Call for Participation

Partnering for Impact Workshop, March 26-27, 2014, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA

Flipped Classrooms. E-textbooks. Massive Open Online Courses. Mobile Learning. Education is ready to embrace modern technology, and yet, the road from inspiring stories and successful pilot studies to sustainable, replicable, meaningful advances in teaching and learning remains long and lined with casualties.

The National Science Foundation has invested over $50 million dollars in Cyberlearning research — scientific studies of the use of technology in teaching and learning that aim to:

  • Align education change to a sound base of learning theory,
  • Develop approaches that interconnect emerging technology with how people learn,
  • Incorporate expertise of leading scientists in the design of learning content, and
  • Collect data from many student subjects over many years to provide actual evidence of effectiveness

NSF is naturally interested in understanding the pathways that could connect the insights resulting from funded grants to widely used educational products and services. More generally, it remains an industry-wide challenge to unite people who deeply know education, with learning researchers, technologists, and entrepreneurs. To realize the promise of advanced educational technology, we need to take a serious look at these issues.

Please join the NSF Cyberlearning community in a workshop we’re organizing to envision new ways for learning research to more fluidly find its way into products and into the hands of teachers and learners. The workshop will explore questions like these:

  • How can researchers make their current and future work more immediately relevant to the issues faced by educators and ed tech innovators?
  • How might developers of new ed tech products be convinced of the potential value of cutting-edge research technology and of a grounding in sound scientific knowledge about learning?
  • How can educators participate in co-designing products and services that will work in realistic settings, and that address their actual needs?
  • And how might government and foundation funders shift their programs and policies to encourage a more robust innovation ecosystem in education?

The Center for Innovative Research on Cyberlearning (CIRCL) will host a gathering of stakeholders to meet at SRI International — the historic birthplace of the mouse and the ancestral homeland of Apple’s Siri Personal Assistant. SRI’s Silicon Valley campus is an ideal location to re-imagine how research can have impacts in the lives of nearly everyone, but only if we think in new ways about how researchers, entrepreneurs, educators, and funders relate. Getting to real and lasting impacts will require partnerships that synthesize expertise that is currently in communities who do not have established pathways for working together. This is a workshop about articulating those pathways and starting to walk down them together.

Attendance will be limited to keep the meeting to a workable size and to achieve a balance among the NSF Cyberlearning research community, education innovators, ed tech product developers, investors, analysts, policy makers, and funders. We are inviting representatives of the different stakeholders who have demonstrated the ability to engage in productive conversations across the divides. Most importantly, we will expect attendees to come with an openness to envisioning future scenarios in which talented people from different sectors can more easily, frequently, and intensely work together to create sustainable, replicable, meaningful advances in learning — and begin taking the first step towards making those scenarios real.

The workshop will be convened by CIRCL, SRI’s Center for Innovative Research on Cyberlearning, an initiative supported by the National Science Foundation as a means to catalyze broader impacts beyond R&D. When strong thinkers come together in an intimate setting, important outcomes can be unexpected — the workshop will provide a structure to encourage such results.


Registration is closed. Accepted applicants have been informed and will soon be sent the Workshop agenda and local arrangements. Participants will be receiving preparatory materials before the meeting and will be expected to attend the entire meeting. Unfortunately, there are no supplemental travel funds available for Workshop participants.