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Children's Mobile Workshop - February 21-22, 2008
Description and Call For Participation

Human-Computer Interaction Lab
University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Organized by Allison Druin, Ben Bederson and the International Children's Digital Library Foundation


Workshop Wiki: The place to present, share and discuss topics and projects related to the workshop.

Mobile devices have emerged as the “computing platform” for the 21st century. Recent reports suggest that today there are more cell phones in many countries than there are traditional desktop computers with almost 10 times more new cell phones sold than desktop or laptop computers. With mobile devices, people can access information and share it with a friend, a class, or an online community. With anytime, anywhere computing, new advances must be made for information access and interactivity. Today’s children expect active mobile technologies where they too can access the Internet, capture and store multimedia data, and can enable multiple forms of communication.

In recent years, researchers have been exploring the use of mobile devices for children’s educational applications. From data collection by children for field research to participatory physical simulations to use as mobile guides, to exploring mobile children’s digital libraries. Mobile devices have supported children in learning everything from language arts to science education. These mobile devices have ranged from PDAs and mobile phones to Internet Tablets and Ultra-Mobile PCs. Research in this area is being conducted in University labs (e.g., University of Maryland, University of Michigan, MIT, Open University, Carnegie Mellon) and industry (e.g., Google, Nokia, Microsoft, Kajeet, Intel, Sesame Workshop).

Given this important new area of research, it is critical that work for children be highlighted and understood by the greater research community. Therefore, we are organizing an NSF-sponsored workshop of academic researchers, industry experts, government specialists, and non-profit leaders focusing on this critical area. The range of topics we hope to cover will include:

  1. mobile scientific data collection by children
  2. emerging mobile hardware technologies that specifically support children
  3. mobile digital libraries for children
  4. mobile communication cultures and practices of children
  5. mobile collaboration
  6. sensor-driven applications for mobile applications for children

Workshop Goals
Goal 1:
To better understand what leading research is being done in this critical area - As mobile computing emerges as a platform of choice, this workshop will help to bring together the leading researchers in this area from academia and industry. Given few opportunities to meet for researchers focusing primarily on children’s mobile devises, this will be an important venue to bring people together. Workshop participants will be asked as part of their participation to present the current state of their work to the group.

Goal 2: To examine future research directions for the field - It is critical that future possibilities be explored by the group assembled. This can lead to possible new research initiatives in labs around the country, new government policies, and new funding initiatives for NSF. It can also inspire and support students defining their dissertation work in this area.

Goal 3: To disseminate the findings of this workshop widely - The greater communities of both mobile designers and designers of children’s technologies need to be educated as to the breadth, depth and importance of this work. Therefore, this workshop will aim to produce a special journal issue which compiles the results of our findings, and summarizes the state of the work in the field. Additional publishing possibilities will be explored which include books, online archives, and more.

Attending The Workshop
If you would like to attend this workshop, please send a one page description of your work in the area with your reason for wanting to attend to Profs. Druin or Bederson who will decide on attendance based on available spots, balance, and experience of participants.  Funds will be available to offset your expenses in traveling to attend the workshop.

Workshop Agenda
This workshop will be conducted in the newly expanded facilities of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab on February 21-22, 2008. The workshop will be conducted over a two-day period, which will include:

  1. Introductions
  2. Participant Presentations (four 30-minute "keynotes", and 15-minute presentations by other attendees). Keynote presenters include:
  3. Analysis of Existing Research Areas
  4. Brainstorming Activities on Research Areas
  5. Workshop Outcomes & Next Steps

We will combine invited participants and people who respond to this call for participation, expecting approximately 25% of the participant slots for graduate students. For those responding to this call, an abstract of their current work will be reviewed by the two workshop organizers. We anticipate that the workshop will gather about 35 top researchers in the field as well as 2-3 NSF program officers.

Analysis and brainstorming techniques led by Allison Druin will be used to give participants a sense of the breadth of the research community. Based on Cooperative Inquiry, a frequency analysis will be conducted using such methods as post-it notes surveying. Brainstorming techniques using low-tech prototyping and scenario development will be used to explore deeply the problem space. All of these techniques have been used extensively in our research at the University of Maryland over almost a decade with a variety of research areas for children.

Confirmed Attendees

Charlie Abelman World Bank
Ben Bederson University of Maryland
Jason Bellone United Nations
Walter Bender One Laptop Per Child
Tim Browne Int'l Children's Digital Library
David Cavallo One Laptop Per Child
Chris Cerf Sirius Thinking
Dixie Ching Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop
Seong-Uk Choi Samsung Telecommunications America
Nancy Ross Dribin Adler Planetarium
Allison Druin University of Maryland
Dan Edelson National Geographic
Christopher Fabian UNICEF
Jerry Fails University of Maryland
Evan Golub University of Maryland
Jim Gray Leapfrog
Dan Greenblatt Motorola
Lisa Guernsey Education, Science and Technology Writer
Mona Leigh Guha University of Maryland
Chris Hoadley Penn State
Richard Holmes State Department
Juan Pablo Hourcade University of Iowa
Anita Komlodi UMBC
Erica Koshi UNICEF
Mike Lee AARP
Michael Levine Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop
Robert Mansur Samsung Telecommunications America
Ramon Morales Intel (Mexico)
Cathie Norris University of North Texas
Liz O'Connell Wondervisions
Shelley Pasnik Center for Children and Technology
Judy Perry MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program
Jenny Preece University of Maryland
Alex Quinn University of Maryland
Glenda Revelle Sesame Workshop
Laura Reynolds K-8 Teacher
Yvonne Rogers Open University (UK)
Maria Joćo Silva Polytechnic Institute of Porto (Portugal)
Elliot Soloway University of Michigan
Ann Weeks University of Maryland
Lana Yarosh Georgia Tech
Seung Hun Yoo Samsung


Draft Schedule

Day 1: Thu, Feb 21, 2007    
  8:30 bus from Inn & Conference Center to Hornbake  
  9-9:30 Ben, Allison, Agenda, Everyone  
  9:30am-9:45am 15 min Welcome Jason Bellone United Nations
  9:45am-10am 15 min Welcome Charlie Abelman World Bank
Participant Presentations      
  10-10:30 am 30 min Keynote Glenda Revelle Sesame Workshop
  10:30-10:45 am 15 min   Jim Gray Leapfrog
  10:45-11am am 15 min   David Cavallo One Laptop Per Child
  11-11:15 am break      
  11:15-11:30 am 15 min   Christopher Fabian UNICEF
  11:30 - 11:45 am 15 min   Elliot Soloway University of Michigan
  11:45 - noon 15 min   Cathie Norris University of North Texas
  noon - 12:15 pm 15 min   Lisa Guernsey Education, Science and Technology Writer
  12:15-1 pm lunch      
  1-1:30 pm 30 min Keynote Allison Druin & Ben Bederson Univ. of Maryland
  1:30-1:45 pm 15 min   Shelley Pasnik Center for Children & Technology
  1:45-2 pm 15 min   Maria Joćo Silva Polytechnic Institute of Porto (Portugal)
  2-2:15 pm 15 min   Jenny Preece Univ. of Maryland
  2:15-2:30 pm 15 min   Nancy Ross Dribin Adler Planetarium
  2:30-2:45 pm 15 min   Laura Reynolds K-8 Teacher
  2:45-3 pm 15 min   Chris Hoadley Penn State
  3-3:15 pm 15 min   Mike Lee AARP
  3:15-3:30 pm 15 min   Juan Pablo Hourcade Univ. of Iowa
  3:30-4 pm break   Setup for demos  
Demos & KidsTeam Workshop      
  4-5:30 pm        
Dinner @ Franklin's Restaurant (by bus)    
  6-8 pm        
  8 pm bus to Inn & Conference Center    
Day 2: Fri, Feb 22, 2007      
  8:30 bus from Inn & Conference Center to Hornbake  
Participant Presentations      
  9-9:30 am 30 min Keynote Ramon Morales Intel (Mexico)
  9:30-9:45 am 15 min   Dan Edelson National Geographic
  9:45-10 am 15 min   Lana Yarosh Georgia Tech
  10-10:30 am 30 min Keynote Yvonne Rogers Open University (UK)
  10:30-11 am break      
  11-11:15 am 15 min   Chris Cerf Sirius Thinking
  11:15-11:30 am 15 min   Anita Komlodi Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County
  11:30-11:45 am 15 min   Judy Perry MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program
  11:45-noon 15 min   Liz O'Connell Wondervisions
  noon-12:30 pm 30 min Keynote Walter Bender One Laptop Per Child
  12:30-1:30 pm lunch      
Analysis of Research Areas      
  1:30-3:30 pm        
  3:30-3:45 pm break      
Workshop Outcomes, next steps    
  3:45-5 pm        


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