CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 19, July 2016


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Happy summer! We hope you are enjoying family, friends and some relaxation — but want to be sure you don’t miss out on all the exciting recent Cyberlearning news and opportunities. Following upon a highly engaged Cyberlearning ‘16 convening, recordings of webcasts and a storify are available, as well as this blog. See also Jeremy’s reflections on keynotes at Learning @ Scale and Grand Challenges from Learning Analytics and Knowledge ‘16 and a story from the Smart and Connected Learning workshop we held: Innovation Lab Maps the Future of Learning in Smart and Connected Communities.

Check out what Cyberlearning authors are writing, including a new book on Makeology just out from Routledge! And in terms of opportunities, don’t miss the call for book chapters from Lin Lin and Bernadette Sibuma below as well as the new “Change Makers” Dear Colleague Letter from NSF, also below. Welcome to all the new Cyberlearning projects, also listed below. And finally, take a moment to virtual meet two teachers who are working with CIRCL this summer, Erik (below), and Sarah who we featured in 2014.

Featured Perspective: Meet Erik Kellner

Erik Kellner is a 8th grade science teacher at Canyon Middle School, and a summer IISME Fellow working with CIRCL. Erik has a B.S. in Biology from UCLA and an M.A. in Instructional Technology from San Francisco State University. He has a passion for student learning and the “aha!” moment that comes with it.

Erik Kellner

How did you get started in cyberlearning?

As a student teacher at Sonoma State University in 1996, I was already using the internet as a resource for accessing lesson plans and data sets and designing activities around them. I would love to say that I had a prescient view of the future of learning, but the reality is that I was simply young and excited about the possibilities of the internet. I wanted to innovate and the internet allowed me to look beyond the curriculum that my mentor teachers had developed. Read more of Erik’s perspective.

Project Spotlight: Curriculum and Community Enterprises for Restoration Science

An interview with Lauren Birney, Assistant Professor of STEM Education at PACE University and Director of The STEM Collaboratory NYC™. Dr. Birney leads the NSF-funded CCERS project, which connects teaching and learning to the restoration of New York Harbor to create enhanced learning and life outcomes for students historically underrepresented in STEM fields.

CCERS Project

What’s the big idea of your project?

The project is creating a collaborative model of 10 independent institutions working together to create a curriculum and digital platform to give students the opportunity learn about STEM as they participate in a real research project to restore over 11 million oysters to the New York Harbor. We have a brochure that gives a nice snapshot of the partners and what each partner is doing. The curriculum, which being co-designed by teachers, scientists, and curriculum developers, is being implemented in the New York City public schools, the largest school district in the U.S. To me, the most important component is the lasting impact, the sustainability of that impact, and integration within the community. It’s a wonderful opportunity and has become a signature grant for New York City. Learn more about CCERS.

NSF-Related Opportunities

Nationally and internationally, cities and communities face deeply interlocking physical, social, behavioral, economic, and infrastructural challenges. NSF’s Dear Colleague Letter: Change Makers invites innovative research and development proposals to advance STEM learning, while exploring solutions to multidisciplinary or transdisciplinary global challenges in either formal or informal settings.

STELAR is hosting a special webinar on Broadening Participation in STEM that highlights upcoming funding opportunities within EHR. The webinar will be held July 28, 12:30-2:30 pm ET. Register for this webinar.

CIRCL community members are needed to serve as interviewees for NSF I-CORPS-L Teams developing new educational technologies. Interviews take only about 15 minutes. Learn more and volunteer for this opportunity to hear about and contribute to new ideas.

Opportunities: Calls for articles, AERA, CSCL & More

Chapters on “Innovative Design and Development Strategies” are invited for a book on Learning, Design, and Technology by AECT and Springer-Link. Articles should focus on knowledge that designers call upon while designing in current contexts. Learn more and submit an abstract by August 15. Chapter deadline: October 15.

IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing and IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies seek original manuscripts for a Special Issue on Innovation in Technologies for Educational Computing. The goal of this joint special issue is to provide an overview of most recent emerging and “fringe” learning technologies. Submission deadline: December 1.

The 2017 AERA Annual Meeting will held April 27-May 1, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas. See the Call for Submissions. Deadline for paper and session submissions: July 22.

CSCL 2017 will be held June 18-21, 2017 at Drexel University & The University of Pennsylvania. The conference theme focuses on the need to consider issues such as equity, access, and inclusion in the design, implementation, and deployment of computer-supported learning environments. See the preliminary call for papers. The deadline for Papers, Posters, and Symposia: November 4.

STEM Central is hosting a three-part lecture series for NSF PIs on the foundations of culturally and contextually responsive evaluation and assessment.The first (foundations) session was held in June, but you can still register for Part 2: Culturally Responsive Evaluation Design Strategies on July 27 or Part 3: Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation, and Reporting Strategies on August 12.

Job Openings

NSF’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Director for the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR).

Utah State University invites applications for a tenure-track position in the Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS). Individuals who bring scholarly and applied expertise in the areas of learning technologies and instructional design with direct experience in design and development are especially encouraged to apply.

New Cyberlearning Awards

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

Recent NSF Cyberlearning awards:

Recent cyberlearning-themed awards across NSF:

Resource & Tech Corner

Recordings of STELAR webinars on Writing Successful NSF Annual Reports and NSF ITEST Solicitation Q&A Session are available.


EvaluATE is the evaluation resource center for NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. It provides webinars, resource materials, newsletters, workshops, and opportunities for community members to engage around issues related to evaluation in the pursuit of excellence in technical education.

Social Explorer

Social Explorer’s Threat to Representation of Children and Non-Citizens project examines the potential impact that the Evenwel v. Abbott Supreme Court case could have had on representation around the nation. The plaintiffs argued that redistricting should be based on the number of voters (citizens of voting age) instead of all residents. Professor and demographer Andrew Beveridge analyzed the effects of such a change in his special report. Social Explorer’s companion interactive tool illustrates how state legislative and congressional districts would need to change and which groups would be most affected.

Books & Publications

Makeology (2016), edited by Kylie Peppler, Erica Halverson, and Yasmin B. Kafai, introduces the emerging landscape of the Maker Movement and its connection to interest-driven learning (Volume 1) and highlights leading researchers and practitioners as they discuss and share current perspectives on the Maker movement and research on educational outcomes in makerspaces (Volume 2). Congratulations to these cyberlearning researchers on their new book!

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!

The Report form the Next Generation STEM Learning for All Workshop by Parker, Pillai, & Roschelle (2016) captures key takeaways, strategies, and challenges around how research-based findings and advances help society to re-envision STEM learning and education.

In Innovation Lab Maps the Future of Learning in Smart and Connected Communities, Jeremy Roschelle reports on the week-long workshop hosted by CIRCL at SRI International on May 2-6.

In Computer app whets children’s appetites for eco-friendly meals, curriculum and instruction professor Emma Mercier describes her work developing the Food for Thought app, which educates young people about the carbon footprint associated with the foods they eat.

A Special Issue of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL) focuses on Learning analytics in massively multi-user virtual environments and courses (2016), Vol. 32, Issue 3.

Open Ideas at Pearson has partnered with colleagues at EdSurge to develop Decoding Adaptive, a report that defines adaptive learning and discusses the potential benefits and challenges of using adaptive tools in the classroom.

Popularity of Ed Tech Not Necessarily Linked to Products’ Impact by Benjamin Herold in Education Week (May 2016) was recommended by cyberlearning community members Kemi Jona and Shuchi Grover: “a lesson that Silicon Valley & #edtech would do well to heed (based on research by @SRI_Education‘s Barbara Means)”.

CAISE has written a report, Informal STEM Education: Resources and Expertise for Outreach, Engagement and Broader Impacts, which provides an overview of some of the networks, infrastructure, evidence and expertise that can be leveraged to design and evaluate innovative experiences and settings for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

NSTA efforts in blended professional learning networks and micro-credentials are now used formally by 93 universities across the country, and recently highlighted in a chapter by Harvard: Byers, A., & Mendez, F. (2016). Blended professional learning for science educators: The NSTA learning center. In C. Dede, A. Eisencraft, K. Furmin, & A. Hartley (Eds.), Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education. Boston: Harvard Press.

The Timisoara Declaration, Better Learning for a Better World through People Centred Smart Learning Ecosystems, is now available for download.

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.