I’m an early childhood, informal learning, and educational technology researcher and educator that is currently enrolled in New Mexico State University (NMSU)’s doctoral program with focuses on learning design and technology and early childhood education. My doctoral research centers on understanding the intersection of race, ethnicity, and gender with young children’s experiences with technology and media. I post about my personal experiences in my doctoral program in the blog “Adventures of a Black Woman in Academia“. Due to my work at the Learning Games Lab Coordinator in NMSU’s Media Productions Department, I have expanded my perspective to include older grade levels of upper elementary and middle school. This expansion allows me to look a the continuum of experiences related to media and technology and how each experience build on the other.
Before starting my doctoral program in 2015, I was the program coordinator for the TEC Center at the Erikson Institute for about 3 years. This professional experience coupled with my personal life propelled me to recognize and acknowledge the importance and the need for more people in the early childhood, technology, and media space to address issues related to culture and diversity from a strength-based approach. Not only is there a need for people to dialog, but it also seemed just as important that early childhood professionals, parents, media creators, app designers, etc. to work together to find actionable solutions to these issues. Writing this blog became a way for me to contribute to this conversation.
Though my heart is still in early childhood, as I evolve, it’s important that Uncomfortable Conversations grows too. My readers will notice that the posts will still center on uncomfortable topics in education, media, and technology. Yet, the posts may at times extend to include upper elementary and middle school. It is my hope that this site remains a space where people feel welcomed to share ideas, thoughts, and stories about their experiences related to culture and diversity with technology and media designed for children.
I hope you join me on this journey.
- New Mexico State University, College of Ed., Curriculum & Instruction Ph.D. program; Focuses: Learning Design & Technology and Early Childhood Education
- Erikson Institute, M.S. in Child Development with specialization in Administration
- Bradley University, B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and Minors in German and Women’s Studies
Current Professional Involvement:
- International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
- KidMap (formerly Diversity in Apps)
Armstrong, A. (2017, November). “What We’ve Learning about Creating Diverse Characters. Invited Presenter, Dust or Magic Institute on the Design of Children’s Interactive Media, Lambertville, NJ.
Pérez, M. S., Saavedra, C. M., Armstrong, A., Cerla, B. M., Rideau, K. S., Sánchez-Suzki Colegrove, K., Ruiz Guerrero, M. (2017, October). ‘Now Let Us Shift’: Infusing Women of Color Epistemologies in Early Childhood Studies. Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Conference, Toronto, Ontario, CA.
Armstrong, A., Lovely, G., & Bowden, J. B. (2017, June). Robots, Apps, Making: More Opportunities for Meaningful Learning for Young Children. International Society for Technology in Education Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Armstrong, A. (2017, January). Fitting the Critical in Technology Integration: Discovering Ways to Support Diversity in Your Classroom Using Tech. Invited Presenter, Future of Education Technology Conference, Orlando, FL.
Armstrong, A. (2017, January). Critically Examining Diversity Within Children’s Interactive Media. Invited Presenter, Future of Education Technology Conference, Orlando, FL.
Kaldor, T., Armstrong, A., Berthiaume, G., Cotto, L, Buckleitner, B., & Lane, C. (2016). Looking at Apps Through Different Lenses. Invited Panelist, Early Learning Summit, Future of Education Technology Conference, Orlando, FL.
Armstrong, A., Lane, C., Puerling, B., & Kaldor, T. (2016). Considerations Beyond Development: Culture, Citizenships, Creativity, Control. Invited Panelist, Early Learning Summit, Future of Education Technology Conference, Orlando, FL.
Armstrong, A. (2015, June). From Uncomfortable Conversations about Technology and Culture to Early Childhood Effective Practice. International Society for Technology in Education Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
Armstrong, A. (2015, June). Are You Considering Diversity in Your Tech Integration. Webinar, Professional Development Instructor Institute.
Greene, E., Donohue, C. & Armstrong, A. (2015, May). Strategies for Integrating Technology into In-service and Pre-service Teacher Preparation. Invited presentation, McCormick Leadership Connections, Wheeling, IL.
Armstrong, A. & Smith, T. (2015, March). Engaging Families in the Digital Age: Using Tech Tools to Build Relationships and Engage Families. Webinar, Early Childhood Center of Professional Development.
Arroyo, G. & Armstrong, A. (2014, December). Tech Institute: We Have an iPad, Now What? Administering iPad Usage in ECE Programs. McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership and TEC Center, National Louis University, Chicago, IL.
Augusto, H, Armstrong, A., Donohue, C., & Lauricella, A. (2014, November). How technology can support family engagement: A review of research, innovative tools, and promising practices in early childhood programs. Conference session, NAEYC Annual Conference, Dallas, TX.
Armstrong, A. & Lovely, G. (2014, June). 10 Considerations: Developmentally Appropriate Use of Technologies with Young Learners. Presentation at the International Society for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA.
Smith, T., Polojac, S., Armstrong, A., & Donohue, C. (2014, June). Integrating Digital Media Literacy and Technology into Early Childhood Standards and Practice. Workshop presentation, NAEYC Professional Development Institute, Minneapolis, MN.
Donohue, C., Armstrong, A., & Greene, E. (2014, May). Digital Age Leading and Learning: New Tools for Early Childhood Programs. Leadership Connections, Wheeling, IL
Hynes-Berry, M. & Armstrong, A. (April, 2014). Being a critical user of technology in early childhood classrooms. ProSeminar Graduate Course, Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL
Armstrong, A. (January, 2014). So Many Apps, So Little Time. Presentation at the Opening Minds Conference for Chicago Metro AEYC, Chicago, IL.
Donohue, C. & Armstrong, A. (2013, October). iKids: The Intersection of Technology and Early Literacy. Invited presentation for an early Literacy Staff Training for the Chicago Public Library Foundation, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, IL.
Armstrong-Carela-Martínez-Pérez-Ruiz Guerrero, A. B. V. M. M. (2017). Writing the experiences and (corporeal) knowledges of women of color into educational studies: A colloquium. Pedagogy & (Im)Possibilities across Education Research, 1(1), 1-14.
Trujillo, K., Chamberlin, B., Wiburg, K., & Armstrong, A. (2016). Measurement in learning games evolution: Review of methodologies used in determining effectiveness of Math Snacks games and animations. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 21(2), 155-174.
Armstrong A., Donohue, C. & Highfield (2015). Technology: Defining What is Appropriate for Children Related to Technology Choices, Child Care Exchange, 37(5), 28-33.
Armstrong, A. (2015). Connected Educator. Technology and Digital Media as Tools for Teaching and Learning in the Early Years. New York: Routledge and Washington, DC: NAEYC
Donohue, C., & Armstrong, A. (2014). Building Healthy Media and Technology Habits
Starts at Home. Screen Break 2014 Guide, Winnetka, IL: The Alliance for Early Childhood. www.theallianceforec.org/screenbreak.php