January 6, 2020

Speaker Series on Topics in Connected Learning Open to Public

Categories: Connected Learning, Equity

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar, which is open to the public, aims to immerse students in the field of connected learning through interaction with many of connected learning’s most respected scholars. Speakers will share their work in an interactive setting with students, exploring the various ways in which connected learning scholars are researching, designing, and mobilizing learning technologies in equitable, innovative, and learner-centered ways. Learning within the seminar will be hands on, social, and connected.

An Introduction to Connected Learning and the Connected Learning Research Network
Dr. Mizuko Ito
Thursday, January 9, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist specializing in learning and new media, particularly among young people in Japan and the US.

Description: Today’s digital and online media demand an approach to learning keyed to a networked and interconnected world. The Connected Learning Research Network (CLRN) was an interdisciplinary group of scholars, designers, and educational practitioners, tasked with researching how learning in a digitally networked world, and offering a revitalized vision for education during these changing times. Through a series of research and design projects and collaborations, the CLRN has worked to develop and adapt the connected learning framework as a set of research commitments and design framework. Ito, who chaired this MacArthur Foundation funded network for a decade, will provide an introduction to how the connected learning framework was developed, its core commitments, and ongoing challenges.

The “Comadre” Project: An Asset-Based Design Approach to Connecting Low-Income Latinx Families to Out-of-School Learning Opportunities
Dr. Alex Cho
Thursday, January 16, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Alex Cho is a digital media anthropologist and human-centered design researcher who studies how young people use social media.

Description: This talk walks through an asset-based/ human-centered design research process and pilot aimed at connecting low-income families in a Southern California city with local low-cost out-of-school learning opportunities. Based on background research including qualitative interviewing, home visits, technology inventories and use walkthroughs with 40 low-income, majority Latinx families, we created and piloted a free subscription SMS service that automatically pushes bilingual SMS messages with curated information on local low-cost enrichment learning opportunities to low-income families. We framed our human-centered design process through an intersectional, “asset-based approach,” which recognizes that marginalized communities have already developed robust, culturally-specific social practices to enable them to navigate the world, seeks to amplify them, and refrains from imposing a top-down or preconceived “idea” of intervention.

Making Games for Impact
Dr. Kurt Squire
Thursday, January 23, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Kurt Squire is an educational game designer and scholar who studies how video games can enrich the minds of young people in and out of the classroom.
Description: Games for impact and learning in particular have transitioned from a theoretical possibility to an established field of research and practice. This presentation will describe some of the historical trends and events driving games for impact, and research over the past decade on their impact and efficacy. It presents a general game design framework for impact games and considers trade-offs across approaches.

The “Virtual Inclusion” Project: Interactive Assistive Technologies to Virtually Include Medically Homebound Learners in Real-World Academic Settings
Dr. Veronica Newhart
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Veronica Newhart studies the use of telepresence robots to support social connectedness for improved health, academic, and social outcomes.

Description: The Virtual Inclusion project is a national, on-going, multi-case study that spans six states in some of the largest public school districts in the US. It is currently focused on the use of telepresence robots to virtually include medically homebound learners in their local schools. This talk covers designing real-world, multi-disciplinary, human-centered studies to improve learning opportunities for homebound learners through the use of interactive technologies. We will discuss a holistic approach to assistive technology studies that includes the homebound learners and their families, classmates/peers, and educators. Our study informs improved educational practices and policies, improved technologies, and is pioneering developmental work for homebound children. This talk will also cover partnering with industry for improved technologies. Our earlier work (specifically the reading for this talk) informed the redesign of the Double 2 robot and we will discuss the features that were added based on our recommendations.

Promoting Equity in Digital Learning through Inclusive Sensory Ethnography
Dr. Meryl Alper
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Meryl Alper studies the social and cultural implications of communication technologies, with a focus on disability, children, and family.
Description: Research on new media and social life has recently begun to ethnographically explore the sensory dimensions of how individuals experience and perceive technology. In this talk, I propose “inclusive sensory ethnography” to account for greater neurodiversity in how humans process sensory input, as well as a fuller range of multi-sensory encounters to be had with new media technologies. I ground this conceptualization in a larger book project centering on children and adolescents on the autism spectrum and their social engagements with print, screen, and interactive media in informal learning spaces. Inclusive sensory ethnography reveals novel understandings of how the internal senses shape and are shaped by mediated relationships, practices, and intimacies. I discuss further implications for how disability and inclusive sensory ethnography can enrich the study of everyday technology use and the design of mediated spaces.

Access, Maintenance, Justice.
Dr. Roderic Crooks
Thursday, February 6, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Roderic Crooks studies the use of digital technology in minoritized communities and the civic institutions that serve them.

Description: For over half a century, technologists, educators, librarians, and philanthropists have held that equity of access to valorized forms of digital technology could empower minoritized communities if computers and computer-like devices were correctly integrated into schooling. Despite many decades of such attempts and many invocations of the failure of specific programs, the impetus to address structural inequality via technological interventions persists. What if we were to think about technological access not as a beneficial good to be distributed equitably, but as a process of configuring costs and benefits together? In this brief talk, I use concepts from science and technology studies and to map out an approach that might help researchers and other stakeholders more realistically frame the costs and benefits of technological intervention, especially those deployed in the setting of urban schools.

Death, Dying & the Necro-Digital Internet: Critical Examinations of Youth Activism and Racial Trauma Online
Dr. Tiera Chantè Tanksley
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Tiera Chantè Tanksley studies the intersectional impacts of race, gender, class and age on the experiences of Black girls in media, tech, and education.

Description: The #BlackLivesMatter movement, which rose to prominence following the state-sanctioned murders of several unarmed Black Americans, shed light on the power of social media to serve as a platform for community activism and digital storytelling for Youth of Color. At the same time, the ubiquity and virality of Black death and dying across social media platforms has raised serious concerns among educators, activists and healthcare professionals alike. In recognizing Black girls’ heavy participation in online movements for racial justice and their unprecedented rates of social media use, this talk explores the socioemotional side effects of encountering racially traumatizing images for 17 self-identified Girls of Color. By submerging these participant narratives into a growing body of Black feminist technology scholarship, this talk will shed light on the obscure inner-workings of algorithmic racism and the commodification of Black death on the web. By showcasing how the internet traffics in Black death and dying, this work aims to disrupt normative constructions of digital media and internet systems as post-racial, ungendered and inherently liberatory platforms for student activism.

Digital Technology Use in Families
Dr. Stephanie Reich
Thursday, February 13, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Stephanie Reich’s research focuses on understanding and improving the social context of children’s lives through examining parent and peer interactions.
Description: One of the largest contributions to children’s learning is their interactions with their family, especially their parents. As digital devices permeate homes across the country, questions arise as to how these devices may supplant, enhance, or mediate parent-child and sibling-child interactions. Drawing on several studies of technology use in families and utilizing a developmental lens of how children learn, we will discuss some of the ways these devices are used in families and how they support or detract from children’s interactions with their family members. We will consider these processes from infancy through adolescence.

Using Technology to Scale Wellness Interventions
Dr. Stephen Schueller
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Stephen Schueller studies digital mental health, with a focus on expanding the accessibility and availability of mental health resources through technology.
Description: When it comes to wellness, many people will go online to obtain help and advice by asking questions, providing social support, or sharing their stories. Technology and online spaces offer exciting opportunities to scale wellness and mental health interventions, however, such technologies have yet to make a big impact. I’ll discuss the design of technologies meant to translate evidence-based behavior change principles and clinical interventions into digital formats and the use of such technologies to provide wellness and mental health interventions. This moves beyond merely the design of technologies to promote pleasure or positive emotions and to considering how digital tools and online spaces might serve the mental health and wellness needs of people. This includes learning what people are already doing to support wellness through technology and empowering people to be more effective in such support.

User’s Experience with a Product Service System: an Analysis of Activity-Oriented Wearables for Children
Dr. Daniel Epstein and Dr. Işıl Oygür İlhan
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Daniel Epstein draws on Human-Computer Interaction methods to examine how personal tracking technology can better account for realities of everyday life.
Dr. Işıl Oygür İlhan is a design ethnographer whose current research focuses on health tracking practices in the context of families.
Description: Contemporary product service systems (PSS) increasingly involve multiple users simultaneously interacting over multiple consumer products and applications. We take a deeper look into one such PSS, the activity-oriented wearables specifically designed for children by analyzing 13 child-focused activity trackers. Families view these trackers as intermediate products before the eventual ownership of smart watches or professional activity trackers. However, children have limited agency to monitor their own practices, as the data is typically visible in parent-controlled smartphone apps and children depend on their parents to carry out certain tasks with the trackers. In this PSS, the parent is not only the user but also becomes the mediator between the device and the application.

Career Exploration in the 21st Century
Mr. Mike Marriner
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Mr. Mike Marriner traveled the US upon graduation to interview leaders and learn how they got to where they are today. He has since written a book and co-founded RoadTrip Nation to offer other students that same experiential learning opportunity.
Description: As co-founder and President of Roadtrip Nation, Mike Marriner leads the organizations media and education efforts that empower people from all backgrounds to define their own roads in life. For over 15 years, Mike has developed a range of media and education partnerships that distribute Roadtrip Nation content to over 60 million households, 14 million students, and over 12,000 schools each year. Roadtrip Nation has been awarded the Excellence in Programming award by American Public Television, two Telly awards, and won the 2019 Lone Star Regional Emmy Award for the film, Room to Grow. Mike has co-authored all 4 Roadtrip Nation books including Roadmap (Chronicle Books), which hit the NY Times best-seller list in 2018. Mike is also an Ashoka Fellow, a network of leading social entrepreneurs, and has been featured in prominent news outlets including the NBC Today Show, CBS Early Show, BBC News, Outside, Fast Company, Forbes, Esquire, USA Today and many others. He graduated from Pepperdine University with a double major in Biology / Sports Medicine, and attended The Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Program in 2012.

A Panel Discussion on Connected Learning in Action
Dr. Constance Steinkuehler & Dr. Katie Salen Tekinbas
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 (3:30-4:50PM PT at Anteater Learning Pavilion 1100)
Dr. Constance Steinkuehler researches the cognitive and social aspects of multiplayer online videogames and esports. Current projects include studies of teenage boys and gameplay, parenting and videogames, and impacts of the NASEF high school esports league. She formerly served as Senior Policy Analyst under the Obama administration in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising on games and digital media, and founded the Higher Education Video Games Alliance (HEVGA), a national network of game-related programs.
Dr. Katie Salen Tekinbaş is a Professor in the Department of Informatics at UCI, a member of the Connected Learning Lab, and Chief Designer and co-founder of Connected Camps. Her work focuses on meeting kids where they are at in order to design engaging, play-based experiences that transform youth futures. She has a particular interest in mobilizing learning technology in equitable, innovative, and learner centered ways. Her current research focuses on the integration of social emotional learning into online learning experiences for youth as a way to build social competence, amplify youth voice, and diversify participation.