Guest Talk: Francisco Castro (NYU): "Empowering Learners and Educators Through Creative Computing"
Empowering Learners and Educators Through Creative Computing
New York University
Creative computing learning environments have the power to stimulate and sustain interest and broaden participation in computing and STEM domains. These spaces can provide culturally sustaining learning experiences that leverage learners’ cultural and disciplinary knowledge outside of computing and enable learners to build their identities and competencies with computing in an environment that centers community sustenance and resilience. Creative computing spaces, however, have added complexity for learners and educators as they work across various STEM dimensions and technologies, while trying to realize creative goals and maintaining strong synergy between conceptual rigor and authenticity to creative practices. From an equity perspective, to create a culturally sustaining learning experience, it is also necessary to understand how to engage with broader issues of marginalization and for learners to engage with social and ethical dimensions of computing.
My research investigates the design of learner and educator facing technologies and resources that address challenges of learning and equity within creative computing environments. In this talk, I will present my research projects designed to engage and support learners in building competencies with computing in ways that leverage their cultural, creative, and disciplinary knowledge and practices: AI and ethics education through dance computing and computing education through comic-based learning toolkits and game design.
Dr. Francisco Castro is a Research Fellow at New York University. He is a recipient of the Computing Innovation Fellowship from the Computing Research Association (CRA), the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), and the US National Science Foundation (NSF). His research focuses on the human-centered design of creative technologies, collaborative spaces, and educational resources that empower people to learn and use computing, AI, and STEM skills in culturally sustaining ways. In his work, Dr. Castro partners with educators, artists, technologists, and learners to engage critical issues and topics of equity, ethics, education, creative practice, and technology design through—and within—creative production, learning design, and social justice.