Greetings from the Big Apple! I am currently at the Interaction Design and Children Conference, sponsored by Sesame Workshop and The New School, in NYC. While the conference officially lasts from Tuesday to Thursday, there were hands-on design activities on Sunday and workshops on Monday.
Monday was arguably the best day of the pre-con, as I had the opportunity to co-lead a day-long workshop with three fantastic partners, Juan Rubio from Global Kids, Kori Inkpen from Microsoft Research, and Anna Ly from Sesame Workshop. Our workshop, “Enhancing Children’s Voices with Media and Technology,” had 19 amazing participants. Our workshop was hosted by Sesame Workshop, which meant the day was filled with Muppets. (Which would end up being a big conference theme!)
We spent the morning sharing each of our projects and research areas, then had some intense speed dating time to find interest area overlaps between participants.
After getting to know each other, we spent the afternoon getting down to serious creation. Participants broke into smaller affinity groups to develop project ideas and build a plan for carrying out these projects. As a final activity, groups presented their project ideas. These projects covered a wide variety of ways media and technology is going to enhance students’ voices, including an augmented reality game about Prospect Park in the early 19th century where students would explore the park as a teen during this time period (they already started making this game at the workshop!) and a plan for using audio recordings of student reflections as a tool to inform program design.
Mostly, it was a full day of bringing together some incredible people to share and collaborate in an incredible space. (How can you not be creative in a place called “The Feather Lounge”?)