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Deborah Fields

Deborah Fields

Associate Research Professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Contact Information

Office Hours: By Appointment
IconPhone: (435) 797-2694
IconEmail: deborah.fields@usu.edu

Biography

Deborah Fields’ research focuses on the relationship between learning and engagement at the intersections of kids’ lives, those places where home, school, friends, family, and community connect. These interests have guided her studies in virtual worlds and STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) education in and across classrooms, clubs, and digital social environments. In 2013 she recently published a book with MIT Press on kids’ online play: Connected Play: Tween Life in a Virtual World. Related, she recently co-authored a critical review of children’s participation in social networking sites for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Current interests include breaking down stereotypes about who can create with digital media by creating educational opportunities to design with sewable electronics or the popular programming environment, Scratch. This interest carries over into the growing phenomenon of child-generated digital content in online environments, focusing on what this development means for children's cultural rights, learning opportunities, and industry best practices. (Link to Vitae) logo

Research Interests

Identity

Connective ethnography

Children's online media (virtual worlds, social networking forums, DIY sites)

Computer science education

Education

Ph.D. Psychological Studies in Education, University of California, Los Angeles 2010

M.S. Curriculum and Instruction: Multicultural Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2002

B.A. Christian Education & Ministry, Biblical & Theological Studies, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 1998

etextile

Resources: Electronic Textile Guides

Light-Up Bracelet Student Guide

LilyTiny Project Student Guide

Books, Book Chapters and Reports

book cover

Fields, D.A. & Kafai, Y.B. (in press). Games in the learning sciences: Reveiewing evidence from playing and making games for learning. In Fisher, F., Hmelo-Silver, C., Reiman, P. (Eds.), International Handbook of the Learning Sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kafai. Y. B. Fields, D. A. (2013). Connected Play: Tweens in a Virtual World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Grimes, S. Fields, D. (2012). Kids online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums. New York. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

Fields, D. A. Kafai, Y. B. (2012). Navigating life as an avatar: The shifting identities-in-practice of a girl player in a tween virtual world. In C. C. Ching B. Foley (Eds.) Constructing the self in a digital world, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 222-250.

Selected Publications

**Please feel free to contact me if you are seeking a copy of a paper but are unable to find it.

Fields, D. A., Kafai, Y. B., & Giang, M. T. (2017). Youth computational participation in the online Scratch community: Problematizing experience and equity in participation and programming. Transactions of Computing Education, 17(3), Article 15 doi>10.1145/3123815

Fields, D. A., Vasudevan, V., Kafai, Y.B. (2015). The programmers' collective: Fostering participatory culture by making music videos in a high school Scratch coding workshop. Interactive Learning Environments, 23(5), 1-21.

Fields, D. A., Magnifico, A. M., Lammers, J C., & Curwood, J.S. (2014). DIY media creation. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 58(1), 19-24.

Kafai, Y. B. Fields, D. A., Searle, K. A.* (in press). Electronic textiles as disruptive designs in schools: Supporting and challenging maker activities for learning. Harvard Educational Review.

Fields, D. A. Enyedy, N. (2013). Picking up the mantle of “expert”: Assigned roles, assertion of identity, and peer recognition within a programming class. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal, 20(2), 113-131.

Fields, D. A. Kafai, Y. B. (in press). Navigating life as an avatar: The shifting identities-in-practice of a girl player in a tween virtual world. In C. C. Ching B. Foley (Eds.) Constructing identity in a digital world, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kafai. Y. B. Fields, D. A. (2013). Connected Play: Tweens in a Virtual World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Fields, D. A. Enyedy, N. (2013). Picking up the mantle of “expert”: Assigned roles, assertion of identity, and peer recognition within a programming class. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal, 20(2), 113-131.

Grimes, S. Fields, D. A. (2012). Kids online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums. New York. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Available online at http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/reports-38.html.

Kafai, Y. B., Fields, D. A., Burke, W. Q. (2010). Entering the clubhouse: Case studies of young programmers joining the online Scratch communities. Journal of Organizational and End-User Computing, 22(2), 21-35.

*Featured in NSF-sponsored Research to Practice Brief: www.research2practice.info

Fields, D. A. Kafai, Y. B. (2009). A connective ethnography of peer knowledge sharing and diffusion in a tween virtual world. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(1), 47-68.

Fields, D. A. (2009). What do students gain from a week at science camp? Youth perceptions and the design of an immersive research-oriented astronomy camp. International Journal of Science Education, 31(2), 151-171.

Recent Referred Presentations

Fields, D. A. TEDx Talk (Oct 29, 2014). Tween activism in a virtual world.

Kafai, Y. B. Fields, D. A. (2014, June). Connected play: Mischievous cheating for serious gaming. Invited keynote presentation at the combined NSF Cyberlearning Summit and the Playful Learning Summit (at the Games + Learning + Society conference). Video available.

Fields, D. A., Giang, M. T., Kafai, Y. B. (2014, March). Broad trends in scratch.mit.edu. Invited presentation at the Scratch Data Summit. MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA.

Fields, D. A. (2014, February). Engaging Students at the Intersections of Learning, Interest, and Identification: An Ecological View of Design- and Inquiry-Based Education. Invited keynote address at the Korean Association of Science Education Conference. Daegu, South Korea.

Fields, D. A. (2013, September). Cheating, Gaming, and Kids’ Online Communities. Invited guest lecture for MOOC course on Coursera by Constance Steinkuehler Kurt Squire. 10,000 estimated participants. Video available.

Awards and Honors

Journal of the Learning Sciences, Early Career Reviewer of the Year, 2015

CONNECT Fellowship (UCLA Lab School), 2009

UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, 2008-2009

Best Student Paper Award: International Conference of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 2007

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship, 2007

Wheaton College Scholastic Honor Society, inducted 19

Projects

Kids DIY Media

FUN! Automated Assessment of Computational Thinking in Scratch
Teton County STEM/Digital Fabrication Lab
Craft Technologies

Teaching

ITLS 6540: Learning Theory

ITLS 6870/7870: Special Topics: Sociocultural Perspectives in Education

ITLS 6390: Technology and its Role in the Transformation of Education

ITLS 5270/6270: Craft Technologies