Call for Participation and Speaker Nominations

Cyberlearning Research Summit, June 9-10, 2014, Madison, Wisconsin
(immediately before Games, Learning & Society, held at the same location)

The Cyberlearning Research Summit will be a gathering of researchers [regardless of funding source] focused on highlighting advances in the design of technology-mediated learning environments, how people learn with technology, and how to use cyberlearning technologies to effectively collect, analyze, and manage data to shed light on learning. We also seek ways to couple the Learning Sciences with related fields of innovation to leverage new technology affordances for the deepest learning outcomes. The Summit, which will occur every two years, provides a powerful forum for engaging around big ideas and preparing to communicate Cyberlearning impacts to broader audiences. The premier Summit held in January 2012 featuring talks on “big ideas” was highly recognized, and the archived videos of presentations continue to be widely used (over 25,000 views).

Building on the successes of the first Summit, provocative speakers will pose grand challenges, describe advances in research and development, and share visions for the future of learning with emerging cyber-technologies. Summit participants will give demonstrations of cyberlearning technologies, share evidence of learning, explore working prototypes, and engage in stimulating discussions. Through the contributions of participants working in and across formal and informal settings, and with a diversity of contexts and cultures, the Cyberlearning Research Summit seeks to exemplify the “transformative potential” of cutting edge research and development to dramatically advance learning in STEM and beyond.

The summit is convened by CIRCL, the Center for Innovative Research on Cyberlearning, an effort supported by the National Science Foundation, as a means to accelerate transformative R&D in Cyberlearning and in related programs and agencies. The Summit is hosted by CIRCL (SRI International, EDC, and NORC) and the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Objectives & Potential Outcomes

The objectives of the meeting include:

  • Articulating a clear role for the newly emerging technologies in supporting the processes of learning
  • Addressing not only an individualized or personalized view of learning, but also the equally important view of learning as social and cultural and as something that people best do together.
  • Seeing how the process of learning can be connecting across the different settings of everyday life, allowing meaningful ties among across school, home, museum, community and other sites of learning.
  • Envisioning and designing the necessary systems, tools, and infrastructure to bring learners, educators, technologies, content, and context together in cohesive ways
  • Articulating new approaches and practices toward democratizing access to advanced STEM knowledge and accelerate learners’ progress along learning progressions towards deep disciplinary understandings
  • Generating excitement and stimulating interest in pursuing innovative cyberlearning research

Participants attending the summit are intended to have the following outcomes:

  • See how cyberlearning research can have a broader impact in one’s own work and the work of others.
  • Envision news ways to work and collaborate to advance cyberlearning research
  • Gain a better sense of the nature, variety, and breadth cyberlearning research taking place
  • Expand one’s professional network and access to resources

Some Topics of Interest

  • New paradigms for learner-technology interactions. Examples include but are not limited to: embodied interfaces, large scale interactive media, immersive and mixed reality learning environments, affective computing, programmable learning environments, digital fabrication, emotive technologies, and wearable computing
  • Emerging opportunities for technology-supported personalization of learning and assessment. Examples include but are not limited to: dynamic and embedded assessments, learning analytics, deeply digital texts, quantified self, online spaces for exploring new identities, culturally relevant technologies, expressive technologies, and place-based learning technologies
  • Distributed and networked learning technologies. Examples include but are not limited to: peer production spaces, participatory media, mobile learning, serious games, massive open online learning environments, crowdsourcing, virtual learning communities, and remote sensing
  • Sociotechnical systems to support lifelong learning. Technology-enhanced libraries, makerspaces, intergenerational technology environments, distributed citizen science communities, and interest-driven online learning spaces.
  • Replicable models and strategies for scaling to achieve bigger impacts. Advances in implementation research, new knowledge about ways to support diversity and variability; teaching processes enabled by emerging technologies that have the potential to scale.

Summit Participation

We invite participation from cyberlearning researchers, designers, educators, and policy makers working in different sectors. We also invite nominations for speakers who will give short lively uninterrupted talks about a cyberlearning idea that matters, in the style of the TED conference. Potential speakers and participants do not need to be an NSF-grantee to apply to attend.

Nominating a Speaker

We ask members of communities that participate or could participate in Cyberlearning to nominate speakers. We are particularly looking for nominations of speakers who can:

  • Share a big idea at intersection of emerging technology and research on learning;
  • Articulate the “transformative potential” of a direction or approach;
  • Communicate a sense of a research frontier that is broader than their own work;
  • Engage, inspire and stimulate others.

The nominee can be:

  • An awardee in the NSF Cyberlearning or a related program
  • A university or non-profit based researcher working on STEM learning, teaching, or professional learning within or outside school;
  • An educator who uses cyberlearning technologies to teach the next generation student
  • An industry-based leader who can strongly engage researchers working at the intersection of research on STEM learning and development of transformative technologies

In the talks, we are not looking for typical conference papers, project reports, or demonstrations of technologies. We are not looking for “solutions” but rather for provocative ideas that can propel cyberlearning research and development forward.

Speakers can self-nominate, if they wish, but should be aware that the selection committee which includes the Program Committee believes in power of social networks to contribute valuable information to the selection process. Thus it is likely to be helpful for a speaker to be nominated by more than one distinct voice. The nomination process is open from now to February 1, 2014.

Nominees will be asked to submit a speaker application with a description of their topic, the plan for their presentation, and a sample of their presentation style (which can be a link to a recording of a prior presentation).

Nominations and applications will be reviewed by the Program Committee and selected based upon their topic, timeliness and relevance of the topic, the power of the recommendations, and tangible indications that the speaker can meet the criteria above.

Becoming a Summit Participant

There is no fee to attend the summit and all talks will be webcast live on the day of the event, allowing a broader audience to watch and interact. To facilitate collegial participation at the physical location of the summit, in-person attendance will be limited to a total of 200 participants including NSF and other government attendees.

We encourage participation from NSF’s Cyberlearning: Transforming Education program grantees as well as from researchers, professionals, educators, and students in the U.S. and around the world whose work resonates with the theme of “cyberlearning.” Approximately a quarter of the registrants will be reserved for NSF grantees working on cyberlearning topics.

To the extent it is necessary to select among applications, the Program Committee will seek to ensure representation from a diverse set of topics, issues, and audiences served by the research. Beyond this goal, selection to the physical event will be by lottery. All participants will be invited to attend the talks by webcast. Participants must cover their own travel expenses, but food and drinks will be provided during the day.


The applications to attend the Cyberlearning Summit 2014 are now closed. If you would like to be placed on a waiting list to attend the conference, please contact CIRCL. If you have been nominated as a speaker, the Program Committee will contact you with further instructions.

Meeting Location

Conference Center
University of Wisconsin Memorial Union
800 Langdon Street, Madison, WI
Phone: 608-265-3000

The DoubleTree by Hilton Madison, $139/night
Guests may book rooms online or by calling the hotel at 608-251-5511 and using reference code “GAM”.

The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, $139/night
Guests may book rooms by calling the hotel at 1-800-356-8293 and using reference code “Cyberlearning Summit”.

The Dahlmann Campus Inn Madison, $139/night
Guests may book rooms online using reference code “CL/GLS” or by calling the hotel at 608-257-4391 and using reference code “Cyberlearning/GLS”.

Important Dates

How & When to Submit
All proposals must be submitted online. The online forms, including complete details and instructions, will be available starting December 13, 2013.

The deadline for speaker nominations is Feb 1, 2014.

The deadline to apply as a participant is March 1, 2014. A link to the registration form will be sent to applicants in mid-March.

Speaker acceptance and regret notifications will be sent by March 28, 2014.

The conference will take place on Monday and Tuesday, June 9-10, 2014.

Questions? Contact CIRCL.


Summit Chairs
Sherry Hsi, Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley
Jeremy Roschelle, SRI International, Menlo Park
Sarita Nair-Pillai, EDC

Program Committee
Gautam Biswas, Vanderbilt University
Judi Fusco, SRI International
Erica Halversen, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Victor Lee, Utah State University
Robb Lindgren, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Jeremi London, Purdue University
Amy Ogan, CMU
Chris Quintana, University of Michigan
Patricia Schank, SRI International