As the prevalence of mobile and touch-based devices continues to expand in society, so too does its impact on young children. With educational technologies also on the rise, young children benefit most from those technologies that are designed to be developmentally appropriate, and the development of social and emotional skills, which are key for learning and academic success, are crucial in the early childhood years. Addressing these skills prior to students transitioning to kindergarten is critical, as the extensive support systems available in preschool are often unavailable in kindergarten.
In this thesis, the design of MindfulNest, a robotic multimodal system, is presented, which aims to guide students through (1) identifying their emotions, and (2) applying emotion regulation strategies. While prior work relies on using biofeedback technologies and wearing special equipment, MindfulNest prioritizes independent use of the system for young children (ages 3-5) and provides feedback in non-invasive ways. Reviewing developmentally appropriate technology design for young children, a set of design goals is presented as well as the technical description of the implemented MindfulNest system. The goals and findings from pilots in six early childhood classrooms are also presented.
Illah Nourbakhsh (Advisor)
Zoom Participation. See announcement.