Computational Literacies Lab

We will draw parallels between the disciplinary conversation within English/Language Arts and current debates within K-12 CS education in order to center questions of inclusion, representation, and power. We will identify several specific senses of "critical" education and make connections between the readings and our own experiences as students and teachers.


IConceptual framework (Lecture)
IIPower (Discuss Noble and Zuboff)
IIICriticality (Discuss Lee & Garcia)

Week 4 Slides

Critical Computational Literacies

Dr. Chris Proctor

LAI 686, Spring 2022

Week 4: February 22, 2022

Notes: I should introduce myself


  • Technobiographies are due next week. We'll share them in class. Questions?
  • The first journal assessment is due next week. Please email me a link.
  • You should be thinking about sites for conducting fieldwork.

Act I

Conceptual framework

Act II

Power: Noble & Zuboff


Criticality: Lee & Garcia

Act I

Conceptual framework



The terms "critical" and "criticality" are used frequently in educational research. What do they mean? Where do you hear them used?

Take five minutes to jot down your answer. Then we'll share.


Critical has a sense of being important (this is a bit blunt). Critical has a sense of understanding deeply. And critical also has a sense of being oriented toward change. The last two are connected.

Connect to last week's discussion of futurity. In a sense, criticality is about understanding how futures come to be and acting toward different futures.

Notes: I like to talk about literacy because it lets you talk about how people do stuff with texts. Texts are part of a symbolic system of meanings, which shape our practices. How is this like language?

How does infrastructure shape practice?

  • Structure identity through subject positions and footing
  • Structure voice through genre
  • Structure meaning through Discourses
  • Structure legibility by networking publics

What kinds of practices can have critical power?

  • Identity
  • Voice
  • Meaning
  • Legibility

Act II: Power

Noble and Zuboff



"In social science and politics, power is the capacity of an individual to influence the actions, beliefs, or conduct (behaviour) of others."


  • What is race?
  • How is race a form of power?
  • How do digital infrastructures operationalize race?

Notes: Stuck? Talk about racial formations and racial projects.


  • What is surveillance capitalism?
  • How is surveillance capitalism a form of power?
  • How do digital infrastructures operationalize surveillance capitalism?

What else works like race and surveillance capitalism?

Act III: Criticality


What forms of critical action are proposed by Lee & Garcia?

How might computing education learn from language education?