Hello There: 

I'm Justice Toshiba Walker!

TEACHER LEARNER & LEADER

I Imagine New Approaches to Learning Science

I am an assistant professor at The University of Texas at El Paso of STEM Education interested in understanding how emerging technologies like synthetic biology can be leveraged in ways to encourage learning conditions that are both accessible and equitable. I work with a team of incredibly creative researchers who bring myriad perspectives drawn from the arts and sciences.  This affords me insights into the ways academic domains intersect to create innovative outcomes.

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AREAS OF RESEARCH

I research and publish in the following categories.  These are examples of the type of technologies I think about with respect to learning.

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Synthetic Biology

Electronic Textiles

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Gaming

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SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Twenty Things to Make with Biology

Kafai, Y. B., & Walker, J. T. (2020). Twenty things to make with biology. CONSTRUCTIONISM 2020, 598.

Learn.Design.Bio.K12: A Workshop Report on Connecting Computing and Biodesign in K-12 Education

Kafai, Y. B., Hogan, K. M., Telhan, O., & Walker, J. T.

(2020, October). Learn.Design.Bio.K12: A workshop

report on connecting computing and biodesign

in K-12 education. Philadelphia, PA: University of

Pennsylvania. Available at:

learn.design.bio

When Biology Learning Paradigms Shift: What Middle School Students Know, Think, and Learn about Synthetic Biology

The gender and race of pixels: an exploration of intersectional identity representation and construction within Minecraft and its community

Walker, J. T. (2019). When Biology Learning Paradigms Shift: What Middle School Students Know, Think, and Learn about Synthetic Biology (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania).

A Scaled Analysis of How Minecraft Gamers Leverage YouTube Comment Boxes to Participate and Collaborate.

Walker, J.T., Slater, S., & Kafai, Y. (2019, June). A Scaled Analysis of How Minecraft Gamers Leverage YouTube Comment Boxes to Participate and Collaborate. In Lund, K., Niccolai, G. P., Lavoue, E., Gweon, C. H., & Baker, M. (Eds.), A Wide Lens: Combining Embodied, Enactive, Extended, and Embedded Learning in Collaborative Settings, 13th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 2019, Volume 1 (pp. 440-447). Lyon, France: International Society of the Learning Sciences. https://repository.isls.org//handle/1/1601.

Stitching codeable circuits: High school students’ learning about circuitry and coding with electronic textiles

Litts, B. K., Kafai, Y. B., Lui, D. A., Walker, J. T., & Widman, S. A. (2017). Stitching codeable circuits: High school students’ learning about circuitry and coding with electronic textiles. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 26(5), 494-507.

Anderson, E., Walker, J., Kafai, Y. B., & Lui, D. (2017, August). The gender and race of pixels: an exploration of intersectional identity representation and construction within minecraft and its community. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (pp. 1-10).

EDUCATION

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B.S., ENGLISH LITERATURE/BIOLOGY | UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

I studied and researched molecular biology. This was complimented with studies in literature where I grew an interest in writers like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. During summers, I carried out research with the Leadership Alliance at Brown University and taught math in Cambridge with the Breakthrough Collaborative.  Those experiences shaped how I think about science, learning and the arts.

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M.S.E., ENGINEERING BIOTECHNOLOGIES | UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Studying at Penn helped shape the way I understand cells and how they can be leveraged creatively.  This is where I began to think about how engineering principles can be useful in teaching and learning. I took these experiences back to the classroom and began teaching biotechnology courses to better contextualize topics covered in the biology courses I also taught.

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Ph.D., TEACHING, LEARNING AND TEACHER EDUCATION | UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

At Penn GSE, I learned to study how emerging technologies (e.g., Synthetic Biology or Electronic Textiles) exist in teaching and learning. I'm fascinated also by the possibilities technology poses in creating more equitable and accessible learning experiences. I use Learning Science and Sociocultural perspectives to inform my research and hope to continue doing so professionally as a professor/leader. This of course is all thanks to my committed advisor and mentor Yasmin B. Kafai.

"I am the young man, full of strength and hope."

Langston Hughes

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CONTACT ME

Your details were sent successfully, I look forward to collaborating with you!

El Paso, TX, USA

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Bio Summit Proceedings
ARE OUT!

For those of you who know my work, I spend a lot of time collaborating for the Global Community Bio Summit. It was a major milestone for the community to put out its first publication, and I'm thrilled to share it with you here!  Enjoy!