Ethnocomputing with electronic textiles: Culturally responsive open design to broaden participation in computing in American Indian youth and communities

Yasmin B. Kafai, Kristin Searle, Cristóbal Martinez, Bryan Brayboy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

There have been many efforts to increase access and participation of indigenous communities in computer science education using ethnocomputing. In this paper, we extend culturally responsive computing by using electronic textiles that leverage traditional crafting and sewing practices to help students learn about engineering and computing as they also engage with local indigenous knowledges. Electronic textiles include sewable microcontrollers that can be connected to sensors and actuators by stitching circuits with conductive thread. We present findings from a junior high Native Arts class and an academically-oriented summer camp in which Native American youth ages 12-15 years created individual and collective e-textile designs using the LilyPad Arduino. In our discussion we address how a culturally responsive open design approach to ethnocomputing with e-textile activities can provide a productive but also challenging context for design agency and cultural connections for American Indian youth, and how these findings can inform the design of a broader range of introductory computational activities for all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2014 - Proceedings of the 45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages241-246
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Mar 5 2014Mar 8 2014

Other

Other45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2014
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period3/5/143/8/14

Keywords

  • Education
  • Electronic textiles
  • Indigenous communities
  • K-12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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