Giving children voice in the design of technology for education in the developing world
Keywords:Particpatory design, children’s voice, ICT for education
AbstractOf the numerous projects that involve ICTs to solve the problems of the developing world, many are unsuccessful. Reasons include lack of attention to how the human and social systems need to adapt to the new technologies, problems with the intent of the initiators, and lack of user involvement. Focusing on the design of ICT for education and acknowledging the range of complex reasons for possible failure, this article focuses on lack on involvement of end users (specifically children) in the design and development of ICT solutions. Children in the developing world are not given voice when it comes to the design of technology aimed at providing them with better education. Through examination of the concept of “children’s voice” as well as through discussion of a practical design case to support underprivileged children in South Africa, this article shows that (1) listening to children requires that adult co-designers have the correct attitude towards their child partners and that they are committed to really hearing them; (2) power relations and context plays an important role in the contribution children can make; and (3) South African children have the ability to provide essential input into the design of technology for education.
Research Papers (general)
LicenseCopyright of all work published here subsists in the authors. While SACJ retains right of first publication, subsequent re-publication is expressly permitted provided the original SACJ publication is acknowledged and cited, according to the terms detailed below. If plagiarism is detected during review, a paper may be summarily rejected and will not be accepted unless even minor infringements are corrected. Should plagiarism be detected after a paper is published, the Editor reserves the right to withdraw a paper from publication. We expect authors to be honest in representing work as their own, and to respect the time and effort our reviewers put in without an undue burden of policing plagiarism, and hence take violations seriously. SACJ applies the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 License (CC BY-NC 4.0) to all papers published in this journal. Authors who publish with SACJ agree to the following:
- Authors retain copyright and grant SACJ right of first publication. The work is additionally licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License that requires others who share the work to acknowledge the work’s authorship and initial publication in SACJ. Should anyone else wish to make commercial use of the work, SACJ cedes the right to the author to negotiate terms and does not expect to be paid any royalties.
- Authors may enter into additional arrangements for non-exclusive distribution of the SACJ-published version of the work (e.g., post it to a repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are required to refrain from posting their work online prior to completion of reviews so as not to compromise double-blind reviewing or confuse plagiarism checks.