We’re delighted and grateful that Dr. Nettrice Gaskins will be taking the time to offer her wisdom and expertise to the community through the Maker Ed Convening! Dr. Gaskins will be our keynote speaker on the first day of our annual convening, on Friday, October 2, 2020.
With a long history of work and focus in art, media, education, youth work, and computing — all grounded in culturally relevant and sustaining approaches — Dr. Gaskins is currently the assistant director of the Lesley STEAM Learning Lab at Lesley University in Boston and has an upcoming book soon-to-be-released through MIT Press.
Gaskins is the author of Techno-Vernacular Creativity and Innovation Culturally Relevant Making Inside and Outside of the Classroom (in press). Her work draws on real-world examples, shows how “techno-vernacular creativity” or TVC creates dynamic learning environments where underrepresented ethnic students feel that they belong. Students who remix computationally, for instance, have larger toolkits of computational skills with which to connect cultural practices to STEAM subjects; reappropriation offers students a way to navigate cultural repertoires; improvisation is firmly rooted in cultural and creative practices. Gaskins brings those ways of knowing and ways of doing into her work and critically examines how they do or do not appear in today’s understandings of the maker movement.
Dr. Gaskins will be sharing stories from her work, especially relevant in these times, that have implications for how we teach and learn going forward. That may include everything from music remixing and 3D printing, to finding ways to be creative with discomfort, to vignettes about the support she provides for learner-driven ideas and passions. Embedded in all of these aspects is, of course, a keen awareness and attention towards equity and joy.
Check out Maker Ed’s 2020 Convening page for Dr. Gaskins’ biography, the event schedule and speakers, registration details, and more! This annual gathering of maker educators will take place virtually on October 2–3, 2020: