Call for Participation

Literacy is a necessary skill for both learning and participation in social life. Acquired in early years and primary school, skilled readers continue to have a lifelong engagement with literacy. Yet, many children leave school without the necessary knowledge and practice in reading and writing. Recognising the importance of securing these foundational skills, in recent years there has been a proliferation of digital technologies for supporting children’s literacy (DTCL) and accordingly there is an emerging body of evidence to show how these tools shape children’s learning or motivation.

We invite academic and practitioner submissions concerned with theories, design and practice within digital technologies for supporting children’s literacy in primary school (ages 5-11). Submissions should cover a DTCL and its relevance to the HCI community, considering questions that address our overarching themes:

  • Who currently benefits from DTCL, and should we change this?
  • How do we design social uses of DTCL?
  • How can interaction design collaborate with the children’s publishing industry?
  • What are the outcomes of current DTCL and are there evidence-based interaction design principles? How do we define and measure ‘effectiveness’?

Participants should submit a 1-2 page paper in one of the following formats: a position paper (presenting a critical examination around one of our key themes to advocate how things ought to be), a research-based review (drawing on literature to present current impacts and uses of these technologies), or a mini research proposal (a motivation statement for a new area of research).

Papers should be submitted by date tbc via email to Submissions will be juried by the co-organisers and members of the program committee based on originality and relevance to the workshop themes. At least one author of each accepted position paper must attend the workshop and all participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the conference.

For further details please see our full workshop proposal. Please direct any questions via email to Laura Benton.

Workshop Schedule


  • Introduction to workshop
  • Short madness-style intros (2-3 mins) from participants
  • Rotation 1: Small group (4-5 participants) theme discussion activities

Coffee Break


  • Rotation 2: Small group (4-5 participants) theme discussion activities

Lunch Break


  • Rotation 3: Small group (4-5 participants) theme discussion activities

Coffee Break


  • Feedback from discussions
  • Map out future direction
  • Closing

Post Workshop Dinner


profile-picLaura Benton is a Research Fellow at University College London. Based at the UCL Knowledge lab her research focuses on education technology design for children. Laura has worked on multiple projects in the areas of literacy, computing and mathematics where she has looked at ways to support the involvement of both children and teachers in the technology design process. She is currently working on the EU-funded iRead project (personalised adaptive reading apps for primary school children), where she is leading the interaction design of an e-reader for beginning, dyslexic and EFL readers as well as coordinating the pedagogical design of a connected literacy game.

minaAsimina Vasalou is a Senior Lecturer at the University College London Institute of Education. She worked in the technology design industry for over ten years before entering academia. Her research sits between the social sciences and interaction design, and examines how digital technologies shape the learning and expression for young people and vulnerable populations. She is also currently a coordinator of the iRead project.

elisaElisa Rubegni is Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Science of the University of Lincoln, UK. She investigates the sociotechnical issues created by information systems and her agenda is focused on two main topics: ICT to enhance personal and community growth, and children-computer interaction. She has been involved in many projects (national and European) which contribute to understanding the design space for supporting learning activities such as literacy acquisition (education) as well as for creating compelling in-presence interactions in public spaces (community interaction).

nataliaNatalia Kucirkova is a Senior Research Fellow at the University College London Institute of Education. Her research concerns innovative ways of supporting children’s book reading, digital literacy and exploring the role of personalisation in early years. She developed an award-winning children’s app ‘Our Story’ and has widely published on early literacy and children’s technology. Natalia currently leads an ESRC-funded project focused on children’s personalised books at the Department of Learning & Leadership.

06_ugot_wolmetbWolmet Barendregt is Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Information Technology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Her research focuses on user-centered and participatory design of (educational) technologies for children, such as games and social robots. Currently, she is part of the iRead project where she works on the user-centered design of the literacy games and the e-reader for dyslexic, beginning, and EFL readers, involving both teachers and children.

Daniel_GoochDaniel Gooch is a Lecturer in Computing and Communication at the Open University in the UK. His research interests are motivated by wanting to understand how we can best design technology to fit within, and where necessary change, people’s practices and behaviour. He has previously worked as a researcher on the iLearnRW project, which developed tablet-based educational apps to assist children with dyslexia in reading and writing.