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Interacting with Technology Lecture 4: Children and Technology (Case Studies) Dr Dawn Woodgate


Interacting with Technology. Lecture 4: Children and Technology (Case Studies) Dr Dawn Woodgate ... Woodgate, D. and Stanton Fraser, D. (2005) Review of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Interacting with Technology Lecture 4: Children and Technology (Case Studies) Dr Dawn Woodgate

Interacting with TechnologyLecture 4
Children and Technology (Case Studies)Dr Dawn
Summary of Lecture
  • Intention to show progress of one research
    stream from the SENSE project (mentioned by Danae
    in Lecture 3) to the present time.
  • Review of eScience in Education.
  • Mobile (Phone)s in Schools.
  • PARTICIPATE Schools project.

The SENSE Project and Beyond
  • Hands on approach to learning science.
  • Used specialised sensors and software to allow
    children to collect and visualise their own
    scientific data.
  • Appropriated Participatory Design (PD) methods in
    the development of these technologies.

SENSE Project (continued.)
  • Children in 2 schools, in Nottingham and Sussex.
  • Children used mobile carbon monoxide sensors to
    measure pollution levels in local environment,
    and used software tools to analyse their data and
    to share with others.
  • Began to explore how emerging networking
    technologies (eScience tools) could enhance
    science education, by supporting collaboration
    between different schools and with scientists.

Summary of Results
  • Results of video analysis and teacher
    interviews suggested that the context-inclusive
    approach taken was important for three reasons
  • It allowed individuals to reflect upon method as
    part of data collection.
  • Secondly, it provides an aide-memoire to groups
    who have collected data together, in interpreting
  • Thirdly, it allows new participants who have
    carried out similar activities, to understand new
    perspectives on both their own, and others data.

eScience in Education A Review (Woodgate and
StantonFraser 2005)
  • Funding from JISC as follow up to the SENSE
  • Context Perceived loss of interest in science
    amongst the young, fears about the implications
    of this for the economy in the future (White
    Paper 2000).
  • Remit to provide an overview, or snapshot, of
    the emerging field of eScience in the context of
    education as it stood at that time and to
    consider some of its implications.

What is eScience?
  • We found
  • It was in itself an emerging field.
  • There was no one, universally agreed definition
    of eScience, even amongst practitioners.

A Definition
  • Professor Sir John Taylor, Director General of
    the UK Research Councils
  • science increasingly done through distributed
    global collaborations enabled by the Internet,
    using very large data collections, terascale
    computing resources and high performance

An Analogy
  • The computational grid The idea is to provide
    a reliable, easy-to-access source of computing
    power and/or data on demand through the use of
    computer networks, corresponding to the way that
    the national electrical grid works to provide
    consumers with a reliable electricity supply.

How Does This Apply to Education?
  • No previous attempt to define what eScience might
    mean in the context of education.
  • Our definition The use of ICT in education,
    to enable local and remote communication and
    collaboration on scientific topics and with
    scientific data.

We Found
  • There were very few examples that fitted within
    this definition, though a wider range that
    partially fitted.
  • Internationally, the work of Roy Pea and his
    colleagues is important, as they were providing
    educational eScience activities to schools with
    the technologies available in the early 1990s.

eScience in the UK
  • Few examples at that time, mainly small scale.
  • However, BBC Springwatch campaign also fitted
    within our criteria, forming an important early
    link between eScience and the idea of user-
    generated content people contributing their
    own (broadcast in this case) content rather than
    merely being passive consumers of
    professionally-produced media.
  • Important pre-cursor to the PARTICIPATE project.

Next Steps Mobile (Phone)s in Schools Project
  • Further funding was secured from JISC, to form
    partnerships with potential collaborators in
    industry and the media, and come up with ideas
    for a much larger scale eScience based research
  • Mobile (Phone)s in Schools was a pilot study
    carried out under this funding stream, to begin
    to extend the development of mobile technologies
    (including software for phones) for use in school
    science lessons.

  • Collaboration between Bath (Psychology) and
    Nottingham (Computer Science) researchers.
  • Also assistance from Science Scope, a Bath based
    company that makes science education equipment.
  • Aims
  • Investigate attitudes of schools and teachers to
    mobile technologies via teacher consultation.
  • Participatory design exercises with a class of
    Year 9 school students.

Participatory Design (PD)
  • (PD) has its origins in the 1970s in Scandinavia,
    when it came to be used in the design of new
    technologies in the workplace (Bjerknes et al
  • More recently, PD methodologies have been adapted
    for use with children, for example by Druin et al
    (1999, 2001), Scaife et al (1997).

Our Challenges
  • UK school curriculum not very flexible.
  • Most PD work with children done with small
    numbers of hand picked pupils in a controlled,
    lab situation, over a large number of extended
    sessions. In this case a class of 30 (approx)
    lively Year 9 students (13-14 years old), in
  • Limited time - 6 x 1 hour sessions.
  • Need to keep the sessions fast moving and
    interesting, and be very organised!

Session 1
  • Introduction to the project, brainstorm of ideas
    What can be sensed in the local environment?

Type of Pollution Where is it? When does it happen? How does it get there?
CARBON MONOXIDE - fumes In town, near main roads e.g. High Street, Gloucester Road, garages, near the quarry, in built-up areas, around the shops, supermarket Rush hour 8.30am 5.30pm, all the time, during traffic jams Cars, lorries, trains, commuters, quarry deliveries, public transport
CARBON MONOXIDE - smoking Pubs, especially around High Street Evenings People
LEAD POLLUTION Along main roads Rush hour 8.30am 5.30pm, all the time, during traffic jams Cars, lorries, trains, commuters, quarry deliveries, public transport
NOISE - cars In town, near main roads e.g. High Street, near school, in built-up areas Rush hour 8.30am 5.30pm, during traffic jams Cars, people
NOISE - children Near school To and from school, rush hour- 8.30am 5.30pm Children, parents
NOISE - people Pubs and restaurants To and from school, rush hour- 8.30am 5.30pm People
NOISE - drunk people Pubs and restaurants Evenings People
NOISE - houses In around houses, in built up areas People, cars
LIGHT High Street All year round, at night Town people, street lamps, house lights
RADIATION Oldbury Power Station, hospital, school All year round, most of the time Owners, radioactive tubes, radiation waves
LITTER Near the stream, Mundy playing fields, North Road, All year round Town people
TOXIC WASTE / CHEMICAL River Severn All year round Owners
Session 2
  • Demonstration of sensors by ScienceScope
  • Light levels measured within school grounds
  • Demonstration of how data can be displayed

Session 3
  • Introduction to phones, Bluetooth challenge
  • Introduction to low-tech prototyping
  • Group work Discussed ideas, produced prototypes
    of sensors, presented ideas to class

Session 4
  • Gave some feedback on some of the childrens
  • First high-tech prototype.
  • Mobile phone connects to Science Scope Logbook
    datalogger via Bluetooth.
  • Piloted temperature, light and velocity sensors.
  • The children thought this would be good for fixed
    sensors, but didnt like the idea of carrying all
    this equipment around for mobile sensing Whats
    the point of having the phone when you still need
    the other stuff?

Session 5
  • Further feedback on first prototype, ideas
    gathering for second iteration.
  • Interface design session.

Session 6
  • Introduced second iteration of the sound sensor
    a stand-alone sound sensor which used the mobile
    phones microphone.

  • Children hypothesized whereabouts in the school
    and grounds it would be more (or less) noisy.
  • Groups went to different parts of the school and
    grounds to collect data on phones.
  • Each group took pictures / video of the context
    of their data.
  • Then came back into class, data downloaded to a
    PC, then displayed as Excel graphs
  • Further feedback from pupils.

Key Findings
  • Schools and teachers
  • Virtually all UK secondary school children have
    mobile phones.
  • School have prohibitive policies on mobile
  • Despite this, there was less resistance among
    teachers than we had thought, and seemed to be
    indicated by the literature.
  • Children
  • The sessions were quick and dirty, only 1 hour
    (lesson time) available for each.
  • Due to time constraints not all tasks were
  • The activities were engaging. Even disaffected
    students were enthusiastic.
  • This technique (alongside other methods such as
    ethnographic studies, laboratory studies) is
    useful for
  • Generating a lot of ideas quickly.
  • Rigorous testing of prototypes in the situation
    in which they will be used.

  • Produced two working prototypes.
  • Fed directly into the PARTICIPATE project.
  • Children are quite capable of dealing with pilot
    technologies. If it is explained, they accept
    that things sometimes dont work as expected.
    They give good feedback!

  • Much larger scale project, over 3m funding from
    EPSRC / Technology Strategy Board over 3 years.
  • Partners are Universities of Bath (Psychology)
    and Nottingham (Computer Science), BBC, BT,
    Microsoft Research, Science Scope, Blast Theory.
  • Aims different for different partners some are
    very technical, but generally to raise awareness
    of environmental issues among targeted user
    groups, and to explore issues around user
    generated content. Baths specific additional
    aims are to study how children and teachers
    collaborate both co-located within the same
    school, and remotely, between different schools,
    and what happens when activities roll out to
    multiple schools.
  • 3 streams of work, which are to be integrated
    this year schools, community, gaming.
  • Brings together themes from previous studies the
    local environment and own experiences as a
    motivator to engage with science, participatory
    design, collecting own data using sensors,
    importance of context, user generated content

  • Stage 1 Trial, we worked intensively with 2
    schools over a 3 week period. Students collected
    data on environmental parameters on their
    journeys between home and school, using phone
    sound sensors as before, but this time with
    connectivity to GPS to give location information,
    and Science Scope dataloggers to collect other
    data (CO, temp etc).

PARTICIPATE Stage 1 Trial continued.
  • Intention to visualize data from phones as trails
    in Google Earth, and data from Science Scope kit
    as ordinary graphs.
  • Phone software in very early prototype stage, and
    there were some connectivity problems. However,
    we were able to obtain some early visualizations.

An Early Google Earth Visualization
Other Activities
  • Children discussed their data in class with peers
    and teachers.
  • 60 Second Scientist, children made short films
    about the activities, and what they had learned.

Early Findings
  • Indications that even fairly bland self-collected
    data are engaging for children.
  • Google Earth visualizations wow factor in
  • 60 Second Scientist was more than merely a fun
    activity for children it was an effective
    reflection tool, encouraging them to think back
    to what they had done, discuss their experiences
    and look for new information.

Later School Trials
  • As we rolled out to additional schools, it became
    impossible to provide the same amount of support
    in school.
  • BBC commissioned a website to which member
    schools would have login access.
  • This enables students and teachers to share data
    and work online.
  • Stage 2 Trial, around 13 schools were involved at
    various levels of engagement.
  • Also carried out a trial as part of the World
    Scout Jamboree held in the UK in 2007.

Website Demo
  • Around 20 member schools, widely dispersed.
  • Activities presented as Missions on the
    website. Some use specialised technology, others
    only require what would normally be available in
    a school.
  • Collaborations with teachers in developing
    Missions for schools.
  • Moving towards an integrated trial schools
    providing some seed content for a national
    campaign based on environmental Missions to
    take place later this year.

Examples of Schools Content
  • Posters
  • 60 Sec movies
  • Data trails current visualizations. JData3D
    software integrates sensor data, GPS data and
    photographs saves as a time and location
    stamped KMZ file to visualize in Google Earth.
  • Also an XML file to visualize sensor and GPS data
    only in Google Maps.

Google Earth Visualizations demo
Next / Final Stages
  • Missions will be available via multiple
    platforms, IPTV, Web and mobile phone.
  • Based on Nottinghams Equip 2 system
  • Looking towards some level of integration between
    Equip 2 and the Participate Schools website.
    However, due to concerns about data protection,
    child safety etc, the extent of such integration
    is still under discussion.

Some Observations
  • The activities we are piloting seem to make
    children think beyond the activities themselves,
    about the scientific process itself.
  • Integrating technology into subject teaching is
    still not easy, due to factors such the
    organisation of IT facilities in schools.
  • Some early evidence that too much contextual
    information can inhibit discussion, and thus
    perhaps affect learning and retention. May
    require different types of studies to properly
    investigate this.

  • Bjerknes, G., Ehn, P., and Kyng, M. (1987)
    Computers and Democracy a Scandinavian
    challenge. Aldershot Avebury, c1987.
  • Druin, A. (1999) Cooperative Inquiry
    Developing New Technologies for Children with
    Children Proc. CHI 99, ACM 1999, Pittsburgh,
    PA, USA., pp. 592-599.
  • Gordin, D., Polman, J., Pea, R. D. (1994). The
    Climate Visualizer Sense-making through
    scientific visualization. Journal of Science
    Education and Technology, 3, 203-226.
  • Gordin, D.N. Pea, R.D. (1995). Prospects for
    scientific visualization as an educational
    technology. The Journal of Learning Sciences 4
    (3) pp. 249-279.
  • Gordin, D.N., Edelson, D. Pea, R.D. (1995). The
    Greenhouse Effect Visualizer A tool for the
    science classroom. Proceedings of the Fourth
    American Meteorological Society Education
  • Kanjo, E., Benford, S. Paxton, M., Chamberlain,
    A. Woodgate, D. and Stanton Fraser, D. (2007)
    'MobGeoSen Facilitating Personal GeoSensor Data
    Collection and Visualization using Mobile Phones'
    , Personal Ubiquitous Computing Journal, Springer
    ISSN 1617-4909 (Print) 1617-4917

  • Office of Science and Technology (2000)
    Excellence and Innovation A Science and
    Innovation Policy for the 21st Century.
  • Pea, R.D. (2002). Learning Science through
    Collaborative Visualizatin over the Internet.
    Nobel Symposium (NS 120), Virtual Museums and
    Public Understanding of Science and Culture. May
    26-29 2002, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • http//
  • Scaife, M., Rogers, Y., Aldrich, F. and Davies,
    M. (1997) Designing For or Designing With?
    Informant Design for Interactive Learning
    Environments. Proc. CHI 97, ACM, Atlanta, GA,
    USA, 22-27 March 1997, pp. 343-350.
  • Woodgate, D., Stanton Fraser, D. Kanjo, E.,
    Paxton M. and Benford, S. (2007) Mobile (Phone)s
    in Schools Reflections on an Exercise in
    Participatory Design with Children in the Wild
    Techniques and Methodologies for Studying
    Technology Use 'In The Wild' The Tenth European
    Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
    (ECSCW), 2007.ECSCW 2007, Limerick 25 September
  • http//

  • Woodgate, D. and StantonFraser, D. (2006) )
    eScience, Science Education and Technology
    Integration in the Classroom Some Practical
    Considerations. Proc. workshop e-Science in and
    Beyond the Classroom Usability, Practicability
    and Sensability. At eScience 2006 2nd IEEE
    International Conference on eScience and Grid
    Computing 2-4 December 2006, Amsterdam, NL.
  • Woodgate, D. and Stanton Fraser, D. (2005) Review
    of eScience in Education (review report
    commissioned by JISC). http//
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