From Gesture Research to Impactful Educational Technology
When we explain ideas, particularly in domains like mathematics, we often gesture and research is revealing how these gestures offer a unique window into the way children think, learn, and communicate their conceptual understanding. Gestures also present a valuable opportunity for practitioners – both in how they encourage children’s gestures and gesture themselves. Gestures may even help designers exploit the potential of technologies that can capture and engage forms of body-based interaction. Yet, the gap between what we know and how we can apply this knowledge in practice, at scale, remains. In this talk, Professor Andrew Manches will share video data from several UK and internationally funded projects to discuss what gestures reveal about children’s conceptual development, and the experience and challenges of applying this research to the development of educational training and products.
Andrew Manches is Professor of Children and Technology at the University of Edinburgh, where he leads the Children and Technology group as co-director of the Digital Education Research Centre. Since moving to academia from a career as a classroom teacher, Andrew has led multiple funded projects examining the role of body-based interaction in the way children think and learn and the implications for new forms of technology. He works closely alongside practitioners and designers and has spun out two companies to commercialize this work. In 2021, Andrew was awarded the Tam Dalyell prize for excellence in engaging the public with science to recognize his ongoing efforts to bridge his work with everyday educational practice and design.