Children at the centre: designing technology for literacy with and for children

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Date: 13 June 2024 / 09:00 - 12:00

USI East Campus, Room D1.14

You are cordially invited to attend the PhD Dissertation Defence of Sveva Valguarnera on Thursday 13 June 2024 at 09:00 in room D1.14.

As children are exposed to technology at increasingly younger ages, the issue of their involvement in the design of innovations meant for them is at the forefront of the field of Child-Computer Interaction. This doctoral thesis explores the extent of children's involvement in the design of technology, exposing gaps in the literature and proposing guidelines to widen children's participation, empower them and improve their agency, as well as delving into the practical application of participatory design with preschoolers for the design of a storytelling tools. This dissertation is structured into three main parts: (1) Children in a world shaped by technology, which represents the theoretical foundation of this thesis, and discusses children's perception and expectations of technology, and the extent of their involvement in design. (2) Co-Designing a storytelling tool for emergent readers, which described the collaborative design process of a storytelling tool for children, offering both methodological and practical insights into the topic of collaborative design. (3) Discussion and Conclusions, in which research questions are addressed, and limitations, challenges and possible future avenues of research are discussed. In this work, children are placed at the centre of the design process: while the opinion and points of view of other stakeholders, such as parents and teachers, are considered to elicit user requirements, children's needs, wishes and preferences are at the forefront. This doctoral dissertation contributes to the field of Child-Computer interaction by providing theoretical and methodological insights, as well as practical applications for the co-design of technology for emergent readers. 

Dissertation Committee:
- Prof. Monica Landoni, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland (Research Advisor)
- Prof. Gabriele Bavota, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland (Internal Member)
- Prof. Marc Langheinrich, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland (Internal Member)
- Prof. Jerry Fails, Boise State University (External Member)
- Prof. Cristina Sylla , University of Minho (External Member)