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Patricia A. Young Ph.D.

Department Chair and Professor
Department of Education

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Winner of the 2021 Outstanding Publication Award for a Book: Culture, Learning and Technology Division, Association for Educational Communications & Technology

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An educational technologist, professor, and software developer, Dr. Young examines culture as a design construct in the development of culture-based information and communication technologies. She also investigates the history of educational technologies designed by and for African Americans. 

Dr. Young’s expertise in Culture and Instructional Design & Technology sets her research contributions apart, and 65% of her publications are single-authored, focusing on the highest impact. She has also published in formative books such as the Handbook of Research on New Literacies (Routledge) and the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications & Technology (Springer). Her single-authored book, Instructional Design Frameworks & Intercultural Models, proposes her original, comprehensive model of culture across disciplines.

Dr. Young developed the Culture Based Model, a novel framework for building culture-based information and communication technologies. She has documented her model in several articles, and in her book Instructional Design Frameworks & Intercultural Models (Information Science Reference, 2009). She is the first woman and African American to serve on the editorial board of the internationally ranked journal Educational Technology Research and Development. She was also the 2009 recipient of an “Outstanding Journal Article” award from the Design & Development Division of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology for her conceptual research article, “Integrating Culture in the Design of ICTs.”

More than an educational theorist, Dr. Patricia A. Young is also a practitioner. Her work as an educational technologist evolved from her B.F.A at New York Institute of Technology in television and film production. Later as a classroom teacher, she taught at both the primary school (kindergarten and second grade) and collegiate level. Her range of college teaching beyond UMBC includes education departments at Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh along with International universities in Kaifeng Henan, China. Honing her media experience and literacy education, her doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley focused on African American contributions to the field of educational technology, a research interest she continues to this day. Dr. Young has combined her theoretical expertise and real-world experience, publishing numerous refereed articles in journals such as Artificial Intelligence and Society; British Journal of Educational Technology; Journal of Educational Technology & Society; Journal of Language, Identity and Education; Race, Ethnicity & Education; and the Journal of African American Studies.

Dr. Young built an original learning analytics software program, Proticy, to improve teaching and learning in higher education. She is field testing this prototype software.

Dr. Young’s current work is a theoretical and future research book focusing on human specialization. Human Specialization is a cultural phenomenon that is being enacted across business, manufacturing, science, technology and education industries through trends such as standardization, customization, personalization and specialization. To better understand the path of human specialization, this text grounds its development in the field of education. She anticipates this work to broaden present notions of personalization, be a starting point to recognize human specialization as a cultural phenomenon and generate more specialized human-centered designs and technologies across industries.

Leroy Raadel Posey

Human Specialization in Design and Techn

Published 2021


Human Specialization in Design and Technology:

The Current Wave for Learning, Culture, Industry and Beyond


by Patricia A. Young, Ph.D.


We are living in an age that without the human ingenuity to innovate we will cease to exist. Human Specialization exemplifies the natural, but inevitable, evolution to innovate specifically for human needs and conditions. This cultural phenomenon is being enacted across business, manufacturing, science, technology and education industries through trends such as standardization, customization, personalization and specialization. This text grounds its development in the field of Educational Technology to disclose the intricacies of human innovation or lack thereof. Section 1 explores the what and how of human innovation looking broadly across industries, the history of personalization, and COVID-19. Section 2 provides narratives on the current state of Educational Technology and forecasts future outcomes. Some of the topics include: The future professor, public schools, equity & access, XR Technologies, Open Educational Resources and more. The book concludes with solutions and a path forward through human specialization. 

Conducting a professional development workshop for preschool teachers in Judy Schools

Building a Culture-Based Computational Thinking Curriculum

Developing a Parents Guide to Computational Thinking for Preschool Aged Children


Title: Infusing Culture-Based Computational Thinking in Preschools

Sherman Center Faculty Research Award Recipient

Updated 04/24.2023

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