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Membership type: full

Helvi Itenge

Country of origin: Namibia Currently in: Namibia, Windhoek General field of specialization: Computing and Information Technology
Academic Background


2011 Master Computing and Information Technology
2007 Undergraduate Computing and Information Technology
Research and Profession

Current Research Activities

Computing and Information Technology

Considering the lack of indigenous language reading materials as well as an observed trend of low reading culture in Namibia, I intend to create new reading experiences by using participatory design (PD) as a development and ideation approach with children, parents, teachers and other stakeholders. The children are not the subject of research but are research partners in designing their own reading technologies.

Publications resulting from Research: 

Co-creating an enabling reading environment for and with Namibian children
Namibian children's appreciation of literature is falling behind. While children develop functional literacy, enough to search the web and read for information finding, their skills plateau due to their limited forms of reading. Thus this paper draws on a participatory approach with different stakeholders aiming to co-create a stimulating and enabling reading environment for Namibian children.
Four different participatory workshops were designed to discover ways to deepen the reading culture, in particular by exploring contexts in which children would read and also author books. Acknowledging the different roles of stakeholders in an ongoing national agenda of enhancing the Namibian reading culture, it becomes clear that the various aspirations of children as expressed in their designs need to be accounted for, interpreted and translated into a feasible plan of action. The paper outlines a way of using participatory …

Current profession

Current professional activities type: 
Higher Education Study
Ms. Helvi Itenge holds a Master’s degree in education with specialization in eLearning from the University of Illinois. She also holds a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology. She’s currently enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Helvi is an Instructional Technology Designer based at the Teaching and Learning Unit (TLU), at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Her thesis focuses on exploring and co-designing emerging technologies to enhance the reading experience of Namibian children while preserving indigenous stories. She is also an award-winning author who writes children’s books to promote African languages, culture, history and a reading culture. She serves as a School Board Member at Amazing Kids Private School and Academy January 2015-Current.

Workshop and Conference Attended

2018 Trondheim, Norway 17th Interaction Design and Children Conference
2018 Windhoek, Namibia The 2nd African Conference for Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
2016 Aarhus, Denmark 14th Participatory Design Conference


Queensland University of Technology

Presentation given

Child Designers Creating Personas to Diversify Design Perspectives and Concepts for their own Technology Enhanced Library
Trondheim, Norway
Event: 17th Interaction Design and Children Conference
Co-creating an Enabling Reading Environment for and with Namibian Children
Aarhus, Denmark
Event: 14th Participatory Design Conference
Prizes, Grants and Awards

Other Awards

Oct 2012
Honourable Mention Award
Honourable Mention Award winner for four children books Namibian Children’s Book Forum Awards
Nov 2018
Honourable Mention Award
Honourable Mention Award winner for two children books Namibian Children’s Book Forum Awards
Feb 2004
Columbus State Community College Women Leaders Award
Columbus State Community College Women Leaders Award
Jan 2004
Awarded a Scholarship from National Science Foundation
Awarded a Scholarship from National Science Foundation through Columbus State Community College Academic Year (2004-2005) .

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