Designing technology to empower children to communicate with non-residential parents

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3 Scopus citations


This paper considers the role of technology in supporting parent-child communication in divorced families. Through formative interviews, we identified specific challenges to engaging the child in remote communication and managing the tension inherent in the communication practices of divorced households. To address some of these challenges, we designed the ShareTable system, a synchronous communication appliance that combines easy-to-use videochat with a shared projector-camera tabletop surface. We observed the use of this system in the field through a multi-case design case study where each case consisted of two divorced households and the ShareTable as a mediating technology. The two families had very different experiences with the system, which we interpret through the lens of empowerment theory. This paper makes two major contributions to Child-Computer Interaction. First, it contributes a presentation of the formative interviews and field deployment of the ShareTable focused specifically on the role and perspective of the child. Second, it contributes a discussion of empowerment theory as a potential interpretive lens for Child-Computer Interaction and applies it to understanding the findings and providing implications for design in the context of communication technologies for children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Divorce
  • Empowerment theory
  • Evaluation
  • Family communication
  • Field deployment
  • Play

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