Dr. Maya Israel
Associate professor of computer science education at the University of Florida; Director of CSEveryone and the Creative Technology Research Lab
Gainesville, Florida, USA / White/Caucasian
🎓 Ph.D. Special Education, University of Kansas
😁 Maya reads A LOT. She has a bookish Instagram (@misrael_reads) that has nothing to do with CS education and everything to do with the books she reads for fun.
Dr. Israel uses research-based approaches to advocate for inclusive K-12 Computer Science Education where students feel they belong in computer science classrooms.
ABOUT HER WORK
Dr. Maya Israel’s work centers on the inclusion of all learners, including those with disabilities in K-12 computer science (CS) and artificial intelligence (AI) education. She develops and researches approaches to applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and High Leverage Practices (HLPs) to CS and AI education. She also works with multiple school districts to provide teacher professional development on integrating UDL, HLPs, and accessibility practices within their K-12 CS education classrooms. Finally, she focuses on bringing these practices into higher education teacher preparation at the University of Florida and beyond. Throughout this work, Dr. Israel believes that it is critical to involve people with disabilities in this work to ensure that their voices are authentically represented and can inform all aspects of projects aimed at supporting learners with disabilities and their teachers.
WATCH & DISCUSS
Watch: Designing Inclusive & Accessible K-12 CS Education (Universal Design) (Teachers)
Discuss: When implementing UDL-Think about the following:
How do we move toward full participation in CS classrooms?
UDL- How do you increase engagement, representation, Action, and expression?
What barriers exist in the learning environment?
How can we represent information in different ways?
How can students express themselves that highlights their strengths?
NCWIT re: think Issue 3 article: Access and inclusion in K-12 CS education: Inclusive mindsets and pedagogical practices:
ADVICE TO YOUNGER SELF
Maya first learned computer science after high school.
“I would tell my younger self to be less timid about bringing my experiences as a special education teacher into my research and practice. As a new assistant professor, I felt like I did not have the “cred” to do CS and AI education research. I struggled with how to bring these experiences into my CS and AI education research. Once I started working with practitioners again and considering how research-practice partnerships can shape all my work, I was able to combine research, advocacy, and practice in a much more authentic manner.”
HOW HAS MAYA'S WORK CONTRIBUTED TO OR HARNESSED COMPUTER SCIENCE'S GOOD, NEUTRAL, AND NEGATIVE IMPACTS?
Good: Maya's work has positively impacted by promoting inclusive computer science education. It provides opportunities for students with disabilities to thrive in CS, collaborate with peers, and achieve specific educational goals. This inclusive approach fosters diversity and equal access to CS education, enhancing the learning experience.
Advocacy-Based (No Neutral Impact): Maya's work is advocacy-based, actively challenging the status quo and advocating for inclusive CS education. It does not intend to have a neutral impact but rather strives to bring about positive change in classrooms and educational systems by promoting inclusivity and challenging existing assumptions.
Negative: Maya's work identifies negative impacts related to assumptions about disability and inclusion in CS education. These negative consequences include inaccessible technologies and curricula, a lack of commitment to inclusion, and the practice of gatekeeping CS based on perceived learner competence. Addressing these issues is crucial to mitigate the negative impact on students with disabilities.