Leah Buechley is a designer, engineer, and educator whose work explores intersections and juxtapositions–of “high” and “low” technologies, new and ancient materials, and masculine and feminine making traditions. Her inventions include the LilyPad Arduino toolkit.
In this talk, Leah will share her personal and professional concers about the state of education and recent research on inequalities in our school systems, and ask attendees to help grapple with difficult questions, like:
- Is our educational system an equalizing force, an engine of social mobility? Or is it a privilege multiplier?
- To what extent does it reproduce inequality and to what extent does it level the playing field?
- Do “learning innovations”—new technologies and approaches—usually exacerbate inequality, and how can we guard against this?
- How can we ensure that schools connect to the interests, passions, communities and cultures of all kids?
- What can we do to better engage and support everyone?
From 2009-2014, Leah was a professor at the MIT Media Lab where she founded and directed the High-Low Tech group. Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ars Electronica Festival, and the Exploratorium, and has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Popular Science, and Wired. Leah received a PhD in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in physics from Skidmore College. At both institutions she also studied dance, theater, fine art, and design.
The conversation will be moderated by Youngmoo Kim, Director of the ExCITe Center and will include opportunity for audience questions/discussion. A reception with light refreshments will follow at 7:30pm.