Topobo in the Wild: Longitudinal Evaluations of Educators Appropriating a Tangible Interface

Amanda Parkes Raffle, H., and Ishii, H.


What issues arise when designing and deploying tangibles for learning in long term evaluations? This paper reports on a series of studies in which the Topobo system, a 3D tangible construction kit with the ability to record and playback motion, was provided to educators and designers to use over extended periods of time in the context of their day-to-day work. Tangibles for learning - like all educational materials - must be evaluated in relation both to the student and the teacher, but most studies of tangibles for learning focus on the student as user. Here, we focus on the conception of the educator, and their use of the tangible interface in the absence of an inventor or HCI researcher. The results of this study identify design and pedagogical issues that arise in response to distribution of a tangible for learning in different educational environments.

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