At the University of Maryland, we believe that children should have a voice in how new technology is made for kids. We believe children's ideas need to be heard throughout the whole technology design process. To meet this need, in 1998 we began a unique technology design team with kids for kids. Our team consists of 6 kids (ages 7-11) and adults (students and faculty) with experience in education, computer science, art, robotics, and more. Together we work on developing new technologies for learning, collaborating, storytelling, and exploring.
Our team at work...
we do... Who we are...
What we do...
We spend a lot of time researching, brainstorming, and prototyping new technologies. When we do our research, we tend to watch what other people do with computers. We don't just have adults watch kids, but we have kids watch adults, and kids watch kids! We take a lot of notes with pictures and words.
When we brainstorm and come up with new ideas for technology, we spend time using technologies that other people have made, and think about what we like and don't like about them. We also come up with a lot of our own ideas and sketch what technology should be like in the future.
Our research and brainstorming experiences suggest ways we can design and prototype new technologies. One of the projects we're working on is a new kind of robotic pet that can help you tell stories. Another project we're working on with kids in Europe is new zooming software that kids can share to tell stories. Here's how one newspaper reporter from the Baltimore Sun described our work. Here's how a Swedish newspaper described our work. We're also excited about two projects we've just started. One is a new toolkit that can help kids tell stories in a whole room. Another is a digital library for children that can help young kids access video, images, text and more using visual searching and quering methods.
Many times our projects get started because other university researchers, companies, or government agencies partner with us. Other times, our team just starts working on an idea that seems to lead to another idea.
Who we are:
lab we belong to:
The Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL)
Institute we belong to:
University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS)