Professor Janet Read
Professor of Child Computer Interaction
School of Psychology and Computer Science
A pioneer in the research area of Child Computer Interaction, Janet is an academic within Computer Science where she has taught a range of subjects including HCI, Research methods for CS, User Centred Security, Interaction Design, and Mathematics.
Janet currently directs the UCLan Research Centre for Digital Life and leads the Child Computer Interaction Research group. These roles align with her current research interests which include the design of positive technology with and for children and the broader remit of understanding how digital technologies fit into all our everyday lives.
Before joining academia, Janet spent ten years teaching secondary mathematics. Her PhD at UCLan was the first research to consider how handwriting recognition could be used to support children's writing and this work brought her into the then new community of academics looking at interactive technology for children. She hosted the first Interaction Design and Children Conference (IDC) in Preston in 2003 and then repeated this in 2016, hosting it with the BBC. She founded the Fun and Games conference series at UCLan which later became the ACM CHIPlay conference series and has also hosted the British HCI conference.
As a leader in Interaction Design and Children she has chaired the IFIP TC13 working group on Child Computer Interaction, has co-authored the first text book in the area, co - founded the first International Journal, and has delivered courses on Child Computer Interaction in over a dozen countries across the world.
Janet has been influential in bringing Child Computer Interaction to the attention of media and industry; she has spoken on the BBC on several occasions and has worked on funded projects with companies in France, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
With a broad network of academic collaborators across the globe, Janet's current projects include an updated book and an Internationally sourced resource for the UX community that brings together tools and techniques from Child Computer Interaction
Janet has innovated in three main areas in the general field of HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and in the specialist field of CCI (Child Computer Interaction). She was the first researcher to consider how handwriting recognition technology might be designed to be useful for children. She was able to show that children’s writing could be recognised, albeit with errors, by standard recognition software but also identified a unique problem that had not been seen with adult writing, notably the addition of delayed edit strokes (like making the stick of an h larger) that caused specific problems with the recognition algorithms.
During her PhD she realised there was a shortage of knowledge on how best to evaluate interactive technologies with children. She developed the Fun Toolkit, a suite of child friendly easy to use products that have statistical validity and that are now the go-to tool for use with children in HCI research. The Smileyometer, a tool within this set, was co-designed with children and is widely used in industry as well as in research. It features in Janet's book on Evaluation with Children (Morgan Kauffman).
Co-design has been a defining area for Janet as she has sought to ensure the empowerment of children in this activity. She has studied co-design in an empirical way establishing how we can account for ideas in a democratic and representative way and has, alongside this, developed a set of tools for the ethical involvement of children in research that ensure that children are informed ‘beyond the ethics board approval’. These methods of inclusive ethical co-design have been influential in CCI and HCI and she has spoken about them at keynotes and invited lectures in Indonesia, Cyprus and India.
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- View their unique and persistent identifier on the ORCiD registry
- Full list of publications and articles on CLoK
- Google Scholar
- Research Centre for Digital Life
- ChiCI Group
- SaFeR Group
- 2020 Newton Fund (REL), 2019, £35K
- University of Oxford, 2019, Creative Multilingualism, £5K
- EU Erasmus+ ALIEN, 2017 (586297-EPP-1-2017-1-EL-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP) - €904K
- EU Erasmus+ ADLES, 2017 (2017-1-TR01-KA201-045926) - €263K
- RAEng DVP Programme, 2016 (2503) - £5K
- EU Erasmus+ LEAP, 2016 (2016-1-EL01-KA203-023624) - €220K
- BBC / Amberlight, 2016 - £36K
- EU Erasmus+ PWs@PhD, 2015 (61577-EPP-1-2015-1-FI-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP5) - €973K
- TSB Lifelong Care Revolution, 2014 - £480K
- EU Lifelong Learning SEGAN, (2011) (519332 Network) - £350K
- EPSRC, TEDDI Mad4Nrg, 2010 (EP/I000720/1) - £1.3M
- EU LifelongLearning SELEAG, 2009 (Comenius 503900 )- £240K
- EU FP7 UMSIC, 2008 (224561) - £1.5M
Email: Email:Professor Janet Read
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