Congratulations to Yasmin B. Kafai on her recent book releases!

Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming

Yasmin B. Kafai and Quinn Burke
The MIT Press (2014)

Coding, once considered an arcane craft practiced by solitary techies, is now recognized by educators and theorists as a crucial skill, even a new literacy, for all children. Programming is often promoted in K-12 schools as a way to encourage “computational thinking”—which has now become the umbrella term for understanding what computer science has to contribute to reasoning and communicating in an ever-increasingly digital world. In Connected Code, Yasmin Kafai and Quinn Burke argue that although computational thinking represents an excellent starting point, the broader conception of “computational participation” better captures the twenty-first-century reality. Computational participation moves beyond the individual to focus on wider social networks and a DIY culture of digital “making.” Kafai and Burke describe contemporary examples of computational participation: students who code not for the sake of coding but to create games, stories, and animations to share; the emergence of youth programming communities; the practices and ethical challenges of remixing (rather than starting from scratch); and the move beyond stationary screens to programmable toys, tools, and textiles.

Connected Play: Tweens in a Virtual World

Yasmin B. Kafai and Debbie A. Fields
The MIT Press (2013)

Millions of children visit virtual worlds every day. In such virtual play spaces as Habbo Hotel, Toontown, and Whyville, kids chat with friends from school, meet new people, construct avatars, and earn and spend virtual currency. In Connected Play, Yasmin Kafai and Deborah Fields investigate what happens when kids play in virtual worlds, how this matters for their offline lives, and what this means for the design of educational opportunities in digital worlds.

Textile Messages: Dispatches from the World of e-Textiles and Education

Leah Buechley, Kylie A. Peppler, Michael Eisenberg, and Yasmin B. Kafai, Editors Peter Lang (2013)

This volume reports on the emerging field of electronic textiles, or e-textiles—computers that can be soft, colorful, approachable, and beautiful. E-textiles are articles of cloth­ing, home furnishings, or architectures that include embedded computational and electronic elements. Vignettes throughout the book provide illustrative examples of what this means in practice: handbags that store and play back knitting patterns, traditional embroideries that glow and sing, and dresses that register and respond to our movements like wearable companions.

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