CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 11, May 2015


Let’s make some news. CIRCL is active in promoting the accomplishments of the Cyberlearning community to broader audiences: through social media, our website, and more. In the past month, we’ve boosted a nice Maker paper from Lee Martin, a positive story in HuffPost, a spread in EdWeek, a news story on WBUR, a project highlight by NSF, and a teacher blog — all featuring great Cyberlearning thinking. We also made news through the first ever video showcase, attracting 22,000 unique visitors in just a week. And below we feature June Ahn, who is active with Maryland legislators. You can get the news by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. And tell us your recent publications, advances, or successes and we’ll gladly amplify your reach, too!

Information to help you change the world. We had wonderful webinars on How to Transition Cyberlearning Technologies out of the University and Cyberlearning Data Sharing and Privacy, and have posted several resources for writing Cyberlearning proposals including webinar recordings (all events are archived). Please note the call below for collective work on synthesizing big ideas across projects. Words we live by (from Margaret Mead): Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. While it’s unlikely that any one Cyberlearning project is going to change the world, collectively we can do it. Let’s go.

CIRCL Syntheses: Makers, Mobile, and More!

CIRCL synthesis statements, authored by members of the cyberlearning community, aim to concisely summarize effective use of advanced learning technologies that are integrative, innovative, empirically grounded, and widely useful. CIRCL’s most recently published synthesis, The Cutting-Edge of Informal Learning: Makers, Mobile, and More! — and if you’re interested in this topic, you should also see Lee Martin’s recent paper, The Promise of the Maker Movement for Education. Syntheses available on the CIRCL website include:

Topics under consideration for future syntheses include Universal Design for Learning (UDL), MOOCs, Identity in Learning, Embodied Learning, Research-Practitioner Partnerships, Cyberlearning for Teachers, Data Sharing and Privacy, and Citizen Science. Want to contribute to an existing synthesis or help write a new one? Let us know.

Upcoming CIRCL Webinar: Introduction to NSF for Cyberlearning

On May 26 from 2-3 pm ET / 11-12 pm PT, NSF Program Officer Christopher Hoadley will lead a webinar Introduction to NSF for Cyberlearning about the National Science Foundation, its mission and organization, what NSF funds (across programs) with respect to cyberlearning, how proposals are evaluated, and guidelines for newcomers. Register for this webinar.

CIRCL has also posted several new resources to help you develop strong cyberlearning proposals. These materials were developed by NSF for NSF Cyberlearning Solicitation Webinars hosted by CIRCL.

Featured Perspective: Meet June Ahn

June Ahn is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies with a joint appointment in the College of Education, at the University of Maryland, College Park.

How did you get started in cyberlearning?

The first grant that I received as a junior professor was in the NSF Cyberlearning program. In that project, called Sci-Dentity, we partnered with inner city middle schools in Washington, DC. We started with the hypothesis that engaging young adolescents in science fiction and new media projects could help them develop an interest and identity towards STEM. We partnered with middle schools and ran an after school program for 3 years, and a big success for us was that some students stayed with us for 3 years, from 6th to 8th grade. We grew with them, we designed the program with them, and we also collected data about their development as they went through middle school. That got me kickstarted in the community, particularly looking at how childrens’ practices with new media relate to their STEM identity development. We presented a poster on this project at the 2014 Cyberlearning Summit. Read more of June Ahn’s perspective.

AERA 2016: Present as Part of a Cyberlearning Symposium

The Call for Submissions to the AERA 2016 Annual Meeting is approaching! If you are interested in presenting findings from your Cyberlearning project as part of a symposium, please email to (1) a brief summary (2-3 sentences) of your research, and (2) your top 2 picks for sections or SIGs to which you would like to submit by June 12, 2015. Once we hear from you, we can put you in contact with other projects with similar topics and coordinate the development of a proposal for a symposium to be submitted for consideration. Questions? Contact us.

Opportunities & Upcoming Deadlines: NSF ACI & BCC; CSCL & More

A new NSF Dear Colleague Letter: ACI & CAREER from the CISE Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) invites proposals from junior faculty involved with cyberinfrastructure research to apply to the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. Proposals are due July 21, 2015.

Full proposals for NSF BCC-EHR (Building Community and Capacity in Data Intensive Research in Education) program are due Sept 1, 2015. Proposals for activities that will enable communities to develop visions for data-intensive EHR areas of research are encouraged.

A Grand Challenges Brainstorming session will be the focus of the Presidential Session at CSCL 2015. Complete the session Brainstorming Form to help prioritize problems, gaps, and promising solutions/technologies.

The learning sciences and CSCL: Past, present, and future half-day tutorial will be held the morning of Monday, June 8th before the start of the CSCL conference. Applications are due by May 22, 2015, and will be accepted on a first come first served basis, space allowing.

Manuscript proposals are being solicited for a special issue of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies titled “Wearable Technologies and the Internet of Things in Education and Training”. Deadline for submissions is June 15, 2015.

DANCE: Discussion Affordances for Natural Collaborative Exchange is a new effort in partnership with Open edX to design and build out platform extensions to support collaborative and discussion based learning in MOOCs. Join the second talk in the DANCE online series, From Discourse Analytics to Design, on June 18, 2015 at 11 am ET.

Spotlight your work in the 2015 Digital Innovation in Learning Awards. Educators, administrators, and organizations are invited to submit videos that showcase how they support teaching and learning. Applications are due by August 24, 2015.

Teaching and Learning Video Showcase: Recognized Videos

The NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase held May 11-15 was a fabulous collaborative effort of seven NSF resource centers that featured 112 presentations and reached more than 22,000 unique visitors from 146 countries. Congratulations to the 6 cyberlearning-themed videos, below, that were highly recognized. There many near ties, and many more exemplary videos that reached a large public audience and broadly disseminated innovative work. Thank you for helping make it happen!

Cyberlearning Across NSF

A sample of new projects with a cyberlearning theme funded by the NSF Cyberlearning program and programs across NSF.

Recent cyberlearning-themed awards across NSF:

Recent NSF Cyberlearning awards:

Job Opportunities: NYSCI, CAISE: Penn State & Rutgers Postdocs

The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) seeks a Chief Learning Officer to shape and lead an innovative, energetic, and world-class team of educators, exhibit and media designers, researchers, and science learning specialists.

CAISE seeks a Program Manager in their Washington, D.C. office to assist Center PIs and staff advance the field of professional informal science education by supporting and building on the rich diversity of projects funded by the NSF AISL program.

The Pennsylvania State University seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Child Study Center interested in using technology to enhance educational interventions and developmental research to collaborate on existing research projects and initiate new research.

Janice Gobert is looking to hire 1-2 new post-doctoral research scientists for work on science learning and assessment at Rutgers starting fall 2015. If you have candidates in data mining, learning sciences, and/or assessment, please email Janice at

Resource & Tech Corner: Ed Table Talk, SpringerLink, DiRT

Listen to Ed Table Talks episode on Educational Gaming as a Mainstream Instructional Resources to learn about integrating game strategy into your products and instructional strategies. Michael Jay’s guests were Lee Wilson, Jodi Asbell-Clark, and Mat Frenz.

Over 74,000 book chapters and 73,000 journal articles (including many society publications) have been published by Springer in Educational Technology; see SpringerLink.

The DiRT Directory is a registry of digital research tools for scholarly use. Tools can be browsed and filtered by category, platform, cost, and license. Anyone can create an account and add a research tool to DiRT, or post a review. A full set of metadata guidelines for DiRT are available to help you create a good tool entry.

Articles & Publications

Have a recent publication or article about your cyberlearning project, or that you should the community should know about? Let us know and we’ll announce it here!

Science of Learning Can Help Parents, Developers Grade Educational Apps: A new report published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest that parents, educators, and app designers can use to evaluate the quality of educational apps.

Flood, V. J., Neff, M., & Abrahamson, D. (in press). Boundary interactions: resolving interdisciplinary collaboration challenges using digitized embodied performances. In T. Koschmann, P. Häkkinen, & P. Tchounikine (Eds.), “Exploring the material conditions of learning: opportunities and challenges for CSCL,” the Proceedings of the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference. Gothenburg, Sweden: ISLS.

Using Technology and Evidence to Promote Cultures of Educational Innovation: The Example of Science and Mathematics Education. A new report by SRI Education.

Chui, M., & Sarakatsannis, J. (2015). Protecting student data in a digital world. An article by McKinsey & Company about how proponents of data-enabled education can learn from other industries that have faced concerns about the risks of using personal information.

Share Your News

Have some news (project highlights, job opportunities, RFPs, calls, etc.) that you want to share? Contact CIRCL.

CIRCL is supported by NSF grants IIS-1233722 and IIS-1441631. 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.