Opening Computational Empowerment Lab

Date: 22.05.2023 3pm

Place: Sky Lounge, Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1090 Vienna

In recent years, the Computational Empowerment Lab has been established in the work area. Here, student teachers can get to grips with innovative digital technologies that can also be used in everyday school life. The lab also serves as a research center, where prototypes of digital educational technologies are designed and evaluated flexibly, directly and iteratively.

During the opening, Yasmin Kafai (UPenn) will speak about the importance of computational empowerment. A brochure showing creative approaches to digital education in secondary education will be presented. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to view the Lab and its technologies, and to celebrate the opening with food and drinks.


Keynote: Yasmin B. Kafai 

Being Computational, Creative and Critical: Directions for the Future of Computing Education 

As computer science education has gained an unprecedented momentum over the past ten years, several critical issues have become visible. Today we recognize that code is not neutral, computing technologies reflect the values and biases of their creators, and computing alone is not the solution to all problems, it often perpetuates existing concerns, causes new problems or deepens existing ones. Yet, in classrooms, computing is commonly introduced and experienced as a value-neutral tool without considering its societal and ethical challenges. In order to address these challenges we need to focus on computational empowerment to promote inquiry, design and reimagination with disciplinary authenticity while attending to its critical and political dimensions. This requires not only discussing critical issues but deeply inquiring, designing, and reimagining how computing can be transformed to be more just and equitable and to positively impact the lives of communities. In my talk, I will present examples of how we can engage with criticality in K-12 (from kindergarten to upper secondary school) computing research to promote the creative transformation of understanding, coding and participating in the world. 

© UPenn

Yasmin B. Kafai is Lori and Michael Milken President’s Distinguished Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, with a courtesy appointment in Computer and Information Science. She is a learning designer and researcher of online tools, projects and communities to promote coding, criticality, crafting and creativity. With colleagues at MIT, she developed the programming language Scratch and researched participation in clubs, classrooms, and online communities.

More recently, she has investigated the use of electronic textiles to introduce computing, engineering, and crafting to high school students and teachers as part of the nationwide Exploring Computer Science curriculum. She has written several books, among them “Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming,” “Connected Gaming: What Making Videogames Can Teach Us About Learning and Literacy,” and recently edited with N. Holbert and M. Berland “Designing Constructionist Futures: The Art, Theory, and Practice of Learning Designs” — all published by MIT Press. Kafai earned a doctorate in education from Harvard University while working at the MIT Media Lab. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the International Society for the Learning Sciences.


3pm Begrüßung durch Prof. Fares Kayali
Keynote: Being Computational, Creative and Critical: Directions for the Future of Computing Education von Yasmin B. Kafai (University of Pennsylvania)
Vorstellung der Broschüre "Computational Empowerment in der Praxis" durch Barbara Göbl
Eröffnungsworte des Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung vertreten durch TBA
Eröffnungsworte des Leiter des Zentrums für Lehrer*innenbildung, Prof. Manfred Prenzel
Eröffnungsworte des Vizerektors für Digitalisierung und Wissenstransfer, Prof. Ronald Maier
Moderation: Elisabeth Anna Günther
17:00 Eröffnung des Computational Empowerment Lab und Buffet