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Thursday, October 5 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Textile Messages: Electronic Textiles as Disruptive Designs and Inclusive Activities

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At the first DML conference in 2010, we introduced electronic textiles as a new material and context for making: stitching circuits with conductive thread rather than soldering wires on fabric to make soft garments rather than robots and rockets. Since then electronic textiles have taken off and used to promote the learning of coding, engineering, science and more inside and outside of schools. In this panel, we bring together original as well as new participants to showcase various applications and contexts that have been developed for making and learning with electronic textiles. We provide examples of how teachers use electronic textiles to teach science and programming in their classrooms. We discuss ways in which e-textiles offer a "disruptive corner" for engaging girls and minority students in the scientific thinking conversations absent in their classes. This panel is timely for the maker movement in education, as educators and scholars shift from introducing the “new” idea of making to refining and implementing ideas in ways that reach more students, schools, and communities in rigorous ways.

Yasmin Kafai (University of Pennsylvania) will provide an overview and introduction to electronic textiles. Kylie Peppler (Indiana University) will present in “Materializing Designs” how youth in community centers engage with electronic textiles to learn about crafting and circuit designs. Colby Tofel-Grehl (Utah State University) will present “‘He asked me:' Changing the Conversations in Science Classrooms with Electronic Textiles,” concerning the shifts toward more open discourse led by secondary school science teachers implementing e-textiles in their classes. Tamara Clegg (University of Maryland) will showcase in “BodyVis: E-textiles for Body Learning and Scientific Inquiry” how wearables can be used to teach about anatomy and physiology. Nichole Pinkard and Caitlin Martin (DePaul University) will talk about the “Digital Divas” program using middle school girls’ narratives in e-textile designs. Deborah Fields (Utah State University) will report in “Stitching the Loop: E-textiles in Exploring Computer Science” on the development and implementation of an electronic textile high school curriculum with hundreds of LAUSD students. Finally, Leah Buechley, the inventor of the LilyPad Ardiuno, the first electronic textile construction kit will provide comments and updates where the design of electronic textiles is heading next.


Leah Buechley

Designer, Rural Digital
avatar for Deborah Fields

Deborah Fields

Independent Research Consultant & Temporary Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, Utah State University
Dr. Deborah A. Fields is a Temporary Assistant Professor in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University and an independent research consultant. Deborah researches children’s connective learning and identity engagement through designing with digital technologies... Read More →

Colby Tofel-Grehl

Assistant Professor of Science Education, Utah State University

Thursday October 5, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm PDT
Doheny B