CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 15, January 2016


On the CIRCL team, “ C” stands for Connect, Collaborate, and Create the Future. This month, we are eagerly anticipating Cyberlearning 2016, our premier convening. Registration is full, but you can participate via webcast and twitter (see below). Ray Rose, our featured perspective (below) perfectly highlights the major themes of CL’16: addressing diversity and equity. And as an example of what we’re doing about it concretely, see the recap (below) of our workshop series aimed at engaging newcomers in CL research. We’re also especially pleased to have over 20 “buddies” joining us at CL’16, tangibly increasing the diversity of attendees — to the buddies, a warm “welcome!”

Finally, please have a look at our call for the Cyberlearning Innovation Lab on Smart and Connected Communities. There is an upcoming webinar about this emerging theme; there will be an expertise exchange about the theme at CL’16, and you can apply by February 15, 2016 to participate in this Innovation Lab.

Smart and Connected Communities for Learning: A Cyberlearning Innovation Lab

On May 2-6, 2016, CIRCL will host Smart and Connected Communities for Learning: A Cyberlearning Innovation Lab, a weeklong workshop to catalyze research concepts and partnerships to advance how technology can help people to learn across settings in communities. Approximately 25-30 workshop invitees will be selected via an open application process, representing a diversity of expertise and perspectives in computing, learning, and leading community programs. The workshop will be held in Menlo Park, California. Travel expenses will be reimbursed for accepted participants. Applications are due February 15, 2016.

2016 NSF Video Showcase: Advancing STEM for ALL

The 2016 NSF Video Showcase: Advancing STEM for ALL will take place online the week of May 17-23, 2016. Last year’s showcase attracted over 20,000 unique participants and received accolades from NSF program officers. Your participation will make the 2016 event equally successful in sharing of work across NSF programs and with the public at large, and also in promoting reflective collegial discourse. Register to share your 3-minute video. Registration for the event will open January 25 and closes March 15. Videos are due by April 28.

Cyberlearning 2016: Program Update, Webcast & Twitter

CL16 Program

A detailed program for Cyberlearning 2016: Designing for Deeper, Broader, and More Equitable Learning is now available. At this January 25-26 event at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia, approximately 190 leading researchers along with students, educators, designers, industry experts, and other stakeholders will work together for two days to accelerate the community’s collective work and impact. Cyberlearning 2016 features 4 keynote talks, 17 roundtables, 12 expertise exchanges, working sessions, a shark tank, a gallery walk with 41 demos and posters, and an optional visit to state legislators. Special speakers and keynotes will be webcast live during the event.

Please invite your colleagues and students to register for the webcast and to join the online conversation using the twitter hashtag #NSFCL16. We especially recommend checking out the four keynotes via webcast: Linda Chaput, Jim Shelton, Nichole Pinkard, and Peggy Weil. For updated information, follow CIRCL on Twitter and Facebook, and check the Cyberlearning 2016 page.

Featured Perspective: Meet Raymond Rose

Raymond Rose is President of Rose & Smith Associates and Chair of the Public Policy Committee at the Texas Distance Learning Association. See Ray’s blog for more information.

Raymond Rose

How did you get started in cyberlearning?

I was at Concord Consortium for a decade, which included co-directing the Virtual High School (VHS) and online teacher professional development projects. When we were doing the VHS, we had students who had special needs — some were closed-head injuries, some had physical disabilities. We also had a school for the deaf involved. At that point I was getting more interested in special needs and special needs policy online. Around the same time I was director of Seeing Math, which included some online teacher professional development (oTPD) with video, and I realized we should make these videos more accessible. This was way back; CAST had just put together Universal Design for Learning (UDL). I called CAST to see if they could help us caption our video, and they said, “We don’t know how to do it!” It took me about a year to find the accessible media center at WGBH. They were willing to do captioning of our video if they could use it as a demo for them, so we had our video captioned. This was the beginning of my understanding of the importance of captioning in video, and also recognizing that we have a legal responsibility to be doing some of this because of being funded by NSF and the Department of Education.
Read more of Ray’s perspective.

NSF Science of Learning, STEM+C, Connected Communities Webinar & More

The Science of Learning Program at NSF has nnounced a new solicitation: Science of Learning: Collaborative Networks. Letters of intent are due March 1; full proposals are due April 4, 2016.

NSF invites STEM+Computing Partnerships proposals that address emerging challenges in the learning and teaching of STEM and computing. Full proposals are due March 28, 2016.

The STELAR Webinar: Smart and Connected Communities: An ITEST Perspective will provide information about funding opportunities from NSF senior advisors and consider how ITEST projects may be able to connect to the Smart and Connected Communities work. This webinar will take place January 21, 2016 from 3-4 pm ET.

The 9th NSF-funded STEM Smart workshop will be held February 1, 2016 in San Francisco, CA. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together educators, administrators, researchers, policy-makers, and others to share their work and experiences related to standards-based instruction in science. Registration for this event is free.

The AccessCyberlearning Capacity Building Institute (CBI) on March 9-11, 2016 in Seattle will bring together cyberlearning researchers, technology developers, and instructors to share ideas and expertise regarding how to create more accessible, usable, and welcoming online learning experiences for everyone, including those with disabilities. AccessCyberlearning will cover travel, food, and conference materials. Apply now.

The 12th Joint European Summer School on Technology Enhanced Learning will take place June 20-24, 2016 in Estonia. Pre-summer school activities are organized all day on Sunday, June 19th. The summer schools aims to encourage participants to adopt a critical stance in thinking about the role of technologies in providing opportunities for learners and the potential of these opportunities in terms of learning.

Building a Bridge to Educator Partnerships: Finding and sustaining successful partnerships with educators and schools through the course of NSF research projects isn’t always easy. How might we collectively build resources that help bridge this gap? Elliot Soloway and Jen Groff will be leading an Expertise Exchange session at Cyberlearning 2016 to explore this topic and pathways forward. If you’re interested in this topic please take a quick 2 minutes to tell us your thoughts and experiences on finding educators to partner with — and we hope to see you there!

New Cyberlearning Awards

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:

CIRCL Workshop Series on Developing Strong Cyberlearning Proposals – Recap

On October 24-25, 2015, CIRCL held the second in a series of workshops to help people who have never had Cyberlearning funding develop strong Cyberlearning EXP proposals. Eighteen prospective Cyberlearning PIs met with mentors to “review and refine” their proposal drafts. To become familiar with the NSF review process participants reviewed proposals in a “Mock Review Panel” and then observed experienced NSF PIs conduct a similar mock review of the same proposals. Attendees also participated in structured workshops on relevant topics of interest including connecting to experts and partners, focusing on learning science, connecting to literature in the field, writing a project summary, broader impacts, and technological innovation. Participants met with mentors one-on-one and in small groups to revise and refine their proposal drafts for submission in December 2015.

Job Opportunities: JLS Editor(s)

The International Society of the Learning Sciences is searching for the new Editor(s) of The Journal of Learning Sciences (JLS) for 2017–2020. Applications are welcome by individuals for the position of sole Editor or by a team for the position of Co-Editors. The position provides international visibility in the learning sciences. Letters of intent to apply are due January 25, 2016, and full proposals are due March 28, 2016.

Resource & Tech Corner

STEM Learning for All

On November 9th, 2015, CIRCL helped host a one-day Forum on Next Generation STEM Learning for All in Washington D.C. Materials from this forum–including summaries of the sessions, presentation materials, video and graphic recordings, and press coverage–are now available on the event website. A final report on the Forum will be available in spring 2016.

UDL Book

The second edition of Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice has been published by Harvard Education Press. It includes a framework for making technology, instruction, services, and physical spaces welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by all students, including those with disabilities. The more than 40 authors and co-authors of book chapters share a diverse set of applications that can serve to create more inclusive products and environments, including those offered online.


AccessCyberlearning is working to improve the experiences of learners with diverse characteristics, and provides resources including guidelines for fully engaging people with disabilities in online learning. Email to learn more or join the AccessCyberlearning Community of Practice and engage with other Cyberlearning projects on how new technologies and strategies for the delivery of online instruction can be made accessible to students and instructors with disabilities.

Articles and 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!

Innovating Pedagogy 2015 introduces ten pedagogies—methods and practices for teaching, learning, and assessment for the modern, technology-enabled world—that already influence educational practice or offer opportunities for the future. The 2015 edition of this widely followed report was developed through collaboration between researchers at the Institute of Educational Technology in The Open University and SRI Education. See Jeremy’s Linked In Blog about it.

Journal of the Learning Sciences, Volume 24, Issue 4, October-December 2015 has several articles of particular interest to the cyberlearning community on the topic of Paving New Pathways to Supporting Disciplinary Learning.

Share Your News

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

CIRCL is supported by NSF grants IIS-1233722, IIS-1441631, and IIS-1556486. 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.