skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "DesPortes, Kayla"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Wearable electronics expand the ways learners can create with computing as they gain proficiency with programming and electronics. Dance is one domain where wearables can support creative, embodied practices in computing education. However, wearable electronics need to be small, durable, and easily integrated into clothing to meet the constraints of dance contexts. These features are challenging to achieve, especially when working with novices. We present DanceBits, a wearable prototyping kit for dance that was co-developed with a justice-oriented, computing and dance education organization. DanceBits’ plug-and-play system uses small PCBs with solderless connectors to support dancers in rapidly designing, building, and performing with electronic costumes. Our user studies exploring the system with dance instructors and youth participants show that DanceBits enabled fast development of wearables, offered users a breadth of expressivity through computational and choreographic choices, and empowered dancers to see wearables as a tool for developing their movement practices. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 11, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Makerspaces persist as formal and informal spaces of learning for youth, promoting continued interest in studying how design can support the variety of learning opportunities within these spaces. However, much of the current research examining learning in makerspaces neglects the perspectives of educators. This not only hinders our understanding of educators’ goals and how educators navigate makerspaces but also constrains how we frame the design space of the learning experiences and environments. To address this, we engaged in a set of semi-structured interviews to examine the contexts, goals, values, and practices of seven educators across five makerspaces. A thematic analysis of the data identified six key categories of competencies that these educators prioritize including a range of skills, practices, and knowledge, such as technical proficiency, communication, and contextual reflection. The analysis also identified five categories of strategies to accomplish certain goals, such as scaffolding, collaboration, and relationship building. Last, it also shed light on three categories of challenges faced at the student-level, teacher-level, and institutional level. We conclude with a discussion on our insights into how we can broaden the problem space in the design of educational technologies to support learning in makerspaces.

     
    more » « less
  3. Artistic computing learning environments have been of central importance in the exploration of how to support equity and inclusion in computing. Explorations within e-textiles, music, and interactive media, for example, have created diverse opportunities for learning how to program while creating culturally relevant artifacts. However, there is a gap in our understanding of the design processes of learners in these constructionist environments, including how the computational artifacts and their components impact the learning processes and the ways they build meaning and agency with computing. We advocate for research to attend more closely to the materiality of the computational materials to understand how they impact the social and cultural dimensions in which students are learning. In this paper, we present an analysis of 6 high school learners’ experiences within a co-designed arts and computing curriculum. Our analyses highlight how the materiality of the components impacted the ways in which learners developed personal and epistemological connections to computing based on how it enabled them to connect to their interests, represent their ideas, engage with their community, and overcome or navigate around challenges to get to their final designs. We demonstrate how centralizing the materiality in the design of computational construction kits can inform how we support agency and engagement with computing. 
    more » « less
  4. Performing arts computing environments have received little attention in the educational sphere; yet, they offer opportunities for learners to validate their efforts, ideas, and skills through showcasing their work in a public-facing performance. In this work, we explore an out-of-school dance and computing educational program run by the organization, STEM From Dance. The organizational mission is to create an equitable learning experience for young women of color to engage with computing while exposing them to STEM careers. Through an analysis of eleven interviews with youth participants, instructors, and the executive director, we examine how the social, cultural, and political dimensions of the learning environment facilitate identity work in computing and dance. Our findings point to three primary activities used by the organization to promote equity: (1) providing psychological safety through a supportive community environment, (2) meaningfully engaging with learners’ social and cultural context through creative work with constructionist artifacts, and (3) actively promoting identity work as women of color in computing and STEM through both artifact work and community events. Applying the constructs of identity and psychological safety we explore the tensions and synergies of designing for equity in this performing arts and computing learning environment. We demonstrate how the seemingly contradictory elements of a high-stakes performance within a novice learning environment provides unique opportunities for supporting young women of color in computing, making them non-negotiable in the organization’s efforts to promote equity and inclusion. Our work illustrates how attending closely to the sociocultural dimensions in a constructionist learning environment provides lenses for navigating equity, identity work, and support for inclusive computing. 
    more » « less
  5. Our research collaborative has been exploring movement computing educational technology experiences. That is, we have been building tools that simultaneously support both movement and computing learning objectives at entry-level. We will demo two products in development. danceON is a domain-specific language and a web app that allows users to create interactive graphics overlaid on video from pre-recorded or live (webcam) sources. soft- WEAR is a solderless and breadboardless ecosystem using sensors, LEDs, and the Adafruit Trinket M0. It is designed to support a workflow from ideation, prototyping, and iteration to a durable, wearable final project embedded into clothing or accessories. 
    more » « less
  6. Integrating fabrication activities into existing video games provides opportunities for players to construct objects from their gameplay and bring the digital content into the physical world. In our prior work, we outlined a framework and developed a toolkit for integrating fabrication activities within existing digital games. Insights from our prior study highlighted the challenge of aligning fabrication mechanics with the existing game mechanics in order to strengthen the player aesthetics. In this paper, we address this challenge and build on our prior work by adding fabrication components to the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) framework. We use this f-MDA framework to analyze the 47 fabrication events from the prior study. We list the new player-object aesthetics that emerge from integrating the existing game mechanics with fabrication mechanics. We identify connections between these emergent player-object aesthetics and the existing game mechanics. We discuss how designers can use this mapping to identify potential game mechanics for integrating with fabrication activities. 
    more » « less
  7. In the last decade, HCI researchers have designed and engineered several systems to lower the entry barrier for beginners and support novices in learning hands-on creative maker skills. These skills range from building electronics to fabricating physical artifacts. While much of the design and engineering of current learning systems is driven by the advances in technology, we can reimagine these systems by reorienting the design goals around constructivist and sociocultural theories of learning to support learning progression, engagement across artistic disciplines, and designing for inclusivity and accessibility. This one-day workshop aims to bring together the HCI researchers in systems engineering and learning sciences, challenge them to reimagine the future design of systems of learning creative maker skills, form connections across disciplines, and promote collaborative research in the systems of learning creative skills. 
    more » « less
  8. null (Ed.)