toward programming. Our results indicate that with the appropriate coding platform, coding music can be a powerful way to engage children in CS.

MagiBricks: Fostering Intergenerational Connectedness in Distributed Play with Smart Toy Bricks

  • Evropi Stefanidi
  • Julia Dominiak
  • Marit Bentvelzen
  • Paweł W. Woźniak
  • Johannes Schöning
  • Yvonne Rogers
  • Jasmin Niess
Playing together is crucial to the unique and invaluable bond between grandparents and grandchildren. However, co-located interactions and play can be limited due to time, distance, or pandemic-related restrictions. To facilitate distributed play, we developed MagiBricks, a system comprised of 3D-printed smart toy bricks and baseplates that provide feedback regarding their placement. The familiarity and appeal of toy bricks to both older adults and children make them ideal for intergenerational play. We conducted a within-subjects study with six grandparent-grandchildren pairs. We compared the interactions and perceived connectedness of the pairs while playing over a distance with either i) MagiBricks or ii) identical regular toy bricks. We found that MagiBricks affected communication dynamics, role taking, nature of play, and perception of connectedness during playtime compared to regular bricks, and were unanimously preferred. We contribute design implications for future systems leveraging (smart) tangibles and fostering intergenerational connectedness.

Session: STEAM Tools for Learning II

Observe It, Draw It: Scaffolding Children’s Observations of Plant Biodiversity with an Interactive Drawing Tool

  • Chao Zhang
  • Zili Zhou
  • Yajing Hu
  • Lanjing Liu
  • Jiayi Wu
  • Yaping Shao
  • Jianhui Liu
  • Lingyan Zhang
  • Lijuan Liu
  • Hangyue Chen
  • Fangtian Ying
  • Cheng Yao
Observation is common for children to connect with nature, increasing their knowledge and awareness of biodiversity. However, it is challenging for them to make and document their observations due to a lack of observation and drawing skills. Therefore, we designed an interactive drawing tool, Bio Sketchbook, which scaffolds children in systematic observation, observational drawing, and knowledge acquisition. It can recognize plant species and generate contour drawings from children’s photographs, guiding them to observe and draw multi-dimensional plant features with a digital magnifier and in-context biological information. Our in-situ user study with 19 children revealed that Bio Sketchbook provided an engaging experience and effectively supported children in recording and retaining biodiversity information and in balancing observations with screen time. Additionally, Bio Sketchbook intervened in children’s interaction with plants by prompting observational behaviors, encouraging them to directly touch and establish rapport with plants, and arousing their interest and knowledge of plants.

The Pocketworld Playground: Engaging Online, Out-of-School Learners with Agent-based Programming

  • John Chen
  • Lexie Zhao
  • Mike Horn
  • Uri Wilensky
Agent-based modeling (ABM) has become a major approach to promote computational thinking and complex systems thinking in K-12 education. However, agent-based programming (ABP), the computational foundation of ABM, is less defined and discussed in previous literature. Summarizing previous studies around ABP from computer science and education, we argued for the potential benefits of introducing ABP to youth. Rooted in the interest development theory, we presented the design of a scaffolded agent-based programming space, the Pocketworld Playground (POP), that aims to engage out-of-school online young learners through developing their interest in ABP. The POP was built in Turtle Universe (TU), the mobile incarnation of NetLogo. Using a mixed-methods approach to analyze log data and artifacts created by learners, we found that POP successfully engaged learners with ABP practices; helped develop situational and individual interest; and contributed to TU’s emerging online community. Finally, we discussed design lessons that could benefit other online learning designers.

Snatch and Hatch: Improving Receptivity Towards a Nature of Science with a Playful Mobile Application

  • Hannah Qiao
  • Hussel Suriyaarachchi
  • Sankha Cooray
  • Suranga Nanayakkara
Science literacy is an increasingly important skill in the 21st century. With engagement and motivation as vital precursors to learning science, we believe introducing children to playful interactions with scientific phenomena would improve their motivations and attitudes towards science. To investigate this, we developed a tablet application where children journey in a story-driven game to capture virtual creatures by manipulating the sound measured using the built-in microphone. This game was designed with feedback from 16 children and 10 parents. In this paper, we describe the iterative design process and findings in a multi-day study with 11 more children aged between 8 and 12. Children were motivated by the game, demonstrated a strong association between sound and its behaviour in the physical world, and expressed enthusiasm to learn more in the classroom.

Session: Child Safety and Wellbeing

Child-Centered Design in the Digital World: Investigating the Implications of the Age-Appropriate Design Code for Interactive Digital Media

  • Thomas D Grace
  • Christie Abel
  • Katie Salen
In this paper, we conduct a content analysis to investigate the implications of the “Age-Appropriate Design Code” for the design of interactive digital media children are likely to use. The “Age-Appropriate Design Code” policy framework, implemented in the United Kingdom in 2021 with a modified version later signed into law in California in 2022, shifts the focus beyond just the protection of children’s data to a broader focus on how the interaction with digital technologies might affect or even harm children. Our content analysis of both the UK and California codes identifies a number of design considerations framed around four main categories namely design values, communication of information, interactions with technology, and data management. While recognizing the robustness of the Age-Appropriate Design Codes, we also identify certain uncertainties and challenges in implementing guidelines in the context of interactive digital media. Our findings contribute to the ongoing conversation about designing safe and age-appropriate online spaces for children.

Five Design Recommendations for Teaching Teenagers’ about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

  • Marie-Monique Schaper
  • Mariana Aki Tamashiro
  • Rachel Charlotte Smith
  • Maarten Van Mechelen
  • Ole Sejer Iversen
Technologies based on AI/ML are playing an increasingly prominent role in teenagers’ everyday lives. Mirroring this trend is a concomitant interest in teaching young people about intelligent technologies. Whereas previous research in the field of Child–Computer Interaction has proposed curriculum and learning activities that describe what teenagers need to learn about AI/ML, there is still a shortage of studies which specifically address teenager-centered perspectives in the teaching of AI/ML. This paper presents a study of teenagers’ everyday understanding of AI/ML technologies. Using a thematic analysis of the teenagers’ own explanations during a series of workshops, we present a conceptual map of the teenagers’ understandings of these technologies. We go on to propose five general recommendations for the teaching of AI/ML to teenagers through the lens of Computational Empowerment. Taken together, these recommendations serve as a teenage-centered starting point for teaching young people about intelligent technologies, an approach that can be implemented in future research interventions with similar objectives.

Let Kids Wonder, Question and Make Mistakes: How the Designers of Children’s Technology Think about Child Well-being

  • Rotem Landesman
  • Jenny Radesky
  • Alexis Hiniker
To gain deeper insight into how the creators of children’s technology operationalize child well-being, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 industry professionals who create child-centered interactive technologies, including platforms, content, and policies. Interviewees’ descriptions of well-being clustered into four hierarchical categories, focusing on creating experiences that were: 1) safe, 2) usable, 3) educational, and 4) meaningful. We found that organizational culture influenced designers’ self-reported ability to create child-centered products, and companies with a culture that explicitly prioritized child well-being and drew on input from experts were able to scaffold even novice employees in attending to child users’ developmental needs. Finally, we found that companies struggled to define product metrics that reflected the full continuum of child well-being and often fell back on simplistic measures like engagement and download counts. We contribute a framework outlining current industry conceptualizations of designing for child well-being, with the depth of well-being support mapped to one axis and respect for children’s agency mapped to the other.

Supporting Teens’ Intentional Social Media Use Through Interaction Design: An exploratory proof-of-concept study

  • Katie Davis
  • Petr Slovak
  • Rotem Landesman
  • Caroline Pitt
  • Abdullatif Ghajar
  • Jessica Lee Schleider
  • Saba Kawas
  • Andrea Guadalupe Perez Portillo
  • Nicole S. Kuhn
Prior research indicates that many adolescents struggle to use social media intentionally, with negative impacts on well-being. This presents an important but under-researched opportunity to improve youth well-being through interaction design. We developed Locus, a mobile application that shapes adolescents’ entry experiences into the social media apps on their phones by prompting them to reflect on their social media intentions before they open an app and at the end of the day. In designing Locus, we combined psychology theories—to identify design targets—with co-design approaches—to design around these targets for youth’s lived experiences. Following co-design work with nine teens (Mage=15.7 years), we conducted an open trial field deployment (N = 54; Mage=16.2 years) to explore how Locus was used and experienced by adolescents during their daily lives. Results provide preliminary evidence that in-the-moment interventions for self-regulation skills can support adolescents’ intentional social media use.

Understanding Research Related to Designing for Children’s Privacy and Security: A Document Analysis

  • Priya C. Kumar
  • Fiona O’Connell
  • Lucy Li
  • Virginia L. Byrne
  • Marshini Chetty
  • Tamara L. Clegg
  • Jessica Vitak
Many children are growing up in a “digital-by-default” world, where technologies mediate many of their interactions. There is emerging consensus that those who design technology must support children’s privacy and security. However, privacy and security are complex concepts that are challenging to design for, and centering the interests of children is similarly difficult. Through a document analysis of 90 HCI publications, we examine what problems and solutions designing for children’s privacy and security addresses and how this research engages with children. Applying Solove’s privacy taxonomy, we find that research addresses a range of problems related to information collection, processing, dissemination, and invasion at the organizational, system, and individual levels. Children’s participation in this research is largely limited to providing feedback rather than helping to guide the research itself. Based on these findings, we offer recommendations for designers to sharpen their privacy and security contributions and center children in their work.

Session: Robotics

Designing Parent-child-robot Interactions to Facilitate In-Home Parental Math Talk with Young Children

  • Hui-Ru Ho
  • Nathan Thomas White
  • Edward M. Hubbard
  • Bilge Mutlu
Parent-child interaction is critical for child development, yet parents may need guidance in some aspects of their engagement with their children. Current research on educational math robots focuses on child-robot interactions but falls short of including the parents and integrating the critical role they play in children’s learning. We explore how educational robots can be designed to facilitate parent-child conversations, focusing on math talk, a predictor of later math ability in children. We prototyped capabilities for a social robot to support math talk via reading and play activities and conducted an exploratory Wizard-of-Oz in-home study for parent-child interactions facilitated by a robot. Our findings yield insights into how parents were inspired by the robot’s prompts, their desired interaction styles and methods for the robot, and how they wanted to include the robot in the activities, leading to guidelines for the design of parent-child-robot interaction in educational contexts.

Family Theories in Child-Robot Interactions: Understanding Families as a Whole for Child-Robot Interaction Design

  • Bengisu Cagiltay
  • Bilge Mutlu
  • Margaret L Kerr
In this work, we discuss a theoretically motivated family-centered design approach for child-robot interactions, adapted by Family Systems Theory (FST) and Family Ecological Model (FEM). Long-term engagement and acceptance of robots in the home is influenced by factors that surround the child and the family, such as child-sibling-parent relationships and family routines, rituals, and values. A family-centered approach to interaction design is essential when developing in-home technology for children, especially for social agents like robots with which they can form connections and relationships. We review related literature in family theories and connect it with child-robot interaction and child-computer interaction research. We present two case studies that exemplify how family theories, FST and FEM, can inform the integration of robots into homes, particularly research into child-robot and family-robot interaction. Finally, we pose five overarching recommendations for a family-centered design approach in child-robot interactions.

“My Unconditional Homework Buddy:” Exploring Children’s Preferences for a Homework Companion Robot

  • Bengisu Cagiltay
  • Bilge Mutlu
  • Joseph E Michaelis
We aim to design robotic educational support systems that can promote socially and intellectually meaningful learning experiences for students while they complete school work outside of class. To pursue this goal, we conducted participatory design studies with 10 children (aged 10–12) to explore their design needs for robot-assisted homework. We investigated children’s current ways of doing homework, the type of support they receive while doing homework, and co-designed the speech and expressiveness of a homework companion robot. Children and parents attending our design sessions explained that an emotionally expressive social robot as a homework aid can support students’ motivation and engagement, as well as their affective state. Children primarily perceived the robot as a dedicated assistant at home, capable of forming meaningful friendships, or a shared classroom learning resource. We present key design recommendations to support students’ homework experiences with a learning companion robot.

Session: Multisensory Learning

Designing Multi Sensory Environments for Children’s Learning: An Analysis of Teachers’ and Researchers’ Perspectives

  • Giulia Cosentino
  • Serena Lee-Cultura
  • Sofia Papavlasopoulou
  • Michail Giannakos
Embodied learning offers new opportunities to enhance learning effectively, and engage children with stimulating educational experiences. Multi Sensory Environments (MSEs) are spaces that allow for several interaction modalities that stimulate users’ senses and allow the collection of multimodal data. In educational contexts, they provide opportunities to support children’s learning in a playful manner. The use of MSEs is usually carried out with the collaboration of teachers; their perspectives and responsibilities are crucial for the children’s experience. The goal of our research is to uncover evidence-based challenges and opportunities, while considering teachers’ experiences. We conducted fourteen semi-structured interviews with teachers (n = 6) and researchers (n = 8) experienced using MSEs’, and analysed the identified challenges and considerations during a workshop with four Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) experts. We offer a series of implications for consideration when designing and/or using MSEs to support children’s learning.

Interaction Modalities and Children’s Learning in Multisensory Environments: Challenges and Trade-offs

  • Giulia Cosentino
  • Mirko Gelsomini
  • Kshitij Sharma
  • Michail Giannakos
Allowing children to engage in technologically enabled embodied interaction activities has the potential to enhance learning and play. This work leverages the capabilities provided by multisensory environments (MSEs) to address the underlying research question: What are the benefits, challenges, and trade-offs between the various interaction modalities in the context of educational MSEs for children? To answer this question, we designed and deployed MOVES, a MSE-enabler that goes beyond the previous “hardwired” technologies and affords different interaction modalities. We conducted an in-situ field study with 175 children aged 6–10, who engaged with MOVES and the five interaction modalities. We captured children’s experiences (perceptions and actual use) through action logs, data collected from the various sensors (e.g., physiological data from wristbands, skeletal data from motion sensors), and pictorial-based self-reports. The results provide the differences between the various interaction modalities and design considerations aimed at facilitating children’s learning experiences within an MSE.

TACTOPI: Exploring Play with an Inclusive Multisensory Environment for Children with Mixed-Visual Abilities

  • Ana Cristina Pires
  • Lúcia Verónica Abreu
  • Filipa Rocha
  • Hugo Simão
  • João Guerreiro
  • Hugo Nicolau
  • Tiago Guerreiro
Playful robotics engages children in learning through play experiences while simultaneously developing critical thinking, and social, cognitive, and motor skills through play. Such playful experiences are particularly valuable in inclusive education to promote social and inclusive behaviors. We present TACTOPI, an inclusive and playful multisensory environment that leverages tangible interaction and a robot as the main character. We investigate how TACTOPI supports play in 10 dyads of children with mixed visual abilities. Results show that multisensory elements supported children to experience activities as joyful. Storytelling and guided-play added a layer of meaningfulness to the activities, and the robot engaged children in minds-on thinking. TACTOPI afforded children to engage in collaborative social play and facilitated supportive and inclusive behaviours. We contribute with a playful multisensory environment, an analysis of the effect of its components on social, cognitive, and inclusive play, and design considerations for inclusive multisensory environments that prioritize play.

The IDC Research and Design Challenge throughout the years: achievements, reflections and next steps

  • Sveva Valguarnera
  • Cristina Maria Sylla
  • Monica Landoni
In this paper we describe and reflect upon the setup and outcomes of the Research and Design Competition at the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference over the years. We frame it against similar initiatives and discuss its achievements so far while suggesting the steps that could increase its visibility and popularity both inside and outside of our academic community. In fact, we believe such an initiative is a great opportunity to state and declare the community’s core principles and values. This is done by having children as protagonists, and listening to and acknowledging their contributions. Reaching out to, inspiring, and rewarding the other adults in the loop, such as parents and teachers, is essential to ensure children’s participation and empowerment. Equally important is actively promoting diversity and inclusion to maintain a healthy and balanced community’s growth. Here, we review progress to date, outline plans for moving forward and establishing this initiative as a fun place for children to interact with new technology, as researchers and practitioners better understand their needs and expectations. Therefore, our primary contribution is a set of guidelines and best practices for it to develop, which is based on a thorough examination of the challenge so far.

SESSION: Research and Design Challenge

The Food App – Fair and Equal Access to Free Food for Anyone in Need

  • Srishti Shekhar Agrawal
  • Shrey Bharatbhai Panchal
Every year, supermarkets discard tons of food that are completely fit for consumption. This happens because of inefficient labeling on packages and confusion between different terminologies like best by, use by, sell by, etc., used on the food packages. However, we now have the technology to eliminate human error and put this food to better use. A group of children in the ACM Interaction Design and Children Research & Design Challenge (IDC ’23) booklet came up with the idea of a mobile application that could distribute such food products to those in need. Our team expanded on this idea and other related and relevant ideas from the booklet and designed an application that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to sort and package safe for consumption good food that would otherwise go to waste. Our solution aims to provide weekly food packages for individuals or families in need, thereby ensuring that no one goes hungry and also mitigating unnecessary food wastage. It is a positive outcome for every stakeholder involved: supermarkets reduce unnecessary food wastage and underserved communities receive food, thus contributing to a more sustainable future.

GlotBot: Hybrid Language Translator for Secondary Level Mathematics Classrooms

  • Manooshree Patel
  • Swapneel Chalageri
As the place where so many individuals make lifelong friends, learn how to navigate the world, and grow into themselves, compassion must start in the classroom. However, current American classrooms sometimes lack the very principles of equality and inclusion which underlie compassionate communities. One such case can be seen in the systemic lingual ostracization of students who are not native English speakers (English language learners). As our student design partners indicated, students’ and teachers’ mutual understanding despite differences in language, contributes to a feeling of “love and comfort in the classroom”. Inspired by our student design partners’ proposal of the Robo-Assistant, we decided to answer the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) 2023 research and design challenge with GlotBot! GlotBot is a mobile application to be used by teachers while delivering classroom instruction. GlotBot is designed for the secondary mathematics classroom, a prime setting in which students’ English language proficiencies are unfairly conflated with their mathematical abilities. GlotBot translanguages; it generates hybrid translations of teacher speech in real-time by translating non-technical terms into Spanish, but keeping technical terms (“coordinate plane”, “graph”) in English. The teacher can choose to repeat this hybrid translation out loud, to create more access points to the content for English language learners. The main objective of GlotBot is to assist teachers in delivering an equitable pedagogy to create an inclusive and compassionate classroom space that celebrates our nation’s lingual diversity.

Emotion Explorers & Zen: AI System and Voice Assistant for Exploring Emotions and Cultivating Compassion

  • Ayşegül Erdemir
  • Yu-Yu Liu
  • María José Campos
Emotion Explorers is an AI system that assists 6-11-year-old children to understand emotions, aims to have a long-lasting impact on children’s emotional behaviors, and creates a compassionate, connected, safe environment. The system can be integrated into smart devices, such as bracelets and plushies for children, and mobile applications for parents and teachers. Emotion Explorers interacts with children through a digital voice assistant named Zen, facilitating children’s emotional awareness and emotional behaviors through dialogues about emotions. It detects child users’ emotions through verbal content and heartbeat rates and provides emotional support accordingly. It helps children verbalize their feelings, normalize emotional communication, understand others’ feelings, and show kindness to create a compassionate environment. In addition, Emotion Explorers provides adults with analyses of the emotional status of children. This way, adults are aware of children’s mental status and can provide better emotional support. The goal is to develop children’s emotional awareness, communication of emotions, and kind behaviors through a longitudinal and sustainable approach. CCS CONCEPTS • Human-centered computing • Interaction design • Interaction design process and methods • Interface design prototyping

SESSION: Works-in-Progress (Group 1)

A Table Spinning Top to Enhance Family Quality Time

  • Noa Morag Yaar
  • Ofir Sadka
  • Aviv Yativ
  • Gilad Kfir
  • Noga Rosenberg
  • Yonatan Michael Ozbaher
  • Oren Zuckerman
  • Hadas Erel
Family dinners introduce an opportunity for quality family time which is significant for the development of emotional skills, life satisfaction and the establishment of a strong parent-child bond. However, family dinners are constantly challenged by mobile distractions. We present the design and preliminary evaluation of a peripheral Tangible User Interface, in the form of a table spinning top. The object is aimed at enhancing family quality time by raising awareness of mobile phone distraction and motivating family members to return their focus to the family activity. A preliminary user study with three families revealed high engagement and increased motivation for stopping mobile distractions and re-engaging in the family interaction. Our results suggest the prototype can assist in regulating digital interference in a constructive and positive way.

Involving Children in the Design of Gamified Law-Related Tests: Participatory Design and Children’s Voice for the Design of Gamified Law-Related Tests

  • Dimitra Magkafa
Children’s lack of awareness of their rights, which can have considerable consequences on their lives, is a topic of concern in the literature. Digital games have been widely recognised as having a positive influence on children’s learning. As a result, the motivational power of games has risen to prominence within the broader concept of gamification which, in the past decade, has become a trend and has been applied in many fields, including education. The value of children’s inclusion in the design process of game products through participatory design approaches has been explored in several contexts. This paper describes the participatory design process adopted by engaging children in gamifying law-related tests and presents the main findings.

Designing Empathy Game: Case on Participatory Design Session with children within the Indian context

  • Ekaterina Muravevskaia
  • Abhijith A
  • Pranav Prabha
  • Mahesh S Unnithan
  • Arunav H
  • Rthuraj P.R
  • Ruthvik Kanukunta
  • Gayathri Manikutty
Empathy games are a promising yet new research avenue that explores how to design empathic game experiences that would help children to understand and address the emotions of other people. Research in this field was primarily done in the USA and there is a research gap in understanding how empathy game design can apply and differ from the contexts of other countries. Our study replicated a study earlier conducted in the USA, aiming to explore the dynamic of the PD process, and identify specifics and challenges for PD methodology related to empathy and game design in the Indian context. We conducted a series of participatory design (PD) sessions with 18 Indian children between 7 and 11 years old. This paper reports our preliminary findings, including the following: (1) it might be challenging for Indian children to discuss and design for empathy and emotions-related topics, (2) using the English language can be a barrier while working with Indian children of 8 years old and younger, (3) cultural context affects roles children play in the design process. This paper contributes insights on identifying areas for further methodological work in PD for the Indian context.

Supporting turn-taking activities: a pilot study using a smart toy with children with a diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders

  • Flora Giocondo
  • Noemi Faedda
  • Gioia Cavalli
  • Massimiliano Schembri
  • Francesco Montedori
  • Federica Giovannone
  • Carla Sogos
  • Vincenzo Guidetti
  • Valerio Sperati
  • Beste Ozcan
  • Gianluca Baldassarre
This paper presents the preliminary results where an experimental prototype, the interactive soft toy called Octopus X-8, is used with three children with neurodevelopmental disorders in play activities involving turn-taking. This competence is fundamental for regulating social interactions and it is often impaired in those types of disorders. The pilot experiment aims to investigate if X-8 can be used as an engaging toy usable to train turn-taking skills. The toy is able to distinguish between two users and can therefore produce rewarding sensory feedback, such as coloured lights and sounds, when the turn-taking rules are respected. Preliminary results seem to show that X-8 can indeed be used as a supporting tool to improve this important social competence.

Design implications of generative AI systems for visual storytelling for young learners

  • Ariel Han
  • Zhenyao Cai
The study examines the design implications of leveraging generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney for literacy development and creative expression for children [6, 8, 18]. We sought to elicit insights on the applicability of generative AI for educational purposes from various stakeholders (i.e., parents, teachers, and AI researchers). We recruited nine participants to elicit their perspectives on designing a visual narrative app with generative AI. We examined the opportunities and limitations of the current generative AI tools. Using the implications from our evaluation, we propose AIStory, an AI-powered visual storytelling application prototype that can be used for children’s creative expression, storytelling, and literacy development.

Sixty Percent: A Proactive Approach to Developing a Security-Conscious Mindset in Children

  • Morgan Evans
  • Elisa Rubegni
To protect young children from online harm in the long term, a proactive approach is required. Sixty Percent intends to mitigate such risks by providing children with a mobile tool to encourage interactive reflection and critical thinking. The investigation gathers behavioural data from parents and guardians, in addition to feedback from users aged eight to eleven, for a prototype imitating a mobile application. The findings indicate there is indeed a gap in the market for mobile applications, aimed to enthuse and educate the younger generation, that shouldn’t be on social media, yet still are. Children have indicated the mobile tool is an engaging method which they can exploit for knowledge and support whilst navigating cyberspace.

Supporting Autistic Children’s Group Learning in Picture Book Reading Activity with a Social Robot

  • Jiayu Lin
  • Jiefeng Li
  • Jielin Liu
  • Yingying She
  • Fang Liu
  • Zhu Zhu
  • Mingbo Hou
  • Lin Lin
  • Hang Wu
Autistic children have developmental disorders including social and communication deficits, attention problems, and so on. Due to these deficits, autistic children are difficult to establish social connection with humans and learn skills from social interactions, especially in group learning environment. To support autistic children in group learning, a motivating interaction environment is important. On the other hand, robot-mediated interventions have shown to be effective and more engaging. In this sense, social robots with multiple interaction modalities, might have the potential to support autistic children’s group learning. In this paper, we present the design of a robot-mediated group picture book reading activity, with the goal to contribute to autistic children’s better engagement, picture book learning, and group interaction behaviors. We evaluate and discuss the initial experimental results.

T1D Buddy: A Hybrid Solution to Provide Type 1 Diabetic Support for Early Diagnosed Children

  • Emaan Bilal Khan
  • Hira Eiraj Daud
  • Ayesha Rehman
  • Romessa Shah Jahan
  • Abdullah Zaka
  • Suleman Shahid
This paper describes a two-tier health-tech intervention – T1D Buddy – created to empower pediatric type 1 diabetic (T1D) patients in managing and learning about T1D via a mobile application, along with a physical toy for further user engagement. We explore the use of gamification and personalization to support better disease management and encourage patient education, in a Pakistani context. This work’s final design is telling of the role that age-appropriate engagement mechanisms, gamified learning and simple-to-use interfaces play in making lives of children battling T1D easier. With an extensive user study, design conception and preliminary usability analysis, this paper discusses the potential efficacy of a hybrid solution, and the role that user centered design can play in improving T1D care. We hope that through this research, we have taken the first step towards providing a multi-level technological solution for children tackling T1D in the global South.

MotiCards: Developing Designer Cards for Children’s Intrinsic Motivation of Daily Tasks

  • Defne Çelik
  • Dilara Albayrak
  • Almira Oğuz
  • Begüm Taylan
  • Gökçe Elif Baykal
Intrinsic motivation plays an important role in learning or engagement, and the factors that identifies intrinsic motivation have been insufficiently taken into account at the early stages of technology design for children. In this work-in-progress paper, we describe how we develop cards for children’s intrinsic motivation in carrying out everyday tasks in home environment. The content of the cards were derived from 50 parents’ views extracted through an online survey as well as a desk research literature review. Then we evaluated the cards in a focus group with four experts from different backgrounds in developmental research. We draw on our findings to set forth design considerations and possible refinements that make age specific knowledge about 9-13-year-old children’s intrinsic motivations to inform technology design in child-computer interaction field.

Interactive environments for training children’s curiosity through the practice of metacognitive skills : a pilot study

  • Rania Abdelghani
  • Edith Law
  • Chloé Desvaux
  • Pierre-Yves Oudeyer
  • Hélène Sauzéon
Curiosity-driven learning has shown significant positive effects on students’ learning experiences and outcomes. But despite this importance, reports show that children lack this skill, especially in formal educational settings. To address this challenge, we propose an 8-session workshop that aims to enhance children’s curiosity through training a set of specific metacognitive skills we hypothesize are involved in its process. Our workshop contains animated videos presenting declarative knowledge about curiosity and the said metacognitive skills as well as practice sessions to apply these skills during a reading-comprehension task, using a web platform designed for this study (e.g. expressing uncertainty, formulating questions, etc). We conduct a pilot study with 15 primary school students, aged between 8 and 10. Our first results show a positive impact on children’s metacognitive efficiency and their ability to express their curiosity through question-asking behaviors.

Supporting Children’s Metacognition with a Facial Emotion Recognition based Intelligent Tutor System

  • Xingran Ruan
  • Charaka Palansuriya
  • Aurora Constantin
  • Konstantinos Tsiakas
The present study aims to investigate the relationship between emotions experienced during learning and metacognition in typically developing (TD) children and those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This will assist us in using machine learning (ML) to develop a facial emotion recognition (FER) based intelligent tutor system (ITS) to support children’s metacognitive monitoring process in order to enhance their learning outcomes. In this paper, we first report the results of our preliminary research, which utilized an ML-based FER algorithm to detect four spontaneous epistemic emotions (i.e., neutral, confused, frustrated, and boredom) and six spontaneous basic emotions (i.e., anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise). Subsequently, we adapted an application (‘BrainHood’) to create the ‘Meta-BrainHood’, that embedded our proposed ML-based FER algorithm to examine the relationship between facial emotion expressions and metacognitive monitoring performance in TD children and those with ASD. Finally, we outline the future steps in our research, which adopts the outcomes of the first two steps to construct an ITS to improve children’s metacognitive monitoring performance and learning outcomes.

S.P.O.T: A Game-Based Application for Fostering Critical Machine Learning Literacy Among Children

  • Ibrahim Oluwajoba Adisa
  • Ian Thompson
  • Tolulope Famaye
  • Deepika Sistla
  • Cinamon Sunrise Bailey
  • Katherine Mulholland
  • Alison Fecher
  • Caitlin Marie Lancaster
  • Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens
This paper describes S.P.O.T., a game-based application for promoting children’s practical understanding of ML concepts and applications. Current tools for teaching ML in K-12 engage students in playful exploration of ML mechanisms and teach ML from a cognitive perspective. However, in S.P.O.T, learners interact with ML within real-life sociopolitical contexts and examine how ML predictions impact their daily lives and communities. Through the immersion of stories that mirror children’s lived experiences, S.P.O.T. provides elementary school aged children with opportunities to learn how machine learning applications function and develop children’s abilities to critically examine, question, and reimagine the consequences of ML decisions in the real world.

Community Tour: An Expandable Knowledge Exploration System for Urban Migrant Children

  • Bo Shui
  • Hanyu Guo
  • Haoyang Li
  • Chufan Shi
  • Xiaomei Nie
Urban migrant children encounter difficulties in developing a sense of belonging, which compromises their living experiences and academic performance. This paper introduces Community Tour, an expandable knowledge exploration system designed to assist migrant children with their extracurricular learning, and empower social workers to systematically carry out community events. A knowledge exploration interaction process has been designed to localize STEAM education with community elements through practical tasks, learning motivation, and achievements. Prototypes of interactive installation and back-end platform have been built and partial validation experiments have been conducted, with future work focusing on collaborating with communities for field testing and design iteration. The sustainability of the system lies in the potential for education on various themes, and its compatibility from urban villages to more regular communities, contributing to the child-friendly cities.

Cartoonimator: A Low-cost, Paper-based Animation Kit for Computational Thinking

  • Krithik Ranjan
  • Peter Gyory
  • Michael L Rivera
  • Ellen Yi-Luen Do
Computational thinking has been identified as an important skill for children to learn in the 21st century, and many innovative kits and tools have been developed to integrate it into children’s learning. Yet, most solutions require the use of devices like computers or other expensive hardware, thus being inaccessible to low-income schools and communities. We present Cartoonimator, a low-cost, paper-based computational kit for children to create animations and engage with computational thinking. Cartoonimator requires only paper and a smartphone to use, offering an affordable learning experience. Children can draw the scenes and characters for their animation on the paper, which is printed with computer vision markers. We developed the mobile web app to provide an interface to capture keyframes and compile them into animations. In this paper, we describe the implementation and workflow of Cartoonimator, its deployment with children at a local STEAM event, and a planned evaluation for the kit.

Supporting Noise Sensitivity and Emotion Regulation with Children

  • Emani Dotch
  • Jialuo Hu
  • Avery Mavrovounioti
  • Weijie Du
  • Jazette Johnson
  • Elizabeth Ankrah
  • Aehong Min
  • Gillian R Hayes
Children who are noise sensitive may be easily distracted, experience discomfort, and react with negative emotions in the presence of loud or sudden sounds and in environments where they cannot control the noise; this can impact their ability to regulate their emotions. Therefore, implementing effective regulation strategies is necessary to support noise-sensitive children. Assistive technology has been shown to be an effective tool for supporting children and self-regulation. By conducting co-design sessions with noise-sensitive children, we will better understand how we might design an assistive application to support emotion regulation in noise-sensitive children. In this work in progress, we present the initial findings of two pilot co-design sessions and considerations for conducting co-design sessions with children who are noise sensitive.

Designing dynamic feedback to help second graders understand equivalence: Centering students’ perspectives

  • Anna N. Bartel
  • Shannon M. Celeste
  • Claire Guang
  • Lia Francis-Bongue
  • Vivian Hsu
  • Jodi L. Davenport
  • Yvonne S. Kao
  • Nicole M. McNeil
Understanding mathematical equivalence is foundational for developing early algebraic thinking. Despite its importance, many young students struggle with the concept and use incorrect strategies when solving equivalence problems. Immediate, computer-based feedback may help students learn correct strategies. However, designing effective feedback for math equivalence is challenging. In this work-in-progress paper, we discuss usability studies and child-centered design with young students. Our goal is to better understand how students make sense of different kinds of feedback, what kinds of formats they prefer, and what actions they take after receiving the feedback. By centering young students’ perspectives in the design process, we can avoid blind spots created by our adult researcher perspectives and increase the likelihood of student engagement and knowledge gains. We describe the extended iterative process required to help students develop a formal understanding of math equivalence by creating usable and effective computer-based feedback.

DYSIGN: Towards Computational Screening of Dyslexia and Dysgraphia Based on Handwriting Quality

  • Hana Ali Rashid
  • Tasmiya Malik
  • Iqra Siddiqui
  • Neelma Bhatti
  • Abdul Samad
Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia and Dysgraphia are characterized by struggles in reading and writing. Their diagnosis and intervention are critical as if left unattended, they can cause hindrance in academic activity, self-esteem, and long-term quality of life. Owing to the complex traditional processes for diagnosis, social stigma, and the general lack of availability of remedial therapists and clinical psychologists in Pakistan, this study explores the potential of handwriting quality features to be used in computationally screening for SLDs to make screening more accessible. This project consists of exploratory data analysis of handwriting scans of 25 children thus far, in the age group of 5 to 15, generating various handwriting quality features and using classification models to assess their potential. Our preliminary results are promising, with approximately 80% accuracy, thus showing potential for increased accuracy when paired with larger data samples and further feature generation.

Thinking Spatially About Data: A Developing Framework to Understand Children’s Spatial Reasoning in Data Physicalization

  • Caiwei Zhu
  • Remke Klapwijk
Encoding intangible data variables with visual, spatial, and physical properties demands a high level of spatial reasoning. The ability to reason spatially is widely deemed critical to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) learning. While much research has explored the relationship between learning with visualizations and spatial skills development, little is known about how children use their spatial reasoning in constructing tangible visualizations. This work-in-progress investigates how data physicalization activities, organized within a Design module in primary classrooms in the Netherlands, provide a window to understanding children’s spatial reasoning about data. Based on preliminary analysis, we identify six indicators of children’s spatial reasoning as observed in their constructing processes and artifacts. Most children in the study used tangible materials of varied sizes, curated meaningful spatial arrangements, and employed different unitizing methods to encode numerical data with spatial properties. Some children adjusted the sizes, units, or spatial arrangement to refine their tangible visualizations, considered the pros and cons of two- and three-dimensional forms of presentation, and made creative use of spatial shapes. In summary, this case study offers insights into children’s use of spatial reasoning in data physicalization creation and practical implications for situating data physicalization activities in formal learning environments.

Stories and Voice Agents to Inspire Preschool Children’s Social Play: An Experience with StoryCarnival: Inspiring Preschool Children’s Social Play

  • Juan Pablo Hourcade
  • Ewelina Bakala
  • Anaclara Gerosa
  • Flannery Hope Currin
In a post-lockdown context with significant concerns about children’s social skills, it is important for technologies to play a positive role in supporting children across cultures, settings, and backgrounds. The research presented in this work-in-progress is about StoryCarnival, a technology designed to promote creative, social role play among preschool children. We conducted StoryCarnival play sessions for three weeks with a group of 3-4-year-old children in Montevideo, Uruguay, a very different setting from the one where StoryCarnival was designed. We present preliminary results suggesting the activities resulted in a significant increase in children’s social play. We also discuss the impact of cultural differences and describe experiences with some features of StoryCarnival that had not previously been used in the field.

Unobtrusively Regulating Children’s Posture via Slow Visual Stimuli on Tablets

  • Chenyang Wang
  • Daniel C. Tozadore
  • Barbara Bruno
  • Pierre Dillenbourg
Children’s retention of a proper body posture while interacting with educational tablet applications is important for both their physical health and task performance. In this work, we propose a new approach to unobtrusively induce postural changes in children by applying a slowly deforming visual stimulus appearing on the tablet screen. To preliminarily validate our approach we designed a reading-and-writing tablet application for children, during which 8 different slow visual stimuli would be provided, and monitored the children’s posture via a vision-based automated posture tracking system. Results from 10 children aged 6-11 suggest that the proposed approach is suitable for unobtrusively changing children’s postures and will stand as the basis for the future design of an adaptive unobtrusive posture regulation system.

Supporting fieldwork for primary education with computing – micro:bit, clip:bit and game controllers

  • Elizabeth Edwards
  • John Edward Vidler
  • Lorraine Underwood
  • Elisa Rubegni
  • Joe Finney
This paper presents the ongoing development of the clip:bit, a clipboard-style micro:bit V2 extension for biodiversity monitoring in schools and community groups. The clip:bit is one component in a wider system to enable schools to engage in longitudinal studies of biodiversity in school grounds and local areas, monitoring the impact of landscape management and children’s ecological activities, such as the introduction wildflower meadows or planting hedgerows. The clip:bit was designed in response to needs identified during fieldwork in schools. We describe how the design addresses these needs and point to the way the clip:bit fits into a wider plan for data management and data visualisation. We also discuss the application of an existing micro:bit peripheral, the Kitronik Game Controller, for biodiversity monitoring and compare their use for different cases.

“I Never Envy Anyone, for I Have Already Built a Kingdom With My Fingertips”: Exploring Teenagers’ Experience in Chat-based Cosplay Community

  • Weijun Li
  • Yaohua Bu
  • Suqi Lou
  • Shi Chen
  • Lingyun Sun
  • Changyuan Yang
This paper reports an interview study about the practice of teenagers’ chat-based cosplay in China. Findings reveal the four primary motivations of the participants and their main practice in chat-based cosplay. We found that adolescents perceived character presentation and portrayal as a central aspect of chat-based cosplay and they devoted significant effort to refine their characters to achieve higher character consistency. We highlighted the positive feedback loop between social relationships and story creation in chat-based cosplay community. In addition, we identified the influence and negative experiences on adolescents in the chat-based cosplay community.

MagneChase: Create Chasing-Capturing Interactions Using Magnetic Potential Barrier for Tangible Games

  • Yuyang Zhang
  • Yue Yang
  • Lei Ren
  • Jie Wu
  • Jiaji Li
  • Chuyi Zhou
  • Yue Tao
  • Cheng Yang
  • Guanyun Wang
  • Ye Tao
“Like poles repel, unlike poles attract” is a fundamental principle of magnetism commonly used in instantaneous haptic interaction. Through the assembly design of basic five magnets, MagneChase creates a potential barrier between repulsion and attraction. This allows MagneChase modules to change the direction of their interacting force when brought closer. Applying this interaction principle, we provide application examples of kinetic roleplay to enhance tangible play experiences. A preliminary user study suggests that children were captivated by the magnetic phenomenon and derived pleasure from engaging with MagneChase. We also discuss the potential for MagneChase as a tangible kit to promote enlightenment learning in gameplay.

SESSION: Works-in-Progress (Group 2)

Funds of Identity in Co-Design

  • Marilyn P Iriarte
  • Nitzan Koren
  • Elana B Blinder
  • Elizabeth Bonsignore
Participatory Design approaches involving youth are often guided by a desire to position participating young people as equal collaborators and experts at communicating their lived experiences. However, these conceptualizations often foreground the design process, with less attention paid to the holistic set of resources (values, experiences, perspectives, beliefs) that inform young people’s identities and influence how they engage in the process of co-design. In this paper, we share how we leveraged a set of identity, team building, and design techniques in combination with a youth development approach to unpack youth identities and support relationship-building within the context of an intergenerational co-design team of eleven teenagers, two young adult mentors, and five adults. Our preliminary findings suggest that providing young co-designers with opportunities to reflect upon and share their individual multifaceted identities can support the formation of a cohesive collective identity, effective collaboration, and design ideas that are relevant to youth and their communities.

“We’re Hinged. They’re Not. It’s in that Space that Creativity Happens:” Adult co-designers’ perspectives on designing technology with children

  • Medha Tare
  • Mona Leigh Guha
Children have been involved in technology co-design processes for several decades. While previous studies suggest potential benefits to child participants, research has not been conducted regarding the impact of these design methods on the adult designers involved in these processes. We conducted a retrospective online survey with 18 adults who have participated in co-design with children on technologies intended for children. Responses about their experiences, learnings, and recommendations for the process were synthesized. Overall, the participants perceived their experiences of partnering with children and hearing their perspectives to be valuable both personally and professionally as well as for the products’ usability for children. Participants also noted some challenges or areas for improvement for the co-design process. Areas for future work may include a more formal study of the impacts of these experiences on adults and on the technologies developed via co-design with children.

“This is So Cool”: Exploring Identity Development and Roles for Middle School Girls of Color Within a STE(A)M-focused Summer Camp

  • Christina D. Reeves
  • Gabriela T. Richard
This pilot study analyzes the ways in which students’ self-perceptions and roles impact how they interact within a STE(A)M maker workshop. It is centered on a case study of two teenage girls of color, who participated in a 1-week summer enrichment opportunity focused around digital and physical coding, making, arts and design in 2019. The students that participated were rising ninth graders enrolled in an inaugural Upward Bound summer extension program aimed at providing STEM learning opportunities for younger learners. We utilized interaction analysis to understand learners’ interactions and self-expressions as they worked separately with other students on some of the initial learning activities, and then later together as a team to design a project of their own ideation and negotiation. Findings support key changes in their self-perceptions as well as their own sense of identity around STEM and computing. We discuss these findings in light of relevant theories and frameworks in the field, and explore the potential for future directions with this work.

Reflecting on Your Child Needs: Designing a Tangible Object For Enhancing Parental Mentalization

  • Elior Carsenti
  • Hadas Erel
  • Mario Mikulincer
  • Oren Zuckerman
One of the main challenges parents face is recognizing and supporting the changing needs of their children. The Circle of Security (COS) psychology theory addresses this challenge by increasing parental mentalization, a parent’s ability to mentally envision her child’s mental states, and to engage in reflection on her own internal experiences. We present an exploratory design process of a tangible interface for parents of 5-7 years-old children, grounded in theoretical aspects from Attachment theory, Caregiving sensitivity theory, and COS theory. We designed three low-fidelity prototypes and evaluated them with four parents to generate initial insights about the potential of TUI as an aid for parental mentalization. Our work suggests that parents see potential in using a TUI to improve their parental mentalization abilities, however they report it is not easy and requires significant mental effort. Our work is a first step towards TUI as an aid for parental mentalization.

The SmartGame: mixing digital and tangible to foster math education and social interaction

  • Federica Gini
  • Margherita Andrao
  • Annapaola Marconi
In the current Work in Progress we present the SmartGame, a gamified web-app designed to support children in learning math and connected to an already existing tangible IOT device called SMARTER. Through introducing a cooperative modality and the union of digital and tangible advancements in technology, we also aim to foster interpersonal relationships in children from primary school, who suffered a lack of social interactions in person due to the recent pandemic. In the current project, we will study different possibilities of cooperation within the SmartGame, along with the ways in which teachers can personalize the activities and the gamification design based on students’ needs. Finally, we will test the web-app usability, user experience, effectiveness in supporting students’ education, and outcomes in fostering interpersonal relationships.

Toward Co-Design with Refugee Youth: Facilitation Through a Social-emotional Framework

  • Sarah Priscilla Lee
  • Tyler James Nanoff
  • Sydney Simmons
  • Stephanie T Jones
  • Vishesh Kumar
  • Marcelo Worsley
This paper examines facilitator and refugee youth co-design for a summer program and asks: “how do researchers and interns understand ‘facilitation’ and ‘co-design’ in a summer program with refugee youth?” We highlight interactions with Rbekka, a refugee youth who participated in programming since 2015. We share findings that help us understand how expansive social emotional learning (SEL) and co-design create an assemblage of relationships and mutual space of learning that resists adult/child binaries and puts relational care and justice into practice.

Understanding Teenagers’ Real and Fake News Sharing on Social Media

  • Don Winiecki
  • Francesca Spezzano
  • Chandler Underwood
In this paper, we present results from our research work focused on understanding teenagers’ real and fake news sharing on social media. Using existing real/fake news samples and best practices in qualitative, inductive data analysis, we identify factors that explain teenagers’ sharing and not sharing behavior of real and fake news. Our findings suggest that influencing teenagers’ decisions to share or not share news on social media requires changes in the knowledge of what is found in social media and enhancement of knowledge of the algorithmic effects of sharing or not sharing.

Co-designing for the Co-Use of Child-Owned Wearables

  • Isil Oygur Ilhan
  • Yunan Chen
  • Daniel A. Epstein
Child-owned activity trackers are not only devices for self-tracking, but they are also co-used by children and parents for family-centered health and wellbeing. This presents a challenge for the design of this technology as children’s and parents’ wants and needs from this technology are not always aligned. To further understand children’s and parents’ ideas and expectations, we conducted a qualitative study utilizing co-design sessions and semantic differential scales. Data from five families show four trends: 1) representation of parental worries and values as tracking metrics, 2) wish to access the unknown, 3) the significance of smartphones and touchscreen imagery on children’s visual language, and 4) concerns around child’s privacy and autonomy. These trends can be interpreted as a potential for activity trackers to mediate family interaction and to structure family conversations around worries, values, and privacy during co-use.

Co-Space: A Tangible System Supporting Social Attention and Social Behavioral Development through Embodied Play for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Xiuqi Zhu
  • Min Fan
  • Zhuohao Wu
  • Jiayi Lu
  • Yukai Liu
Early impairments in social attention prevent children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from acquiring social information and disrupt their social behavior development. We present Co-Space, a tangible system that supports children with ASD aged 4-8 years in developing social attention and social behaviors through collaborative and embodied play in a classroom setting. Children can paint tangible hemispheres, insert them on a projection board, and then press or rotate the hemispheres independently or collaboratively to view dynamic audiovisual feedback. We leveraged the strengths of children with ASD (e.g., who may have visual strengths and prefer repetitive actions) by providing them with tangible hemispheres to engage their participation. We utilized codependent design and dynamic audiovisual cues to facilitate children’s social attention and encourage their collaboration and potential social behaviors. We demonstrated multiple ways to integrate the tangible system into classroom activities. We discuss the benefits of designing tangible systems for supporting social attention and social behaviors for children with ASD through play in the classroom.

Spatially Manipulable Interactive Note Taking Tool to Facilitate Collaborative Learning in Science Education

  • Litong Zeng
  • Shafagh Hadinezhad
  • Mike Tissenbaum
We examined how Idea Wall, a collaboration spatially manipulable interactive note tool, supports collaborative scientific reasoning among students. Through a design-based research approach, the study also aims to identify potential improvements to the tool that can better support collaborative interactions. The Idea Wall has the ability to facilitate spatial manipulation and interactive note-taking supported student engagement and collaboration. This paper contributes to the growing body of research on the use of interactive tools to enhance scientific reasoning skills in collaborative learning environments. By researching the affordances and challenges of the tool, this study provides valuable insights into the design considerations and potential improvements of such tools in building new norms of collaborative discussion for a knowledge community.

EdibleToy: Empowering Children to Create Their Own Meals with a DIY Wafer Paper Kit

  • Yilin Shao
  • Boyu Feng
  • Yingpin Chen
  • Yue Yang
  • Weijun Li
  • Yifan Yan
  • Yanan Wang
  • Ye Tao
  • Lingyun Sun
  • Guanyun Wang
Existing methods in human-computer interaction to enhance children’s eating habits predominantly rely on digital interactive technologies, which pose the risk of increasing sensory stimulation and diverting children’s attention away from the food itself. Drawing inspiration from shape-changing food research, we propose an approach that combines deformable wafer paper for food preparation. We summarize the principles of wafer paper controllable deformation and develop a toolkit to facilitate its use. We support children in creating personalized, transformable food items using this method, aiming to provide a playful, convenient, and safe food-making experience tailored for children, thereby enhancing children’s mealtime engagement and habits.

Examining Gendered Communications of Coding Kits for Young Children

  • Jingyao Cen
  • Junnan Yu
Designing computational toys and kits to welcome young children from different genders is essential to broaden participation in computing, as they play a critical role in facilitating children’s development of computational thinking. However, how young learners of different genders are being welcomed by these kits remains unclear. In this paper, we report our in-progress work examining how commercially available coding kits for young children are communicated from a gender perspective. Specifically, we analyzed the gender indications in the product descriptions and advertisement images of 30 kits, revealing a relatively balanced gender representation in images while significantly boy-oriented use of words in product descriptions. Ultimately, we call for attention and actions to more gender-inclusive communication of STEM toys for children.

Using fNIRS To Understand Adults’ Empathy for Children in AI and Cybersecurity Scenarios

  • Mohsena Ashraf
  • Genevieve Patterson
  • Zachary Kilhoffer
  • Xu Han
  • Nolan Brady
  • Anna Rahn
  • Nikhitha Atluri
  • Violet Oliver
  • Yun Huang
  • Yang Wang
  • Pilyoung Kim
  • Tom Yeh
Empathy for children is critical for designing AI technologies that may affect children. This paper presents the work in progress of a study on the feasibility of a new method to provide objective understanding of people’s empathy for children based on functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Adult participants (n=13) were presented with benign or concerning scenarios involving children interacting with AI technologies. Their brain activation patterns were recorded and analyzed. Preliminary data analysis revealed distinctive patterns in the mPFC region, which justifies future work to fully realize the potential of this method.

Exploring Embodied Approaches for Large Age Gap Sibling Communication through Technology Probes

  • Stuti Arora
  • Qiao Jin
  • Svetlana Yarosh
Large age differences and geographic distance between siblings can often hinder the development of close relationships, as they may have different social circles and schedules. Younger siblings may also have limited access to digital technology, which can further complicate communication and interaction between them. In this paper, we developed two technology probes, Haptic Bubble and Emoji Board. Both of these systems utilize embodied interaction, which has been shown to be an effective way to engage children in remote communication. Our work focused on three main goals through the development and preliminary study: the system design goal involved testing the feasibility of the embodied design approach, the empirical goal was to collect information on how siblings use embodied communication technology and the design goal was to inspire new kinds of technology to support large gap siblings’ needs.

“The Toy Shop”, a mobile application for detecting and mitigating gender stereotypical thinking in children.

  • Ben Greenwood
  • Elisa Rubegni
Gender stereotypes can be very harmful to young people as their views on the role gender plays in society can have a real impact on their future career prospects and well-being. This project addresses these issues by designing and evaluating a mobile app that has the purpose of detecting and mitigating gender-stereotypical thinking in children. ‘The Toy Shop’ app consists of three different activities that aim at making children reflect and critically think about their gender biases. We designed and tested the app with four domain experts that provide feedback to revise the app. This work aims at contributing to the current discussion on how to design technology-based experiences for children that address the issues related to gender stereotypical thinking and its consequences on children’s everyday life.

Shape of Music: AR-based Tangible Programming Tool for Music Visualization

  • Qiao Jin
  • Danli Wang
  • Haoran Yun
  • Svetlana Yarosh
Integrating music into Computer Science (CS) education can stimulate children’s creativity, change the stereotypical perspective of CS, and encourage women, ethnic or cultural minorities involved in the Computer Science area. In this paper, we use Augmented Reality (AR) technology to design a tangible programming system – AR-MPro for children, acting as a bridge between programming and music. It allows children to create customized AR effects to visualize music with low-cost materials by constructing tangible program sequences. AR-MPro is expected to broaden participation in computing, and be more intuitive, intriguing and instructional to enrich children’s creating and programming experiences.

Towards Bridging the Gap between Participatory Design and Formal Education

  • Barbara Göbl
  • Mirjam Duvivié
  • Suzana Jovicic
  • Fares Kayali
The rapid advancement of digital technology is accompanied by increasing demands for digital literacy education for children and adolescents. Previous works often emphasize the need for promoting empowering learning experiences and creating opportunities for active participation in digitalization. Especially in child-computer interaction research, participatory design (PD) has been established as a means to meet these demands. However, to advance the integration of PD into formal education, it is necessary to align PD’s creative, self-directed, and design-based learning settings with the often tight constraints of formal educational institutions. We consider the identification of suitable assessment and evaluation methods as an important contribution to further this alignment. Thus, this paper outlines preliminary findings from a review of works included in the 2018-2022 IDC conference proceedings, that address the evaluation of PD projects in formal educational settings. Only a small number of publications meet the inclusion criteria based on given constraints in this settings. Finally, we discuss preliminary insights regarding feasible evaluation methods and outline how the scarcity of matching works may point to an important research gap regarding the integration of PD with formal education.

Co-Design Across Cultures: A Two-Country Study With Children

  • Zahra Dhuliawala
  • Haritha Malladi
  • Elizabeth Bonsignore
Through this paper, we present the results of an exploratory study conducted in India and the USA, examining how cultural and academic backgrounds shape children’s perceptions of themselves as design partners in participatory design. We used participatory design methods with two small groups of children from India (n=4) and the USA (n=8) to understand their perspectives and experiences. Our initial findings suggest that personal, familial, and educational experiences play a role in the way children view themselves as designers. We also observed that differences between children from the two countries may result in variations in how they approach participatory design. These initial findings may be taken up by future researchers and designers who aim to support more inclusive participatory design across cultures.

In-class Collaborative Learning Environment for Middle School Children: A Usability Study

  • Afroza Sultana
  • Alex Bakogeorge
  • Tudor Tibu
  • Litong Zeng
  • Shafagh Hadinezhad
  • Luigi Zaccagnini
  • Xuesong Cang
  • Dana Gnesdilow
  • Aneesh P. Tarun
  • Sadhana Puntambekar
  • Mike Tissenbaum
  • Ali Mazalek
Creating effective middle school STEM curricula requires a combination of individual and collaborative learning. Prior studies showed that finding a proper balance and providing uninterrupted knowledge transmission between different learning modes can be challenging in such mixed pedagogical approaches. In this paper, we present a multi-device interactive educational platform named SimSnap to teach biology curriculum to middle school children. SimSnap facilitates interactions among touchscreen Chromebooks to perform in-class individual and group activities. We present a usability analysis study with eight middle school children where they learn about the influence of temperature on tomato plant growth. Our study demonstrated that SimSnap facilitates group discussions to complete collaborative tasks. It also creates seamless knowledge propagation between prior to current tasks to learn about more complex concepts from previous simpler activities. Middle school children gave overall high usability ratings and positive feedback on SimSnap. This study also helped to outline some design recommendations for future improvements of SimSnap.

Comic-boarding with Children: Understanding the use of Language in Human-Human and Human-Agent Dialogue

  • Jennifer Nwogu
  • Amanda Buddemeyer
  • Rosta Farzan
  • Angela E.B. Stewart
  • Erin Walker
The intersection of language and identity refers to the ways in which language use reflects and shapes one’s sense of self and group membership. It is important to design voice-based technologies that represent and support diverse types of identities to increase accessibility. Due to constraints in the data and algorithms used to train and improve artificial intelligence (AI) systems like social robots or voice assistants, they are often unable to represent certain dialects of English and other languages. This could result in data bias, identity exclusion, and communication barriers that can impact the user’s outcomes when using such dialects. Technology companies are discussing how to close this gap by improving training data; however, some researchers believe that the intersection of identity and technology calls for effective collaborative design methodologies that involve intended users. This work-in-progress paper presents preliminary findings on a participatory design method, comic-boarding, that can accomplish the above goal. Using comic-boarding, our intention is to create a space for critical reflection on language and identity in human-human and human-agent dialogue for children from marginalized communities.

Prototype Design of Wearable Multimodal Interaction Based on Preliminary Screening for ADHD in Children in Preschool Age

  • Hongyi Zhang
  • Yike Liu
  • Sifu Zhu
  • Xiande Fang
Young children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may have the behavioural symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. The adverse effects of ADHD often cause issues for children and their surroundings, especially when they go to school. This study focused on finding signs of predominantly inattentive presentation in preschool children because their characteristics are less overt than those of predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation. In addition, the primarily used screening tools are questionnaire scales filled out by parents or teachers, and the evaluation results are relatively subjective. Objective evaluation tools like EGG or CPT require children to attend professional institutions or hospitals. This model provides an objective but simple and fast help for initial screening. The intervention test was introduced to examine the Usability of the Wearable Multimodal Interactive Prototype. The results from four children’s participation suggested the possibility of the function and data collection of the device.

Empower Children in Nigeria to Design the Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through Writing

  • Cornelius Onimisi Adejoro
  • Luise Arn
  • Larissa Schwartz
  • Tom Yeh
This paper presents a new approach to engaging children in Nigeria to share their views of AI. This approach is centered on an inclusive writing contest for children in a secondary school in Abuja to write about AI to compete for prizes and share their writings with others. A preliminary analysis of the first 11 articles we received exhibits diverse gender and ethnic representation that conveys cultural values and perspectives distinct from those of the children in Western countries. This finding suggests future work to conduct an in-depth cross-cultural analysis of the articles and to replicate similar writing contests to engage children in other underrepresented countries.

WooGu: Exploring an Embodied Tangible User Interface for Supporting Children to Learn Farm-to-Table Food Knowledge

  • Hongni Ye
  • Tong Wu
  • Lawrence H Kim
  • Min Fan
  • Xin Tong
Food is essential for human health, growth, and development. However, children need more learning materials and motivation to receive food literacy education or know the fundamental food processes from farm to table. In this work, we explored the design of a prototype named WooGu with tangible user interfaces (TUI) and embodied interactions, which aims to improve young children’s food literacy. WooGu presents three design features: a cube displaying user interfaces, step-by-step tasks guiding children to learn food from farm to table, and hands-on props made by cardboard empowering embodied interactions. We evaluated WooGu with two families in a pilot test, and the findings suggested that WooGu provides children with the embodied experience of food production, improving their food literacy, logical thinking, and practical ability. This research contributed to the human-food interaction area and provided a novel way of learning food literacy for children through embodied interactions with WooGu.

Evolutionary Perspectives on Novel Digital Environments: Parental Strategies in the Ecology of Fear

  • Jessi Boyer
  • Michael S Wendell
  • Jerry Alan Fails
  • Kendall House
  • John Ziker
Many children born between 2010 and 2016 have access to an unprecedented variety of digital environments which comprise an evolutionarily novel landscape. Parental caregivers must make decisions without traditional environmental knowledge, introducing a high degree of uncertainty into parenting strategies. Evolutionary approaches reveal an adaptive mismatch between internet-enabled digital technologies and human behavioral adaptations. This mismatch represents a peculiarly human variant on the struggles of organisms to adapt to changing environments, and is characterized by the utilization of information-deficient strategies. This study applies models developed in evolutionary ecology to research on parental strategies for managing children’s online activities. Using semi-structured interviews of parents (n=20) of children in middle childhood (ages 6-12) and a dialogic method of synthesis, we found that parents lack effective strategies for navigating online environments and cannot conceptualize the technologies and corporate powers shaping the online worlds their children encounter. We conceptualize these digital environments as an evolutionarily novel landscape producing adaptive lag and propose a continuous two-dimensional framework which describes observed patterns of intersection between parental investment and parenting strategies. Less intelligible threats are rationalized, while tactics aimed at more proximally actionable threats are prioritized. Building on adaptive vigilance and parental investment, our work shows the value of evolutionary models in understanding parental responses to digital environments.

SESSION: Demo and Art Presentations

EmotionBlock: A Tangible Toolkit for Social-emotional Learning Through Storytelling

  • Zhenyao Cai
In early and middle childhood, the development of social and emotional skills is crucial. Traditional approaches often rely on curriculum-based, teacher-led methods, which may restrict children’s interactions and independent exploration. On the other hand, technology-enhanced solutions typically focus on recognizing children’s emotions without truly helping them to understand their feelings in a meaningful way. To address this gap, we introduce EmotionBlock, a novel physical toolkit with wooden blocks specifically designed for children aged 3-6. EmotionBlock encourages the development of emotional management and social skills through immersive storytelling and introspection. This hands-on approach enables children to engage in unstructured exploration and narrative creation, while simultaneously offering adults a tool to guide and support the learning experience.

eMoBo: Three Early Interactive Prototypes Supporting Positive Relational Processes between Children and Adults in Residential Care Settings

  • Joshua Blair
  • Eli Vicarte
  • Hsin-Ming Chao
  • Lucia Pannunzio
  • Fannie Massarsky
  • Alyssa Yoon
  • Yarden Kedar
  • Keith Evan Green
Children who live in out-of-home, residential care facilities have typically experienced adversity and trauma and consequentially exhibit psychological distress (e.g., despair, detachment). Residential care facilities are understaffed while needing to establish a healthy liaison between staff and children. This lamentable state of affairs has become more pressing following the Covid-19 pandemic. With expertise in design, robotics, interaction design, cognitive science, developmental psychology, and early childhood education, our research team has designed three early robotic prototypes that we call “e,” “Mo,” and “Bo,” in our longer design endeavor to develop “eMoBo,” an interactive, non-humanoid robot for young children living in residential care facilities to playfully express themselves. The aim of this child-centered project is to provide the opportunity for children who have experienced hostile environments and inappropriate care to become aware of, regulate, and express their inner socio-emotional world via tactile and visual experimentation with eMoBo so that they might more easily communicate their feelings and needs with non-biological caregivers, striving for a significant, long-standing improvement in the wellbeing of these children. In this paper, we present our designs and envision their use in two use cases. The three prototypes will be shared with our research partners, the Hillside Residential Center (Rochester, New York) towards advancing the design of eMoBo with the Center’s stakeholders.

Velo: Exploring Animal Behavior Modeling through Hybrid Robotics-Simulation Learning Experience

  • Kritphong Mongkhonvanit
  • Tyler M Hummer
  • John Chen
Velo is a learning experience that combines robotics and simulation to help learners understand and apply a simple yet powerful programming model inspired by Braitenberg vehicles. In this model, programs are constructed only by making connections between sensors and actuators. Despite this simplicity, it is possible to achieve complex behaviors similar to that of animals. Velo is designed to be used in a curriculum that aims to help learners not only learn this programming model, but also the process of analyzing an existing (animal) behavior and breaking it down into a form useful for programming.

Digital Drum Circles: Relational CS Education through Music Making

  • Maddie Brucker
  • Melanie West
  • Michael Horn
This demo presents a “digital drum circle”, a collection of bucket drums augmented with sensors that form a collective digital musical instrument. Through the drum circle prototype, we are exploring an alternative approach to computer science (CS) education that draws from cultural practices of collaborative music-making to create more engaging and meaningful learning experiences for young people. Within this context, we are interested in understanding how CS education might be remade through more equitable and culturally sustaining pedagogy approaches grounded in music and the performing arts.

TWIST-YAY!: A kinesthetic play experience through a mathematical kinetic sculpture

  • Khushbu Kshirsagar
  • Mike Horn
This interactive art installation presents Twist-Yay!, an isokinetic sculpture that draws fascinating connections with mathematics as a part of its making process. The design of Twist-Yay! is a large-scale, hands-on manifestation of the geometric properties of hexagons and hexagonal tessellation formations using mechanical movements. This installation invites children (and everyone!) to drive the sculpture by physically standing on the central hexagonal piece and twisting clockwise and anti-clockwise to make the sculpture move. The art installation intends to tap into the curiosities of young learners by drawing their attention to pattern-formation and by providing an analog experience with mathematics and art. Twist-Yay! aims to highlight the mathematics at play while the sculpture was being designed; enabling an affinity towards mathematics coupled with a playful full-body experience and mechanistic movements.

PaintBall – Coding Sports Into Art for Cross-Interest Computational Connections

  • Vishesh Kumar
  • Safinah Ali
  • Marcelo Worsley
In this demo, we present PaintBall, a tool that facilitates creative art creation and manipulation from movement data. It is designed as a public computation project aimed to foster conversation and connection between youth with different interests (specifically art, sports, or computing) at a community center around the shared activity of creating these rich visualizations and art pieces. We expect the design features of PaintBall – public art and tinkering work, cross interest engagement, and discrete artifact generation – to be key ideas that can be used across a variety of contexts and enable rich community development among youth by providing novel touchstones for conversation as well as reflection on these preexisting activities themselves. The following URL will host a working demo of this project –

MOVES: Going beyond hardwired multisensory environments for children

  • Giulia Cosentino
  • Mirko Gelsomini
  • Michail Giannakos
Multisensory Environments (MSEs) enable different forms of interactions to enhance children’s learning and play. While traditional MSEs are “built-in” to a specific space (e.g., a room or a part of a room), our movable solution, named MOVES, goes beyond these constraints by overcoming their “hardwired” nature and enabling children to play and learn through five different interaction modalities: feet, hand, card, wand, and voice. MOVES wooden structure (see Figure 1) hold several devices such as a PC, 2 projectors, a depth sensor, a LED strip, a RFID card reader, a tablet and a Wi-Fi access point to enable discrete immersivity, to offer children different ways to interact and teachers to be always in control of the experience. This paper focuses on presenting the MOVES technology, along with details about its rationale, design, and usage.

Osmo Kaleidoscope: Co-designing and Problem-solving with Children in S.T.E.A.M. App Development

  • Frances Judd
  • David Kim
Open-ended childhood investigations of old-fashioned handheld kaleidoscopes have offered generations of children the unique sense of wonder and beauty that comes with explorations of kaleidoscopic symmetry. Similarly, contemporary digital App Stores include numerous screen-based kaleidoscope apps that empower children to play with symmetrical patterns on their family smartphones or classroom tablets. However, when making Osmo Kaleidoscope, we sought to combine opportunities from both of these types of kaleidoscopes, as we aimed to create an innovative Kaleidoscope that leverages a tangible user interface so children could employ enriching tangible/sensory investigations within their digital experiences. The two children shown below demonstrate both of these elements in their investigation of the design tool called Osmo Kaleidoscope. One child holds a nubby pinecone after carefully arranging fall leaves into view, while the other player moves a digital slider bar to select the specific level of complexity she desires for this particular design. A leaf-shaped stencil was selected from a menu of thematic shapes relevant to elementary students. The collaboration between these children is a product of a design process that included inventive students, teachers, and professionals. Here we aim to offer an IDC’23 demo and a description of our Osmo Kaleidoscope project in support of childhood co-design opportunities in project-based learning at school.

Fostering AI Literacy with Embodiment & Creativity: From Activity Boxes to Museum Exhibits

  • Duri Long
  • Sophie Rollins
  • Jasmin Ali-Diaz
  • Katherine Hancock
  • Samnang Nuonsinoeun
  • Jessica Roberts
  • Brian Magerko
Fostering young learners’ literacy surrounding AI technologies is becoming increasingly important as AI is becoming integrated in many aspects of our lives and is having far-reaching impacts on society. We have developed Knowledge Net and Creature Features, two activity boxes for family groups to engage with in their homes that communicate AI literacy competencies such as understanding knowledge representations, the steps of machine learning, and AI ethics. Our current work is exploring how to transform these activity boxes into museum exhibits for middle-school age learners, focusing on three key considerations: centering learner interests, generating personally meaningful outputs, and incorporating embodiment and collaboration on a larger scale. Our demonstration will feature the existing Knowledge Net and Creature Features activity boxes alongside early-stage prototypes adapting these activities into larger-scale museum exhibits. This paper contributes an exploration into how to design AI literacy learning interventions for varied informal learning contexts.

Your best friend is missing and only you can find him: A chat-story to promote peer support and collective action for mental health

  • Gabriela Pavarini
  • Sheila Giardini Murta
  • Josimar Mendes
  • Felipe Rodrigues Siston
  • Rafael Ribeiro Alves de Souza
  • Rafaela Cunha
  • Julyana Alves Ferreira
  • Victor Hugo de Lima Santos
  • Brenda Rocha
  • Health-tech Talk2U
  • Ilina Singh
“Cadê o Kauê?” is an interactive digital story that takes place in an instant messaging platform. The user’s quest is to find their best friend, Kauê, who has gone missing on the day of the opening night of a school play. As the narrative unfolds, it becomes clear that Kauê has been facing mental health difficulties, and the user has the opportunity to help him and others at school. Co-designed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers, young people and narrative designers, “Cadê o Kauê?” aims to strengthen Brazilian young people’s ability to promote their peers’ mental health, via peer support and collective action.

NetLogo AR: Bringing Room-Scale Real-World Environments Into Computational Modeling for Children

  • John Chen
  • Mike Horn
  • Uri Wilensky
Computational modeling plays an important role in scientific research and education. However, many models do not communicate with the real world, which might limit their learning potential. In this proposal, we introduce the design of NetLogo AR, an authoring toolkit that transforms NetLogo agent-based computational models into room-scale AR experiences. We are inspired by studies that integrate real-world environments into computational models, including bifocal modeling and participatory simulation, and those that leverage Augmented Reality (AR) to create authoring tools for children. We describe our design goals that focus on raising the ceiling and lowering the threshold for potential AR designers: researchers, educators, and children. For the IDC conference, we propose an example learning activity to demonstrate the capabilities of NetLogo AR. By incorporating dynamic and unpredictable real-world inputs, NetLogo AR has the potential to inspire future designs of AR experiences and enrich the learning experiences of agent-based models for children.

Introducing Classroom Cloudlet: a mobile, tangible, and transparent approach to Internet of Things education

  • Lorraine Underwood
  • Elizabeth Edwards
  • John Edward Vidler
  • Elisa Rubegni
  • Joe Finney
Providing a good understanding to children and educators on the Internet of Things (IoT) means to make them aware about where the data goes, how it is stored, and what it is stored on. In this perspective many commercial IoT systems have been shown to be unsuitable for this purpose especially when used in an educational context. They do not create user centric data collection opportunities; many of their IoT sensors that send data offsite to an online cloud create gaps in knowledge; the sensors themselves are not transparent: it’s not clear what data they are collecting and how, and they are not easily compatible with school networks. Classroom Cloudlet addresses this issue. This demonstration presents an end-to-end IoT like system that includes a mobile, tangible, and transparent classroom cloudlet. Classroom Cloudlet aims to allow data from multiple devices to be easily shared, collated and analysed without using the Internet, but while still educating students about IoT and cloud concepts. The classroom cloudlet aims to be a physical representation of a cloud in an IoT system; visualise the movement of data around the system; provide a web front-end for students to view and create custom visualisations of their data. Classroom Cloudlet aims to gives the educator and the children full control and ownership of their data.

Programmable Floor Robot Robotito and its Tangible and Virtual Interface

  • Ewelina Bakala
  • Gonzalo Tejera
  • Jorge Visca
  • Santiago Hitta
  • Juan Pablo Hourcade
Robotito is an omnidirectional robot designed and developed at Universidad de la República, Uruguay. It is part of a research line in educational robotics aimed at developing free software and open hardware robots for educational use. It was developed in 2018 and has been used in various research projects and educational activities since then. The demo aims to present the robot and its two programming interfaces (tangible and digital interface) to the IDC community to discuss its use in research and education, identify possible extensions and improvements, and encourage international collaborations.

SESSION: Doctoral Consortium

AI virtuous circle: preparing youth for the future of creative economy

  • Ariel Han

Understanding and Designing Technologies for Children’s Routines: Supporting Autonomy in the Digital Age

  • Olivia K. Richards
Child health and well-being are declining in the U.S. with decreases in physical activity and preventive medical visits [15] and increases in child anxiety and depression, and especially since COVID-19. Children’s health-related routines are developed and maintained within families to ensure that health-enhancing behaviors occur. In middle childhood, children have the capacity to be involved in tracking and planning routine health behaviors. However, technologies for family routines do not typically involve children’s input. Additionally, children, parents, and researchers disagree on the extent to which technology should be a part of children’s routines. Thus, it is important to study the role of technology in children’s routines and the extent to which they want autonomy support. The dissertation uses a diary study, interview study, and participatory design sessions with children (ages 8-12) and their parents/grandparents to explore the nature of children’s health-related routines in the digital age to better understand the role of technology in routine development, reconstruction, and performance. This work also aims to uncover how children want technology to support their health and autonomy in the development, maintenance, and performance of their routines. This dissertation will inform the design of family informatics tools that can provide autonomy support, which can positively influence child health and well-being.

How Do We Engage Children and Young People in the Design and Development Of Mental Health Games

  • Michael John Saiger
Game design for mental health games is challenging balancing the mental health goals and the engagement of users. A potential approach to designing mental health games is through user involvement methods such as participatory design, co-design and user-centred design. User involvement methods give users a ‘voice’ in the design of products and services, involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of a product. However, there is actually very little guidance how to successfully involve young people within the design and development of applied games. In presenting my research and future plans of my PhD, I discuss how we can engage young people through user involvement methods for the design of mental health games.

To Nudge or Not to Nudge: Co-Designing and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Adolescent Online Safety Nudges

  • Zainab Agha
There is growing concern regarding adolescent online risks posed by social media. Prior work calls for a paradigm shift from restrictive approaches towards strength-based solutions to online safety, that provide autonomy and control to teens. To better understand how we might design online safety interventions that help teens deal with online risks, we must include teens as partners in the design and evaluation of online safety solutions. To address this gap, my first dissertation study focused on co-designing online safety features with teens, which showed that teens often design real-time interventions that resemble “nudges”. Therefore, my dissertation focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of these nudge designs in an ecologically valid social media simulation. To do this, I will conduct three studies: 1) a User Experience Bootcamp with teens to teach them design skills for co-designing online safety features, 2) a focus group study to design an ecologically valid social media simulation, 3) a between-subjects experiment within a social media simulation for evaluating the effect of nudges in educating teens and helping them make safer choices when exposed to risk. My goal for this research is to understand, design, develop, and evaluate online safety nudges that can help promote self-regulated, autonomous, and safer interactions for teens online.

Designing Interactive Speakers to Support Pre-schoolers for Music Education

  • Leyi Ouyang
In recent years, research has investigated the potential of voice-based interfaces and voice command devices in supporting young children’s early education and development. This thesis aims to explore the potential of currently available interactive speakers that respond to voice commands in engaging and supporting early music education for young children aged 3 to 5 years old. In the first stage of this project, it was found that interactive speakers have the potential to support young children’s active play and early music education. Despite these findings, there are multiple factors that lead to communication breakdowns due to the design of the current interactive speakers. As a result, suggestions for future ideations of interactive speakers for children will be made in this thesis.

Designing scaffolds to support students in debugging e-textiles

  • Michael Schneider
My doctoral research focuses on the design of tools that scaffold the debugging process for students crafting e-textiles, a type of physical computing where circuits are woven together with conductive thread and textile fabrics. While this can be a creative medium for children to learn and experience computing, they struggle with locating errors in this mixed hardware/software environment – is the LED not turning on due to a fault in the circuit, an issue within the code, or some combination of the two? To address this issue, my study will follow a Design-Based Research approach to investigate and iterate on the design of debugging scaffolds. My primary scaffold is Circuit Check, an interactive web-based debugger that enables students to easily observe and test their hardware components. Preliminary findings from classroom observations have shown both the strong need for, and benefits of, Circuit Check’s approach of supporting debugging through system exploration.

Designing Emerging Technology-Supported Learning Activities Based on the DT Approach for K–12 Users

  • Isabella Possaghi
Design Thinking (DT) paired with Emerging Technologies (ET) holds exciting potential as a pedagogical innovation for creatively approaching STEAM subjects, especially Computer Science (CS). By leveraging these tools and techniques, educators can develop engaging and effective learning experiences that help foster 21st Century Skills, digital literacy in particular. To tackle the overall research statement, “How can we design DT-based K–12 learning activities for CS education that are supported by ET?”, a first Systematic Literature Review is conducted to gain a solid understanding of the current role of DT and ET in CS learning venues. Subsequently, Design-Based Research methodology with both qualitative and quantitative data gathering is proposed, along with the use of Learning Analytics and multi-modal data to trace knowledge experience and improve its personalization. The research process involves close collaboration with target users, K–12 students and teachers, as participants in the studies. A qualitative data collection effort involving semi-structured interviews with teachers is reported as a first step. On-site DT sessions engaging K–12 students, and teachers will follow. Such sessions employ a game-based approach to coding and encourage the building of educational activities. The resulting insights will be used to inform the further refinement of activities, based on the expectations and demands of stakeholders. The final aim of the PhD research is to deliver guidelines for developing ET-supported, future-proof solutions for CS learning activities. By leveraging these activities’ potential impact on interdisciplinary pedagogical reforms and 21st Century Skills knowledge, the research wants to promote innovation and advancement in the CCI field for young learners and their educators.

A Smart Home for ‘Us’: Understanding and Designing a Parent-Child Engagement Mechanism for Child Access and Participation in the Smart Home

  • Kaiwen Sun
Families adopt smart home products for convenience and entertainment; however, these products are not designed to support children’s use cases and needs, which leads to child safety issues and family tensions. My previous work has identified the juxtaposition of (1) marketing depictions of children’s harmonious smart home experiences, (2) vendors’ limited product features and resources for families, and (3) parents’ concerns for child safety and demands for child-centered smart home features. These findings indicate the need for smart home mechanisms that support parent-child engagement and negotiation regarding children’s access and use of smart home technologies, balancing safety and agency. This proposed dissertation work aims to understand how to support parents and children collaboratively co-participate in the smart home through two steps: (1) investigating parents’ and children’s separate and joint smart home needs and (2) ideating with families on the principles and affordances of parent-child engagement mechanisms.

Cultures of Making: An Exploration of Equity in Different Contexts of Youth Making in Schools

  • Christina (Yu) Pei
This dissertation studies young people participating meaningfully in making practices in three different contexts, to better understand how we can design for cultural plurality and situate equity for each population of learners at the center. What creative processes and products are central to creating a framework for maker cultures that treats diversity as an asset? How do we leverage the funds of knowledge afforded by a constellation of intersecting cultural practices? For the Doctoral Consortium, I focus on two participants – twin brother and sister—in a predominantly white, male, and wealthy youth makerspace, to demonstrate how gendered inequities shaped significantly different experiences for boys and girls in the same space. Often in literature equity is discussed in the context of studying people of color. But in examining a relatively privileged space, I highlight how dominant culture can also benefit from equity-centered design and facilitation. I use this work to inform best practices for the design of equity-centered youth makerspaces.

Developing Machine Learning Agency Among Youth: Investigating Youth Critical Use, Examination, and Production of Machine Learning Applications

  • Ibrahim Oluwajoba Adisa
Abstract. Young people are surrounded by machine learning (ML) devices and their lived experiences are increasingly shaped by the ML technologies that are ever-present in their lives. As innovations in machine learning technologies continue to shape society, it raises important implications for what young people learn, their career trajectories, and the required literacies they need to thrive in this changing occupational environment. Youth are particularly vulnerable to the impact of ML and very little has been done to empower them to critically engage in the discourse surrounding the next generation of technologies that have a marked potential to shape their lives for better or worse. My dissertation work seeks to develop youth autonomy and agency around ML by designing an intervention that supports youth critical use, examination, and production of ML applications in the context of promoting self-expression and social good. I will conduct a qualitative single case study research and collect multiple forms of data using interviews, story completions, digital artifacts, observations, and focus group discussions. These data sources will allow me to conduct an intensive analysis and investigation of how youth populations can be supported to develop the skills, practices and critical consciousness needed to effectively engage with machine learning technologies. Through my research, I also hope to advance the literature on how young people creatively collaborate with ML and use ML for self-expression.

Caring for Children’s Health and Wellbeing Through Understanding and Designing for Health Data Literacy

  • Zhaoyuan Su
Data-driven health technologies, such as wearables and medical devices, are increasingly part of children’s daily lives. These technologies help children collect, reflect on, and use their health data. The hope is that they develop healthy habits and skills and prepare themselves to manage their health and wellbeing. However, past research has shown that children, especially those of young age, have limited interactions with these technologies and often struggle to understand their health data. My dissertation research contributes to a comprehensive understanding of how children and their caregivers (i.e., parents and healthcare providers) perceive data-driven health technologies, and use the resulting data to improve children’s health. Drawing on findings from a systematic literature review, content analysis, qualitative interviews, and participatory design workshops, my dissertation research fosters discussion of children’s health data literacy and identifies design opportunities to build children’s health capacity through supporting their health data literacy.

SESSION: Workshops

From Child-Centered to Family-Centered Interaction Design

  • Bengisu Cagiltay
  • Rabia Ibtasar
  • Joseph E Michaelis
  • Sarah Sebo
  • Bilge Mutlu
The goal of this workshop is to have interdisciplinary discussions on family-centered interaction design of technology as an extension to child-centered design. The workshop will discuss the potential benefits of a family-centered approach to design, as well as the challenges and open questions that designers may face when adopting this approach. Through discussions and interactive activities, participants will have the opportunity to discuss and share ideas on how to effectively incorporate a family-centered perspective into their own design processes. A family-centered approach to design has the potential to create more meaningful and contextual experiences for children and their families.

For Maker’s Sake: A Somatic Exploration of Making

  • Zoe Ann Marie Lewis
  • Sarah Priscilla Lee
  • Stephanie T Jones
  • Tyler James Nanoff
  • Marcelo Worsley
This half-day workshop brings together practitioners, researchers, educators, and students that design, research, and engage in making activities to have fun and create artifacts using a laser cutter. Participants will engage in an interactive discussion around their own making practices and experiences. Together we aim to identify existing considerations and practices that remain to be articulated around feelings and making. That is, what does it feel or look like when making serves as a form of personal expression, or as an extension of being? How might making create and support somatic openings that frame making less as an activity toward production, but rather, an end in itself–for fun?

Participatory Approaches to the Ethics of Emerging Technologies for Children

  • Juan Pablo Hourcade
  • Meryl Alper
  • Elizabeth Bonsignore
  • Tamara Clegg
  • Jerry Alan Fails
  • Greg Walsh
  • Svetlana Yarosh
  • Jason Yip
This workshop will convene researchers and stakeholders to share their work on and discuss participatory approaches to the ethics of emerging technologies for children. The workshop builds on prior discussions in the community, which have identified significant challenges in addressing ethical issues related to emerging technologies given that they are still under development, and it is difficult to predict how they may be used. Our goal is to build on the familiarity the community has with participatory methods and apply them to considering the ethics of emerging technologies, thus giving stakeholders, including children, a voice in these considerations.

Co-designing play activities and monitoring tools with smart interactive toys to support early intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorder and comparable neurodevelopmental conditions

  • Beste Ozcan
  • Valerio Sperati
  • Flora Giocondo
  • Jonata Tyska Carvalho
  • Gianluca Baldassarre
In this workshop we will present, through live demos, novel technological tools such as interactive “smart” toys for social play and AI-based monitoring tools, developed to support the early treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We will discuss the potential of such devices, describing also our promising results with ASD children. The goal of the workshop is to involve the specialist audience in the co-design of some potential aspects of the overall system. In particular, we are interested in collecting feedback and proposals on possible further uses of the system such as additional play activities to stimulate social behaviour; improvements of the monitoring tools; potential use of the tools in developmental disorders other than ASD.

Designing AI Interfaces for Children with Special Needs in Educational Contexts

  • Min Fan
  • Xin Tong
  • Zikai Alex Wen
  • Ozge Nilay Yalcin
  • Lawrence H Kim
  • Zhuohao Wu
  • Laura Benton
The IDC research community has a growing interest in designing AI interfaces for children with special educational needs. Nonetheless, little research has explored the research and design issues, rationale, challenges, and opportunities in this field. Therefore, we propose to host a half-day workshop to bring together researchers and practitioners from the Learning & Education, Accessibility, and Intelligent User Interfaces sub-fields to discuss and identify existing design issues, challenges, and collaboration barriers, to establish consensus on the design of a pragmatic framework, as well as explore future innovation and research opportunities. We aim to foster mutual understanding and in-depth collaboration among researchers in the IDC community.