Exploring children's designs for maker technologies

Fitton, Daniel Bowen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2300-5432, Read, Janet C orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7138-1643 and Dempsey, John Paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3716-096X (2015) Exploring children's designs for maker technologies. In: IDC2015, June 21 - 24, 2015, Boston, Massachusetts.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2771839.2771921


There is growing interest in maker technologies around how they can be included in school curriculums to engage children with science subjects and about their use to explore new creative possibilities. Given that maker technologies are currently unfamiliar to most children across the world this work sought to use these technologies to investigate whether technology experience has an influence on design within a making context. A study was carried out with 29 participants aged 8-9 that involved a design task and a scaffolded making task based around a physical game using Arduino. Half of the participants completed the making task first then the design task, the other half completed the design task first then the making task. The design ideas created were then coded on 5-point scales for complexity of construction and novelty of concept, the coders also looked for evidence of transference from the making task to the design ideas. Results indicated that completing the making task prior to the design task increased the mean complexity of construction score. No clear evidence was found of elements from the making task being transferred into the design ideas. In addition to the specific findings about technology influence on design, the paper offers more general insights for those working within this space.

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