Computational Literacies Lab


The course is organized around three themes: literacy, identity, and education. Weeks 1-4 focus on literacy as a way of thinking about an academic discipline. Week 1 contextualizes computer science education in the digitally-mediated worlds of today's youth. Then Week 2 traces the development of computational thinking as an effort to name the relationship between computer science and everyday life and therefore the basis for K12 CS education. Week 3 examines the shortcomings of this project and reframes computational thinking in terms of computational literacies. Finally, Week 4's focus on critical computational literacies explores the role of computation in power and oppression, and how critical literacy practices can produce strategies for resistance.

Weeks 5-8 take up the second major theme of the course, identity, considering how people author identities within worlds of literacy practice. Week 5 considers identity authorship as a primary form of learning and examines various computational identities. Week 6 examines the relationship between identity and culture: how existing identities are reenacted and transformed in digital media and the ways in which computing cultures constrain possible selves. Week 8 considers the relationship between identities and the computational media upon which they rely. Finally, Week 7 explores disciplinary identities with a focus on the relationship between identity and the acquisition of disciplinary content knowledge.

Week 9 is devoted to student presentations sharing and interpreting communities of computational literacy practice.

Weeks 10-13 consider education as an intervention in the processes of literacy and identity. Week 10 examines the implications of designing and defining CS in a school community. Week 11 considers how teachers and schools can support critical action. Week 12 considers how pedagogy can connect across literacies. And Week 13 puts school-based CS education into its broader context, considering how schools might function as nodes in a network of connected learning.

The course concludes in Week 14 with sharing of participants' teaching statements: syntheses of the ideas explored during the course and statements of their own positionality: how they locate themselves and their work within these ideas and their intentions for future work.