PAST EVENT Lecture/Presentation/Talk

Learning Differences Lecture: Multimodal Technologies, Participatory Learning Ecologies, and Disrupting Inequities by and through Design

Gabriela Richard, PhD, is a researcher, designer, and expert in learning technologies, media, games, and play.

Event details

Thursday, April 25th 2024
02:45 PM—04:15 PM
LocationCERAS 101
This event has passed.

For over half a century, computing and information technologies have not only reshaped how we learn, communicate and work, but have also fostered new industries and ecosystems of learning and play. Within the past two decades alone, the United States has increased its investment in STEM education, utilizing increasingly affordable and novice-friendly platforms and maker tools to expand access to coding, digital media design and engineering to youth of all backgrounds. While many aspects of computing and technology education have benefited from this investment, longstanding disparities remain (as accentuated by the recent pandemic).

This talk underscores an ecological view 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.

Foundational to Dr. Richard’s work are critical and intersectional frameworks, which uncover how STEM learning and professional cultures present opportunities as well as historic barriers and inequities across gender, culture, race/ethnicity and (dis)ability that systematically and structurally limit equitable and representative participation in casual, formative and formal ways.

In this talk, she will highlight 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 to describe opportunities for critically conscious innovation in media and technology design and practice.

About the speaker

Gabriela T. Richard, Ph.D. is a researcher, designer and educator of learning technologies, media, games and play. She is currently an Associate Professor of Learning, Media and Technology & Math, Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 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 participatory learning cultures, emerging media, and computing and information technologies.

About the Learning Differences Speaker Series

The Learning Differences Initiative is inviting national scholars from multiple disciplines to work together to advance a transformative vision for the field. Each lecture will challenge our ideas and intentions for future learning, research, policy initiatives, and community partnerships. Initial talks focus on:

  • Teaching, learning, and life beyond school
  • Policies, institutional alignment, and the work force
  • Neuroscience, data, and technology
  • Law, ethics and cultural contexts for learning in diverse settings, cultures, and public spaces