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Guest Lecture by Prof. Yasmin Kafai

Who Gets to Reason in Code? Understanding Experience and Equity in Computational Participation in the Online Scratch Community


On behalf of the REASON doctoral school at the Munich Center of the Learning Sciences (MCLS) we are happy to announce the guest lecture:

Kafai Jasmin

Who Gets to 
Reason in Code? Understanding Experience and Equity in Computational Participation in the Online Scratch Community
held by Yasmin B. Kafai, University of Pennsylvania

Thursday 30.11.2017
12:00 s.t. - 13:30, Room 3221

The recent push to promote coding often focuses on primary and secondary computing education, leaving aside the growing number of promising informal online programming communities where young users contribute, comment, and collaborate on programs to facilitate learning. This presentation examines trends in computational participation in Scratch, an online community with over one million registered youth designers. A random sample of 5,004 youth programmers and their activities over three months in early 2012 included programming concepts used in projects in relation to level of participation, gender, and length of membership of Scratch programmers. Latent class analysis identified the same four groups of programmers at each month based on the usage of different programming concepts and showed how membership in these groups shifted in different ways across time. More importantly, an analysis of complex programming concepts that involve logic reasoning demonstrated gender differences in computational participation. In the discussion, I address the challenges of analyzing young learners’ programming in informal online communities and opportunities for designing more equitable computational participation.

Yasmin B. Kafai is the Lori and Michael Milken President’s Distinguished Professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She is a researcher and co-developer of online tools and communities to promote computational participation, crafting, and creativity across K-16. Her recent book publications include “Connected Gaming: What Making Videogames Can Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, “Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming,” and “Connected Play: Tweens in a Virtual World”—all published by MIT Press. She coauthored the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan for the US Department of Education, was a contributing member to the National Research Council’s workshop series “Computational Thinking for Everyone,” and wrote a synthesis report “Under the Microscope: A Decade of Gender Equity Projects in the Sciences” for the American Association of University Women. Kafai earned a doctorate from Harvard University while working with Seymour Papert at the MIT Media Lab. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the International Society of Learning Sciences, and a former editor of the Journal of the Learning Sciences


We are looking forward to welcoming all interested participants!