Computational Literacies Lab


Rethinking computational thinking

The introduction of computer science (CS) into primary and secondary education raises two questions for researchers and policymakers: What is the essence of computer science? And how might computing be broadly relevant across and beyond disciplines? Computational thinking (CT) has been tasked with answering both questions. This largely-theoretical project developed the construct of Computational Literacies, a more robust alternative.

Interactive Storytelling

Unfold Studio is an online community for interactive storytelling powered by a programming language called Ink. Interactive storytelling brings together the power of programming with the ability of stories to represent and explore our lived realities. Unfold Studio is free and open-source.

Unfold Studio is used in schools, clubs, and by many individual writers. Interactive storytelling can be a way to integrate Computer Science into English, Social Studies, or other subjects. It can also be an excellent way to introduce Computer Science as a subject relevant to questions of identity, culture, and social justice. (We are currently doing research with a school which uses Unfold Studio for several months as part of its core CS curriculum.)

Unfold Studio's main documentation is at

Minecraft Utopia

Minecraft Utopia, a collaboration between Dr. Dalia Antonia Caraballo Muller and Dr. Chris Proctor, is a project to design critical collaborative experiences for children focused on Glissant's (1990) concept of Relación, or a focus on the whole rather than on the individual, seeing ourselves in and through relation with others. During a weekly summer workshop with ten-year-olds in Minecraft, participants imagined new modes of working together to create shared projects. We studied participants' emerging intersubjectivity using analytics collected from the Minecraft server.

CS Teacher Preparation

The University at Buffalo recently launched one of the first residency-based teacher preparation programs in the nation, as well as an advanced certificate for in-service teachers with backgrounds in different subjects. This program creates a pathway for students to specialize in computer science education. In order to do this, researchers from the university are partnering with a local school district (administration, faculty, students, parents, and community members) to design a curriculum, study aspects of CS pedagocial content knowledge, and create an environment in which to train future CS teachers.