Icon for: Karen Royer

KAREN ROYER

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology
Public Discussion

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  • May 10, 2022 | 09:52 a.m.

    This is an interesting concept that is exciting for access and inclusion of people who are not interested in STEM-related jobs but this have to exist in this technology-driven world.

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 10, 2022 | 11:41 a.m.

    Thank you Natassia. I was especially pleased to be part of this group as I am a non-traditional student myself. I never expected to find myself back in school at this point in my life. I have been incredibly enriched by this experience. I value the skills that I developed during my hiatus from school much more now than I ever have. I also feel more connected and in tune with society than I ever have as well. Cheers!

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 10, 2022 | 09:59 a.m.

    We intentionally chose to refer to computing literacy, in our work, rather than computational literacy or computer science literacy for a reason. When we refer to computing literacy, it positions computing as the product or technology that quilters use and computation as the process or ability that people have or may learn. This enables computing literacy to happen without note in the same way that informal learning happens incidentally. Our facilitation during the workshops draws attention to computing knowledge acquisition as it happens. How does this align with the work that you are doing? How well does the distinction between computing and computation translate?

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Facilitator
    Associate Director
    May 11, 2022 | 12:49 p.m.

    Thanks for your sharing your exciting project, Karen, and for articulating this distinction between computing and computation literacy. Can you talk about this a little bit more, as I think I'm still unclear, but absolutely feel these discussions around the type of literacy being developed are vital to producing environments and resources that are better suited to certain kinds of learning. How is computing literacy distinguished from digital literacy?

  • May 10, 2022 | 11:37 a.m.

    This is really interesting.  I can see definite connections with promoting engagement in computing by K-12 students, particularly girls.  Is the software available for others to play with?

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 10, 2022 | 11:44 a.m.

    Thank you for your interest in our work.

    Code Crafters - Procedural Patchwork -  have fun with the software! The link opens in a new window. Cheers!

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 13, 2022 | 10:46 a.m.

    Marion, the color palette you used for your quilt is lovely. I had to try it for myself. Did you allow the computer to generate it or did you create it yourself? And, how do you feel about me using it? 

    Thanks again,

    Karen

  • May 13, 2022 | 10:53 a.m.

    Hi Karen,

    I'm glad you liked the palette.  I chose it myself.  I do quilting myself, and like the blue/orange combinations.  Absolutely feel free to use it!.  I'm tempted to actually try to one that was generated.  Lots of half-triangle squares, in a very interesting pattern.

    Marion

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 13, 2022 | 11:57 a.m.

    I agree about the pattern. It was terrific. I am not sure you were aware, but the colors are based on the Kona quilting fabrics so they could translate directly to a quilt. And, half square triangles can be so fast to work with. Have fun!

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 10, 2022 | 12:07 p.m.

    I am Karen Royer, a Computational Media PhD student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Our work addresses a lack of information about how women identify, relate and feel about computing while foregrounding the social and intergenerational nature of quilting. Through our workshops and accompanying co-creative quilt design software, we encourage participants to explore the software, create their own quilt designs, which they can save, and use the generative parts of the software to explore how they may interact with and impact the outcome of computing activities. Conversations about data and intellectual property occur organically as participants discover the social aspects of the software. Our supportive environment encourages participants to leverage and learn from mistakes in a context with which they are familiar and comfortable. Using the "liking" mechanism built into the software enables users to experiment with how computers think differently and how they can control the final outcome through their choices. The palette system was a great revelation as users found the control and affordances of working with a palette, based on the popular Kona fabric collection, to be highly engaging. We did not anticipate this reaction. 

    In the coming summer, we intend on holding in person workshops as we had originally planned. It will be intriguing to analyze the results of this work in contrast to the necessary online workshops we held during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Icon for: Kristina Lux

    Kristina Lux

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 12:16 p.m.

    What an incredible idea! I am also involved in two research projects aimed at harnessing data from informal learning environments. Excellent work!

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 10, 2022 | 12:25 p.m.

    Thank you. It has been quite rewarding.

  • Icon for: Emmanuel Nti-Asante

    Emmanuel Nti-Asante

    May 10, 2022 | 03:37 p.m.

    Great project. I am thrilled to see craft here

  • Icon for: Trusting Inekwe

    Trusting Inekwe

    Graduate Student
    May 10, 2022 | 04:01 p.m.

    Thank you. Crafts can be a useful tool to aid with advancing computing literacy

  • Icon for: Emily McLeod

    Emily McLeod

    Facilitator
    Director of Teaching and Learning, Code.org
    May 10, 2022 | 10:36 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this project! I love the emphasis on crafting and combining quilting with computing literacy. I’m wondering about the future directions for the project—you mention that there are upcoming in-person workshops. What have you learned from the online workshops that is informing any design changes to in-person workshops? It sounds like analysis and work is ongoing, but I’m also wondering if you have any lessons learned to share with others who want to engage similar audiences. Look forward to learning more!

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 11, 2022 | 11:32 a.m.

    One of the most important changes in our in-person workshop will be a more organic, fluid access to sewing machines. We planned on sewing activities for our online workshops, however, in the end we decided to remain with our computers to remain engaged with each other. In an in person workshop, we will be in proximity to both our sewing machines and the software. This will enable us to investigate further the relationship between tangible experiences in a workshop and computing experiences. 

    However, our online efforts indicate that participants recognize a clear connection between quilting and computing through an activity in which they recreated a physical, tangible quilt block on the generator. And in the converse, one participant related, "I feel like I'm getting out a lot of that exploration on the computer. And then I end up with something... I was so excited when I discovered that I could generate a quilt from my block." Participants connected their computing experience to their own practice, its social qualities, creative opportunities and feelings of competence.

    The generative nature of the software and its social affordances connected their computing experience to their own practice. We designed our software to reflect a typical "learning to quilt" format. Our computing activities also aligned with this same process. They were familiar procedures that positioned computing as augmenting their current interests and practice. At the same time, the online workshop format was a flexible platform that encouraged discussion and sharing, which informed new explorations and insights. 

    I hope this answered your questions. Please don't hesitate to ask any other questions and try out our Code Crafters - Procedural Patchwork software

  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 11, 2022 | 11:40 p.m.

    Interesting idea and maybe I'll check out the  software when designing my next quilt!

    Did you or are you going to measure the change in women’s attitudes toward computing? And did you or are you going to check the extent to which they understood the underlying concepts?

     

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 12, 2022 | 12:00 p.m.

    Thank you for your great questions.

    Our in-person workshops will incorporate measuring a change in women's attitudes toward computing. Though, our workshops in general aim to expose our participants to broad computing knowledge such as the role of computing in society and how, like quilting, computing has the capacity to bridge communities, introduce innovation and drive conversations about bias and intellectual property.

    In the workshop, we discuss more direct underlying concepts as well. The "learning to quilt" framework facilitated conversations about the structure of our software as it related to quilting. We demonstrate how "liking" certain aspects or allowing more of one color or patch than another directs random generation and tight control of the results.  Our drop down menus for selecting patches promoted discussions about representation. We presented our preplanned activity of recreating a specific tangible block in the software in response to a question from one of our participants.

    "And then also, I feel like I understand the randomness, which is part of the fun, of course, but if I want to get something more specific after the randomness, how do I take it to that place? Or is that possible?"

    Though we had planned activities, each activity was presented fluidly, informally, as the participants indicated a need or posed a question that could be answered through engagement with the software.

  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 13, 2022 | 09:29 p.m.

    It would also be nice to have some longitudinal data about what these women did with CS afterwards.

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 16, 2022 | 01:33 p.m.

    I agree wholeheartedly. The idea was discussed. We have not implemented anything at this time. Thank you.

  • Icon for: Maria (Mia) Ong

    Maria (Mia) Ong

    Researcher
    May 12, 2022 | 04:51 p.m.

    I think it's wonderful that your project aims to engage an under-served and often overlooked population using craft. I just spent some time with your Code Crafters software. It was colorful, engaging, and fun! I enjoyed seeing others' ideas, too.

    This project seems to scaffold participants' familiarity with the craft. Do the project activities work as well with participants who have never before quilted but perhaps have done another type of craft? (I'm a knitter.)

    Best wishes with the in-person workshops. I bet they will yield interesting results!

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 13, 2022 | 10:33 a.m.

    Thank you Maria, I am pleased you enjoyed the software. 

    I believe that our in person workshops especially have the potential to reach others who have never quilted. However, our online workshops did actually reach novice quilters. One of our online quilters had less than a year of quilting. I believe they related they had around 6 months of quilting experience. 

    Your question about the activities we designed is a good one. I believe that the important thing about our work is that our participants indicate an interest in quilting. That is, because we position the software as contributing to and relating to their quilting practice, they must understand and/or desire to engage in a quilting practice.

    Having said that, your question is an intriguing one. I am trying to imagine how the workshop could or would change if the focus was connecting software to a different craft practice. How important is a preexisting interest or participation in a craft in making a connection to software? Interesting.

    A question for you. What other craft activities have you tried and how would you feel about quilting after trying the software? Thanks for your interest. 

    Cheers

  • Icon for: Jan Cuny

    Jan Cuny

    Facilitator
    Dir DEIA for Strategy and Operations
    May 12, 2022 | 10:37 p.m.

    Do you know anything about what happens to your students after completing this course? Do they engage in other computing courses or experiences?

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 13, 2022 | 10:41 a.m.

    One of our participants reached out to us to ask if she could use the software to present workshops to other quilters. I can see she engages on a regular basis through her contributions to the community sections of the software. She offers workshops, writes blogs and offers patterns that she designs using the software. I am not aware to the extent that she connects the software back to computing as directly as we did, however, she has related that the workshops impacted her practice. Recently, I emailed her as I noticed a new color palette that she introduced to the community. I even had to try it myself as I was drawn to her choices. The software is a platform that keeps us connected while the workshop initially brought us together.

    Thanks for asking.

  • Icon for: Ann Gates

    Ann Gates

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 17, 2022 | 10:11 a.m.

    As someone who loves to sew and create quilts, I am excited to learn about the Code Crafters workshop.  

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 17, 2022 | 02:02 p.m.

    Thank you Ann. Though I find creating a quilt, with all the thoughts about how it will be used and who will use it, rewarding, one of the most satisfying parts of quilting for me is guiding others learning new techniques. What is it that you find rewarding? Cheers.

  • Icon for: Patti Parson

    Patti Parson

    Managing Producer, Meaningful Math Co-PI
    May 17, 2022 | 02:26 p.m.

    Hi Karen again and in the right timeline. It is exciting to see how the project has evolved, the revelations along the way, and that in-person gatherings will be possible.

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 17, 2022 | 02:53 p.m.

    Patti, I have enjoyed your comments. Our time travels have been an amusing interlude to my day. I am glad you found our current work. And, we are very much looking forward to in person gatherings for a dual reason. One, we initially intended to conduct our research in person. And two, comparing the activities, environment and results of online and in person events will be quite interesting. Best of luck to you.

  • Icon for: Andrea Tirres

    Andrea Tirres

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 17, 2022 | 02:39 p.m.

    This is a really interesting idea.  Can you share more about your outreach efforts and marketing strategy?

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Lead Presenter
    Student
    May 17, 2022 | 03:26 p.m.

    We have presented our work at Creativity & Cognition 2021, STEM 4 ALL in May 2021, AISL, ICER, DIS and GRiSTS. Reaching the academic community with our work is a priority while at the same time we reach into our quilting community to spread the word more informally. We have a web presence - Code Crafters. And we have the online software - Procedural Patchwork - Code Crafters Software. I believe Gillian Smith - gmsmith@wpi.edu would be the best contact person to receive a more detailed account of our outreach efforts and marketing strategy. 

    Thank you for your questions. 

     

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