CAS student Stephanie Shallcross (MS '18) presented her work on teaching digital literacy to youth at the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) annual conference, held October 24-28 in Prato, Italy. This year's conference addressed research, practice, and creative endeavors focused on shaping and influencing policy and programs.
Shallcross presented the paper, "A Grace Hopper Scratch Maze in the Classroom: A Case Study of a Social-Forward Approach to Teaching Digital Literacy," which she coauthored with MS/LIS student Betty Bayer. The paper is the result of a project for Teaching Assistant Professor Martin Wolske's class, Introduction to Network Information Systems (IS 451). For their project, Shallcross and Bayer developed a game using scratch programming that told the story of Grace Hopper, a pioneer of computer programming.
"Our goal was to develop a game that would inspire and encourage young women into STEM fields by educating them about an influential woman in technology that they probably had not heard of," Shallcross said. "Betty and I then went on to collaborate on Martin's guidebook: A Person-Centered Guide to Demystifying Technology. We wrote a case study paper about our experience in Martin’s class and were invited to present at Prato."
Shallcross is currently student teaching at an elementary school in Downers Grove, Illinois, while completing her Professional Teaching License. As the mother of two and the child of a school librarian, she always understood how to teach children empathy using books. However, it wasn't until taking Wolske's class that she discovered how she could use technology in the library to help youth develop social emotional skills and think about their communities.