The more I think about social injustices and how technologies perpetuate them, the more I wonder what it means to teach and learn computing with a critical lens. How can we weave in social justice issues around race, class, gender, and nationality within computing classrooms? I work with in-service and prospective computing teachers to better understand how we can support learners to develop a critical perspective about computing.
See below for some of my recent explorations and attempts to answer similar questions:
Kafai, Y., Jayathirtha, G., Shaw, M., & Morales-Navarro, L. (2021). CodeQuilt: Designing an Hour of Code Activity for Creative and Critical Engagement with Computing. In Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’21), June 24–30, 2021, Athens, Greece. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 7 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3459990.3465187.
Morales-Navarro, L., Kafai, Y., Jayathirtha, G., & Shaw, M. (2021). Investigating Creative and Critical Engagement with Computing in the Hour of Code. In the Proceedings of 16th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (WiPSCE), October 18–20, 2021, Virtual Event, Germany. ACM, 6 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3481312.3481314.
Jayathirtha, G., Chipps, J., & Morales-Navarro, L. (2021) . Redesigning a High School Computing Lesson for Critical Computational Engagement. In Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE Annual Conference on Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT'21).
Jayathirtha, G., Shaw, M., Kafai, Y. & Lui, D. (2020). When a Glove Becomes a Gun: From Personally Meaningful to Socially Critical Restorying in Maker Activities. FabLearn’20, October 10-11, 2020, 4 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3386201.3386205.
Notional Machines: A Move Towards Transparency
As a way to make the inner workings of computing technologies transparent to novices, I got excited about Notional Machines, i.e., ways in which teachers communicate ideas around computer program execution. During my dissertation, I analyzed classroom data to better understand this phenomenon and what these learning activities and explanations mean to students.
Here are some papers and talks from related analysis:
Jayathirtha, G. (2022). “How does the computer carry out digitalRead()?:” Notional Machines Mediated Learner Conceptual Agency within an Intro- ductory High School Electronic Textiles Unit. Proceedings of the 2022 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research V.1 (ICER 2022), August 7–11, 2022, Lugano and Virtual Event, Switzerland. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 17 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3501385.3543964.
Jayathirtha, G. (2022). Video Analysis of a Teacher’s Use of Notional Machines in an Introductory High School Electronic Textile Unit: A three- tier framework to capture notional machines in practice. Proceedings of the 17th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (WiPSCE ’22), October 31-November 2, 2022, Morschach, Switzerland. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 10 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3556787.3556798.
Jayathirtha, G. (2022). Shifts in High School Students’ Conceptions of Sensor-based Devices and Toys. In the Proceedings of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) Annual Meeting 2022.
Jayathirtha, G. & Kafai, Y. (2021). Program Comprehension with Physical Computing: A Structure, Function, and Behavior Analysis of Think-Alouds with High School Students. In the Proceedings of the Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference 2021.
Jayathirtha, G. & Kafai, Y. (2021). The Invisibility Issue: High School Students’ Informal Conceptions of Everyday Physical Computing Systems. In the Proceedings of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) Annual Meeting 2021.
Jayathirtha, G. (2020). Glass-boxing Computing: Notional Machines-Mediated Teaching and Learning with Electronic Textiles in an Introductory High School Classroom. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research (pp. 334-335).
Jayathirtha, G. (2020). Glass-boxing Technology Around Us. Center for Professional Learning, A Talk at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, November 13, 2020.
K-12 Computing Education
I got introduced to computing education through Seymour Papert's book, Mindstorms. I started researching within constructionist learning environments that involved working with electronic textiles across a variety of contexts: from informal classes in a local museum to formal introductory computing high school classrooms.
Here are a few selected recent papers that have been published [see CV for a complete list]:
Jayathirtha, G. & Kafai, Y. (2020). Interactive Stitch Sampler: A Synthesis of a Decade of Research on Using Electronic Textiles to Answer the Who, Where, How, and What for K-12 Computer Science Education. In Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), 28, 1-29.
Jayathirtha, G., Fields, D., & Kafai, Y. (2020). Pair Debugging of Electronic Textiles Projects: Analyzing Think-Aloud Protocols for High School Students’ Strategies and Practices while Problem Solving. In M. Gresalfi, M. & I. S. Horn (Eds.). The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 2, Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences, pp. 1047-1054.
Jayathirtha, G., Fields, D., Kafai, Y.B. and Chipps, J. (2020). Supporting making online: the role of artifact, teacher and peer interactions in crafting electronic textiles, Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 121 No. 5/6, pp. 381-390. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-04-2020-0111.
Fields, D., Jayathirtha, G., & Kafai, Y. (2019). Bugs as a Nexus for Emergent Peer Collaborations: Contextual and Classroom Supports for Solving Problems in Electronic Textiles. Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL’19), 472 - 479.
Kafai, Y., Fields, D. A., Lui, D. A., Walker, J. T., Shaw, M. S., Jayathirtha, G., ... & Giang, M. T. (2019). Stitching the Loop with Electronic Textiles: Promoting Equity in High School Students' Competencies and Perceptions of Computer Science. 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’19), ACM Press, 1176-1182. https://doi.org/10.1145/3287324.3287426.
My recent quest has been to explore my own identity in relation to my work in the learning sciences and computing education. I am a founding member of The Papaya Project and an active member of the South Asian Learning Sciences Research Collective.
Here is a list of my current projects in partnership with my colleagues in my affinity groups:
Uttamchandani, S., Kumar, V., Jayathirtha, G., & Dutta, D. (2020). Soch: Expanding Indian and Indian Diasporic Ways of Thinking in the Learning Sciences. ISLS Regional and Affinity Outreach Project Grants, 2020.
Jayathirtha, G., Kumar, V. & Uttamchandani, S. (2021) . Towards a Transnational, Decolonial, and Non-WEIRD Learning Sciences: Implications of perspectives from beyond “the west.” International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS’21).
Huff, E. W., Castro, F., Jayathirtha, G., Jimenez, Y., Kong, M., Melo, N. A., ... & Tsan, J. (2021) . Going Through a Process of Whitening: Student Experiences Within Computer Science Education. In Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 1348-1348).
K-12 Math Education
Coming into the graduate program with math teaching experience, I started off my research work in mathematics education. Below is a journal paper that I authored:
Jayathirtha, G. (2018). An Analysis of the National Intended Geometry Curriculum. Contemporary
Education Dialogue, 15(2), 143-163.