Asee peer logo

Building Technology Fluency: Fostering Agents of Change

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Tablets, Mobile and Technology

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.261.1 - 23.261.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Wanda Eugene University of North Carolina - Charlotte

visit author page

Dr. Wanda Eugene is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in the Computer Science Department. She completed her doctoral studies in the Human-Centered-Computing Lab in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department at Auburn University in spring 2011. She is interested in how cultural, social, and personal surroundings affect the appropriation of computational artifacts and ideas and how they can serve as a resource for the design of new technologies. She earned a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in 2002 from Florida State University, a master’s in Industrial Engineering in 2003 from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and a master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in Instructional Technology and African American Studies in 2006 from George Mason University.

visit author page


Shaundra Bryant Daily Clemson University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Shaundra Daily is an assistant professor in the School of Computing at Clemson University. She received her doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where her doctoral work involved designing and implementing technology-infused collaborative learning environments. Prior to her doctoral studies, she received a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University - Florida State University College of Engineering as well as a S.M. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include affective computing and STEM education, and she has received funding from the NSF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support this research. Currently, her group is designing and implementing a system to support teachers in understanding classroom engagement from a physiological perspective. Dr. Daily has authored/co-authored articles in the field of Learning Sciences as well as Computer Science Education in venues such as American Education Research Association and Conference on Human Computer Interaction.

visit author page


Tiffany Barnes NC State University

visit author page

Dr. Tiffany Barnes is an associate professor of Computer Science at N.C. State University and received her Ph.D. from N.C. State in 2003. Dr. Barnes received an NSF CAREER Award for her novel work in using data to add intelligence to STEM learning environments. Dr. Barnes is co-PI on the $9 million NSF STARS Alliance grants that engage college students in outreach, research, and service. She has received ~$2 million in funds as PI from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and industry sources to research effective ways to build serious games for education, exercise, and environmental awareness; promote undergraduate research; and develop new ways to teach computing. Dr. Barnes serves on the ACM SIGCSE board, and has been on the organizing committees for several conferences including Educational Data Mining and Foundations of Digital Games, and has served as associate editor for the Journal of Educational Data Mining.

visit author page

author page

Richard Burns West Chester University

Download Paper |


Building Technology Fluency: Fostering Agents of Change Technological fluency, the ability to create and express through technology, rather than technicalfamiliarity, is becoming increasingly necessary to be a functioning member of our global society.In this paper we present the experiences of two interventions, one in the Birmingham, Alabama,and another in the Republic of Haiti, where technology fluency learning is driven by communityengagement and revitalization. In both locations, students’ solutions to important community-based problems such in healthcare, accessible water, and personal finances, were expressed usingtechnology. More specifically, Scratch, a visual-based programming language designed at theMIT Media Lab, was used in both interventions where students demonstrated their interactivepresentations, campaigns, and business ideas.During the summer of 2008 students in Birmingham, Alabama between the ages of 7 and 11worked with community health educators, teachers, and camp facilitators to learn aboutimportant healthcare topics such as obesity, diabetes, and drug abuse. After a brief introductionto the topics and structured lessons in Scratch, students selected a topic of interest, conductedresearch through various on and offline sources, and created educational campaigns for their owncommunities about the topic. During the following summer, students, also from the Birminghamcommunity, conducted research in a local business district. Then, after conceptualizing an ideafor a business, the students interacted with community leaders, venture capitalists, and businessowners to assess the feasibility of their idea and understand how it might be received in thecommunity. Their lessons learned were built into animated Scratch projects.In Spring 2012, students and faculty from the STARS Alliance visited the Republic of Haiti andworked with 24 young women mentors (ages 18-32) to develop their technology fluency. Thesementors taught computer classes after-school, on XO laptops to children in grades 3-5 (ages 8-15) about 6 hours per week at three northern rural schools. The mentors lead the children tocreate animations, but the learning had little connection to their schoolwork or daily lives.Through the STARS outreach project, mentors were taught to begin to think about how thecomputer classes could be integrated to help serve greater community needs. The mentorsbrainstormed on community problems, such as energy, schooling, water, food, and healthcare,and then worked together to create Scratch stories to better illustrate these problems to oneanother and to people outside their communities. The hope was for the mentors to integratetechnology into their explanations of and solutions to the challenges associated with, solvingcommunity problems. The mentors then conducted the same classes with elementary agechildren. Across these settings, a culminating event was an opportunity for participants to presenttheir project ideas to the community.Embedded in these interventions is the belief that enabling students to imagine approaches tobuilding their communities will plant the seeds for them to see themselves as agents of changewithin the community. By incorporating the development of technological fluency into theapproach, skills, important to future careers are cultivated.

Eugene, W., & Daily, S. B., & Barnes, T., & Burns, R. (2013, June), Building Technology Fluency: Fostering Agents of Change Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19275

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015