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Fidgeting with Fabrication: Students with ADHD Making Tools to Focus

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Fidgeting with Fabrication: Students with ADHD Making Tools to Focus

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This paper describes the design process of 5 middle school students diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students were tasked with designing and fabricating a personalized fidget-a small hand-held object to use in a classroom with the goal of increasing focus-by following the process of engineering design described in the Next Generation Science Standards. Students teamed with a local science museum to access tools and expertise. Analysis of student interviews and recorded design sessions revealed that students accurately defined the problem and design constraints. Further, despite issues in measurement precision, students successfully optimized their design solution over time through multiple rounds of revision.
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Fidgeting with Fabrication:
Students with ADHD Making Tools to Focus
Short Paper
Alexandria K. Hansen
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9490, USA
akhansen@ucsb.edu
Eric R. Hansen
Santa Ynez Valley SPED Consortium
301 Second St., Buellton, CA 93427, USA
ehansen@buelltonusd.org
Taylor Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9490, USA
taylorhall@umail.ucsb.edu
Mack Fixler
MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
125 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
mack.fixler@moxi.org
Danielle Harlow
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9490, USA
dharlow@education.ucsb.edu
ABSTRACT
is paper describes the design process of 5 middle school
students diagnosed with Aention-Decit/Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD). Students were tasked with designing and
fabricating a personalized dget—a small hand-held object to use
in a classroom with the goal of increasing focus—by following
the process of engineering design described in the Next
Generation Science Standards. Students teamed with a local
science museum to access tools and expertise. Analysis of
student interviews and recorded design sessions revealed that
students accurately dened the problem and design constraints.
Further, despite issues in measurement precision, students
successfully optimized their design solution over time through
multiple rounds of revision.
CCS CONCEPTS
Social and professional topicsInformal education;
Social and professional topicsK-12 education
KEYWORDS
Fabrication; Fidget; Science; Technology; Engineering; Special
Education; ADHD; Middle School
ACM Reference format:
Alexandria K. Hansen, Eric R. Hansen, Taylor Hall, Mack Fixler,
and Danielle Harlow. 2017. Fidgeting with Fabrication: Students
with ADHD Making Tools to Focus. In Proceedings of the 7th
Annual Conference on Creativity and Making in Education, Palo
Alto, California USA, October 2017 (FabLearn’17), 4 pages.
hps://doi.org/10.1145/3141798.3141812
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FabLearn '17, October 2122, 2017, Stanford, CA, USA
©2017 Association for Computing Machinery. ISBN 978-1-4503-6349-
5/17/10...$15.00 https://doi.org/10.1145/3141798.3141812
1 INTRODUCTION
The Maker Movement epitomizes the Do-It-Yourself culture,
championing the notion that anyone can create personalized
objects to meet their unique needs and desires [10]. Emphasizing
a producer (rather than consumer) mentality, the act of making
has grown into a thriving movement that has the potential to
fundamentally change the way individuals learn and create [14].
Recent technological advancements accompanied by dropping
prices have led to digital technology that affords creation (e.g.,
3D-printers; laser cutters) becoming increasingly accessible.
While critics of this Movement [3] showcase cautionary tales of
wealthy, tech-centric males leading the cause, other scholars [4]
see the inherent value of making, arguing for its place at school
to ensure this movement reaches all students.
We, too, posit that making has a place at school. Further, we
argue that the Maker Movement appeals to learners with diverse
needs and interests who have a wealth of experiences to provide
inspiration for projects that are both playful and functional.
With these factors in mind, we engaged 5 middle school students
(aged 12-13) diagnosed with Aention-Decit/Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) in an authentic design challenge to help
improve their focus while at school: design and fabricate a
personalized fidget to use in the classroom. Fidgets (sometimes
referred to as fidget tools or toys) are small, hand-held objects
(e.g., stress balls) designed to assist students who struggle to
maintain focus. Teaming with a local science museum to access
tools and expertise, all students successfully engaged in the
engineering design process as described in the Next Generation
Science Standards (NGSS) [12] to fabricate a personalized fidget
to improve their focus.
The Maker Movement is primed to appeal to students with
learning differences [11], however, thus far, this movement has
not been able to reach full potential for this population. Our
study demonstrates that students with learning differences are
competent, capable and worthy of focusing attention on in
ongoing research efforts to better understand the value of
making. We consider this work a catalyst and call for other
researchers and educators to engage all students in creative and
FABLEARN ’17, October 2017, Palo Alto, CA USA
A.K. Hansen et al.
2
functional making to help them reach their full potential at
school and beyond.
2 RELATED WORK
2.1 Special Education at School
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of
2004 legally entitled all children to a free, appropriate public
education regardless of disability status in the United States. If a
disability goes undiagnosed in early childhood, a teacher is often
the first person to observe issues in classroom performance.
Following, a comprehensive evaluation is conducted by a group
of qualified professionals in conjunction with the child’s parents
and teachers to determine if a disability is present. If the child is
found to have a disability that “adversely impacts their
educational performance,” the school is legally required to
provide services to better support the student [17].
2.2 ADHD
ADHD falls under one category of disability described in
IDEAOther Health Impairment (OHI). Children diagnosed with
ADHD were characterized by the inability to “sustain attention,
modulate activity level, and moderate impulsive actions” [15].
Surveys administered by the Center for Disease Control
indicated that over 6.4 million U.S. school-aged children were
diagnosed with ADHD by 2011 (roughly 1 out of every 10
children). Perhaps more alarming, this percentage has increased
roughly 5% each year since 2003 [8]. Common treatments for
ADHD include behavioral therapy and medication [8]. Common
approaches in the classroom include: incorporating movement,
limiting distractions, and providing alternative seating options
(e.g., standing desks) [7].
2.3 Technologies/Tools to Support Disabilities
Buehler, Kane and Hurst [5] presented 3D-printing as an
approach to support students with disabilities. Comparing three
distinct sites’ usage of 3D-printing, authors concluded that this
was a form of assistive technology which allowed for the
customization of personalized objects to meet individualized
student needs. In other work, Buehler, Hurst and Hofmann [6]
teamed with occupational therapists to fabricate a specialized
stylus grip for a student with motor impairments.
Specific to fidgets, most research has occurred in the field of
mental health. For example, psychiatric settings often use
sensory tools and experiences (inclusive of fidgets) [9]. Further,
Scanlan and Novak [13] concluded that sensory approaches
effectively assist individuals in regulating behavior. These
approaches are “non-invasive, self-directed, and empowering
interventions” that decrease the use of seclusion and restraint
[13].
3 RESEARCH DESIGN
This project followed a design-based research methodology
[1], which highlights the necessary collaborations of varied
stakeholders to improve educational outcomes in context. In this
work, a special education teacher teamed with researchers at a
nearby university to help his students create solutions to
improve focus in class. Shortly after, the team realized the need
to include additional collaborators: staff at a local science
museum with a designated Innovation Workshop hosting a
range of fabrication tools, such as 3D-printers and a laser cutter.
Collaborating with this museum added increased expertise and
access to tools. Further, this created a distributed learning
environment [3], allowing students to cross multiple sites for
increased relevancy and authenticity.
3.1 Research Context
3.1.1 The School. The middle school served approximately
185 students in grades 6-8 (ages 11-14) in Central California
during the 2016-2017 academic year. The school is in a rural,
farming community. Most enrolled students identified as
Hispanic or Latino/a (55%) or White (43%). Nearly 60% of
students qualified as socioeconomically disadvantaged. Also, 18%
of students were classified as English learners and 13% of
students received special education services under IDEA. Of the
students receiving special education services at the school, 8
students had a diagnosis of OHI and would benefit from using a
fidget. Of these students, 5 consented to participate in the
research study and, thus, constitute our sample (see Table 1).
Table 1: Student participants
Pseudonym
Gender
Grade
Calvin
Male
7
Ethan
Male
6
Chris
Male
6
Kaitlin
Female
7
Chloe
Female
6
Figure 1: Students working in the Innovation Workshop.
3.1.2 The Museum. The Wolf Museum of Exploration +
Innovation (MOXI) is an interactive museum that celebrates
science and creativity. Visitors explore physical science concepts
through a variety of hands-on exhibits, such as building and
racing cars on the Speed Track, or creating art through
combining color and shadows on the Light Track. MOXI also
features a designated Innovation Workshopa space designed
for visitors to tinker with materials and technologies, as well as
explore the process of fabrication. Figure 1 shows the
Fidgeting with Fabrication
FABLEARN ’17, October 2017, Palo Alto, CA USA
3
participating students at MOXI, working with staff to refine their
fidget designs.
3.2 Data Collection
Students completed this project in 7 design sessions
occurring over the course of 1 month (roughly 4.5 hours in total).
Six of the design sessions were held at the school during 7th
perioda time typically reserved for finishing homework and
learning study skills. In the one design session that was held at
MOXI, students worked with the Innovation Workshop staff for
roughly 30 minutes and then explored the museum with other
classmates from their school. Each design session was filmed
(see Table 2). After the project, students were interviewed to
better understand their conceptions of the design process and
final products created.
Table 2: Overview of design sessions
Day
Theme
Time
Site
1
Engineering design
39 min
School
2
2D-designing
32 min
School
3
TinkerCAD
39 min
School
4
3D-designing
37 min
School
5
Innovation Workshop
28 min
Museum
6
Re-design
39 min
School
7
Finish revisions
39 min
School
3.3 Data Analysis
First, all interviews were transcribed verbatim. Researchers
then reviewed the transcripts to pull emergent themes using
qualitative, open-coding [16]. During the first round of coding,
aspects of the design process emerged as particularly salient
(e.g., troubleshooting, revising design to better meet constraints).
The transcripts were then re-coded using the NGSS performance
expectations for middle school engineering design: defining and
delimiting the problem, developing possible solutions, and
optimizing the design. Finally, researchers reviewed the video
recordings of design sessions to supplement themes that
emerged in the interview data.
4 FINDINGS
4.1 Defining and delimiting the problem
Students demonstrated an accurate understanding of the
problem and design constraints. This was evident in the first
design session when the project was introduced. When asked
what a fidget was, all 5 students eagerly raised their hands to
share. The following exchange occurred:
Researcher: So, what is a fidget?
Ethan: It helps you focus.
Calvin: Something to keep your hands busy.
Kaitlin: So you won’t move around in class.
All students were aware of the problem they were attempting
to solve by designing a fidget. The rest of this design session
centered on aspects of effective fidgets. Students described
constraints when brainstorming which senses they might (and
might not) appease; for example, they recognized that a fidget
should not be edible (“You’re not allowed to eat in class”). Calvin
also shared that a fidget should not have a scent because it might
be distracting for classmates. In this instance, the researcher
challenged Calvin’s conception and handed him a lavender-
scented stress ball. All students took turns smelling this and
decided it was not distracting. In the end, all students agreed that
a fidget was a sensory tool to help improve focus (problem),
fidgets should be small enough to fit in their hands (constraint),
but they should not be edible (constraint).
Another instance of students understanding the design
constraints emerged in the final interviews. When the researcher
asked Calvin how he was using his fidget during class, he
shared: “I’ve been spinning it…it’s good, not as much for my
writing, but when I’m just listening it really helps me focus.”
Calvin noted that his fidget was useful when he was listening in
class, but not writing. When asked to elaborate, Calvin described
how he needed two hands when he was writing and the fidget
was more distracting than helpful in these instances, showing an
understanding of the problem and design constraints.
4.2 Developing possible solutions
While students successfully defined and delimited the
problem, they did not develop as many possible solutions as the
researchers initially anticipated. Four of the 5 students never
deviated from the fidget spinner design that has gained
popularity recently, despite researchers providing over 15
different examples of fidgets. When asked to justify their spinner
design, students shared responses such as: “I like the way it feels
when it’s spinning,” or “I’ve seen these in stores, but want to
make my own.” While the teacher expressed concerns over the
lack of diversity in designs, we note that the recent popularity of
fidget spinners seemed to provide increased motivation for these
students: all students were excited for the opportunity to make
something contemporary. Further, considering fidget spinners
were banned at this school, students expressed appreciation that
this project allowed them to make and use fidget spinners as
productive tools, rather than toys.
Kaitlin’s process of developing solutions was unique. She was
initially hesitant to engage with TinkerCAD, resulting in her
opting for low-tech materials. She made a stress ball using a blue
balloon filled with lavender-scented playdough. However, this
simple design took substantially less time than other students’
design process. Kaitlin continued attending design sessions, but
observed and helped other students use TinkerCAD. This low-
stakes environment allowed her to build confidence in her
abilities over time. By the fourth session, Kaitlin announced she
also wanted to make a fidget spinner and began her own design
in TinkerCAD. She finished her design in a timely manner,
resulting in the creation of two distinctive fidgets: a stress ball
and spinner.
4.3 Optimizing the design solution
The final phase of the engineering design process is
optimizing the design solution. The largest issue that students
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A.K. Hansen et al.
4
encountered when designing was around precision of
measurement. In the first round of design, 4 students made
fidgets that were too large to fit in their hand. Calvin was the
only exception; however, his initial goal was to create a mini-
fidget spinner, which helped him better attend to measuring
precisely. Students struggled to envision what the 3D-version of
their design on TinkerCAD would look like in real life, despite
researchers providing rulers and limiting the size of the
designing stage. In hindsight, it would have been beneficial for
students to create a physical prototype (not just a 2D-drawing)
of their fidget with exact measurements before designing on
TinkerCAD.
Aside from precision of measurement, Chloe showed an
exceptional ability to optimize her design. Initially, Chloe
decided to make a fidget spinner, but wanted to include objects
such as hearts, stars, and flowers. After receiving her first 3D-
print, however, Chloe realized that the stars had extremely sharp
edges, making it hard to spin. She then decided to change the
stars to flowers. Again, Chloe encountered another obstacle:
TinkerCAD had no pre-formed flower shapes for her to drag and
drop. Instead, she created the physical appearance of a flower by
combining small hearts around the center bearing. See Figure 2
for the evolution of Chloe’s personalized fidget, from her initial
drawing on paper through her final, printed design.
Figure 2: Chloe’s dget designs over time.
Ethan and Chris also demonstrated their ability to optimize
their designstogether. Interviews with their teacher revealed
that Ethan and Chris worked together on TinkerCAD as often as
they were allowed during the school day; for example, if they
finished their mathematics work early, both boys would request
a laptop to work on their fidget designs next to one another.
They frequently shared new discoveries made on TinkerCAD
(“You can add a mod to make it look like Minecraft!”) and
provided feedback on designs-in-progress (“I think 3 bearings
looks cooler than 1.”). As noted by their teacher: “Ethan and
Chris seemed to become close friends through this experience.
They didn’t really spend much time together before, but they’ve
spent hours working on their designs together since the project
started.” In addition to creating fidgets, Ethan and Chris also
created a friendship.
5 CONCLUSIONS
This work demonstrates the creative potential of youth who
are sometimes left out of activities such as 3D-printing and
design which are often seen as “enrichment” beyond the
required curriculum. All five students successfully fabricated a
personalized fidget. Despite the small sample size, this work
demonstrates that it is possible to engage students with special
needs (in this case ADHD) in meaningful design challenges
while at school. Further, it signals that students with special
needs are not only capable and competent designers, but have
unique problems that the Maker Movement is primed to help
solve.
This work also highlights, however, that resources outside of
the classroom are often necessary to add authenticity and rigor
to projects. Without access to MOXI’s Innovation Workshop and
staff, students would not have had the necessary expertise and
tools to create more complex designs. This work serves as one
model of collaboration when designing projects to ensure that
making can reach all students.
Another limitation of this work was the project occurred
towards the end of the academic year, not allowing the
researchers to collect additional data on students’ attention in
class while using their fidgets. Next steps include repeating this
project earlier in the school year to allow for additional data
collection to determine the effectiveness of fabricated fidgets in
sustaining attention in the classroom.
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... Work following a Participatory Design (PD)/CoDesign approach appears to be more likely to engage directly with ADHD children, teenagers or adults as active contributors to the design process and as conversation partners in evaluation (e.g. [46,50,67,165,180]). We highlight the work by Eriksson et al. [46] who ran future workshops and conducted lo-fi prototyping sessions with students that have ADHD to explore their conceptions of time. ...
... Other technologies appear only once or twice, e.g. eye tracking games [1], a handheld game controller for breathing exercises [144], fidget toys [67], full body games [72], and Tangible Interfaces [165,181]. Robots were used twice [97,182]. ...
... The biggest group of projects (10) in our core corpus aim to train focus, concentration or attention (span), usually of children [1,4,67,72,92,99,102,132,164,182], with another two projects aiming to support self-regulation of attention directly [113,149]. Other projects are concerned with frustration tolerance as a related topic [120] or working memory [61]. ...
... Fidget is a small hand-held tool that is widely used by students to assist them to maintain focus while in the classroom . Hansen et al. (2017) incorporate the benefits of using the fidget with the concept of the Maker Movements (Do-It-Yourself culture) to better suit the needs of students with ADHD to keep focus while at school. KIP3 is a social robotic companion designed to provide real-time cues as a feedback to help adults with ADHD to regain focus for inattention and impulsivity events based on two sets of design guidelines: Barkley's principles; including the use of external information and cues around the person, keep the information within users' sensory fields, and keep cues in the natural environment; and Empathy Objects guidelines; including tangible representation of digital information to supplement human-human interaction. ...
... Coming up with an idea of the solution based on existing social theories gives more strengths and increase its efficacy. Hansen et al. (2017) emphasize on the importance of utilizing the Maker Movement in optimizing the proposed solution by engaging the users (e.g., children with ADHD) in developing a personalized solution or tool to ensure satisfaction. Alissa Antle (2017) raises some ethical concerns regarding the inclusion of children in research such as the end benefits that kids are getting from the study and the integrity of researchers' assumptions on children developments and life. ...
... Children with ADHD are vulnerable users, testing the system with adults before do so with children with ADHD is better to ensure avoiding any control or ethical issues . Avoid recruiting children during the summer holiday or at the end of the academic year because families usually change their daily practice which might affect the accuracy of the results Hansen et al., 2017). Involving experts and therapists in the study can help in defining better requirements (Duval et al., 2016). ...
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic mental and behavioral disorder that interferes with everyday activities and has three core symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. To help in reducing the effects of ADHD symptoms, there are multiple treatments, but none of them help in curing ADHD. Assistive technologies offer great opportunities in delivering treatments, especially those related to behavioral interventions, monitoring, and changing in a more flexible, acceptable and accessible way. Focusing on assistive technology for children with ADHD is very important as early support during childhood prevents the manifestation of its symptoms before entering adulthood. This systematic literature review paper investigates the available studies covering assistive technologies for children with ADHD. The contribution of this paper can help Human-Computer Interaction researchers to identify the procedures and research methods used throughout requirements, design, and evaluation phases in developing assistive technology for children with ADHD. Moreover, it provides researchers with information regarding frameworks and protocols of conducting studies on ADHD, current available solutions, and their limitations.
... Expanding upon Papert's [9] conceptualization of contexts with "low floors and high ceilings", Resnick and colleagues [12] recommended the addition of "wide walls" that would accommodate a variety of interests, recognizing the value of personallyrelevant educational experiences. Not only are students more likely to remain engaged by an activity that integrates a topic of interest [28], they may also benefit from enhanced creativity [29] and other global competencies [20], and a deeper understanding of the concepts being learned [17]. ...
... Despite being successful in identifying a problem and beginning to design a solution, Anisha and Derick continued to have difficulty progressing with their project in the absence of dedicated guidance. Their ongoing challenges reinforce the notion that, despite literature supporting the role of passion-based learning and guided inquiry in promoting both learning and engagement [19,28], one size does not necessarily fit all. Camp facilitators continued to assist them in refining their ideas, identifying necessary components, and getting them started in the process of constructing their initial prototypes, but were unable to provide the degree of support required to keep the pair moving towards their goal as their focus was divided between other participants. ...
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INTRODUCTION: IoT will transform our future in unimaginable ways. The necessity for young people to understandand design with IoT seems unequivocal but there is currently limited integration in K-12 education.OBJECTIVES: To investigate these gaps in research and practice, this study aimed to explore the design processes andunderstandings of IoT that emerge when youth design an IoT passion project within a constructionist context.METHODS: A mixed methods multiple case study design was employed, analyzing questionnaires, interviews,recordings, and participant artifacts.RESULTS: Factors contributing to a successful design included guided inquiry, detailed plans, access to support, andperseverance. Participants also experienced gains in IoT skills and knowledge.CONCLUSION: Design and making with IoT through passion-based, guided inquiry appeared to facilitate thedevelopment of valuable knowledge and skills. Further research is needed to explore implementations in formal education.
... ADHD is one of the most prevalent disorders [23], affecting up to 7% of children [68]. The Centers for Disease Control indicates that over 6.4 million children were diagnosed with ADHD [3]. Those with ADHD tend to be more creative and multi-taskers, with the ability to operate well in stressful events [49]. ...
... Smart technologies for neurodiverse users can improve accessibility to the wider user population [3][21], but prior research is still limited. Studies with neurodiverse users are limited in sample size [31]. ...
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This paper presents the findings of a literature review on smart technologies for neurodiverse users. The analysis of the literature indicates that most technologies implemented consist of games to train neurodiverse individuals on self-regulation, attention, and communication skills. The studies are conducted in the field, often involving a limited number of participants. The age of the participants is skewed towards children and the gender of the participant sample is predominantly male. The studies combine mixed-methods, including observations, interviews, and usability evaluations. The participants include end users, as well as caregivers and practitioners. Neurodiversity is prevalent, and emerging technologies are promising to assist neurodiverse individuals in their daily activities. Despite the importance of involving neurodiverse users in the technology design, guidance for investigators to conduct inclusive studies is currently limited. This paper provides concrete recommendations for practitioners seeking to design UX studies to include neurodiverse users.
... Given the emphasis on inquiry and student-centered learning in making, the makerspace (be it physical or virtual) is a natural environment for education to be driven by students' personal interests (Marsh et al., 2019). Not only do students value opportunities to exercise agency over their learning (Gallup, 2019), integrating topics of personal interest can facilitate increased engagement (Hansen et al., 2017;Robertson, 2013), the development of global competencies (Hughes, 2017), and deeper conceptual understanding (Mas'ud et al., 2019;Ratto, 2011). Interest-driven learning is passion-based learning. ...
... They also improve on-task focus among disabled middle schoolers while rating as socially acceptable to those students' peers [35]. In fact, handheld fidgets have proven so beneficial, normalizing, and acceptable for students with focus disorders that researchers at UC Santa Barbara developed a curriculum allowing middle schoolers with ADHD to design and fabricate their own custom hand-held fidgets as a STEAEM activity [36]. ...
... For example, one student developed a Virtual Reality program for children to learn coding [28]. Another designed and implemented an activity for middle school students diagnosed with ADHD to design and fabricate fidget tools [29]. Testing in MOXI provides an the opportunity to repeat programs with many different guests allowing for rapid iteration, and the informal context allows for lower stakes environments to test activities to be used in other contexts. ...
Chapter
Internet of Things (IoT), one of the latest technological advancements, will transform our future in ways we can only imagine. The necessity for young people to understand and design with IoT technologies seems unequivocal; however, there is currently limited integration of IoT in K-12 education. To address these gaps in current research, we conducted a mixed methods, multiple-case study during a five-day “maker” camp focused on the informal design of IoT passion projects. Our research sought to understand what participants learned about IoT, as well as how they designed basic IoT artifacts within a constructionist context. Results indicated several factors contributing to a successful design, including guided inquiry, detailed planning documents, access to knowledgeable support in the form of peers or facilitators, and perseverance. Participants also experienced substantial gains in IoT knowledge and skills resulting from their experiences designing and creating IoT artifacts, which will be valuable as IoT becomes more prevalent in society. However, the inquiry-driven model also posed several challenges relevant to educators in formalized settings, including wide variability in the level of scaffolding and support required, progress paralysis resulting from a context with limited instruction and restrictions, and the impact of time constraints on students’ learning and designs.
Chapter
This paper presents and discusses the perspectives of ten investigators experienced with design of technologies for and with neurodiverse users. Although the advances on emerging technologies improved their potential to assist users with neurodiverse needs, existing methods for participatory design, usability tests and evaluation have been created for, and validated with, able-bodied users. User-centered design methods are not always well-suited to meet the unique needs of neurodiverse individuals. Therefore, to involve neurodiverse users iteratively in the design process, investigators need to adapt traditional methods from HCI to successfully conduct user studies. Through an online questionnaire, we identified the experimental designs commonly adopted and the major problems investigators face during recruitment, data collection, analysis and design. Based on the analysis of the investigators’ experiences, we provide nine recommendations to conduct studies with neurodiverse users, aiming at engaging them as active participants front and center in the research and design process.
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Background/aim: Sensory approaches in mental health are designed to assist consumers to regulate physiological and emotional arousal. They have been highlighted as non-invasive, self-directed and empowering interventions that may support recovery-oriented and trauma-informed mental health practice and may assist in efforts to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint. Over recent years, there has been a substantial increase in research in this area. However, there has not yet been any attempt to map and summarise this literature. Method: A five-stage scoping review was conducted. Four databases were searched for literature evaluating sensory interventions implemented in mental health settings. Results: A total of 17 studies were included in the final review. A range of sensory approaches was evaluated and a range of outcomes measured. In general, consumers reported reductions in distress associated with engaging in sensory interventions. Results in terms of reduction of seclusion and restraint were mixed, with some studies reporting a decrease, others reporting no change and one reporting an increase. Methodological limitations in the studies reviewed mean that results should be interpreted with caution. Conclusions: Although there is emerging evidence for the usefulness of sensory approaches in supporting consumers' self-management of distress, there is less evidence for sensory approaches supporting reductions in seclusion and restraint when used in isolation. More research is necessary, but sensory approaches do appear safe and effective. Services wishing to reduce seclusion and restraint should implement sensory approaches in conjunction with other strategies to achieve this important outcome.
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The maker movement consists of a growing culture of hands-on making, creating, designing, and innovating. A hallmark of the maker movement is its do-it-yourself (or do-it-with-others) mindset that brings individuals together around a range of activities, both high- and low-tech, all involving some form of creation or repair. The movement's shared commitment to open exploration, intrinsic interest, and creative ideas can help to transform STEM and arts education. The authors profile several forms of making, makerspaces, and maker networks, and conclude with some ways the movement spreads innovation, providing potential guidance for educational reform.
Conference Paper
Although interactive technologies and the maker movement offer stunning prospects for the next 50 years of educational inclusion and accessibility for learners with visual disabilities, a surprising array of physical, digital, and cultural barriers continue to communicate lessons of exclusion and inequity. Accessibility is a fundamental aspect of digital and physical design which, when present, allows a user with a disability to have an effective and substantively equivalent experience to that of a user without a disability. Here we consider interaction barriers for people with visual disabilities, but the themes readily apply to other disability-specific challenges in universal design and inclusion. Consider any cross section of exciting instructional technologies, and chances are they are dominated by visual metaphors, graphical user interfaces, data visualizations, and interactive video. Systems that incorporate ostensibly non-visual, multi-modal interactives such as haptics and active manipulation do not necessarily expand access for blind and visually-impaired learners, as such tools are likely also to include key interface elements that are visual. The same may be said of mainstream information technologies accessibility is still temperamental and far from complete for such seemingly simple and ubiquitous resources as Google Suite, Facebook, and YouTube, let alone advanced immersive experiences such as Oculus Rift. The iconic tools of the maker movement and experiential learning -- 3D design, modeling, and printing -- while lauded and enthusiastically embraced by sighted designers of accessible instructional materials, remain largely unusable by independent blind makers.
Conference Paper
In this demonstration, we discuss a case study involving a student with limited hand motor ability and the process of exploring consumer grade, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology in order to create a viable assistive solution. This paper extends our previous research into DIY tools in special education settings [1] and presents the development of a unique tool, GripFab, for creating 3D-printed custom handgrips. We offer a description of the design process for a handgrip, explain the motivation behind the creation of GripFab, and explain current and planned features of this tool.
Conference Paper
Consumer-grade digital fabrication such as 3D printing is on the rise, and we believe it can be leveraged to great benefit in the arena of special education. Although 3D printing is beginning to infiltrate mainstream education, little to no research has explored 3D printing in the context of students with special support needs. We present a formative study exploring the use of 3D printing at three locations serving populations with varying ability, including individuals with cognitive, motor, and visual impairments. We found that 3D design and printing performs three functions in special education: developing 3D design and printing skills encourages STEM engagement; 3D printing can support the creation of educational aids for providing accessible curriculum content; and 3D printing can be used to create custom adaptive devices. In addition to providing opportunities to students, faculty, and caregivers in their efforts to integrate 3D printing in special education settings, our investigation also revealed several concerns and challenges. We present our investigation at three diverse sites as a case study of 3D printing in the realm of special education, discuss obstacles to efficient 3D printing in this context, and offer suggestions for designers and technologists.
Book
Next Generation Science Standards identifies the science all K-12 students should know. These new standards are based on the National Research Council's A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve have partnered to create standards through a collaborative state-led process. The standards are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The print version of Next Generation Science Standards complements the nextgenscience.org website and: Provides an authoritative offline reference to the standards when creating lesson plans. Arranged by grade level and by core discipline, making information quick and easy to find. Printed in full color with a lay-flat spiral binding. Allows for bookmarking, highlighting, and annotating.
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Data from the 2003 and 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) reflect the increasing prevalence of parent-reported attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis and treatment by health care providers. This report updates these prevalence estimates for 2011 and describes temporal trends. Weighted analyses were conducted with 2011 NSCH data to estimate prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis, current ADHD, current medication treatment, ADHD severity, and mean age of diagnosis for U.S. children/adolescents aged 4 to 17 years and among demographic subgroups. A history of ADHD diagnosis (2003-2011), as well as current ADHD and medication treatment prevalence (2007-2011), were compared using prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals. In 2011, 11% of children/adolescents aged 4 to 17 years had ever received an ADHD diagnosis (6.4 million children). Among those with a history of ADHD diagnosis, 83% were reported as currently having ADHD (8.8%); 69% of children with current ADHD were taking medication for ADHD (6.1%, 3.5 million children). A parent-reported history of ADHD increased by 42% from 2003 to 2011. Prevalence of a history of ADHD, current ADHD, medicated ADHD, and moderate/severe ADHD increased significantly from 2007 estimates. Prevalence of medicated ADHD increased by 28% from 2007 to 2011. Approximately 2 million more U.S. children/adolescents aged 4 to 17 years had been diagnosed with ADHD in 2011, compared to 2003. More than two-thirds of those with current ADHD were taking medication for treatment in 2011. This suggests an increasing burden of ADHD on the U.S. health care system. Efforts to further understand ADHD diagnostic and treatment patterns are warranted.