My Silly Brain Project Report

Concept

With the increasing disinformation and misinformation online, we need to call out media to report news and information more objectively. However, more importantly, we need to raise awareness of our own biases to be critical readers in this information explosion era.

Goal

Biases are difficult concepts for younger kids to understand. However, those concepts are very important in our daily life, especially combating misinformation and disinformation.

To help teachers to teach the concepts of common biases to primary school students to increase children’s reading literacy to be more resilient against misinformation and disinformation, visualizing the brain process of how biases affect our thinking.

Implementation

fig 1: The sketch of “my silly brain” prototype
  • 3-D printing of the head with holes on eyes and mouth
  • Clay model of the brain parts with the name of types of biases
  • Video prototype of how this work to help kids understand the model
fig 2: the process of making the “my silly brain”
fig 3: My Silly Brain Project on exhibition
fig 4: video of how My Silly Brain Prototype works

Evaluation

  • Testing with classmates who are mostly aged 20–23 and mostly know the concepts
  • Testing with UW Kidsteam Kids who are aged 4–8

Both testings were conducted in informal settings, HCDE451 final exhibition and Playtime with kids before participatory sessions when I can talk to the participants and observed their reactions.

Analysis

Testing with classmates

  • Most participants show interests in the prototype and play with the brain parts
  • Most participants understand the concepts of biases before introducing the video
  • Some people like how the video connects to their daily life and it is fun to watch

Testing with Kidsteam Kids

  • Only a few older kids show interests in the video and prototype, however, most kids are distracted by the video games
  • Some kids are interested in how I made the prototype
  • The video is fun for kids, especially by Mr. Silly’s voice, however, the material is not relevant and related to kids’ life so that kids show fewer interests in the video express

For one older kid aged 7, I asked her the question before showing her the video: How do you think the fact of ‘Girls are escaping classes’ are changed to the words of ‘Hi, Dumb Girls’?

“That’s rude! That’s not correct!”

  • People are interested in the physical interaction with the prototype
  • Visualizing and contextualizing how the brain processes information with the effect of different kinds of biases is a way to help people understand the concepts
  • Drawing daily life is important for people to relate to the concepts: For kids, it should be things around their kids' life. (Not all about politics!)
  • embed lighting to the brain parts to light up when the brain is processing the information
  • install speakers to the prototype to make it saying things directly so that help kids to see the connections of how information received, altered and came out
  • create programs that could use biases to alter received information(facts) to exemplify how biases work and make the process more interesting for kids

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Ziyue Li

Ziyue Li

Shero for fun

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