IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Global ed tech conference begins today

17 June 2020

A conference co-organised by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) researchers on the design, development, and use of interactive technologies for children begins today (17 June).

Girl reading from a tablet

The week-long ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference 2020 is being held virtually with participants attending from around the world.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘designing for the future’ which encourages participants to conceptualise the role and impact of digital technology for children.

UCL Knowledge Lab researchers Dr Seray Ibrahim and Dr Mina Vasalou will present a paper with Dr Michael Clarke (Faculty of Brain Sciences) exploring whether the design documentaries method can alter the processes in which technology assisting children with disabilities is designed.

The team argues that by embedding design documentaries in the design process of technologies for disability, it can help bring children's lived experiences and priorities to the process where it is not always possible to involve children. This can help the designer to come up with new ideas of creating technology to support children with severe speech and physical impairments. Their paper has been nominated for a best paper award by the conference committee.

The conference also includes an online demo session for children’s technologies from several educational technology (ed tech) companies talking about their latest work. Moderated by Dr Manolis Mavrikis (UCL Knowledge Lab), Javier Gomez Escribano (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain), and Dr Alison Clark-Wilson (UCL Knowledge Lab), the demo session facilitates reflections from education technology companies about the current pandemic and how their work has changed as a consequence.

Other conference activities include talks about working with children globally to design new solutions for sustainability and panel discussions on children and virtual reality, among others.

IDC 2020 general co-chair Dr Mina Vasalou said: “IDC is a yearly conference that typically attracts between 200-250 researchers and practitioners exploring the role that technology can play in children’s learning and social interaction. We are very pleased to welcome 350 attendees this year in the online edition of IDC. Our dedicated programme committee have designed a rich and diverse conference experience and we look forward to a lively week that expands the reach and impact of our academic community.”