Talks@DI

Technology and Education for all: Enhancing learning experiences through Tangible User Interfaces for young children with mixed visual-abilities

Transmissão através de Videoconferência

Speaker: Ana Pires.

Abstract: In this talk, I will briefly present a series of technological screen-based games (graphical user interfaces) we have created to foster cognitive abilities and enhance learning experiences in young children. Then, I will present our work on tangible user interfaces (integrating visual, auditory and tactile sensory information) for young children. Such interfaces allow children to manipulate and operate concrete material which simplifies and strengthens deeper learning of abstract concepts. The integration of multiple and coherent sensorial information also reinforces such learning. This is particularly relevant for children with visual impairments as such interfaces support diverse multimodal sensory information. In this line, we have created two tangible interfaces focused on young children with visual impairments, to train mathematics and, programming concepts. Finally, considering the moment we are now living (being at home permanently), online education is key to support children’s learning. This could be an opportunity or marginalization for children with visual impairments and I will highlight some issues on online learning for children with visual impairments.

Bio: I am a cognitive psychologist with experience in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). I hold a PhD in Psychology from the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. Currently, I am an integrated researcher and a PostDoc at LASIGE, Faculty of Science, University of Lisboa. Previously, I was Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and at the Faculty of Information and Communication, Universidad de La Republica, Uruguay. Earlier, I was a PostDoc Researcher in Ceibal Foundation (Uruguay), member of the One Laptop Per Child program, in collaboration with ONP Cognition Matters & Karolinska Institutet (Sweden). Finally, I am still co-PI of the Line of Research “Perception and Interaction” at the Basic Research Center in Psychology at the Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay.

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