Rubina Quadri is helping children learn the art of communication. The Early Childhood Studies (ECS) ’12 graduate received a $27,000 Ryerson Social Enterprise Fellowship Federal Development Grant to develop a prototype of Talking Buttons, a reprogrammable touchpad to help autistic children communicate. Like fellow ECS graduate Sherene Ng, Quadri’s internship and work as a lab technician and research assistant in the EDGE Lab got her acquainted with adaptive design. Quadri started to learn about Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices and how to enhance its capabilities. AAC are communication methods to help support or replace speech and writing for those with impairments. Read more at: “Talking Buttons helps kids vocalize needs”
Archive for the ‘Graduate Students’ Category
Congratulations to Dr. Yukari Seko (and her son the honorary Dr. Asahi) on her graduation from the Communications and Culture program. Dr. Seko worked in the lab as lead graduate student on the “Voices of Digital Natives” research project.
New publication: Beyond gamification: reconceptualizing game-based learning in early childhood environmentsJune 28th, 2013
EDGE lab is proud to announce a new publication from lab director Jason Nolan and graduate RA Melanie McBride. Their paper, ‘Beyond gamification: reconceptualizing game-based learning in early childhood environments,’ presents a new theoretical framework for conceptualizing Digital Game-Based Learning (DGBL) that emphasizes the role of autonomy, affinity, play and space as critically overlooked dimensions of children’s informal and out of school learning and play with games. As well, they seek to help educators distinguish some of the differences between game-based learning and other game-associated trends such as gamification and so-called ‘serious games.’
With much of the current conceptualization of DGBL reflecting the increasingly standardized and ‘data-driven’ priorities of K-12 and Post-Secondary education, Nolan and McBride ask whose identities, priorities and cultures are advanced or ignored when schools attempt to appropriate and relocate games in contexts far removed from those in which they are typically enjoyed. Finally, the paper interrogates why, if play and engagement are really at the heart of learning with games, we aren’t we starting with a model of learning that definitively play-based — that of the early years? From the abstract:
The recent promotion and adoption of digital game-based learning (DGBL) in K-12 education presents compelling opportunities as well as challenges for early childhood educators who seek to critically, equitably and holistically support the learning and play of today’s so-called digital natives. However, with most DGBL initiatives focused on the increasingly standardized ‘accountability’ models found in K-12 educational institutions, the authors ask whose priorities, identities and notions of play this model reinforces or neglects. Drawing on the literatures of early childhood studies, game-based learning, and game studies, they seek to illuminate the informal contexts of play within the ‘hidden’ and ‘null’ curricula of DGBL that do not fit within the efficiency models of mainstream education in North America. In the absence of a common critical or theoretical foundation for DGBL, they propose a conceptual framework that challenges what they regard to be the institutionally nullified dimensions of autonomy, play, affinity and space that are essential to DGBL. They contend that these dimensions are ideally situated within the inclusive and play-based curriculum early childhood learning environments, and that the early years constitute a critically significant, yet overlooked, location for more holistic and inclusive thinking on DGBL.
Dr Jason Nolan and Melanie McBride present “Embodied Semiosis: Autistic Stimming as Sensory Praxis at AERA”May 8th, 2013
Dr Jason Nolan and EDGE-lab researcher Melanie McBride presented “Embodied Semiosis: Autistic “Stimming” as Sensory Praxis,” based on their forthcoming chapter for the International Handbook of Semiotics (Springer, 2014) as part of “ Do-It-Yourself Media and Youth Engagement: Repurposing Media for Play, Resistance, and Learning” at this year’s American Educational Research Association annual conference. The panel also featured:
- Megan Boler (University of Toronto), “From Apathy to Occupy Wall Street to 4th Wave Feminism: Youth Practices of Social Media and Participatory Democracy”
- Suzanne de Castell (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), “Mirror Images: Avatar Aesthetics and Self-Representation in Digital Games.”
- Jennifer Jenson (York University) “Raising the Bar on “Voice” in a Troubled Community: Student Media Projects,” DIY (Do It Yourself)
- Yasmin B. Kafai (University of Pennsylvania) & Kylie A. Peppler (Indiana University – Bloomington) “Beyond the Screen: Creative, Critical, and Connected Making With E-Textiles.”
From the AERA program abstract:
The emergence of online and offline do-it-yourself (DIY) communities of practice invites educational researchers to revisit critical pedagogy and informal learning at a moment of unprecedented poverty and rapidly shifting paradigms of education, labour, creativity and social space. We explore DIY culture a contested yet vital location of identity and self-representation for children, youth and marginalized individuals varied social, cultural and ideological sites of creativity and struggle. Our panel brings together transdisciplinary research exploring the impact of DIY culture with risk students and communities, children with disabilities, and women exploring STEM to locate commonalities, differences and paths of resistance.
Gaming the imagination: counterpublics and the contestation of symbolic production is a video that addresses the political ramifications of the shift in production of videogames for oppositional groups known as ‘Counterpublics’ . What do these groups, and their contestation of who gets to be in control of symbolic production mean for society today? It is a digital report from the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, and the EDGE Lab at Ryerson produced and narrated by Lab RA Daniel Joseph. Enjoy.
The Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) newsletter features EDGE Lab Alumni Dr. Yukari Seko. Yukari is presently CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow at Social Aetiology of Mental Illness program at CAMH. Her project is Exploring Motivations for Creating Self-injury Content Online
EDGE Lab Alumnus Alison Gaston (MA Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University 2011) has just been appointed full time professor in ECE at Sheridan College | Institute for Advanced Learning and Technology starting in August. When she’s gotten comfortable with her new digs we hope she will be help us to build new connections with Sheridan, collaborating on both Play and Adaptive Design research projects.
EDGE Lab researcher Melanie McBride was recently invited to give a lecture at University of Toronto’s iSchool as part of their 2012 Colloquium Series. Her talk,“Beyond -fications: The hidden and null curriculum of digital learning and play” was an overview of her lab research and MA coursework on gamification and informal game-based learning under the supervision of Jason Nolan.
EDGE Lab Graduate student Melanie McBride will be presenting at the iSchool Colloquium Series at the University of Toronto on Thursday April 19, 2012. The session takes place at 140 St. George St., Room 728 between 4 – 6 p.m. If you would like to hear Melanie speak about the ‘hidden’ and ‘null’ curriculum of digital gaming and play, click here here for more details.