I returned to Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon, energized and motivated by the projects and research I saw at the Interaction Design and Children Conference in NYC.  In an effort not to repeat Daren Guler’s recap of the first day, I’ll pick up with events from Wednesday, June 26, with one quick repeat – the keynote by David Monina Sengeh was incredible and I feel we have a lot to learn from the attitudes of the students in his programs.  They sincerely believe being a maker is not only cool, but their duty to their country to make and improve Sierra Leone.  If you haven’t seen their video, please check it out.

Mohammed shows off his "dancing robot" / Photo: Jessica Kaminsky

Photo: Jessica Kaminsky

Wednesday morning started with several short presentations from the creative team at the New York Hall of Science.  They discussed strategies for place-based learning and upcoming projects, including ways the NYSCI will be incorporating maker-spaces as exhibits.

The late morning and afternoon was filled with research presentations, but I took some time away from the conference to visit some Hive NYC friends.  My first visit was to The Lamp Platoon where I learned more about their video editing software, which is prepared to launch this fall.  After this I went to Global Kids, a current collaborator with Hear Me, to learn about their other initiatives and meet the Hive NYC Youth Advisory Council.

On Wednesday evening, IDC participants were bused to the New York Hall of Science in Queens to enjoy food trucks, mini-golf, and explore the museum.  Cookie Monster even made a guest appearance!

The final day of the conference kicked-off with presentations from Google User Experience Researchers.  They discussed ways in which they design for and in response to the way young people use Google products.  After several more paper sessions, including one titled “Brownies or Bags-of-Stuff?” about motivators for engaging kids with the design process, the conference concluded with presentations and a panel discussion on the life and work of Seymour Papert.  Several former friends and colleagues discussed his influence on child-computer interaction.  As the man who said “There is no learning without playing,” discussing his life was a perfect end to an incredibly informative and inspiring conference.

For more information about the conference, presented research, and other events, please visit the conference website.