Published: Jan. 4, 2023

Strand 3: Broadening Participation with Co-Design

Strand 3 is guided by the foundational question: In what ways can inclusive co-design processes empower stakeholders with diverse identities to envision, co-create, critique, and apply AI learning technologies for their schools and com- munities? In year three, Strand 3 is focused on three main research themes to help guide their progress: Learning Futures Workshops, the Sensor Immersion curriculum, and the Games Unit curriculum. This fall, the Strand 3 team continued their collaborative efforts with teachers and students, including the implementation of new curriculum for both the Games Unit and Sensor Immersion in the classrooms, as well as utilizing the findings from the spring Learning Futures Workshop to help inform our next steps for the AI Partner metaphors.

Co-design Workshop

iSAT researchers facilitate a co-design workshop with teachers from St. Vrain Valley School District

Three new teachers implemented the Games Unit, a sequence of nine lessons designed to focus on teaching AI through investigating causes of racism in gaming and what to do about it, in their classrooms this fall. Based on their feedback, as well as Strand 3 team members’ observations, students not only connected to the concepts in the unit, but also drew on their own expertise over the course of the unit. One teacher even chose to begin the school year with the Games Unit to establish routines for conversation and collaboration in his classroom. Strand 3 has been able to collect hours of data from both the curriculum implementations and the professional learning workshops and are drawing upon this data to explore the nature of student learning within the context of the Games Unit. They are examining how students develop new concepts and are tracing how they are expanded upon across the unit, both in smaller groups as well as whole group discussion. The team is following this type of learning to augment how they can see collaboration as a distributed phenomenon that occurs across the unit. They are also using the data to delve into how the team can better engage with teachers as co-designers who design social and technical infrastructures and envision teachers adapting and remixing curricula to (1) foster interdisciplinary learning for students and (2) encourage collaborative innovation between and among teachers using these materials.

After participating in iSAT’s professional learning workshops held last summer, 15 new teachers were ready to implement the latest Sensor Immersion curriculum with 650 students this fall, which included several new collaborative structures, strategies and tools. The Sensor Immersion team is now reviewing and analyzing the data and developing codes to track support from teachers during group work. Data is also being collected to monitor student learning as shown from explanatory models they develop throughout the unit and a transfer task at the end of the unit. In addition, the Sensor Immersion team is focused on student self-reported experiences with the course from two surveys called SEETs (student electronic experience tracker) that focus on students’ perceived relevance, coherence and contribution in relation to the curriculum.

The Learning Futures Workshop held last spring resulted in valuable feedback from the participants, which is now being used to shape the characteristics of the AI partners. These findings have led to novel designs including a new prototype for the Community Builder (CoBi), which helps students and teachers develop and adhere to mutually agreed collaborative agreements (e.g. respect, advancing learning). Strand 3 is continuing to refine curriculum routines around CoBi and the workshop’s findings. The third Learning Futures Workshop is being planned for Spring 2023 and the goal is to work with youth and teachers to imagine how expansive data infrastructures can transform the narrative of data collection for AI from surveillance to youth and teacher agency over data. The workshop will be held over nine weeks in-person at an East Bay High School in Oakland, California.

Learning Futures Workshop

Two youth create speculative worlds during the second Learning Futures Workshop

Strand 3 team members have also been busy contributing towards furthering iSAT’s goals of serving as a nexus point for collaborative efforts, deepening the Institute’s knowledge exchange with SoapBox Labs. Team members gave an iSAT presentation to SoapBox Labs’ staff at their headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, which led to further discussions and plans for future knowledge exchanges including starting to mutually share methods and techniques for eliciting youth ideas about the role of AI in their lives and education. Our Outreach Coordinator and Strand 3 are also working with our partners in St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado to develop a high school internship program which will start this winter. This project aims to develop the interns’ capacity to envision, co-create, critique, and apply student-AI collaborative learning technologies in their classrooms and beyond. Strand 3 continues to converge with both Strands 1 and 2, refining curriculum routines around the two emerging AI Partners.