Briana Bettin’s (CLS/CS) paper, “Challenges, Choice, & Change: Experiences and Reflections from the First Semester of a Technology and Human Futures Course,” was recently published in the SIGCSE 2023 Proceedings of the 54th ACM Technical Symposium, March 2023.
The paper explores survey responses from graduate students who completed Bettin’s newly designed course, “Reimagining Technofuturism” during spring 2022. The course explored facets of human identity and societal systems in order to understand technology’s role, how technology impacts our human futures and how we might design differently in order to arrive at future technologies that better center human identities and futures.
In the paper Bettin discusses the general design of the course as well as literature background that suggests courses like this are novel but growing in presence nationwide. In addition to the overall value of the course—exploring how design choices, emphasizing computing technology design, impact society and the ways identity can alter those impacts for individuals and groups.
The paper contains student quotes that Bettin pulled together with a narrative thread. Bettin closed the paper with her own quote as she reflected on the outcomes of the course:
“I expected some level of general interest and engagement, but marvel at how much the students consistently exceeded my expectations. From diverse discussion examples to a breadth of project directions—the students not only grappled with the complex and vast space, but seemed to enjoy “tackling” such depth in some meaningful way.”
The ACM Technical Symposium is SIGCSE’s flagship conference. It has been held annually in the United States since 1970. This year, for the first time, the conference is being held in Toronto, Canada, March 15-18, 2023.
Briana Bettin is an assistant professor in the departments of computer science and cognitive and learning sciences (psychology and human factors). She received her master’s in human-computer interaction from Iowa State University and her bachelor’s and PhD in computer science from Michigan Tech. Her research work broadly centers computing education with focus on human interests, impacts, and learning within our increasingly technological society. Her goal is to help us all learn to better live with, work with, (re)imagine with, and be represented equitably within the increasingly digital landscape of our world.
Related story: Q&A with Teaching Award Winner Briana Bettin