CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 13, September 2015


It’s back to school time, and at CIRCL, we’re thinking about our A, B, Cs. In the CIRCL team, “A” stands for amplifying your impact. We work to amplify impact in many ways. Recently, we were asked to write about Cyberlearning projects for potential inclusion in the National Education Technology Plan. If you register for Cyberlearning 2016 (see below), we’ll help you share information with your congressional office. And we’ve been very active in tweeting your news (@circlcenter) and posting it on Facebook — and the news we cover includes new jobs, promotions, workshops, research findings, product releases, and opportunities for members of the Cyberlearning community (such as the ASSISTments research opportunity below). We’re also sharing your news and views through your perspectives and through project spotlights in this newsletter. Are you making news? Of course, you are. Be in touch and let CIRCL amplify your impact. (And stay tuned: we’ll talk about CIRCL’s Bs and Cs in future newsletters.)

Cyberlearning 2016 Call for Participation

Cyberlearning 2016: Designing for Deeper, Broader, and More Equitable Learning will take place January 25-26, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Approximately 150 leading researchers along with students, educators, designers, industry experts, and other stakeholders will work together for two days at Cyberlearning 2016 to accelerate the community’s collective work and impact. Cyberlearning 2016 builds upon three prior successful meetings in 2015, 2014, and 2013, which inspired the community to identify issues of common interest and ignited joint efforts among participants. See the Call for Participation to learn more and to complete the online application to be considered for attendance and to assist us in meeting planning.

CIRCL Webinars: Learning Engineering with Bror Saxberg, Use DIA2 to Target Your Proposal to NSF

We invite you to join us for the following upcoming CIRCL webinars.

Learning Engineering: A Forum with Bror Saxberg. What are learning engineers and why do we need them? How do you prepare people to be learning engineers? What might a degree program in learning engineering be like? Join us to explore such questions in a Forum with Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer at Kaplan, on Monday October 5 from 12:15-1 pm Pacific / 3:15-4 pm Eastern. Register or learn more.

How to Use DIA2 to Target Your Proposal to NSF. As you work on preparing proposals to NSF, you might encounter questions such as: What NSF programs have funded work in areas related to my topic? Who are other researchers working on topic X? Which program officers should I talk to about my interest in topic Y? Join us to learn how you can use DIA2 to help answer such questions in a webinar led by Krishna Madhavan and Mihaela Vorvoreanu on October 20 from 11-12 pm Pacific / 2-3 pm Eastern. Register or learn more.

NSF Opportunities: ITEST & DRK-12 Webinars; GRFP, LSAMP, AEF

Join STELAR and an NSF Program Officer for a webinar on the current NSF ITEST solicitation. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, September 15, from 3-4pm ET. Register for this webinar.

The NSF DRK-12 Program supports projects that develop and study resources, models and technologies for STEM education. Learn more about the program and recent solicitation by joining a webinar by Program Officer Karen King, followed by Q&A. Register and choose a session time from September 22, 1-2 pm ET; September 29, 2-3 pm ET; or October 6, 12:30-1:30 pm ET.

STEM education and learning research is supported by NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Applications are due in late October, varying by field of study. Please encourage senior undergraduates and graduate students with less than 12 months of full-time graduate study (see application guidelines) interested in pursuing a STEM education research graduate degree to apply to the NSF GRFP.

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program assists universities and colleges in their efforts to increase the numbers of students completing high quality degree programs in STEM disciplines in order to diversify the STEM workforce. Bridge to the Doctorate and Pre-Alliance Planning Grants are due November 4 and LSAMP Alliance Proposals (including Bridge to the Baccalaureate) are due November 20.

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) program is accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Fellowship Year. The AEF Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in STEM fields to work in a Federal agency or U.S. Congressional office, bringing their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to STEM education program and/or education policy efforts. Applications are due November 19.

Project Spotlight: Making Microbiology Interactive and Available to Everyone

An interview with Ingmar Riedel-Kruse and Paulo Blikstein their NSF-funded project to build and evaluate a technological and curricular infrastructure to empower scalable, low-cost experimentations for undergraduates and K-12 students in the life sciences, combining them with computer models in real time.

What is the big idea of your project work?

The big picture is: How can we make microbiology interactive and available to everyone? And how can we combine experimentation with computer modeling in real time? How can all ages, from child to adult, experience what microscopic life is like? Right now what we have in schools is microscopy, where students passively observe. It’s hard to do experiments and for teachers to bring in biological organisms––harder than physics, for example, where you can put something back in a drawer at the end of the class. So what we have been developing is different types of platforms to make easy two-way interaction between humans and microscopic organisms possible. We also believe that sensemaking is more powerful when experiments are tightly connected with models and simulations, instead of being separate activities—thus we are using the idea of Bifocal Modeling to combine our biological experiments and models in real time. For example, we have an online platform where you can remotely observe Euglena cells swimming in a small dish by streaming video. You can shine light on the small organisms using a virtual joystick control, and when the light hits the cells, you can see how they swim away, in real time. We use two cameras: one for the internal view into microscope where you can see the cells, and the other is the external “macroscopic” view where the student can see the light source. Read more about Making Microbiology Interactive and Available to Everyone.

Conference and Journal Opportunities: SREE, IJDLDC

The SREE Spring 2016 Conference, Lost in Translation: Building Pathways from Knowledge to Action, will be held March 2-5 in Washington, DC. Abstract submission deadline is October 1.

The International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence (IJDLDC) Special Issue on
“School revolution? Let’s start from teachers’ digital literacy and competences!”
intends to investigate in more detail the nature of the barriers that still prevent the acquisition of adequate digital literacy and competences by teachers. Deadline for submissions is October 30.

New Cyberlearning Awards

In this issue we’re focusing on new projects funded by the NSF Cyberlearning Program. In the next issue, we’ll feature cyberlearning-themed projects funded by programs across NSF.

CIRCL warmly welcomes the following recently-awarded NSF Cyberlearning projects:

Job Opportunities

Google’s K-12 (Pre-University) team invites applications for a Evaluation Project Specialist for K12 Education to manage multidisciplinary project evaluations and help the team improve impact in the area of computer science education for girls and underrepresented minorities.

Edsurge has several open positions in areas including marketing, reporting, user experience design, and community building to help connect learners, educators and entrepreneurs.

The Education Department of Saint Michael’s College seeks an assistant professor in Math, Science, and Technology Education to prepare undergraduate and graduate pre-service educators to teach STEM education at the elementary and secondary levels.

ISLS is conducting a search for a new Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for producing four issues of ijCSCL per year. Applications are welcome either from an individual or from a team of co-Editors-in-Chief. Applications are due October 21.

The Stanford University Graduate School of Education seeks a tenure track professor whose research embodies innovative approaches that use, design, or study advances in education technologies to create equitable and productive learning opportunities, particularly in low-income communities. The deadline for applications is September 30.

Resource & Tech Corner

ASSISTments is a free, university-based platform created to perform controlled experiments with the potential to help increase the quality, speed, and reliability of results related to K12 education. ASSISTments’ mission is “to improve education through scientific research while not compromising student learning time.” The ASSISTments team invites you to use it as a tool to create and run your studies–and the team is happy to support you in creating your study and finding students to run your study! Learn How to Create Controlled Experiments in ASSISTments.

Articles & Publications

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

Rose, R. (2015). Access and Equity for All Learners in Blended and Online Education. This publication presents recent finding from OCR compliance and complaint investigations about accessibility in online learning.

By Aaron Dubrow, media officer for NSF covering activities in the CISE directorate:

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.