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Deborah Fields

Deborah Fields

Temporary Assistant Professor (Online) of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Contact Information

Phone: (435) 797-2694
Email: deborah.fields@usu.edu

Office Hours: By Appointment

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)
Computational thinking

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

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. Available online athttp://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/jgcc_kidsonline.pdf

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.

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.

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

(Upcoming). Fields, D. A. TEDx Talk (Oct 29, 2014). Tween activism in a virtual world. Link to more details

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). Link to video.

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

Editorial Board, Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2014-2017
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