Applying Accountability and Rigor “Thinking” Framework to InterpretME project

It was useful for me to think with the Frauenberger et. al’s accountability and rigor framework in terms of beginnings, middles, and ends for my project. In developing my project, one of the challenges is that the users (stakeholders including educators, criminal justice officials, police officers) who will use the training materials to better interpret social media are not the same group of people who are most affected by the outcomes of the technology we want to develop. The users will adopt the training materials, but youth in disproportionally policed and surveilled communities of color are most affected by the outcomes of the training technologies. So it is important to us (my team, collaborators, and myself) that we learn and work alongside youth as we ideate, design, test, iterate, etc.. the social media interpretation training product. 


I am thinking more deeply about how I will build relationships with youth, and come to understand their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the social media surveillance issue. I am keeping in mind that although youth may have a variety of good ideas, it’s important for me to consider the constraints and affordance of the product technologies as I know them. It’s important that the tech developers on my team have an understanding early of which community – derived ideas we are thinking of prioritizing, so that I can also help facilitate brainstorming with youth in a more productive way. 

In the beginning I am also thinking about how we might evaluate that our training products did something well. This could be an assessment of their critical reflection or decision making on how to respond to a students’ post. At this point I can consult with the youth community partner about what they think a successful training might look like to them.  


Using the accountability and rigor framework, I realize that it would be good to also consult with the youth about the look and the feel of the training system. Important questions to bring to these conversations could include, do they feel good about the ways their stories are being portrayed and represented in the product? Do the scenarios users will train on feel authentic to lived experiences youth are having? Does the training product seem to culminate in a way that honors youth’s realities and suggests actions and alternatives that youth would actually like to see? I also realize that I need a way to capture and integrate the feedback/results that I gain from these conversations. Perhaps by working with youth to illustrate comics, where they will tell their own social media stories. ? 


This section helped me to think about the end goal of building these training materials in terms of, where would/could I see the developed product being used in the future and by whom?  It also helped me to think about ways to share and prepare tokens of appreciation to the youth community group we are working with, such as films of their participation that they can keep and share with their families.  Since policing and arrests are sensitive topic, its important that that kids feel that they are playing a valuable and important role in this project, and that it’s hopefully something they can  continue to look back on positively and constructively. As far as outcomes, I am also thinking more through how our system impacts specific skill development in users such as interpretation of youth’s social media from a more holistic and humanistic way, as well as building empathy skills around youth. 

Other things I am thinking through having read the Frauenberger et. al. piece.  ~

What values drive this process? Empathy, empowerment, democracy, justice. And a follow up question for myself and my team – what does equity and success look like for us here?

How do stakeholders and users get involved as well as benefit?Participants can gain on several levels: improved competency with technology, the awareness of novel education opportunities, building of relevant social networks. Impact can also be seen in altered structures (maybe more schools will adopt this model), altered practices and perspectives . 

Summer Computer Clubhouse

Willston Multi-Cultural Center entrances. Falls Church, VA

I am reflecting on my summer breaks back in middle school, growing up. I spent my summers in the DMV area at my community center: Willston Multi-Cultural Center. Every day we took part in various activities that rotated, including field-trips and county-wide cook outs and events across community centers. We had a blast. Each normal day though would end with a couple of mandatory, but free hours in the computer clubhouse. Once or twice there were optional demos that a staff person would walk us through if we cared to listen or follow along. Otherwise we could sit at one of the computers in the clubhouse and chose our own adventure.

In the beginning I remember dreading these couple of hours at the end of the day. I didn’t care about computers and they intimidated me. I got anxious about it. I eventually got into a flow with a few of my girlfriends and my sister, putting together cute outfits on animated doll fashion sites like for hours. We got really into the styles and instead of listening in on the graphic design or character world-building/SIMS demos, I posted up at my favorite computer and dressed up dolls to match whatever story line I had in my mind that day. 

As time went on and I grew more comfortable in the computer lab space, I started to branch out some more and snoop over the shoulders of my other friends’ computers. I would find people on all sorts of websites , watching videos, playing games, building virtual things on various design platforms that they were all super into. I remember being shocked in some of the skills some of my friends had on the computer. Including my friends who spoke mostly Spanish and who I didn’t always get as much of a chance to get to know them deeply because of language barriers in part. I remember all sorts of interactions that developed naturally over time in the clubhouse-  from watching in a huddle around a  friend to cheer him/her/them on  for scoring the next point, to just gazing in awe as another friend designed an elaborate world, to hanging out with a staff in the corner who sketched gorgeous mythical characters quietly. 

I remember learning not just a whole wide range of what computers could do, but also endless interesting and intimate things about my peers. I felt empowered in that space to explore without worrying about outcomes or my tech skills. Shaped more by social dynamics surrounding the technologies than anything else most days. 

The computer clubhouse initiative spanned a network of community centers in the county, and the one at our center happened to be super free-flowing and open for us to create our own experience. It felt more like recess than anything else. I think that this design space embodies all of the design principles quite closely, especially numbers 1,2,3,6,7,8, 9, and 10.  5 could have been more engaged, but I don’t think it was needed because everyone felt like an expert in their own way, designers/staff leaders included! 

Elizabeth Borneman

“Coming Together”

Hi! I’m Elizabeth . All are welcome to call me Lizzi or Elizabeth. 

I’m from Florida, I have a background/foreground in music, neurobiology, data vis, creative writing (I think), games for learning, philosophy, design.

I’m broadly interested in transformative collaboration, or the ways and sorts of things that get people to collaborate across difference and conflict, and make people genuinely want to. I think about whether we can replicate or model those factors to fit different situations where conflict resolution and compromise is difficult. Can we turn love into an energy source maybe?

One of the things I am concerned about, and related to a project I am thinking of working at for the class, is the ways that online spaces and our interactions with our personal technologies, are being used to perpetuate historical injustices across the spectrum.  Across law enforcement, hospitals, schools, etc, for things like justifying arrests and not getting loans you might need, or the chance to get something off a criminal record, or your health insurance costs getting raised.

I’m working on a project now in early stages that focuses on biased social media flagging and surveilling of kids of color from marginalized, gang and trauma-impacted communities. Broadly, trying to think of approaches to train attorneys, judges, and educators to interpret social media more fairly and holistically, especially when content is innocuous or just expressive in some non-crime related way – a lot of this requires working with kids to learn about how they use social media to express what’s going on in their communities, how they vent, connect with each other,  etc. What sorts of changes they would like to see in the system. Another goal of the project would be to help train those educators and criminal justice officials to better and more ethically identify and respond to posts that actually might signal someone getting hurt/a crime we’d like to prevent in the future. This project is growing out of my role in the Teaching Systems Lab where I work on K-12 teacher training projects with a focus on ‘equity. ’ 

I’m happy to be here. Looking forward to learning from each other. Nice to meet you all (: