Yasmin Kafai Banner

 

Programming with a Purpose

Little attention has been paid to the fact that even with increased access to Internet and other communication technologies, college students often lack sophisticated technology skills.  In response, we created a service-learning program, "Programming Partnerships," which placed undergraduates with no prior programming experience in the Computer Clubhouse network and investigated their changing perceptions as technologists and increasing fluency with technology.

Peppler, K. and Kafai Y. (2006). Programming with a Purpose: Opening the Back Door to Technology Literacy. Presentation at the 2006 "Thinking Gender" Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, CA.

Seeds of a Computer Culture

About 25 years ago, Seymour Papert described the necessity of creating computer cultures rather than isolated experiences to learn with and about technology.  As a starting point, we studied the programming projects created by clubhouse members over the course of the two years. We considered these projects to be potential seeds, or indicators, of a computer culture that would tell us about members’ interest in programming and their individual development of programming skills.

Kafai, Y., Peppler, K., Alavez, M., and Ruvalcaba, O. (2006). Seeds of a Computer Culture: An Archival Analysis of Programming Artifacts from a Community Technology Center.  Proceedings Published in the 2006 International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Bloomington, IN.

TechnoProbes

Discussions about the digital divide often portray low income youth as lacking access to computer technology.  Inspired by Bill Gaver’s work with cultural probes we asked Clubhouse youths to photograph and describe their access and interest to various meaningful technologies in their lives at home, in schools and other places in their community. 

Creative Coding

Media programming projects are rarely considered from an arts perspective. Media arts projects offer opportunities for youth to make personal, cultural, and larger epistemological connections. Kylie Peppler is using case studies and participant observations to examine media arts practices in the clubhouse as part of her dissertation, Creative Bytes: Literacy and Learning in the Media Arts Practices of Urban Youth.

Peppler, K. and Kafai, Y. (2006). Creative Coding: Personal, Epistemological, and Cultural Connections to Digital Art Production. Proceedings Published in the 2006 International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Bloomington, IN.

Peppler, K. (Forthcoming in 2007). Creative Bytes: Literacy and Learning in the Media Arts Practices of Urban Youth. To be published in Dissertations Abstracts International.

Programming Partnerships

Mentoring interactions and relationships are corner stones of most successful community projects. With "Programming Partnerships," we created a service-learning program which placed undergraduates with no prior programming experience in the Computer Clubhouse network and investigated how they changed their perceptions of mentoring.

 

Developing Programming Cultures

The Computer Clubhouse was created to promote technology fluency in inner city youth yet programming was most often not part of clubhouse activities.  Our goal was to understand the factors at play in seeding and promoting programming activities.

 

Pathways into Programming

Over the last twenty years interest in approaches to teaching and learning programming has waxed and waned. Our focus is on identifying promising efforts that bring underrepresented groups into programming and including out of school contexts.

Peer Networks

Little attention has been said about the access to human and social resources that indirectly accompany technology use.   My dissertation intends to investigate the ways in which human and social resources—specifically peer support networks among urban youth—within Computer Clubhouse community technology centers (CTC) might help mitigate this overwhelming disparity.

 

Return to Main Projects Page