The struggle to thrive as a productive student researcher, an attentive parent, and a caring partner can be difficult, particularly for international student parents who are far from home and also possibly burdened with complex cultural expectations, interpersonal dynamics, and institutional biases. Using uses and gratifications theory as a framing mechanism, this study focused on international student mothers in the United States who are primary caregivers of children between six months to five years old, focusing on the context of their use of screen media content and devices, the gratifications they seek from their children’s use of screen media devices, and the differences in their perceptions about the use of screen media as an educated, non-US parent. This study gave an initial account of the role of screen based technology in international student mothers’ domestic life with young children, and the limitations of their technological experience. Findings from the research put forth four opportunities for designing for this population including technologies for positive distraction, interactive language aids, playful acquaintance tools, and anonymous peer networks for parent support.
The popularity of mobile devices for learning outside conventional classrooms necessitates the exploration of the many challenges which can impede the learning process for children using them. Key among these is the possibility of disorientation, occurring when children are faced with stimuli external to their learning task which can redirect their attention elsewhere. This study explored the several factors which can contribute towards disorienting children from their learning task in an informal learning environment (ILE) using science festivals as a context. Participating children used the app to watch an educational video about leaves, and were asked to identify the leaves around the exhibit correctly by taking a picture using the app. From the observations, we derive the key factors which can disorient young learners in an ILE and the ones which help them reorient towards the learning task. We conclude by providing considerations for designing mobile applications for children to be used in ILEs which can promote informal learning while minimizing disorientation.
Intimate Narratives: An Assets-Based Approach To Develop Holistic Perspectives of Student Mothers’ Lives and Their Use of Technology in Parenting
This study employs a participatory approach to capture a holistic understanding of parental technology use using an asset-based framework. A collaborative process was initiated to engage a group of parents as research participants and co-authors in order to gain an in-depth account of their lived experiences with technology. Leveraging their unique strength, i.e., writing and composing prose for publication, this research aimed to elicit intimate narratives about meaningful events of their lives, bringing social and cultural aspects of their lived experience to the forefront, and thus providing broader context of their use of technology. The collaborators highlighted the expansive ways in which technology facilitates their parenting, and ways in which it serves as a temporary band-aid solution prompting consideration of larger social issues. Contributions from this work include researcher’s experience of fostering a safe space, the facilitator’s personal investment in the research and its effects on participants’ involvement, and their efforts to engage participants based on what they value in research.
Tailored Probes for Investigating Technology Use In Domestic Environment By Engaging User As Active Member Of Research
Researching the domestic environment poses challenges such as inaccessibility to participants everyday life and routines, lack of trust between designers and users, and inadequate methods of inquiry due to designers’ unfamiliarity with the context of use. By exploring the role of technology in student mother’s life with young children inside home as a case study, this research demonstrates the process of involving user as an active member during several phases of the research. The initial probe design was guided by goals derived from the uses and gratifications approach to a) understand the gratifications sought by mothers from their child’s screen media usage b) parenting apprehensions about using technology as a parenting tool, and c) encourage healthy discussions between partners around the of child’s presumed screen time routine. Contributions from this study include takeaways about design and use of probes for researching technology use in domestic setting.
The Interactive Show: A Conversational Companion for Young Children and Childcare Assistant for Parents
Advances in the fields of natural language processing, machine learning and speech recognition have led to the increasing adoption of conversational agents in a variety of domains. However, the use of conversational agents as a childcare assistant for parents of young children has not been realized. This research proposes the use of conversational agents into children’s programs to produce an interactive show, which can be employed as conversational companion for children, and a childcare assistant for parents of young children who have limited access to childcare options. Key features of the interactive show include understanding, responsiveness and maintaining an uninterrupted conversation flow. It argues that having a truly interactive show can engage children for a longer period of time without being distracted, which can give parents some time to attend to their needs in the absence of help.
Amazon Glow: Evaluating commercial screen-based devices for children’s connection and engagement with remote contacts
Parents in recent times have been reliant on using digital technology as a parenting assistant and a means of distraction for children. WitParents in recent times have been reliant on using digital technology as a parenting assistant and a means of distraction for children. With the growing number of interconnected screen-based devices and voice interfaces being used inside home, parents have been more receptive to their children’s use of these devices for entertainment, education, and connection with family. Their use has been more prominent in the recent past, where parents found themselves in circumstances where they had to be confined at home with children for extended periods of time, where these devices aided them in performing a variety of family-oriented and child-oriented activities. Considering the growing positive attitudes and reception of these devices by the parents, this research puts Amazon’s newest “Glow” device to the test, which aims to bridge physical distance between children and their remote family members. The objective of this research is to understand how commercial screen-based interactive technologies like a Glow device, which are designed primarily for children, can be used to engage them, and where they fell short of providing the sense of communication and engagement. After using the device for a week, families will participate in a follow-up interview to describe their experiences and perceptions related to the use of this device, and their suggestions for improvement of their experience with such child-focused commercial devices.
While web-based learning is becoming a notable medium for learners opting for distance and open education, it poses its own challenges in terms of usability and navigation. One of these challenges is disorientation in hypermedia settings, resulting in deviation from learning goals. We provide a novel interpretation of the term disorientation by combining the effects seen in virtual relocation in hyperspace (navigational disorientation) with mental relocation seen in mind wandering or external distractions (mental disorientation) based on their similar characteristics and consequences on learning outcomes. This research uses this distinction to measure and resolve disorientation in web based learning environments. We implement a system with disorientation module which reveals and resolves disorientation, enabling the study of the impact of different kinds of disorientation on learning of students in an online programming course. Study results reveal that learner performance in a web-based learning environment is negatively affected by disorientation, and that learners have to reorient themselves to their learning goals in situations of both navigational and mental disorientation.