Druin, A., Bederson, B., Rose, A., Weeks, A.
January 2009
This article in currently "In Press" and will be published in a special issue of: Children, Youth and Environments (http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/): Children in Technological Environments: Interaction, Development, and Design, Editors: N.G. Freier & P. H. Kahn
The Internet has led to an explosion of users throughout the world. Low-cost computing options are now emerging for developing countries that are changing the world’s educational landscape. Given these conditions, there is a critical need to understand the obstacles and opportunities in designing and deploying technologies for children worldwide. This paper discusses seven years of strategies and methods learned in co-designing and deploying the International Children’s Digital Library (www.childrenslibrary.org) with children in multiple countries. Our experience with iterative international co-design, and developing world deployment shows that acquiring site-specific knowledge is critical to adapting methods needed to be successful. In the case of co-design, a combination of face-to-face and email collaboration is important to building on-going partnership relationships. With deployment activities, it is important to be prepared for the unexpected – managing complex technologies in rural settings is very difficult. Therefore, the more site-specific knowledge that can be acquired the more likely there will be a successful outcome.
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