Hi! I am Yumiko Murai, an Assistant Professor in the Educational Technology and Learning Design program in the Faculty of Education Simon Fraser University (SFU). I live and work in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
I design and study playful tools and learning environments in order to help learners and educators engage in learning through making, or in other words, creating personally meaningful artifacts. I am particularly interested in the role of social and cultural contexts in supporting the creative confidence and intrinsic motivation of learners. My work is guided by constructionism, which posits that learners can construct their knowledge most effectively when constructing sharable, personally meaningful artifacts (Harel & Papert, 1991).
Growing up making and performing music and arts, it has always been my passion to create a space where anyone can cultivate their interests and expand perspectives through working on creative projects that are meaningful to them. Through design, research, and teaching, I hope to help people unlock their own creative potential for learning.
Before joining SFU, I co-produced Beyond Rubrics Toolkit, a playful assessment toolkit for maker classrooms, at Playful Journey Lab MIT. I co-designed and organized the third iteration of Learning Creative Learning, an open online course and community for educators around the world, and its in-person spin-off, Shinshu Maker Fellows Program, while at Lifelong Kindergarten in the MIT Media Lab. I also worked on Unhangout for Educators, a series of online unconferences for maker educators, while at Learning Initiative in the MIT Media Lab.
When I am not working, I can often be found outdoors enjoying the beautiful nature of BC by hiking, biking, jogging, paddle boarding, snowboarding or walking, or in the garden or in the kitchen exploring the fascinating world of food.
Please connect with me via Twitter @uptownyumiko or Email ymurai[at]sfu.ca!