Considered by many to be the nation’s leading researcher on computer games and children’s learning, Yasmin Kafai will speak on “Learning with Computer Games: What Research and Practice Tell Us” Friday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. in Fralin Auditorium on the Virginia Tech campus. The event is free and open to the public.

As a designer of educational software and games, Kafai conducts research on how young children learn science and math. She is the author of “Minds in Play: Computer game Design as a Context for Children’s Learning.”

Kafai has written numerous articles on learning technologies and environments for young children in the fields of education, developmental psychology, computer and information studies. Her research on the design of learning cultures and technologies has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation.

Kafai is frequently quoted in the popular press and on television, and has spoken to many national and international conferences from industry and academia.

Kafai, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, is also active in national policy efforts. She was appointed to the National Commission on Gender, Technology and Teaching that produced the report, Tech-Savvy Girls: Educating Girls in the Computer Age (AAUW, 2000). In March 2000, she successfully lobbied both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate for social science research of interactive media with the 8th Science Advocacy Workshop sponsored by the American Psychology Association.

Through the generous philanthropy of Glover M. and Frances Graham Trent, an endowment was created in the Center for Information Technology Impacts on Children, Youth, and Families to annually sponsor a Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series.

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