Balance Board Math: “Being the graph” through the sense of balance for embodied self-regulation and learning
Sofia Tancredi, Julia Wang, Helen Tong Li, Carissa Jiayuan Yao, Genna Macfarlan, and Kimiko Ryokai. 2022. Balance Board Math: “Being the graph” through the sense of balance for embodied self-regulation and learning. In Interaction Design and Children (IDC '22). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 137–149. https://doi.org/10.1145/3501712.3529743
Balance Board Math (BBM) is a new balance-based interface for math instruction. BBM integrates disparate work on embodied cognition and on sensory regulation to offer learners integrated opportunities to both self-regulate through movement and to use their sense of balance as a resource for conceptual understanding. This approach imagines beyond common views that self-initiated background activity, such as fidgeting, is unproductive for education. With a sensor-equipped balance board and dynamic real time display, BBM's Balance Graphing activities offer users opportunities to playfully explore and embody different aspects of functions and graphs such as frequency and amplitude. We conducted an in-depth study with 6 school-aged children to examine how their movement and personal sense of balance were used for both self-regulation and to make sense of mathematical concepts through BBM. By inviting learners’ regulatory movements to serve as an interaction resource for exploring mathematical concepts, BBM offers a new genre of sensory-responsive design that could better serve instructional differentiation.