1. Yasmin Kafai
  2. http://scholar.gse.upenn.edu/kafai
  3. Lori and Michael Milken President’s Distinguished Professor
  4. Electronic Textiles for Exploring Computer Science with High School Students & Teachers to Promote Computational Thinking and Participation for All
  5. http://www.exploringcs.org/etextiles
  6. University of Pennsylvania
  1. Deborah Fields
  2. https://itls.usu.edu/faculty/fields
  3. Temporary Assistant Professor
  4. Electronic Textiles for Exploring Computer Science with High School Students & Teachers to Promote Computational Thinking and Participation for All
  5. http://www.exploringcs.org/etextiles
  6. Utah State University
  1. Joanna Goode
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Electronic Textiles for Exploring Computer Science with High School Students & Teachers to Promote Computational Thinking and Participation for All
  4. http://www.exploringcs.org/etextiles
  5. University of Oregon
  1. Debora Lui Ann-Ling
  2. Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  3. Electronic Textiles for Exploring Computer Science with High School Students & Teachers to Promote Computational Thinking and Participation for All
  4. http://www.exploringcs.org/etextiles
  5. University of Pennsylvania
  1. Jane Margolis
  2. https://gseis.ucla.edu/directory/jane-margolis/
  3. Senior Researcher
  4. Electronic Textiles for Exploring Computer Science with High School Students & Teachers to Promote Computational Thinking and Participation for All
  5. http://www.exploringcs.org/etextiles
  6. UCLA
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 10:07 p.m.

    Thanks for visiting our E-Textiles ECS Video.

    UPDATE: Our website for this project was updated just today (Friday)! http://www.exploringcs.org/e-textiles

    We are interested in your stories as well. How you are applying CS in your own schools, clubs, and other community spaces. What challenges are you facing? What new areas of growth are you looking toward?

    Here are some issues we are thinking about:

    • Engaging long-term over multiple years
    • Moving toward more rigorous and challenging concepts and computational practices
    • Equipping teachers with abilities to design and customize their own classrooms

     

    [Earlier questions we posted]

    • What did you learn about how e-textiles can help students learn and engage with computing? 
    • What qualities of the e-textiles curriculum unit stand out to you and why? What could you apply in your own classroom, school or out-of-school space?
    • What are you doing in the areas of computing, education, and maker-based activities?
  • Icon for: Irene Lee

    Irene Lee

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 08:47 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing your work in e-textiles. I have really enjoyed e-textiles work in the past (both personally and in student programs) but find that after the first several (4-5) activities, there doesn't seem to be much more to explore in the space.  Do you run into this issue in your program?  Have students gone on to use e-textiles for a variety of applications?  Have you transitioned students from e-textiles to other maker activities? 

     
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    Tomoko Nakajima
    Justice Walker
    Deborah Fields
  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 12:04 p.m.

    Irene - I'd love to know more about those 4-5 activities that you did. Our curriculum takes ~10 weeks on average right now and the kids don't seem to be growing tired of it. We are looking at more advanced projects to engage students in for later years. The teachers have expressed interest in continuing to use e-textiles. There are certainly enough "high ceilings" in them. One challenge, from my perspective, is figuring out how to introduce students to some of the more challenging concepts necessary for advanced projects: fading (for loops), sound (arrays), hand-made sensors (resistors). Another challenge is finding the right context (a class past ECS) to do this in.

    Our curriculum is focused on the ECS context but could be applied to other classes. It is the only maker activity in the year-long ECS course and is usually done as the culminating unit, so it's not generally used as a transition to other maker activities in this particular context. But teachers have said it is probably the most helpful thing in helping transition students to java because of the similarities of Arduino and java (the latter used in AP CS A courses). We are working with some teachers to design a more advanced "Generative Art" course that could be done in a CTE (career and technical education) track. In which case we are hoping to connect teachers with a set of laser cutting projects as well as more advanced e-textile projects.

    What context do you use e-textiles in? And have you used it to transition to other maker activities?

  • Icon for: Debora Lui Ann-Ling

    Debora Lui Ann-Ling

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 12:04 p.m.

    Hi Irene, thanks for the comment and questions. Through our literature reviews, we too have seen that a lot of existing e-textiles research (and programs) has focused on the same beginner series of projects over and over again (including some of our own past work!). However, our e-textiles unit focuses on pushing past this point, such that students are scaffolded through an intentionally designed series of projects to more complex ideas and concepts - that is, from simple circuits with one battery and LED on a 2D surface, to highly customized 3d projects involving multiple actuators and sensors that can respond based on different kinds of environmental stimuli. Thus, we have seen students creating lots of personal artifacts for their own use, from glowing sweatshirts and hats, to dog harnesses that light up in the dark. 

    To your point, this is not to say that students couldn't go even further within the e-textiles context - some of our colleagues who focus more on science education have made more diverse projects including temperature sensing lunchboxes, and human anatomy jackets that actually measure and display the wearers vital signs. Additional research focused on university students using e-textiles has even further highlighted how complex these projects can become, with use of more powerful sensors with larger collaborative teams. Currently, we ourselves are working on developing a more advanced 'musical jacket' project that pushes students to engage with higher level computation - including sound arrays and multi-dimensional readings. From this perspective, it seems like getting students to situate e-textiles into other realms (music, food) does get them engaged with wider arenas of making.

    Hope this answers your question! 

     

     
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    Deborah Fields
  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 10:32 a.m.

    Hi Deborah and all,

    I thought it was interesting that your video mentioned the concrete, "you can take it home" nature of the etextiles. What role do you think this plays in supporting students' engagement? Do you think etextiles serve as a good starting point for exposing students to the creative nature of computing? Once they have made etextiles, do they show more interest in creating digital artifacts as well as physical ones?

     
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    Tomoko Nakajima
  • Icon for: Debora Lui Ann-Ling

    Debora Lui Ann-Ling

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 12:05 p.m.

    Hi Katie, great questions! In previous research we have done, we have found that the visual, tangible nature of e-textiles does indeed support greater engagement- mostly taking things that are blackboxed or more abstract in purely on-screen computing environments and moving them onto real-world objects that can be shared with others (including peers and family). Not only did this prove to motivate students more in finishing projects (since their objects could be easily appreciated by others not in the class), but it also made some concepts more tangible and manipulable to them (in terms of circuitry and computing). We definitely believe that e-textiles exposes students to the creative nature of computing since it allows them to place computing within the context of everyday objects (e.g., transforming their favorite sweatshirt into an interactive art piece) - this is definitely something we have seen within student interviews and reflective portfolios they have created. In terms of future projects, we have yet to see since we are in the midst of analyzing more of our final years' data - it should be noted, however, that this e-textiles unit is part of the larger Exploring Computer Science program, such that they start the unit already having engaged in several months of on-screen computation and creation of digital projects. It remains to be seen, however, where they take these experiences! 

     
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    Katie Rich
    Justice Walker
    Deborah Fields
  • Icon for: Alex Lishinski

    Alex Lishinski

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 01:07 a.m.

    I would like to follow up on this and ask about how you think that the e-textiles unit affects engagement and also interest in and persistence in CS. It seems like because you have the e-textiles unit as part of the ECS curriculum, it's an advantageous situation from a research perspective because you could examine the impact of this particular unit on students' engagement with not just this unit but CS as a whole and further participation. I'm wondering if this is something that you are exploring, have been exploring, or just something you have thoughts about, because I know the goal of this unit was to broaden participation, and it seems like you're in a good position to find out whether e-textiles in particular did so, which I think would have broader implications.

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 01:58 p.m.

    Alex, that's an excellent question and something that we would like to pursue in the future. Right now our data end when the yearlong course wraps up. We have knowledge of some students signing up for the next CS course (if their school has one): usually AP CS Principles right now. But we do not know and don't yet have permission to follow students beyond that. 

    We definitely need longitudinal studies of students in CS pathways in secondary school! 

    I'd love to know what others have found in this regard. What we hear from some of our teachers is that 1) the e-textiles unit has been excellent at engaging students as a whole in CS and that many students sign-up for the next course. 2) that AP CS A (the java-based course) is where the most drop-offs are seen. Perhaps because that course has not been transformed by recent efforts to change the culture of computer science. 

    Are you aware of any longitudinal studies that are happening? I'd love to hear how others are pursuing that.

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 02:35 p.m.

    We are also working on developing more advanced e-texitle projects for later courses (i.e., new grants & growing relationships with teachers to co-develop these). This is in the very early stages. 

     

  • Icon for: Steven McGee

    Steven McGee

    Researcher
    May 17, 2018 | 05:38 p.m.

    Hi Deborah, we are excited to learn about this new unit for ECS. Given that the Chicago Public Schools is there-fourths of the way to rolling out ECS to every high school, it is nice to see that there are additional options. On the CAFÉCS project, we have done a longitudinal study of student CS enrollment patterns in the Chicago Public Schools involving close to 15,000 students. We found that students were generally twice as likely to pursue additional CS course work if they took ECS first versus a traditional CS class first. It might be interesting to see if how the patterns of engagement and interest might vary when teachers use the e-textile units vs the robotics unit.

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 05:49 p.m.

    Steven - that is wonderful to have longitudinal data on the course work trajectories. 

    If you are ever interested in working with the e-textiles unit we would love to talk with you about it. Teacher testimony shows positive engagement from students in the e-textile unit, even within the ECS yearlong curriculum and already excellent ECS teachers (we will see what results from our study in 14 schools this year with more quantitative measures). It would be interesting to know how this plays out in a larger way, perhaps in a quasi experimental study. 

    Congrats on the truly encouraging results from your study and your educational work! Chicago has a special place in my heart since I studied there for college and have many in-laws in the city and suburbs. 

  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 02:18 p.m.

    This is great work and it is nice to see the integration of textiles. We are doing a variety of maker activities with our preservice teachers in UTeach Maker.  We have yet to do a textiles activity so this is definitely providing some inspiration. What have you found to be the most challenging part for those new to working with these materials? Are there particular products or projects you would recommend to get started?  Thank you for sharing.

     
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    Tomoko Nakajima
    Justice Walker
  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:28 p.m.

    Shelly, it's great to hear about your work! 

    Challenges: Some people struggle at the beginning with some aspect of new skills, like sewing or coding. What they perceived as challenges really depends on their prior experience and what new things they need to learn. On the other hand, those new things are the ones they are usually most proud of!

    I think one of the most challenging aspects of teaching this is time management. Because all the projects we do in the curriculum are open-ended to allow for student creativity and personal expression, it is often very challenging for teachers to help direct student activity and keep some of it contained. Allowing a reasonable amount of time for creating and finessing projects but recognizing that most people will take as much time as you give them! Some strategies for working with this challenge include: daily goals (sew one light, sew a common ground), deadlines, encouraging students to take projects home to finish them in the way they want.

    As for projects and products, it really depends on what your goals are. Our first two projects are a short (1-hour) paper circuit project that is very cheap and gets into the basics followed by a 3-light wristband (3-5 hours, similar to that in Buechley's Sew Electric) where we put in a switch at the end. But after those projects are where things get more interesting with computation, using switches or sensors for computational inputs. 

     

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:29 p.m.

    Products: We now use Adafruit's Circuit Playground, but one can also use the LilyPad or other sewable micro controller. The Circuit Playground is a bit cheaper and has a lot more sensors and outputs on board that save time in sewing and add a lot of flexibility to computation.

     
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    Justice Walker
  • May 14, 2018 | 04:14 p.m.

    I appreciate the potential electronic textiles has in broadening STEM participation because it makes it possible for students to access this domain using skills that are not typical in Computer Science. The artifacts that are produce are so diverse and seem to provide students with lots of opportunities to express themselves uniquely. 

     

    Still, I wonder how your team has gone about understanding what students learn and the impacts electronic textiles has on encouraging sustained interest in CS? Thanks ahead for any insights. 

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 04:41 p.m.

    Justice - excellent question! Indeed, most of the work on e-textiles has focused on student interest, self-efficacy, and identity and less on learning. 

    In the first year of the study we focused on teacher practices that supported maker and CS education in the classroom. 

    In the second year of the study we looked closely at students' debugging practices (what problems they solved, how they solved them, what areas of CS concepts and practices these were in) and are currently investigating 12 case studies of "middle" (average) students in the classroom to look at trajectories of learning.

    In the third year of the study we are turning to more quantitative measures - we need to analyze data from 400+ students! We are using two main forms of data on learning.

    1) graded rubrics of final e-textile projects that are broken down into 10 categories for the rubrics (e.g., quality of conditional programming, functionality and use of ranges in sensor programming, quality and notation on circuit diagram). This is one way to study learning performance. This gets more at conceptual knowledge.

    2) student portfolios where they reflect on the challenges and changes they have made to their projects and where they reflect on their own learning overall in the unit. We are developing a coding scheme for this that illuminates the computational thinking *practices*: problem solving, debugging, iteration, etc. 

    We hope the two lenses on student learning combined with more traditional pre/post surveys will give us multiple angles on what students gain from this unit and how we can make it more equitable for all students.

  • Icon for: David DeLiema

    David DeLiema

    Researcher
    May 15, 2018 | 01:35 p.m.

    So inspired by this work, Debbie and all. 

     

    Following up on Justice's question and Debbie's response, I would love to hear your thoughts on the relationship between debugging and learning. Does learning typically trail debugging? Does learning occur independently of debugging? Does it matter when the focal problem arises (e.g., at the beginning of the unit when more time is available versus at the end of the unit when there might be more urgency to finish)? Does it matter who is involved in the debugging experience? We've been trying to understand how learning and debugging are connected in our own research, and my hunch is that the e-textiles project is a perfect context to make headway on this topic.

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 01:53 p.m.

    David - these are such interesting questions. We have not specifically studied these questions... yet. But we have a second project specifically about debugging that will let us work on this over the next couple of years (stay tuned for Debugging by Design!). Also our case study analysis that we are conducting right now may help to answer these a little. 

    Learning independent of debugging. Yes. Absolutely! Even learning to prevent bugs helps. We see plenty of changes students make to projects that do not arise from "bugs" but from desires for personal expression or as they become aware of new things that they can do in their projects (new capabilities & possibilities).

    I'm not sure that the "when" question is as important as the "how" question in terms of learning through debugging. Something may come up at the end of a project but if students are spending a lot of time with it—for instance, iteratively testing a sensor to find precisely the right ranges to promote the best human interaction with the project—then that stands out to the students in their memories as a key learning moment. 

    So much more to talk about in the overlap between our studies! I think debugging and learning is such a fruitful area to consider deeply.

  • Icon for: Ronald Greenberg

    Ronald Greenberg

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2018 | 02:37 p.m.

    It's nice to see a use of this material within the context of the Exploring Computer Science curriculum, which I know provides a great overall framework. To the question about affects on "engagement and also interest in and persistence in CS", it may be hard to tease out the e-textile part separate from ECS, but there is already a lot of evidence about the positive effects of ECS in general. (See the attachments with the CAFECS video and references at https://sites.google.com/site/cs4allchicago/publications-grants .)

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 02:57 p.m.

    Ronald - so true. ECS is already a great curriculum and there is a lot of evidence about the positive effects. Thanks for the link to your video and information! 

    This year we have been doing a pre/post survey just before the unit itself (data is incoming), as well as asking students and teachers what role the e-textiles unit played in their learning throughout the year. It's been exciting to see how students make links to other areas of the ECS unit. One thing the students seem to take away is a new realization of where computers are relevant, most notably off the screen. 

    But you're right, especially with regard to motivation it's a trick task to see what the role of this unit is in an already well-researched and positive yearlong course. 

  • Icon for: Naomi Thompson

    Naomi Thompson

    Graduate Student
    May 18, 2018 | 01:45 p.m.

    Hi all! Thanks for sharing this great video! A common thread between this and other e-textiles work seems to be that these activities help broader ranges of students "see themselves as computer scientists" -- as expressed in the student quote near the end of the video. How are you thinking about and framing identity here? I know that identity can be a sticky subject as some definitions are less robust than others. Do you wrestle with this in your work?

    Thanks!

  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 02:04 p.m.

    Naomi, yes! We constantly think about identity, about how e-textiles can act as boundary objects to strengthen students' identities with CS across settings, how they integrate other identities into a developing CS identity and so forth. 

    Right now we are focusing on how to help students author and shape their own self-narratives (self-narrative as an aspect of identity from a sociocultural viewpoint). The past two years we have integrated a portfolio as a final, secondary artifact into the curriculum. We noted that students are creating themselves as CS people, associating their narratives with CS with hard skills (coding, sewing, circuitry, etc.), and computational practices such as problem-solving, *collaboration*, and so forth. The portfolios have become customized objects in their own rite - personalized things that students create where they are more consciously writing about their identity - writing themselves into computer science, so to speak. 

    It's been fascinating to study that!

  • Icon for: Yasmin Kafai

    Yasmin Kafai

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 02:57 p.m.

    We have a bit more info on this website: 

    http://www.exploringcs.org/e-textiles

    Here's also where we will post all the materials later this year.

     
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    Deborah Fields
  • Small default profile

    Abgiail Donmoyer

    Undergraduate Student
    May 20, 2018 | 04:40 p.m.

    I'm finishing my minor program for Integrative STEM Methods for Young Students. I really like the idea of integrating crafting and projects with computer science. I've taken computer sciences courses before and I sat in front of a computer the whole time and didn't take much away from it. If I had been able to do something hands-on like the e-textile projects, it would have made a more lasting impression on me. I think students would be thrilled if I presented a challenge around this idea.

     
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    Deborah Fields
  • Icon for: Deborah Fields

    Deborah Fields

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 09:27 p.m.

    Thank you Abigail. Yes - the tangibility of lighting patterns and sensors seems to make a big impression on kids and help them understand the abstractions on the screen. Plus the fact that they can express themselves through what they make!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.