Digital Technologies and Marginalized Youth:
Reducing the Gap

IDC 09 Workshop, June 3, 2009, Como, Italy
Edith K. Ackermann is Honorary Professor of Developmental Psychology, at the University of Aix-Marseille 1, France. Currently a Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Siena, Department of Communication, she teaches graduate students, conducts research, and consults for companies, institutions, and organizations interested in the intersections between learning, teaching, design, and digital technologies. Previously, Ackermann was a Senior Research Scientist at MERL - Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory, Cambridge, MA; an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media laboratory, in Cambridge, MA; and a Scientific Collaborator at the Centre International d'Epistémologie Génétique, under the direction of Jean Piaget, Geneva. She started her career as a Junior Faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Françoise Decortis is a senior researcher (FNRS, FRS) and Lecturer at the University of Liège in Belgium. Françoise. Decortis is responsible of the ÏKU (Interactions, Knowledge, Usage) research unit. She holds a PhD in Psychology and Educational Sciences from University of Liège (1992) and an “Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches” from University of Paris VIII (2008). Her research interests concern the interrelations among learning, interactive media, design and narrative. She has contributed to various EU programmes (within FP4, FP5, FP6), which aimed at: researching active tools, tangible media to develop children narrative competence (I3 Experimental School Environment, POGO), understanding and developing cooperative technologies in complex social settings (Training and Mobility of Researchers (COTCOS, COSI), investigating concepts and methods for exploring the future of learning with digital technologies (Network of excellence Kaleidoscope on Technology enhanced learning), understanding intergenerational learning in public spaces (PIAZZA, PUENTE Minerva). Through these projects, she gained an experience of EU research tools. From 1986 to 1996, she was an EU agent at the joint research centre of Ispra in Italy. Last year to the IDC 2008’s workshop on “Marginalized young people: Inclusion Through ICT” she presented a paper entitled “Semiotics artifacts, space and community: a case study on pinholes” which is concerned by the development of local communities in relation to the notions of place-attachment and place-identification, and how social inclusion practices can be supported by technologies.

Juan Pablo Hourcade is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa's Department of Computer Science. His main area of research is Human-Computer Interaction, with a concentration on technologies that support creativity, collaboration and information access for a variety of users, including children and older adults. Prof. Hourcade is actively involved in the research community, serving as Papers Chair of the IDC 2004 Conference, and Papers Co-Chair of the IDC 2005 Conference, and Workshops Chair in the IDC 2008 Conference. He also participates in National Science Foundation panels and reviews articles for numerous journals and conferences.

Heidi Schelhowe is professor for “Digital Media in Education” at the Computer Science Department of the University of Bremen and member of the Center for Computing Technologies (TZI). She has a background in pedagogy, being a high school teacher for several years (German and Theology) as well as in computing science, owning a diploma and PhD in the field. Her special field of research and teaching is application of Digital Media in schools as well as in university teaching, and vocational training Heidi Schelhowe was (together with Franca Garzotto, 2009’s IDC chair) one of the chairs and organizers of IDC 2008’s workshop on “Marginalized young people: Inclusion Through ICT”. Her special research interests are gender questions and inclusive design in computing sciences. She has been in charge for several research projects, some of them for marginalized young people together with the German Charity organization “Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk”, and is member of different committees. She is head of the Digital Media in Education (dimeb) research group, an interdisciplinary team of about 15 researchers and numerous students, which are supported by an excellent technical and administrative infrastructure. dimeb is situated within the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics and is a part of the Center for Computing Technologies (TZI), an institute within the University of Bremen.