Children should have a voice in creating new technology for kids. Their ideas, interests, and insights can contribute to the entire technology design process. At the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies and Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL), we've been co-designing technologies
for children, with children, for over 20 years.
Our technology design team, known as KidsTeam, brings together children (6-14 years old) and adult designers and researchers to brainstorm, prototype, and evaluate existing and emerging technologies for youth. Over the past 22 years, KidsTeam has contributed to the design of interactive learning experiences, websites, and apps with institutional and industry partners such as the U.S. National Park Service, Nickelodeon, the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, and Wonder Workshop. We have collaborated with designers and researchers from the fields of human-computer interaction, learning sciences and education, computer science, art, architecture, information science, environmental science, and more.
Founded in 1998 by Dr. Allison Druin, KidsTeam employs a diverse repertoire of ideation and evaluation techniques in a process known as "Cooperative Inquiry." This design process enables children and adults to share ideas in ways that maximize idea elaboration yet minimize differences in age, ability, and communication styles. KidsTeam research enhances our understanding of intergenerational design techniques and our efforts to co-design technologies relevant to children’s interests and needs.
The children with whom we work need not come with any special background or educational experience. If they like to dream up new ideas, make stories, draw, code, or are interested in any aspect of the design process, they can participate! Many KidsTeam children are from local neighborhoods in Prince George's County; some have even grown up to study here at UMD and beyond.
If you'd like to join in giving children a voice in the design of new technologies and in so doing, change the lives of the children who participate, contribute to the KidsTeam Foundation Fund.