I am a Postdoctorate Fellow

I’m pleased to share that starting today, I will be a Postdoctorate Research and Teaching Fellow at UBC. Along with teaching several courses in the department of education, my research centers on the historical critique of media and technology. This entails reframing the current discourse of curriculum theory and history by focusing on the importance of media and technologies within the conceptualization of curriculum throughout history.

More to come.

PhD done!

I have successfully defended my PhD thesis! Now after a few more edits, I have uploaded my thesis to UBC’s circle (collection of theses and dissertations). You can find the link to my thesis HERE.

My PhD oral examination

Today, I will be defending my PhD thesis. The information is as follows:

The Final Oral Examination For the Degree of
(Curriculum Studies)

Yu-Ling Lee

Wednesday, May 10, 2017. 12:30 pm
Room 207, Anthropology and Sociology Building,
6303 Northwest Marine Drive


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to understand how religion and spirituality matter in the consumer use, design, and engineering of media and technology. Specifically, the research questions were: 1) What role do ethics and values perform in maker and hacker networks? 2) How are ethics and values integrated and manifested throughout the design process in maker or hacker networks? 3) What are the routines, rituals, and subjective well-being of participants in the maker or hacker design process? The research setting was the designers in the maker community in Vancouver and technologists associated with Code for the Kingdom in Seattle. All designers and technologists in Vancouver and Seattle have independent projects at various levels of collaboration. I recruited seven participants affiliated with the Vancouver maker community for in-depth analysis of their design process. In Seattle, I recruited two hackers who participated in Code for the Kingdom, a Christian organization that hosts hackathons for altruistic and religious purposes. Their focus on innovation, design methodologies, and critical making allowed me to discern their values and ethics through their design process. These participants have different perspectives on religion and spirituality, which make their technotheological networks complex. Case studies facilitated in-depth examination of makers and hackers as the main actors of our inquiry. The use of video in dialogue with ethnographic inquiry allowed for nuance, discerning complexities, and giving form to expression in designing technotheologies. Conceptually, the research is framed by actor-network theory (ANT) and value sensitive design (VSD), enabling the study to discern how participants discover, design artifacts, make meaning, develop values, and maintain a sense of the good life and well-being, emotional and spiritual. Findings indicate that among the makers and hackers, technotheological networks articulate specific values alongside technological creations, practices, and personal ways of being. In their own unique ways, these makers and hackers inquire into the materialized morality and design phases of ethically responsible decision making processes. Conversely, the non-human actors express their own values within technotheological networks. My role as a techno-theologian helped facilitate competing value claims by positing a normative focus and by temporarily opening black boxes.

Prof Richard Young (Counselling Psychology)

Supervisory Committee:
Prof Stephen Petrina, Research Supervisor (Curriculum Studies)
Prof E. Wayne Ross (Curriculum Studies)
Prof Francis Feng (Curriculum Studies)

University Examiners:
Prof Kerry Renwick (Curriculum Studies)
Prof Brian Wilson (Kinesiology)

External Examiner:
Prof Matt Ratto


journal article – Lingering on Aoki’s bridge

My technotheology article finally comes out. From the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Here’s the abstract:

Ted Tetsuo Aoki (1919-2012) was a Japanese-Canadian educator who spoke compellingly against the technological-instrumental implementation of curriculum found within the business-consumer model of education. In his greater mission of understanding curriculum and instruction, Aoki has tried new modes of interpretation, seeing curriculum as currere, praxis, ideology, as plan, as lived. One possibility implied in Aoki’s work is inhabiting the space in-between materiality and spirituality, more specifically between technology and theology. As Aoki might ask: how we can linger on the bridge between technology and theology? The purpose of using the bridge metaphor, is to discern lines of movement in Aoki’s writings which bridges technology and theology. We are asked to pause, delay ourselves in true conversations and discern Aoki as a possible curricular techno-theologian. Within this reconceptualization, we may understand the way Aoki’s curricular possibilities allow us to dwell in a technological world which does not default into instrumentalization. Link below.

Lingering on Aoki’s bridge: Conceptualizing Ted Aoki as Curricular Technotheologian


Connected Learning Hackathon @ UBC

Yesterday (March 4), I had the privilege to participate in the Connected Learning Hackathon as part of the Sky, Water, Earth project. Here’s the blurb from the website:

Sky, Water, Earth is a collection of informal learning activities that evoke a sense of wonder about the planet we live on and beyond, through astronomy, marine biology, and the intersection between the two. Sky, Water, Earth takes the form of a career preparation initiative for youths aged 17-24 who are interested in the field of science. The initiative encourages youths to follow their passion and through a variety of activities helps them build competencies employers value. Youths who are fully engaged are awarded with unique real-life opportunities that provide additional in-depth experiences and further expand their personal and professional networks. These opportunities bring forward-thinking students closer to success in their academic and professional careers.

More interestingly, from an educational technology perspective, this project ” is a joint initiative between the Faculty of Education at UBC, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, and the HR MacMillan Space Centre. Sky, Water, Earth will be facilitated online using edX Edge and an emerging connected learning website called LRNG.org.”

I think the notion of ‘connected learning’ as a self-curated playlist of learning activities is fascinating, and warrants further study (at least by myself). So I found myself participating in the connected learning hackathon, along with fellow educators to help design and create several lessons for the learning playlist.

Looking forward to following the progress of this project.

Technotheologies in the Holy Land

WIRED has a documentary on YouTube called Holy Land: The Era of Permanent Revolution about the developing tech and innovation in Israel. This is a fascinating case study where techne readily meets theo. Certainly other issues of geography, politics, and education all come into play, however, for my purposes, this is an assembling of technotheologies.

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What happens at an MIT hackathon

A nice summary video from The Atlantic, that showcases ‘what happens at an MIT hackathon.’ For me, what distinguished this video/event from the other typical coding/tec hackathons is that the event was called Hacking Arts. Their mission was to “ignite entrepreneurship and innovation within the creative arts.” Interestingly, most of the technological artifacts seemed like it would be more commonly found in a makerfaire.

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Makeology – books about maker education

Kylie Peppler, Erica Halverson, and Yasmin Kafai have edited two volumes (so far) about maker education.

The first book, Makeology Volume 1: Makerspaces as learning environments, focuses on “making in a variety of educational ecosystems, spanning nursery schools, K-12 environments, higher education, museums, and after-school spaces.”

The second volume, Makeology Volume 2: Makers as learners, “highlights leading researchers and practitioners as they discuss and share current perspectives on the Maker movement and research on educational outcomes in makerspaces.”

Both books were part of my literature review and were helpful as a snapshot of what’s happening in maker education in 2016.

A recap of 2015 Learning Analytics Hackathon at UBC

I wasn’t able to attend this hackathon last year, but here’s the recap video of the 2-day event in November, 2015.

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Wired documentary on Shenzhen

An interesting documentary from WIRED called Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware. In particular, has some segments about maker culture/maker faires in China.

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