DUB Seminar will be conducted using Zoom, via an invitation distributed to the DUB mailing list. Participants who are logged into Zoom using a UW account will be directly admitted, and participants who are not logged in to a UW account will be admitted using a Zoom waiting room.
Since the 1980s, computing and information technologies have not only reshaped how we communicate, work and learn, but have also fostered new professions, industries and ecosystems of play and learning. In the past decade alone, multimodal possibilities – such as those offered through livestreaming games, media and social content - blur and complicate what it means to participate and be influenced by participatory media. At the same time, the United States has increased its investment in STEM education by encouraging innovations and informal educational opportunities around affordable, novice-friendly content creation platforms and maker tools to expand access to coding, digital media design and engineering to youth of all backgrounds. However, despite these investments, many disparities remain, particularly for those historically marginalized in STEM, including girls, people of color and economically disadvantaged learners, as highlighted by the current pandemic. This talk centers an ecological framing of informal STEM learning, which considers interest-driven learning activities and pursuits in and through a range of out-of-school environments, including museums, libraries, camps, virtual worlds, online communities and social media. Dr. Richard utilizes critical and intersectional frameworks to understand historical inequities in computing and engineering learning and leisure domains to highlight how STEM learning, participatory and professional cultures present opportunities as well as historic barriers and inequities across race and gender that systematically and structurally limit equitable and representative participation in casual, formative and formal ways. In this talk, she will describe and discuss two interrelated projects – one on interest-driven STEM learning in gaming, livestreaming and online content creation and the other that centers youth from historically minoritized backgrounds as co-designers in informal integrated making, coding and engineering activities – to discuss implications for computing and engineering education, and opportunities for innovation in design and practice.
Gabriela T. Richard is a researcher, designer and educator of learning technologies, media, games and play. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Learning, Design and Technology program at Penn State, where she conducts research on formal and informal computing and engineering education, and how diverse youth and adults engage in learning, collaboration, identity formation and career pursuits with gaming, livestreaming, makerspaces, emerging media, computing and information technologies. In particular, she explores ways that technologies and tech environments can be culturally-situated and inclusive, and employs intersectionality as a frame for understanding complex sociocultural relationships across gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality and (dis)ability in media and design. She has written extensively about video games, diversity and inclusive design, and co-edited Diversifying Barbie and Mortal Kombat: Intersectional perspectives and inclusive designs in gaming (ETC Press), the third book in an influential series on gender and diversity in video games and culture, first launched in 1998 by Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins (MIT Press). She was a National Academy of Education/Spencer fellow (2018-19), a Belfer Fellow (2019-20) with the ADL Center for Technology and Society, and has received fellowships and grants for her research from organizations including the National Science Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the American Educational Research Association.