The paper introduces an Ecological Inquiry as a methodological approach for designing technology with children. The inquiry is based on the ‘ecological turn’ in HCI, Ubiquitous Computing and Participatory Design that shift the emphasis of design from technological artifacts to entire use ecologies into which technologies are integrated. Our Ecological Inquiry extends Cooperative Inquiry in three directions: from understanding to emergence of social practices and meanings, from design of artifacts to hybrid environments, and from a focus on technology to appropriations through design and use. We exemplify our approach in a case study in which we designed social technologies for hybrid learning environments with children in two schools, and discuss how an Ecological Inquiry can inform existing approaches in CCI.
Idc '13: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, 2013, p. 183-192