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Interaction Design and ChildrenJune 1-3, 2004
Maryland, USA

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Press Release

University of Maryland Hosts Third International Conference on

Interaction Design and Children

Contact: Chris McCarthy

COLLEGE PARK , Md. , April 12, 2004-The University of Maryland will host the Third International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC 2004, from June 1 to 3, 2004 in College Park , Md.   The event will bring together researchers, educators, and industry professionals from around the world concerned with designing technologies for young users.

"Today's technologies are shaping the way our children live, learn, and play.  It is critical we understand the impact that these new tools are having on young people.  It is also critical we understand how to change these technologies to better support children in all that they do," says Allison Druin, conference chair and professor at the University of Maryland 's College of Information Studies and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies.  "With this in mind, IDC 2004 will focus on addressing the challenges of this growing field of interaction design for children.  Not only will researchers report on innovative new technologies, but presentations will focus on exciting design methods developers can use to give children a voice in the design of their own technologies."  

IDC 2004 features opening and closing keynote panels with prestigious speakers who are academic leaders and media producers who have helped to found and shape this field of interaction design and children.  The opening panel will consist of Marvin Minsky of MIT, Alan Kay of Hewlett-Packard, and Seymour Papert of MIT and the University of Maine discussing the topic "The Challenges of Interaction Design and Children: What have we learned from our past?" The closing panel-Alice Cahn of The Cartoon Network, Henry Jenkins of MIT, and Alice Wilder of "Blue's Clues"-will focus on the topic of "What Can Media Teach Us about Interaction Design and Children?"  Both panels will be moderated by David Kestenbaum of National Public Radio.

The conference will showcase research papers and posters and feature tutorials on topics ranging from "Designing handheld tools for learning" to "Using personas and scenarios in the design of children's interactive media."  IDC 2004 will also present in-depth workshops on topics such as "Designing outdoor interfaces for supporting and augmenting playing and learning" and "Designing children's interactive products in the commercial market."

This year marks the first time the event will be held in the United States .  Previous IDC conferences have been held in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands .

In addition to the University of Maryland , sponsors for IDC 2004 include the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) of the Association for Computing Machinery, the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Fisher-Price, and LeapFrog.

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