A Kid Friendly (8-12 y/o) Demonstration of Why are Some Computer Programs so Frustrating

28 Jan 2009 - 8:26am
1065 reads
Woodrow Winchester


I am working with the Virginia Tech student chapter of the Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society to design and execute a hands-on demonstration that
compliments Dr. Kelleher's response to the question - "Why are some computer
programs so frustrating?" This is in support of Kids Tech University
(http://kidstechuniversity.vbi.vt.edu/program.php), an educational
initiative that exposes kids to science and technology careers. Any
thoughts? I remember a couple threads around this topic; however, would
like to get some insight into what works with this audience (ages 8-12).

Feb. 28, 2009
"Why are some computer programs so frustrating?"
Answered by Dr. Caitlin Kelleher

Lecture abstract: Computers can help us solve lots of different problems,
but some computer programs can be hard to use. How can we change this? This
talk will highlight some ways scientific tools and methods can be used to
help create computer programs that are easier and more fun to use. We will
look at how these tools were involved in the design of "Storytelling Alice,"
a computer program that helps kids learn how to program computers while they
create Pixar-style animated movies.

Dr. Caitlin Kelleher is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at
Washington University in St. Louis. Her computer program, "Storytelling
Alice," has been shown to be influential in the teaching of computer
programming to young females.

Much thanks,

Woodrow W. Winchester, III, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Human-Computer Interaction

Director, Laboratory for User-Centric Innovations in Design (LUCID)

Program Coordinator, Virginia Tech HCI Research Experience for
Undergraduates (HCI REU) http://www.reu.hci.vt.edu

Grado Dept. of Industrial & Systems Engineering (0118)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

546 Whittemore Hall

Blacksburg, VA 24061

540.231.5936 (Phone)

540.231.3322 (FAX)

<mailto:wwwinche at vt.edu> wwwinche at vt.edu (E-mail)

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