Dr. Paula MacDowell is a design and technology specialist working on research and advocacy initiatives to empower children and youth through education in media and technology. I am currently instructing graduate-level courses in the Master’s program in Educational Technology and Learning Design, as well as undergraduate and pre-service teacher courses in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University.

I create and research cutting-edge educational technologies, and work closely with teachers to integrate media and technology in their classrooms to enhance learner engagement, empowerment, inclusion, and ingenuity. I am passionate about empowering underrepresented groups and marginalized individuals to be leaders, innovators, and change makers: “All children and youth deserve opportunities to be the coders, inventors, and makers of the technologies that make our world, and thereby take part in changing who controls, owns, and shapes our future” (MacDowell, 2016).

In addition to presenting a range and volume of talks and workshops at academic and industry conferences worldwide, I am the author of diverse research publications and proceedings that explore issues I care deeply about, including: computing education, creative coding, maker education, media studies, technological innovation in developing countries, and the design of technology-enhanced learning environments (e.g., makerspaces, augmented reality, and virtual worlds).


  • Design-Based Research, Action Research, Practitioner Inquiry
  • Design of Children’s Technologies, Researching Children’s Experiences
  • Design of Innovative and Empowering Learning Environments
  • Media Literacy, Computing Education, Creative Coding
  • Post-Secondary Education

    PhD in Curriculum Studies
    The University of British Columbia, April 2015
    Advisor: Professor Stephen Petrina
    Dissertation: Empowering Girls as Change Makers in Maker Culture:
    Stories From a Summer Camp for Girls in Design, Media & Technology

    MET in Technology Studies Education
    The University of British Columbia, April 2007

    B.Ed in Middle Years & Computer Science Education
    University of Regina, April 1995