University of Oulu

Netta Iivari, Leena Ventä-Olkkonen, Heidi Hartikainen, Sumita Sharma, Essi Lehto, Jenni Holappa, Tonja Molin-Juustila, Computational empowerment of children: Design research on empowering and impactful designs by children, International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, Volume 37, 2023, 100600, ISSN 2212-8689,

Computational empowerment of children : design research on empowering and impactful designs by children

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Author: Iivari, Netta1; Ventä-Olkkonen, Leena1; Hartikainen, Heidi1;
Organizations: 1INTERACT Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-06


Prioritizing children’s empowerment in and through design has been on the agenda of child–computer interaction (CCI) research for a long time. Recently, the notion of the computational empowerment of children has received attention. However, there are still open issues in our understanding and advocacy of it. A related development is the recent interest in the longer-term impacts of our work. Fast and furious participation of children in design sessions is considered inadequate. We should advocate for longer-term trajectories and possibilities for children to make changes that will influence our world. However, the literature is limited in addressing longer-term impacts. This study taps into these two research gaps and showcases how we have addressed the computational empowerment of children in a project tackling bullying at school through critical design and making. In this paper, we examine in detail the children’s designs and their trajectories from the viewpoint of empowerment and impact: whether and how these children’s designs show potential for the empowerment of those bullied and whether and how their designs have had an impact in the realm of digital technology development. Our study has interesting conceptual and methodological implications for CCI research and practice on the computational empowerment of children and on our design research practice.

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Series: International journal of child-computer interaction
ISSN: 2212-8689
ISSN-E: 2212-8697
ISSN-L: 2212-8689
Volume: 37
Article number: 100600
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcci.2023.100600
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
516 Educational sciences
Funding: This study was funded by Academy of Finland (Grant 324685, Make-a-Difference project). This research is connected to the GenZ-project, a strategic profiling project in human sciences at the University of Oulu, supported by the Academy of Finland (Grant 318930) and the University of Oulu.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 324685
Detailed Information: 324685 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (