CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 33, November 2018


It’s never too early to begin planning your Cyberlearning New Year Resolutions. Want to…

Finally, CIRCL is planning a Cyberlearning 2019 convening for the community. We’re looking for volunteers for the program committee; if you’re interested, drop us a line! Updates will be provided in future CIRCL newsletters!

Cyberlearning Workshops: Principles for the Design of Digital STEM Learning Environments

Synthesis & Design Workshops

NSF’s recent call for synthesis and design workshops challenged interdisciplinary science and engineering teams to produce plans for developing forward-looking, highly adaptable, distributed digital environments that can personalize learning for diverse learners in collaborative settings. Nine workshops received Cyberlearning awards in 2018 and will hold workshops in 2019.

Learn more about the workshops and apply to participate. The workshops welcome additional participants to help synthesize existing research and envision future research on their topics. CIRCL will host a Summit for the workshop leaders in 2019. Updates will be provided in future CIRCL newsletters!

Featured Perspective: Meet Yasmin Kafai

Meet Yasmin Kafai

Yasmin Kafai is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work promotes coding, crafting, and creativity across grades K–16.

What do educators and families need to know about computational thinking as both a concept and as a practice?

First, let’s talk about what computational thinking is. When Jeannette Wing wrote about it in 2006, it was about designing systems and using the concepts of computation to solve enduring problems. There’s nothing wrong with this particular definition. Now that the term has entered the K-12 education realm, people talk about computational thinking seemingly with only the individual student in mind. As a result, CT, whether it’s programming or computing in general, appears as a individualistic, even solitary activity. But this is not what learning computing ought to be. We know from numerous studies-–and simply from our own experiences–-that learning itself is not individual activity. It takes place in a social context and for that reason, when we talk about computational participation, we need to better highlight this social aspect. We need to recognize that yes, computing in conceptual, but it always occurs in a particular context and for a particular purpose. Realizing these cultural and social ramifications means that we need to stop seeing computational thinking as a matter of solitary thought and operation and rather as a matter of participation–-a critical literacy skill. Read more of Yasmin’s Perspective.

NSF Announcements: Cyberlearning, ECR, AccelNet & More

Cyberlearning for Work at the Human-Technology Frontier invites proposals in exploratory and synergistic research on learning technologies that enable STEM learning. Learn more by watching a recording of CIRCL’s October 2018 Cyberlearning Solicitation Webinar. Proposals due January 14, 2019.

EHR Core Research invites proposals for fundamental research that advances knowledge in one or more of the three Research Tracks: Research on STEM Learning and Learning Environments, Research on Broadening Participation in STEM fields, and Research on STEM Workforce Development. Proposals are due January 24, 2019.

Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations invites proposals for the creation of international networks of networks in research areas aligned either with one of the NSF Big Ideas or a community-identified scientific challenge with international dimensions. Letter of intent due December 21, 2018; full proposals due February 28, 2019.

NSF DCL: Fairness, Ethics, Accountability, and Transparency: Enabling Breakthrough Research to Expand Inclusivity in Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research invites proposals to core programs (e.g., CNS, CCF, IIS) that contribute to discovery in research and practice related to fairness, ethics, accountability, and transparency (FEAT) in computer and information science and engineering.

NSF has announced steps against harassment through new terms and conditions that require awardee organizations to report findings of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault regarding an NSF funded PI or co-PI. The policy is effective for any new award or funding amendment to an existing award made on or or after October 21, 2018..

Note that the recently-revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) stipulates that Project Descriptions must now contain separate sections specifically identified as “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts”; this is in addition to those sections being in the Project Summary. See the front section of the PAPPG for a list of all significant changes.

Conferences & Calls: CSCL, LAK, IDC, & More

CSCL 2019 will be held in Lyon, France, June 17-21, 2019. This year’s theme is A wide lens: Combining Embodied, Enactive, Extended, and Embedded Learning in Collaborative Settings. Papers, Posters, and Symposia submissions are due November 12, 2018.

LAK 2019 will be held in Tempe, AZ, March 4-8, 2019. This year’s focus is on ways in which learning analytics can be used to promote inclusion and success. Demos and Workshop Papers are due December 3, 2018. (The deadline for papers and workshops has past.)

IDC 2019 will be held in Boise, Idaho, June 12-15, 2019. IDC encourages research on the design, development, and use of interactive technologies for kids. This year’s theme is Live Healthy. Paper and workshop submissions are due in January 2019.

HICSS 2019, in Maui on January 8-11, 2019, features more than 700 presentations and 38 symposia, workshops, and tutorials. See the full program and register to attend.

Call for ideas and proofs of concept: International Student Design Contest on People-Centered Smart Learning Ecosystems. The winner (individual or group) will be awarded with 500 €. Three individuals or groups (finalists) will be selected to present their proofs of concept at SLERD 2019 on May 23-24, 2019, in Rome. The deadline for ideas submission is February 15, 2019.

SXSW EDU 2019 will be held March 4-7, 2019 in Austin, TX. It features an array of speakers, sessions, workshops, learning experiences, policy discussions and film screenings to foster learning and discovery for all. Learn more and register.

Jobs: NSF, Vanderbilt, UMD, UNT, NCSU, Delaware, UCB & More

Also see #learningsciencesjobs

NSF has several open positions, including Program Director with expertise in STEM learning in informal environments, a permanent Senior Advisor for the Directorate for Education & Human Resources (EHR), and a temporary Senior Advisor position for EHR.

Vanderbilt University is seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher whose research focuses on mathematics teacher learning and/or content-focused coaching.

Maryland’s iSchool invites applications for Assistant Professor with a focus on youth digital practices and emerging literacies. Email Tammy Clegg ( with any questions about the position.

The University of North Texas is seeking two Assistant Professors in Learning Sciences. Email Rebecca J. Glover ( ) with any questions about the positions.

NC State invites applications for Assistant / Associate Professor of Learning Design and Technology with a focus on analyzing and addressing pressing education problems through innovative and entrepreneurial technology and instructional design solutions.

The University of Delaware invites applications for Assistant or Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences with expertise in learning technologies.

UC Berkeley is seeking a Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science with faculty appointments in the Graduate School of Education and a STEM department.

EDC has two open positions in New York: Research Assistant II with quantitative background and experience, and Research Associate II with literacy, evaluation and assessment expertise.

Digital Promise has several open positions in San Mateo, CA and Washington DC, including Early STEM Education Researcher, Math Researcher, and Quantitative Researcher / Data Scientist.

Resource & Tech Corner

A workshop on Robots, Young Children, & Alternative Input Methods organized by Yanghee Kim at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and funded by CIRCL brought together researchers in the learning sciences, computer science, engineering, and psychology to review the current status of research on children-robot interaction, discuss theoretical and technical aspects that can support the research, and explore the potential for future research in the area from the social, emotional and cognitive, and educational perspectives. Check out the Workshop Report and visit the NIU Create Center to see session descriptions and watch videos of presentations.

The AERA Virtual Research Learning Center offers online courses, webinars, and other professional development resources for specialized training in quantitative and qualitative research methods, advanced skills in statistical techniques, and other important areas. Courses are designed at various levels to reach graduate students, early career scholars, and other researchers.

Broadband Conversations, a podcast launched by Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, is dedicated to highlighting women who are making an impact on our digital lives. In the first episode, Rosenworcel and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto discuss about how we can get more girls coding, how our cities can be smarter, and why getting connected and online is essential for everyone to have a fair shot at 21st century success. Subscribe to listen to conversations with women who are breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation.

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:

Books & Publications

How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, summarizes new insights related to the ground covered in How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (HPL I) and expands the discussion to include learning that occurs beyond K-12 education to encompass the entire life span. The report also identifies frontiers in which more research is needed to pursue an even deeper understanding of human learning. The report is available for purchase and to read online for free.

The new National Academies Report English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives is available for free download. The report examines the research on ELs’ learning, teaching, and assessment in STEM subjects and provides guidance on how to improve learning outcomes in STEM for these students. This report considers the complex social and academic use of language delineated in the new mathematics and science standards, the diversity of the population of ELs, and the integration of English as a second language instruction with core instructional programs in STEM.

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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.