This project is developing technology-rich science curriculum exemplars for grades 3-6 based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. The project is testing the effectiveness of the approach and providing an exemplar that can inspire additional content and further development. A set of professional development materials to support teacher implementation of UDL science curriculum in the classroom is planned. Probes are used for lab investigations and computational models are used for experimentation in virtual environments.
This project convenes K-12 teachers working with underrepresented populations of students at the 2009 Grace Hopper Celebration and produces a workshop and white paper designed to (1) instigate discussion of equity and computer science curricula; (2) create knowledge sharing opportunities on concrete solutions grounded in teachers’ articulated needs; (3) disseminate these solutions to a broad audience of teachers, STEM practitioners, and interested stakeholders; and (4) evaluate the effectiveness of these solutions in classrooms.
This project assists teachers in analyzing their own science inquiry skills as well as those of their students via the development of an inquiry skill analyzer (iSA); and to assist teachers in selecting, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating technology-supported learning activities to develop science inquiry skills, especially in identified weak areas through the development of an inquiry activity portal (iAP).
This project is developing a system for producing automated professional mentoring while students play computer games based on STEM professions. The project explores a specific hypothesis about STEM mentoring: A sociocultural model as the basis of an automated tutoring system can provide a computational model of participation in a community of practice, which produces effective professional feedback from nonplayercharacters in a STEM learning game.
Doing science requires that students learn to create evidence-based arguments (EBAs), defined as claims connected to supporting evidence via premises. In this CAREER project, I investigate how argumentation ability can be enhanced among middle school students. The project entails theoretical work, instructional design, and empirical work, and involves 3 middle schools in northern Utah and southern Idaho.
This project provides middle school students and teachers access to live scientific data from the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, and curriculum modules built around sensor networks that target core life science content and inquiry standards. This Web-based architecture allows students from ethnically diverse urban schools, typically underserved by technological innovation, to explore the same data that scientists use, and develops and evaluates fading technological and pedagogical scaffolds for inquiry as students gain competence.
CISIP is a professional development program that enables English and science teachers to help students to learn content and communicate scientifically. The CISIP program: Translates How Students Learn Science in the Classroom and Common Core State Standards for student success; targets learning within a classroom discourse community that focuses on argumentation; and takes a team of science and English teachers at schools from middle level through university who collaborate.
This project is developing a series of print and web resource guides in science and mathematics based on curriculum topic study (CTS), an approach developed and tested successfully. CTS is used to provide a systematic way of intellectually engaging K-12 mathematics and science teachers with national standards and cognitive research. It is used to engage teachers in thought and discussion about both content and appropriate ways of teaching that content.
The project draws upon intelligent tutoring and narrative-centered learning technologies to produce a suite of intelligent game-based learning environments for upper elementary school science students. The games explicitly model student knowledge and problem solving and dynamically customize feedback, advice, and explanation as appropriate. Unlike its predecessor, the platform is multi-user so it can support collaboration; offer dynamically generated feedback, advice, and explanation; and provide a pedagogical dashboard that generates student progress reports.
SmartGraphs activities run in a web browser; there is no software to download or install. SmartGraphs allows students to interact with on-screen graphs to learn about linear equations, the motion of objects, population dynamics, global warming, or other STEM topics that use scatter plots or line graphs. Teachers and students may also use and share existing activities, which are released under a Creative Commons license (see http://www.concord.org/projects/smartgraphs#curriculum).
This project helps teachers learn to use NSDL resources in ways that meaningfully affect their practice in STEM content areas while increasing their skills as designers of learning activities. The objectives of this three-year project are to: design and implement a teacher development model and STEM content development model; contribute teacher-designed learning activities to NSDL; and use evaluation and research to measure impact on teaching.
This project will investigate how complex systems concepts supported by innovative curricular resources, technology applications and a comprehensive research and development structure can assist student learning in the domain of biology by providing a unifying theme across scales of time and space. The project seeks to address four areas of critical need in STEM education: biological sciences, complex systems, computational modeling, and equal access for all.
This project conducts interdisciplinary research to advance understanding of embodied learning as it applies to STEM topics across a range of current technology-based learning environments (e.g., desktop simulations, interactive whiteboards, and 3D interactive environments). The project has two central research questions: How are student knowledge gains impacted by the degree of embodied learning and to what extent do the affordances of different technology-based learning environments constrain or support embodied learning for STEM topics?
This project develops and assesses the effectiveness of integrating three computation-based technologies into curricular modules: agent-based modeling (ABM), real-world sensing, and collaborative classroom networks. The STEM disciplines addressed are life sciences and physical sciences at middle and high school levels, specifically Evolution, Population Biology/Ecology, Kinetic Molecular Theory, and Electromagnetism.
This project is developing five web-based modules for middle school science that engage students in student-directed inquiry and provide teachers with professional development in facilitating this inquiry. These modules immerse students in virtual environments for learning (VELs) where they take on the role of scientists engaged in a complex task. The virtual settings presented in the VELs support students in designing and carrying out their own investigations.
This project builds and tests applications tied to the school curriculum that integrate the sciences with mathematics, computational thinking, reading and writing in elementary schools. The investigative core of the project is to determine how to best integrate computing across the curriculum in such a way as to support STEM learning and lead more urban children to STEM career paths.
This exploratory project seeks to understand the role that a network of tablet computers may play in elementary and middle school math and science classrooms. The study will use classroom observations, student interviews, teacher interviews and student artifacts to identify the advantages and disadvantages of these resources, understand what challenges and benefits they offer to teachers, and offer recommendations for future hardware, software, and curriculum development.
This exploratory project seeks to understand the role that a network of tablet computers may play in elementary and middle school math and science classrooms. The project uses classroom observations, student interviews, teacher interviews, and student artifacts to identify the advantages and disadvantages of these resources, to understand what challenges and benefits they offer to teachers, and to offer recommendations for future hardware, software, and curriculum development.
This project examines the first-year implementation of a program that will provide low-cost netbook computers and specialized software to fifth and sixth grade students in four schools in Southern California. The PIs collect baseline and early implementation data to determine effects of the intervention on students' academic achievement in science, academic writing in science, and interest in further STEM study.
This project designs, constructs, and field-tests a web-based, online collaborative environment for supporting the teaching and learning of inquiry-based high school physics. Based on an interactive digital workbook environment, the team is customizing the platform to include scaffolds and other supports for learning physics, fostering interaction and collaboration within the classroom, and facilitating a design-based approach to scientific experiments.
Investigations in Cyber-enabled Education (ICE) strives to provide a professional development design framework for enhancing teacher ability to provide science, technology, and math (STM) instruction for secondary students. Exploratory research will clarify ICE framework constructs and gather empirical evidence to form the basis of anticipated further research into the question: Under what circumstances can cyber-enabled collaboration between STM scientists and educators enhance teacher ability to provide STM education?
This project designs, develops and tests a digital gaming environment for high school students that fosters and measures science learning within alternate reality games about saving Earth's ecosystems. Players work together to solve scientific challenges using a broad range of tools including a centralized web-based gaming site and social networking tools, along with handheld smart-phones, and an avatar-based massively multiplayer online environment. The game requires players to contribute to a scientific knowledge building community.
The project makes use of technology to create timely, valid, and actionable reports to teachers by analyzing assessments and logs of student actions generated in the course of using computer-based curriculum materials. The reports allow teachers to make data-based decisions about alternative teaching strategies. The technology supports student collaborations and the assignment of different learning activities to groups, an essential function needed for universal design for learning (UDL).
This project enhances elementary students' engagement in and learning of science through visual communication skills using student-generated graphics in science notebooks. The products include two professional development modules for each grade level 2–5 that explicitly teach specific forms of graphical representation used in science, how these representations complement written and numeric information, and how teachers can promote the thoughtful reflection and discussion of these representations in small-group and whole-class settings.
The project investigates the use of robotics into early childhood education. It address two objectives: to develop and evaluate a low-cost, developmentally appropriate robotic construction kit specifically designed for early childhood education (PreK-2) and to pilot a robotics-based professional development model for early childhood educators to teach engineering and technology.
This study investigates the impact of the wireless environment on high school science using a purposeful sampling of schools with high implementers. Five schools will be examined and extensive data in multiple forms will be collected on each. The project uses in-depth case studies to examine context factors and critical interactions that may influence science instructional practice in wireless high school science classrooms. The study will result in an evidence-based and theoretically-grounded professional development model.
This project is focusing on the redesign of popular commercial video games to support students’ understanding of Newtonian mechanics. In support of this goal, SURGE develops and implements design principles for game-based learning environments, integrating research on conceptual change, cognitive processing-based design, and socio-cognitive scripting. These enhanced games bridge the gap between student learning in non-formal game environments and the formalized knowledge structures learned in school by leveraging and integrating the strengths of each.
This project is designing, developing, and studying an innovative model for professional development (PD) of teachers who use the Scratch computer programming environment to help their students learn computational thinking. The fundamental hypothesis of the project is that engagement in workshops and on-line activities of the ScratchEd professional development community will enhance teacher knowledge about computational thinking, their practice of design-based instruction, and their students' learning of key computational thinking concepts and habits of mind.
This project develops and researches the academic potential of a hybrid instructional model that infuses computer simulations, modeling, and educational gaming into middle school technology education programs. These prototypical materials use 3-D simulations and educational gaming to support students’ learning of STEM content and skills through developing solutions to design challenges.
This project creates materials for grades 5-8 that address and assess STEM concepts through a robotics curriculum. The curriculum addresses STEM standards through such documents as the NCTM Focal Points and the Atlas of Science Literacy. Students can use the TekBot robotics platform in three problem-based ways: building, moving, and programming. The intent is to scale up to a cyber-infrastructure that supports the national distribution and implementation of the curriculum.
This project uses green school buildings as an opportunity to involve students in STEM activities in their environment. The goal is to produce an action plan for transforming the middle school science and mathematics curriculum by rethinking the content that is taught, the ways in which students and teachers can engage effectively with that content, and the role that technology can play to ensure wide access to the data and to the new curriculum.
This research study investigates the impact of the wireless environment on high school science resulting in a professional development model that will inform professional developers, administrators, policy-makers and teachers. The project uses in-depth case studies to examine context factors (e.g. technology implementation plans, school culture, extent and type of teacher professional development and teacher background) and critical interactions that may influence science instructional practice in wireless high school science classrooms.
This project develops a series of interactive on-line games and investigates the effect these games have on increasing middle school science students' and teachers' knowledge and skills of scientific argumentation. There are four areas of argumentation addressed by the games: (1) understanding a claim, (2) judging the evidence about a claim based on type and quality (objectivity, reliability or validity), (3) analyzing the reasoning applied to the claim, and (4) evaluating the claim.
This project is designed to enhance understanding of how online professional development environments contribute to teach learning, changes in classroom practice and changes in student learning in comparison to face-to-face professional development. Using secondary school teachers learning to use a reformed-oriented environmental science curriculum, groups of teachers will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) traditional face-to-face workshop, (2)self-guided online professional development, or (3)online “short course” professional development guided by a facilitator.
The project designs and implements technologies that combine artificial intelligence in the form of intelligent tutoring systems with multimedia interfaces (i.e., an electronic science notebook and virtual labs) to support children in grades 4-5 learning science. The students use LEONARDO's intelligent virtual science notebooks to create and experiment with interactive models of physical phenomena.
This project develops video-case modules for use in pre-service teacher preparation programs. Modules target specific grade bands (K-3, 4-5, 6-8) and address standards-based content domains, to help future teachers deepen their content knowledge, pedagogic skills and ability to analyze student thinking. The cases illustrate reform classroom practices and more traditional instruction, include interviews with teachers and students, and incorporate a set of analytic tasks that promote users' critical observations of the cases.