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Dr. Arturo Cortez

National Conference in Kansas City

Keynote Session

Video Games as Portals To Young People’s Socio-political Imagination


Thursday, October 26 • 9:30 - 10:30 AM

Speakers: Dr. Arturo Cortez


About the Session

Portals are “a gateway between one world and the next,” Arundhati Roy offers. As young people use video games, they are accessing and developing portals, revealing how they imagine new social possibilities, futures, and worlds. In this keynote, Cortez will share insights and vignettes from The Learning To Transform (LiTT) Video Gaming Lab, a space he founded that supports undergraduates, community members, and Black and Latinx high school students in jointly re-imagining the role of everyday gaming as a robust site for learning. Through these examples, Cortez will offer new pedagogical portals for how social justice, the socio-political imagination, play, and STEM converge in everyday learning contexts.


Dr. Arturo Cortez

Arturo Cortez, Ph.D. (he/they), is an Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is also a fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science. Professor Cortez’s work explores how young people and educators learn together across everyday activities, as they draw upon justice-oriented STEM frameworks, creative computing, and the visual and digital arts. In particular, Arturo is interested in the speculative—innovative and equitable futures—as a place for learning, opening up opportunities for building imaginary and real worlds, especially in immersive video gaming environments. Professor Cortez’s early commitments to amplifying the everyday practices of youth were jointly honed and developed while he was a middle school teacher in East Palo Alto, California and a high school teacher in San Francisco. Cortez holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.


National Conference on Science Education • Kansas City 23


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