Educational Tools Of The Future

About Project

EPIC is a set of learning tools for children that aims to bring about holistic development 

through interactive physical products in their surroundings 

 

EPIC was designed in collaboration with Dynamicland, during my Interaction Design Residency there. 

Learn more about Dynamicland here

Project Logistics

Research, Rapid & High Fidelity Prototyping, UI & UX for all products, Systems Design

My Role:

Teammates:

Ishan S, Kritika K & Prabhav J

Duration: 

6 months, spring & summer 2018

Key Tools:

Realtalk (OS), paper & laser cutting

Key Skills:

Innovation, systems thinking, design research, future casting, IxD

42%

children 8 years and younger have their own digital devices

58%

of 2-5 year olds spend time playing games on digital devices everyday

60%

teachers believe use of digital technology can hamper a child's ability to communicate face to face

The Challenge

While digital media consumption may increase intellectual development in young children, it also leads to a significant decrease in their social and emotional development.

 

Studies show that constant use of digital media can lead to decreased attention spans, difficulty in writing, depression, social isolation and many more disorders

How Might We

design educational tools that bridge the gap between the physical & digital world to bring about holistic development in children?

 
 

The Proposed Solution

EPIC is a set of interactive learning tools for children that encourage socializing, exploring and bonding by interacting with physical interactive objects in their surroundings and spaces.

Final Prototypes

We envisioned the products to be an integral part of the infrastructure of any space. For now, we designed products based at home, school and a third space like library.

Geometry At School

A dynamic text book that enables learning of basic concepts through collaboration, physical interactions, conversations & fun!

Discovery In The Library

An interactive book that enables independent discovery through audio, visual and tactile feedback.

Bonding At Home

A fun game that encourages parents and children to engage in meaningful conversation about important life lessons
The design process

Research

Interviewing Parents

Parents are worried about effects of "screen time" and so,  strive to inculcate social & physical skills amongst their children

Jose | Educator

“Kids need to be made aware of the things in their environment. They have very little empathy for things”

Aaron | Engineer

 "I’m worried about the over obsession with the screen and so have laid down strict ground rules about usage”.

Neta | Engineer

“I think in the digital world, children get answers very easily, so I don’t  think they really ask questions ."

Observation Studies

We observed children in their surroundings to learn how they learn!

Children learn with their whole bodies - by listening, seeing, touching, feeling, smelling, moving around etc. 

System Mapping

Understanding Where, What and How children learn

Through our research we realized that learning is defined by the spaces and relationships in those spaces, that a child interacts with.

Therefore, for holistic development, it was crucial to design for important spaces in a child's day to day. 

 
 

Insights

What is important for holistic development?

Physical and digital mediums need to complement each other to create a holistic learning environment.

1

Children think and learn with their whole body. Tactility of tools and movement are essential to learning.

2

Learning is dependent upon the relationships and environments a child regularly interacts with.

3

Designing

Making, Learning, Making

Since the technology was new, we were making since day 1, to learn the possibilities & limitations. We began with play testing - i.e. understanding the code and then, with time, produced many sacrificial prototypes to realize our final products. 

Community Showcase

Dynamicland had open days on Saturdays and so we got ample opportunities to get feedback on out prototypes, 

Final Products

School -Dynamic text book to encourage collaborative learning

Library - Interactive book to encourage self-discovery

Home - Interactive game to encourage bonding

 

Reflection

Interaction Design is now more than screens

To design optimal interactions for users with their products, it is important to consider the product's context, the spaces in which it is based and the many relationships within those spaces.

Don't fear the unknown

The project taught me to work with the unknown, to have faith in the design process and my ability to fail, learn & grow.

Collaboration is the key (especially with engineers)

Since the technology was new, there was a lot of back & forth with engineering. Learning to empathize with the developer, find methods to communicate and work on solutions together were key learnings.

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