The role of children in the design of new technology
This paper suggests a framework for understanding the roles that children can play in the technology design process, particularly in regards to designing technologies that support learning. Each role, user, tester, informant and design partner has been defined based upon a review of the literature and the author's own laboratory research experiences. This discussion does not suggest that any one role is appropriate for all research or development needs. Instead, by understanding this framework the reader may be able to make more informed decisions about the design processes they choose to use with children in creating new technologies. This paper will present for each role a historical overview, research and development methods, as well as the strengths, challenges and unique contributions associated with children in the design process.