Apps with Attitude
This research project proposes a new paradigm of interactive technology interfaces referred to as interventional agent interfaces (IAIs). IAIs differ from standard computer interfaces in that they adjust their responses and behaviour (interventions) in response to a child’s use of an interactive technology. The project will investigate the reasons why adults are motivated to intervene in a child’s use of an interactive technology and to what extent the motive for and context of the intervention influences the child’s response. It will assess how anthropomorphising the IAI impacts on children’s trust of the agent. The project will adopt an empirical approach and aims to produce a theoretical model to inform the design of future interactive technologies supporting IAIs.
In 2012, UK primary school children designed a serious game for children in Uganda using participatory design techniques. Through internal funding, Android devices and solar chargers were purchased to enable software to be developed and subsequently deployed in schools in Uganda. An RA from the ChiCI carried out a series of evaluations of the technology and the games whilst visiting the country.
Taking on the Teenagers – Using Adolescent Energy to Reduce Energy Use
This participatory research project will gather stories and data about teenage energy use, will deliver innovative mobile technologies to educate and influence teenagers about energy behaviours and will use teenagers as co-investigators and research projects in designing solutions that will change the habits of a generation. The project is funded by a 3-year grant from the EPSRC, and is conducted jointly with the universities of Birmingham, Swansea, Northumbria, and the Institute of Education (University of London).
UMSIC: Usability of Music for Social Inclusion of Children
The multidisciplinary and transnational S&T UMSIC project develops a system that opens interactive environments for children to communicate informally with their peers by using familiar modern technologies. With a special focus on child-centred usability, intelligent musical engineering and carefully developed pedagogical design that is allied to structured learning material, UMSIC allows children both stand-alone as well as networked operations with easy start up and impressive extensibility.
This has been a 3-year EU-funded (FP7) project, conducted in collaboration with the universities of Oulu, Jyvaskyla, Lappeenranta, Zurich and the Institute of Education (University of London), as well as Systema Technologies and Nokia.
UMSIC aims to create a mobile and accessible way to support children’s social inclusion through music. Amongst other tasks, the main role of our group within the project has been to conduct design sessions with children to gather user requirements, and evaluate a music mobile prototype (JamMo).
SELEAG: Serious Learning Games
SELEAG is an EU-funded (LLP) project which aims to evaluate the use of Serious Games in helping young teenagers learn about history, culture and social relations.
The main challenge of the project is to build a framework for extensible, online, collaborative adventure games through which learners will be able to share and acquire knowledge of the history of Europe.
The aim of the project is that children from different EU countries will come together to form a community of learning to help each other solve the puzzles and challenges of the game through their knowledge of history and European culture. Initially, three different but inter-related game scenarios are being developed to allow players to become involved in the stories behind significant events which shaped Europe at various times and locations.
CRASH – Create and Share
Jointly funded by the HE Academy and Microsoft, CRASH looked at the use of tablet PCs in learning environments taking advantage of the pen based interface and the collaborative nature of the tablet PC. Deliverables from this project included a literature review of the use of tablet PCs in education and a prototype application.
Contact Gavin Sim for further details.
Broadband Enabled Activities for Museums (BEAM)
BEAM was a pilot project funded by the Lancashire Digital Development Agency to enhance school visits to museums.
This project used broadband technologies to enhance school visits to museums. It provided pupils with experience of the potential of broadband technologies. An additional feature of the project was to explore the community and tourism potential of these technologies.
Portable Webcam technology was used in museums to allow the audiences above to remotely and virtually explore the museum from home or school, prior to and after museum visits.
During a physical museum visit, individuals used a range of digital devices, such as digital cameras, to carry out further learning activities and to record their experiences of the visit. This rich media data could then be streamed back to schools or related locations with the potential for further personalised learning that would reinforce their experience of the visit, promoting reflection and enhancing their learning experience.