Kylie Peppler

Associate Professor of Informatics & Education
Director of The Creativity Labs
University of California, Irvine

An artist by training, Dr. Peppler is an associate professor of Informatics & Education at University of California, Irvine who engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, computational technologies and interest-driven learning. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from UCLA, where she was part of the NSF-sponsored team that designed and studied the Scratch platform, which garnered her a Dissertation Research Award from the Spencer Foundation. After serving as a UC Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Irvine, Dr. Peppler joined the Learning Sciences faculty at Indiana University-Bloomington in 2008. Upon joining the UC Irvine faculty in 2018, Dr. Peppler brought her research group, the Creativity Labs, to be a part of UCI’s Connected Learning Lab, where she brings together educators, designers, artists, and learning theorists interested in supporting learning by leveraging youths' interests in digital culture, design, and making.

Dr. Peppler earned an NSF early CAREER award for her work on how e-textiles and other computational construction kits popularized through the Maker movement can deepen learning and broaden participation across a range of STEM fields. Dr. Peppler’s studies have been published in leading journals in the fields of education, technology and the arts, including Science Education; Computers & Human Behavior; Mind, Culture & Activity; British Journal of Educational Technology; Journal of Science and Educational Technology; Studies in Arts Education; Review of Research in Education; Teachers College Record; and Learning, Media & Technology, among many others. Additionally, Dr. Peppler is the author or editor of over 10 books published by a range of outlets, including MIT Press, Peter Lang, Routledge, SAGE Publications, and Teachers College Press.

Through this work, Dr. Peppler has received several awards, including the Mira Tech Educator of the Year, Indiana Governor's Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders, Special Interest Group for Computers in Education (SIGCE) Top 10 Papers of All Time, Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from Indiana University, and Outstanding Alumni Early Career Award from Psychological and Brain Studies at Indiana University. Her work has been consistently supported by the National Science Foundation as well as a range of foundations, federal and industry partners, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Wallace Foundation,, Wellcome Trust, US Department of Education, Boeing, Indiana Department of Education, New York Community Trust, Chicago Community Trust, Best Buy, Fossil Foundation, GAP Inc., National Geographic, as well as the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design.

Dr. Peppler sits on the Editorial Boards for the International Journal for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning and Computer Science Education and has recently served as Guest Editor for the British Journal of Educational Technology and Sustainability. Dr. Peppler was also the lead editor of the two-volume SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning.

Media Features


Women's History Month

Watchworthy Wednesday
Kylie Peppler is one of 10 Women Championing Connected Learning, honored during Women's History Month by Digital Media + Learning. Follow the link to DML Central to see her video and those of her distinguished colleagues!


MIRA Tech Educator of the Year
Dr. Kylie Peppler, Indiana University School of Education, is incorporating artistic creativity into STEM fields immersion. In this video, Peppler explains how she has worked to understand the connection between arts and technology in learning and how her work is essential in attracting children, especially girls, into STEM fields.


UCI School of Education: Interview with Informatics Associate Professor Kylie Peppler
Kylie Peppler sits down with Dean Richard Arum to share her views on connected learning, the intersection of new technology and the arts, and maker culture.

Highlighted Books

Encyclopedia-OOSL Makeology, Volume 1 Makeology, Volume 2 Textile Messages New Creativity Paradigms


Gaming the System Script Changers Short Circuits Soft Circuits The Computer Clubhouse

Research Interests

Arts Education Computation Computer Science Ed Creativity Design DIY (Do It Yourself) E-Textiles Gaming Informal Learning Interest-Driven Learning Maker Culture New Media Scratch Programming Systems Thinking Wearable Computing Future of Work

For a sortable list of work related to my research interests, please see the publications section of this website.


  • 2007–2008: Postdoctoral Research Associate — University of California, Irvine
    • Uncovering Literacies, Disrupting Stereotypes: Media Arts Practices of Youth with (Dis)Abilities
    • Supervisor: Mark Warschauer
  • 2007: Ph.D. in Education — University of California, Los Angeles
    • Dissertation: Creative Bytes: Literacy and Learning in the Media Arts Practices of Urban Youth
    • Committee: James Catterall, Yasmin Kafai, Ernest Morrell, and C.E.B. Reas
  • 2002: B.A. — Indiana University, Bloomington
    • Psychology, French, and Studio Art

Academic Appointments

2018 - now

Associate Professor: Informatics and Education

University of California, Irvine

2015 - 2018

Associate Professor: Learning Sciences

Indiana University, Bloomington

2008 - 2015

Assistant Professor: Learning Sciences

Indiana University, Bloomington


UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow

University of California, Irvine

2002 - 2007

Graduate Student Researcher


Highlighted Projects from the Creativity Labs

Current and prior support from:




For a full list of projects, please visit the Creativity Labs website.

ReCrafting Math Education

Engaging students in mathematical thinking through hands-on crafts, leveraging new tangible manipulatives as objects-to-think-with in mathematics education.

Designing a New Nexus

Examining the Social Construction of Electronic Tools and Materials to Broaden Participation and Deepen Learning.

STEAM as a Means for Educational Equity

This study will select an initial set of toolkits that represent the full range of arts-and-sciences approaches targeted at teaching circuitry and robotics.

Maker Ed Open Portfolio Project

The Open Portfolio Project is aimed at developing technology solutions and a common set of practices for portfolio creation, reflection, sharing, and assessment.

LRNG by Collective Shift

A social enterprise that works collaboratively with schools, businesses, cities, and community institutions to redesign learning for the 21st century so all youth have the opportunity to succeed.


The Maker movement and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture celebrates innovation, creativity, and community engagement centered on hands-on creation.


Filter publications by research type:

    •  SHOW ALL
    •  Suggested Readings
    •  E-Textiles & Maker Culture
    •  Arts & Creativity
    •  Scratch & Computational Media
    •  Games & Social Media
    •  Interest-Driven Learning
    •  Systems Thinking


  • Glenn, T., Ipsita, A., Carithers, C., Peppler K., Ramani, K., (In preparation). StoryMakAR: Bringing Stories to Life with an Augmented Reality & Physical Prototyping Toolkit for Youth. CHI 2020.
  • Ito, M., Arum, R., Conley, D., Guttiérez, K., Kirshner, B., Livingstone, S., Michalchik, V., Penuel, W., Peppler, K., Pinkard, N., Rhodes, J., Tekinbaş, K., Schor, J., Sefton-Green, J., Watkins, S. C. (2020). The Connected Learning Research Network: Reflections on a Decade of Engaged Scholarship. Published by the Connected Learning Alliance. Irvine, CA. February 2020. ISBN-13: 978-0-9887255-6-0.
  • Keune, A., Peppler, K., (2020). Computing in fabric: Exploring posthumanist capturing of learning. In M. Gresalfi & I. Horn (Eds.), The interdisciplinarity of the learning sciences: International conference of the learning sciences (ICLS) 2020. Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Keune, A., Peppler, K., (2020). Tuning into the craft: Materials as a driver of learning computing. In M. Gresalfi & I. Horn (Eds.), The interdisciplinarity of the learning sciences: International conference of the learning sciences (ICLS) 2020. Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Keune, A., Yankova, N., Peppler, K., (2020). #quiltsforpulse: Investigating quilting processes to inform community-based engagement. In M. Gresalfi & I. Horn (Eds.), The interdisciplinarity of the learning sciences: International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020. Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Law, N., Zhang, J., & Peppler, K. (In preparation). Sustainability and scalability of CSCL. In the International handbook of computer-supported collaborative learning.
  • Mejias, S., Thompson, N., Sedas, R. M., Rosin, M., Wong, J., Price, N., Roche, J., Hurley, M., Peppler, K., Soep, L., Bevan, B., & Bell, P. (forthcoming). The Trouble with STEAM: Conceptualizations for Research, Policy and Practice. Science Education.
  • Peppler, K., Keune, A., Dahn, M., Bennett, D., Letourneau, S. (2020). Designing for empathy in museum-based settings to support learning pathways to engineering. Connected Learning Summit (CLS), July 29-31, 2020, Cambridge, MA..
  • Peppler, K., Keune, A., Han, A. J. (2020). Data Visualization Exploration in Science Museums. Connected Learning Summit (CLS), July 29-31, 2020, Cambridge, MA.
  • Peppler, K., Keune, A., Dahn, M., Bennett, D., Letourneau, S. (2020). Designing for empathy in engineering exhibits. In C. Girvan, J. R. Byrne, B. Tangney, & V. Dagiené (Eds.), Exploring, Testing and Extending our Understanding of Constructionism: Constructionism 2020. Dublin, Ireland: ACM.
  • Peppler, K., Keune, A., Han, A. J., (2020). Civic engagement with visualizing data in science museums. In M. Gresalfi & I. Horn (Eds.), The interdisciplinarity of the learning sciences: International conference of the learning sciences (ICLS) 2020. Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Peppler, K., Keune, A., & Thompson, N. (in press). Reclaiming traditionally feminine practices and materials for STEM learning through the modern maker movement. In N. Holbert, M. Berland, & Y. Kafai (Eds.), Designing Constructionist Futures: The Art, Theory, and Practice of Learning Designs. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Peppler, K., Sedas, M., Dahn, M. (2020). Making at Home: Interest-Driven Practices and Supportive Relationships in Minoritized Homes. Education Sciences 10, no. 5: 143.
  • Peppler, K., Thompson, N., Danish, J., Moczek, A., Corrigan, S. (in press). Comparing First- and Third-Person Perspectives in Early Elementary Learning of Honeybee Systems. Instructional Science.
  • Villanueva, A., Zhu, Z., Liu, Z., Redick, T., Peppler, K., Ramani, K. (2020). Meta-AR-App: An Authoring Platform for Collaborative Augmented Reality in STEM Classrooms. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.















Honors & Awards

  • Early Career Alumni Award (2017) from Indiana University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • MIRA Tech Educator of the Year (2016) from TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, which honored Indiana’s best companies, entrepreneurs, educators, and other leaders for their technology excellence and innovation during the 17th annual Mira Awards gala.
  • Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from Indiana University (2014). The awards, presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, honor tenure-track faculty who have begun to develop nationally recognized research or scholarship programs and devoted productive time to teaching and service, but who have not yet achieved tenure.
  • “Be Great!” Award Recipient (2012) from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington in recognition for volunteer work technology lab work
  • Indiana Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders (2009). Top Award given to outstanding young leaders in the state of Indiana who have shown exemplary leadership under the age of 30
  • Honorable Mention in Prix Arts Electronica in Community Art for work on the Scratch Online Community (2008). One of the highest international awards in the digital arts community
  • Group Volunteer of the Year (2008) at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington for outstanding service to the organization
  • UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007-2008)
  • Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for Research Related to Education (2006-2007)

Courses Taught

  • Ubiquitous Computing (IN4MATIX 148), University of California, Irvine
  • Learning, Development, and Culture (EDUC 225), University of California, Irvine
  • Constructionism (ED P631), Indiana University
  • Graduate Topical Seminar: Designs for Change (ED P674/Formerly P650), Indiana University
  • Graduate Topical Seminar: Learning in New Media (ED P574), Indiana University
  • Online Graduate Topical Seminar: Learning in New Media (ED P574), Indiana University
  • Apprenticeship in the Learning Sciences (ED P573), Indiana University
  • Educational Psychology for All Grades (ED P254), Indiana University
  • Culture, Technology, and Human Development (ED 194B), UCLA
  • Culture, Communications, and Human Development (ED 194C), UCLA
  • Quantitative Statistics (PSYCH P211), Indiana University
  • Neural Bases of Human Behavior (PSYCH E105), Indiana University
  • Introductory Psychology (PSYCH P101), Indiana University

Talks, Press, & Service

Talks & Presentations

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In the Press

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Click the arrow below to learn more about my service activities.

Contact Information

Kylie Peppler, Ph.D.
Office Address

University of California, Irvine
DBH 5206
Irvine, CA 92697-3440