CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 1, September 2013


Ninety people attended the first CIRCL Synthesis and Envisioning Meeting on June 26-27, 2013 in Arlington, VA. A large majority of the respondents to the evaluation survey indicated the meeting was useful, especially the working group sessions. Many reported that the meeting helped them gain a better understanding of cyberlearning research, gain insights for their work, and feel more prepared to talk about cyberlearning. We plan to incorporate suggestions such as re-arranging events at meetings so that more get-to-know you activities occur earlier to help make work sessions more productive. In addition, having hands-on “hacking” sessions for people wishing to experiment with others’ technologies––as well as planning or working time for papers, conferences, or proposals––are all possibilities. Finally, future meetings will work to spotlight next-generation technologies. If you’d like to see the full evaluation report, contact CIRCL.

Quick Question: Your Involvement in CIRCL

How do you want to be involved in the CIRCL Community? Take a 30-second survey to let us know!

Upcoming CIRCL Events: Catalyzing Broader Cyberlearning Partnerships, Cyberlearning Summit, Informal Working Groups


CIRCL will be hosting two face-to-face events in 2014. Virtual tracks will also be available. Exact dates are still being determined. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get updates.

  • An invitational Catalyzing Broader Cyberlearning Partnerships meeting will be held January 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area. This meeting will bring together researchers, technology developers/providers, and educators to develop shared blueprints to transform teaching and learning.
  • A Cyberlearning Summit will be held in summer 2014. Like the 2012 Cyberlearning Summit, the 2014 Summit will feature advances in cyberlearning that are ready to share with larger audiences. Potential dates include June 9-10 or June 30-July 1. If you know of important conflicts for many people, or have a strong preference on dates, please contact CIRCL.

Interested in joining working groups on the themes of big data and industry-researcher alliances? Contact CIRCL.

Featured Perspective: Meet Scot Osterweil


Scot designs games for learning; he’s been at it for over 20 years. But along the way, something funny happened. Scot became more passionate about transforming education than making games qua games. You might know him for his work on the classic game “Zoombinis” or for the data analysis tool “TableTop.” We recently interviewed Scot upon his return from a trip to Singapore.

What game would you like to be known for now?

A recent game is Lure of the Labyrinth, which is about middle school math — there a rich story line about saving pets and kids solve mathematical challenges to do it. Over 28 million “pets” have been saved, which corresponds to tens of thousands of games played by students.

What’s your agenda?

My goal is to change teaching practice, so that teachers can draw upon the rich experiences kids are having in games. In Lure of the Labyrinth, about 10% of kids make the connection to “school math” as they play, but we believe the other 90% are “susceptible.” So what we’ve done is to create lessons for teachers that make the connection for the other 90%. Kids play the game first out of school, and when the appropriate concept comes up in the curriculum, teachers can draw upon what students have already done in the game to draw on kids interest and experience, and accelerate curricular learning.

Who would your ideal cyberlearning partner be?

Well, on one front, I’d really like to meet with fellow travelers who want to make data science literacy available to every student. Tabletop, Tinkerplots, InspireData and like tools ought to rule the world, and enable all kids to have a meaningful experience answering questions they are interested in with real data. On another front, I’d like to work with researchers who are steeped in more formal education research — who can pose a great research question and co-design the definitive study with game designers like me. I hope to write a cyberlearning proposal on the next cycle.

How would you like to see the cyberlearning community use social media?

I have to be honest. I am not the biggest social media user myself. I’d really like to know what feeds people in our community find worthwhile. If there was a way to find the most relevant feeds and aggregate them, so I could become more aware of what my fellow travellers were posting and reading… I’d sign up for that. (Editors note: CIRCL would be happy to support this; any experts out there to help us make it happen?)

Opportunities: Learning@Scale, ICLS, JCAL

The first annual meeting of the ACM Conference on Learning at Scale will be held March 4-5, 2014 in Atlanta, GA. Paper submissions and tutorial proposals are due November 8, 2013.

ICLS will be held June 23-27 in Boulder, CO. The Call for Proposals for Symposia, Papers, and Posters Submission Deadline is November 8, 2013.

Contributions are being solicited for a special issue of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL) on Learning Analytics in Massively Multiuser Virtual Environments and Courses.

Job Announcements: 5 Tenure-Track Openings

Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) is seeking a tenure-track assistant professor in the Learning Sciences Program.

The Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education is seeking a tenure-track assistant/associate professor in the Instructional Psychology and Technology Program.

The Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies (TECS) in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is seeking a tenure-track assistant Professor in Learning Technology.

The Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Utah is seeking a tenure-track assistant professor in the Learning Sciences program.

The Tufts University Department of Education invites applications for a tenure-track position in Biology Education with a secondary appointment in the Department of Biology.

New CyberLearning Awards


A big CIRCL welcome to these recently awarded projects.

Capacity-Building Projects (CAP):

Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER):

Exploration Projects (EXP):

Design and Implementation Projects (DIP):


Share Your News

Have some news you want to share? Contact CIRCL.

CIRCL is supported by NSF grant IIS-1233722 (CRC: Center for Innovative Research on Cyberlearning (CIRCL). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.