Kylie Peppler - High-Tech Textile Design: Learning By Doing and Making

Lessons learned from participatory design communities for economically disadvantaged youth, in- and out-of-school.

About The Speaker(s)

Kylie A. Peppler is an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. Peppler's collaborative investigations into e-textiles (with Yasmin Kafai and Leah Buechley) have led to new educational approaches to electronic textile design that push back on traditional notions of arts education. The National Science Foundation as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation support Peppler’s current work on creativity, systems thinking, and media arts in youth communities. You can Follow her on Twitter at @DrPeppler.

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Resources

Computational Textiles as Materials for Creativity blog

LilyPond, a multi-generational online community for documenting and sharing projects that blend electronics and textiles

Download a PDF of this session's Livestream Chat archive

Access the collaborative document of key points, insights, questions and resources from this session (open to public comments)

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Questions Asked/Key Comments Made

  • (08:07) In my research, I've been really interested in looking at what youth are learning through e-textiles, particularly as it ties to artistic expression. What might youth be taking away from that experience, and how can we get them in touch with professional practice?
  • (17:25) What does physical computing entail? What do we need to teach kids that they can get introduced to physical computing early, so that they can be creating some of the works that professional artists are able to do with these materials?
  • (21:12) To see whether they were learning about circuits, for example, we had to create some new assessments. A lot of the assessments in circuitry have to use the materials. So, typically, it's a lightbulb-and-a-battery kind of thing [...] And you can see that after working with e-textiles that this becomes a real simple task to do.
  • (30:57) If you're going to create sustained and rich opportunities for youth, you need to have a place, a platform, where that learning takes place. Or a 'laboratory' where we are experimenting with these different approaches to youth engagement in a digitally-enabled way.
  • (34:42) [One of] the questions that I get from people is, 'Will this appeal to the boys? Will this be something--if I'm in the classroom--that will appeal to a broad swath of people that are in my classroom?'
  • (39:21) I think many of the examples which Kylie showcased [...] showcases this kind of connection between technology and personal interest in a community where the electronic textiles create a missing--and very visible--link.
  • (43:27) How do you design environments and opportunities that are scaffolded in such a way as to afford young learners the ability to develop these literacy sets?
  • (44:06) What advice do you have for teachers and librarians who want to integrate high-tech textile design into their classrooms and programs?
  • (49:38) We who have been working in the area of e-textiles are still struggling with finding the language to describe the learning. We all know that the projects look very compelling but, in the long run, we have to provide documentation and ways to capture what actually is being learned beyond the crafting.
  • (53:04) As we begin to think about democratizing these kinds of spaces, [...] how does this work begin to push back and defy some of the gender norms and cultural practices that have long restricted--in particular, young girls'--opportunities to experience themselves as makers, doers, and designers?

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Resources/URLs Mentioned

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List of Hangout Participants

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