Quo Vadis “Interaction Design and Children” in Europe?

Quo Vadis “Interaction Design and Children” in Europe?

Francisco V. Cipolla-Ficarra (Latin Association of Human-Computer Interaction, Spain & International Association of Interactive Communication, Italy) and Valeria M. Ficarra (Latin Association of Human-Computer Interaction, Spain & International Association of Interactive Communication, Italy)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3437-2.ch010
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Abstract

In the current appendix are presented the results of a heuristic study about the lack of educational control related to the new technologies and the future generations, especially children. A set of examples make known the real factors which increase the digital divide among the European population of 2020. Finally, a heuristic equation is presented to detect quickly and easily the professionals who currently tend to be misleading in their interactive design for children.
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Introduction

While the European statistics indicate a vertiginous drop in the children population, especially in those countries known economically as “the European engine” (Figure 1, “Germany remains without children”), in India, a very special phenomenon is taking place in the reshaping of the population pyramid, turning into a diamond (Bijapurkar, 1979; Bijapurkar, 2006), as it can be seen in the Figure 2. This means that the parents of the children population will have the necessary financial resources to offer to their children the latest technological breakthroughs. In contrast, in the Old World, the digital divide will keep on increasing since there will be no population renewal (Angelo & Pinna, 2008). In the midst of this reality of the statistics of the population growth, a series of deviations can be seen in the R&D projects, subsidized or not, by local, regional and Pan-European governments tending to design a non-existent future in the context of the ICT, for the children who won’t exist in 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, etc.

In that context of realities, the current computer science sector is trying to collect as much information as possible in the least possible time and with a cost equal to zero from the children educational sector through R&D pseudoprojects. The term “pseudo” refers to the fact that the scientific research is practically non-existent both from the theoretical and the practical point of view. From the theoretical point of view because data-gathering techniques of the traditional mass media are used, once World War II finished. That is, the opinion surveys, the filling of forms, the phone interviews, etc. (Moragas-Spa, 1985). That is, that the future that is contained in these projects, many of them financed from Brussels, entail a leap back in time of 75 years.

From the practical point of view, we go back to the mid-nineties, because it is just a matter of making simple containers of digital information, that is, databases. The fields of their records can be compiled or seen on the computer screen, through special formularies. These are forms that do not take into account the essential aspects of the interfaces design aimed at the user, in this case, basic education or primary school teachers. The function of those teachers is to provide the managers of the website with free information.

However, that way of compiling data is very similar to the PGI (General Information Program) of UNESCO in the 70s in order to compile the library information of a great part of the American continent (UNESCO, 2000). The result of that project was practically null.

Figure 1.

Information with regard to the lack of births in the Old World, for instance, in Germany

(Approximate Translation: “The government tries to correct the demographic decline with financial help, but does not succeed in convincing the families to have children”) Source: El País (www.elpais.es –09.06.2013).
Figure 2.

Socio-economic metamorphosis of the population in India

Summing up, from the theoretical point of view we go back 75 years, from the practical point of view t o25 years, and from the point of view of other similar experiences, taken as example, to almost 35 years. Consequently, we are in the face of a flash back and not a flash forward, from the timeframe point of view.

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