Social Networking and Culturally Situated Design Teaching Tools: Providing a Socially Interactive Computer Supported Collaborative Network Environment for K-12
Type of Degreedissertation
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Culturally Situated Design Tools (CSDTs) are web-based software applications that allow students to create simulations of cultural arts: Native American beadwork, African American cornrow hairstyles, urban graffiti, and so forth; using these underlying mathematical principles. CSDTs are the rationale of creating a set of culturally designed games utilizes gaming as a teaching tool to attract and instruct students with familiar methods and environments. This dissertation will review the development and evaluation of CSDTs, and discuss how various activities attempt to navigate through the potential dangers and rewards of this potent hybrid of information technology (CSDTs), traditional culture and individual creativity. Increasing accessibility to Computer Science Technology is essential for a discipline that relies on creativity and diverse perspectives. Creating equity in representation of numbers of students and their access to Computer Science learning opportunities is also a social justice issue. Educational research communities having begun to explore the causes behind the underrepresentation of females and students of color in computing courses, outreach efforts have commenced to overcome these enrollment discrepancies. The purpose of this dissertation is to address issues of under representation. We have created an environment and developed a framework to support the creation of computing applications promoting more robust educational software to train the next generation of computer scientists.