Cyberlearning 2019: Exploring Contradictions in Achieving Equitable Futures

October 3-4, 2019 at the Westin Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia


Attendees, please complete the CL19 Evaluation Survey

CL19 Program Committee

CL19 Buddies

CIRCL Educators

Cyberlearning 2019 provided opportunities to join colleagues with diverse expertise and perspectives to explore the tensions that arise as research teams expand the boundaries of learning, and explored learning in the context of working with technology. Multimodal data and analytics could improve learning, but at what costs? Robotics can engage learners of all ages, but are learners prepared for the future of work? New technologies can expand learning opportunities, but for whom? Cyberlearning researchers investigate equity, diversity and inclusiveness, but can we make a positive impact at scale? To tackle questions like these, we need opportunities to connect around big ideas and converge many kinds of expertise.

Cyberlearning 2019 also provided opportunities to strategize around Big Ideas, including those NSF has already prioritized for funding. Existing Cyberlearning projects have emphasized Convergent Science, bringing together computer scientists, learning scientists, data scientists, and experts in diversity, equity and inclusion. There are also opportunities for learning research that addresses Work at the Human Technology Frontier, Harnessing Big Data and INCLUDES, as well as other Big Ideas not yet on the table. Participants shared and learned what has been accomplished in cyberlearning projects, envisioned future research, and joined forces with new colleagues.

Approximately 180 leading researchers along with students, educators, designers, industry experts, and other stakeholders worked together for two days at Cyberlearning 2019 to accelerate the community’s collective work and impact. Cyberlearning 2019 built on past meetings (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, & 2017) that inspired the community to identify issues of common interest and ignited joint efforts among participants.

If you have questions about the event, contact CIRCL convening staff.

Program (Eastern Time Zone)

Program outline below. See also Detailed program (PDF).
All times are Eastern Time (ET).
Highlighted portions were webcast. View webcast recordings.
Hashtag: #NSFCL19

Wednesday October 2 (Optional)

(various) Legislative Office Visits – For attendees who signed up to visit their state legislators.
5-7 pm Early registration.
6 pm Meet others at registration for group dinners.
7:30 pm Meetup for buddies near registration.

Thursday October 3

7:30 Breakfast (provided) and registration – Westin Alexandria
8:00 Welcoming Remarks from NSF and Program Overview
8:30 Networking Activity
9:15 Roundtable Session – Learn about Cyberlearning Projects
10:15 Break
10:45 Keynote: Mike Sharples, Theory-Informed Design of Cyberlearning at Scale
11:15 Keynote: Safiya Noble, The Problems and Perils of Harnessing Big Data for Equity & Justice
11:45 Orientation to Expertise Exchanges and Working Sessions.
12:00 Lunch (provided)
1:00 Expertise Exchanges – Learn something new from your colleagues
2:30 Break
3:00 Working Sessions – Contradictions, Tensions, and Principles from NSF-funded Workshops
4:45 Break, and set up for Gallery Walk
5:30 Gallery Walk
7:00 End of Day 1

Friday October 4

7:30 Breakfast (provided) – Westin Alexandria
8:00 Welcome & Future Funding Opportunities
8:45 Engaging with Future Research Issues and Funding Opportunities
9:30 Break
10:00 Keynote: Angela Booker, Ethical Power Relations as an Act of Design
10:30 Group Photo (replaces Legislative Visit Panel)
11:00 Reflections on Conference Theme – CL19 Co-Chairs; Audience Votes on Key Controversies/Tensions
11:30 Orientation to Afternoon Expertise Exchanges & Sessions
11:45 Lunch (provided)
12:45 Expertise Exchanges
2:15 Break
2:45 Prepare Bold Steps for Town Hall – Discuss priority issues, research questions, tensions, and controversies
3:15 Future of Research on Advanced Learning with Technology: Town Hall Conversation with NSF Program Officers
4:00 Adjourn

Saturday October 5 (Optional)

APA is offering a reduced single day registration fee for CL19 attendees to stay for the third day of the APA’s Technology, Mind, and Society (TMS) conference in Washington, DC. Educational technology will be a focus for this day. Sample activities at TMS on October 5:

  • Prof. Val Shute will be giving a keynote on Stealth Assessment,
  • A cyberlearning-related panel will be featured,
  • TMS sessions that focus on technology, development and the learning sciences will be scheduled for that day (as much as possible).

Hotel and Meeting Location

Conference Hotel: Westin Alexandria, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA, (703) 253-8600

Note that there is no cost to attend the event, but attendees must pay for and book their own travel (including flights, hotel, shuttles, etc.). A discount hotel reservation link is included in a confirmation email sent to accepted applicants that register for the event.

Getting There

Metro: The easiest walk is from the Eisenhower Metro station (0.4 miles from Westin Alexandria). See Maps and transportation.


CIRCL has put together a List of Nearby Restaurants. Also see Yelp for local restaurant options.

More on Washington, D.C.

Organizers and Sponsors

Cyberlearning 2019 is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and hosted by CIRCL. CIRCL is chartered by NSF to support the cyberlearning research community.

Meeting Co-Chairs

Cynthia D’Angelo University of Illinois
James Lester, North Carolina State University
Tamara Clegg, University of Maryland

Program Committee Members

Amar Abbott, Taft College
Matthew Boyer, Clemson University
Peter Brusilovsky, University of Pittsburgh
Andres Henriquez, New York Hall of Science
Steve Hickman, Riverside County Office of Education
Christopher Hoadley, New York University
Sherry Hsi, Concord Consortium
Yanghee Kim, Northern Illinois University
Erin Walker, University of Pittsburgh
Marcelo Worsley, Northwestern University
Nesra Yannier, Carnegie Mellon University


Jeremy Roschelle, Digital Promise
Judith Fusco, Digital Promise
Patricia Schank, Digital Promise
Quinn Burke, Digital Promise
Sarita Nair-Pillai, Education Development Center
Joyce Malyn-Smith, Education Development Center
Sarah MacGillivray, Education Development Center
Shari Gardner, SRI International

The meeting co-chairs and CIRCL staff thank the program committee for their innovative ideas and thoughtful input into the agenda for this meeting.


1. Who can attend this meeting?

Researchers with NSF projects with a cyberlearning theme as well as teachers, informal educators, foundation program directors, technologists, designers, graduate students, and other stakeholders. Participants must apply, be accepted, and register for the event in order to attend.

2. Who pays for and books travel?

There is no fee to attend the event, but attendees must book and pay for their own travel and hotel. A discounted hotel rate is available to registered attendees.

PIs of NSF projects typically pay for travel to the meeting on their projects, as they will present their work or facilitate a discussion related to their area of research at the meeting, and look at this as this their “annual PI meeting” with NSF. Several NSF program officers will be at the meeting, and more than half the attendees are NSF cyberlearning-themed project PIs.

3. Can I attend part of the meeting?

Cyberlearning 2019 will be a working meeting. Participants are expected to commit to the 2 full days of the meeting. Preference for in-person attendance will be given to applicants who offer to share tangible insights and to be actively involved before, during, and after the meeting. For those who cannot attend in person, portions of the meeting will be webcast to allow some virtual participation.

4. I applied to attend; when will I learn if I’m accepted? And why do I have to both apply AND register?

CL19 is an convening for NSF PIs as well as others who are involved in cyberlearning-related work (kind of a PI-meeting-plus). We have an application process to gather input on topics of interest to attendees and to help us prioritize acceptance if more people apply than we can accommodate (i.e., PIs get priority if we have more applicants than space allows).

The application to attend CL19 is now closed as we have reached capacity. All applicants were accepted in the first round. Registration information will be sent to applicants by the end of May. Applicants must confirm their attendance by June 14 by completing the registration form, which collects additional information including titles and abstracts for posters/roundtables, dietary constraints, buddy nominations, and more. After June 14, we will begin drawing from the waitlist as space allows or as we receive cancellations. If you would like to be placed on the wait list to attend, contact CIRCL convening staff.

5. How do I see the webcast?

Portions of the event will be webcast. When you register for the webcast, you will receive an email with instructions. We invite you to also read and post tweets to the event hashtag, #NSFCL19.

Please spread the word and invite your colleagues and students to watch the webcast. We encourage you to reserve a conference room at your University or place of work for groups or classes to come and watch together in real time. Register for the webcast to receive an email with instructions on how to connect on the day of the event.

6. What if I have a question before the event?

If you have any questions, please contact CIRCL convening staff.