Dr. Thomas will talk about his NSF grant about collectible card game development for cybersecurity education. The presentation will overview the NSF supported “CySEC” project that uses collectible card games (CCGs) similar to other battle card games (such as Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Ghi-Oh!, Pokémon, and Cardfight Vanguard) for teaching the habits of mind of cybersecurity professionals to underrepresented groups of middle school children. Implications for culturally relevant gamification and instructional design will be highlighted for children in urban contexts.
Michael K. Thomas, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he serves as faculty and qualitative methodologist. Thomas’ primary research interest centers on the cultural dimensions of technology implementation in learning contexts and what this means for the design of technology-rich innovations for teaching learning. Three key questions with respect to this are (a) What are the central concerns of teachers, trainers, and other stakeholders regarding the implementation of technology in learning contexts? (b) What do they do to continually resolve these concerns? and (c) In what ways does culture play a role in the design and implementation of technology-rich innovations? He is particularly interested in video games and gameification in learning environments and was a primary contributor to the Quest Atlantis project funded by the National Science Foundation. He is currently the P.I. of the CySec Project for designing games for middle school students learning cybersecurity. This project is also supported by the National Science Foundation Award Number:1623267.