Kayla DesPortes: Democratizing Technology: Integrating Student's Values into Physical Computing Education @ Pless Hall, 7th Floor, ALT Conference Room 785

02/16/2018 12:00 pm – 02/16/2018 1:00 pm
Democratizing Technology: Integrating Student’s Values into Physical Computing Education
Kayla DesPortes, Georgia Institute of Technology
Friday, February 16th, 12:00PM-1:00PM
Pless Hall, 7th floor, ALT Conference Room 785
Technology pervades our lives and our world; however, there are still only a select few that are empowered to act as the designers, developers and creators of this technology. This inherently limits how and for whom technology is developed. In this talk, I will discuss my research on equity and inclusivity within interdisciplinary physical computing education. Working with students, I design learning environments that engage learners in playful making experiences where they use computing as a medium for expression in dance and speculative design. By integrating participatory design techniques into the learning environment, I demonstrate how we can create a dialogue around students’ values to shape their learning experience with the technology in a dynamic way. As part of these learning environments, I found that tools for physical computing are often a barrier to learning and have begun to reconceptualize and explore their design such that we can be more explicit about opportunities for learning. My vision for computing education will conclude this talk, exploring the next steps for the educational technology and leveraging dialogue around students values to create connections beyond the learning environment that empower the students with technology within their lives.
Kayla DesPortes is a Ph.D. Candidate in Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She specializes in the Learning Sciences and Technology in the Human-Centered Computing program. Advised by Dr. Betsy DiSalvo in the Culture and Technology Lab, Kayla’s research focuses on understanding how to create dynamic, interdisciplinary physical computing environments that stimulate students to use computing as a medium for expression as they learn the fundamentals of computing and electronics. Her work explores the design of learning activities and educational tools that can provide the scaffolding necessary to empower students with technology. Prior to her work at Georgia Tech, Kayla graduated with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Computer Engineering from Cornell University, and upon graduation, worked at Intel on the Platform Validation Engineering team designing error injection and triaging software for server processors.