Software design is an inherently collaborative and argumentative activity that demands designers to successfully present ideas to peers as well as to collaboratively refine these ideas through discussion. In this research project we seek to harness tabletops’ potential to enhance collaborative learning and encourage argumentation to design a multi-display tabletop application that supports collaborative database design learning in Computer Science undergrad students. Based on a set of design principles derived from user research, the proposed application aims to augment the possibilities for argumentation among participants.
In Ecuador, economic changes in the late 1990s unleashed international migration that led 60% of Ecuadorian migrants to leave approximately 150,000 children behind. Parents and children separated by distance require mediated intimacy more often than other groups. This study explores the role technology plays in supporting long-distance relationships of migrant parents and left-behind children in developing countries such as Ecuador, in order to inform the design of technology that better suits their affective needs and their context’s constraints.
The pedagogical benefits of free software and open source tools have yet to be explored. This pilot project sought to validate the educational advantages of Free and Open Source Software tools in the development of children’s problem solving and group work abilities. This study proposed the usage of Squeak as a tool for introducing programming skills; 61 public school Ecuadorian children participated in a programming introduction workshop. Their problem solving and group work abilities were assessed before and after the workshop. The results show that children increased their preference for group work and decreased in relation to individual work; additionally children exhibited a greater mastery of a problem solving methodology.
FOSS (Free Open Source Software) technologies and development practices have the potential to provide countries with a great opportunity to reduce the digital divide. Nonetheless, due to the lack of a formal development process, many developers and software companies are wary to adopt FOSS software development practices. In general, the Bazaar model is not seen as a viable alternative for groups who want to keep control of the software development process. This study sought to provide the free and open source software community a Bazaar-style development process model that could enhance the quality assurance practices of both the development process and the software product.
The Ecuador 2016 earthquake drove citizens to self-organize as volunteers and become informal managers of humanitarian logistics. They made massive use of digital technologies to support their relief work. In this situated study, we use the lense of care to analyze 30 interviews with informal volunteers and uncover vulnerabilities in the way technology mediate informal humanatarian logistic practices.
My previous research on social media's role in parental engagement demonstrated that social media is not currently supporting diverse groups of parents to connect and exchange information beyond the homogeneity of their networks. As a result, not all parents are given the same opportunities to help their children advance academically. I am currently studying the design of social media that can suppot low-income Latino immigrant parents to effectively engage in their children's education, given their information needs, cultural practices and socio-economic context. More specifically, my goal is to study how social media can be designed to help Latino parents build connections with other parental networks so as they can exchange diverse information on how to effectively engage in their children's education.