People

Shawn

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Course Data

My research interest is in understanding how social media, as a type of informal learning, could be leveraged in formal learning settings like the traditional high school classroom. I seek to understand the ways in which adolescents leverage social media to enhance their creativity, make learning meaningful, and connect with the real world. On the last note, I want to explore whether intentional design for social media can be used to facilitate greater civic engagement, specifically in how adolescents construct their new actualizing norms of citizenship, which then is sustained through adulthood, specifically for underrepresented populations.
Aric

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Ying

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My research interests lie in the pedagogical design and development of technology-enhanced learning environments for second language (L2) education. More specifically, I am interested in the affordances and constraints of technology-enhanced learning environments, especially online/hybrid classes and virtual worlds, for L2 learners’ development of language proficiency as well as pragmatic competence in intercultural communication. At the present stage of postmodern globalization, the ability to communicate across languages and across cultures becomes more and more important as well as valuable. However, successful communication does not only require accuracy in the use of linguistic forms, but also appropriate use of these linguistic forms in any given context. This has post new challenges to foreign language education. Due to the temporal and spatial constrains of traditional foreign language classrooms, it is still hard for L2 students to have a fully embodied learning experience in an authentic language environment. Therefore, my research aims to inform the design of technology-rich learning environments to optimize learners’ L2 learning experience. In addition, by transforming L2 learning experience with technology, my research carries a further goal to contribute to the theories of L2 learning, especially adult L2 learning in foreign language contexts.
Eileen

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My research interest lies in teaching for understanding in the high school mathematics classroom--specifically, in how discussion and discovery centric teaching and learning models facilitate deeper understanding. I seek to create and examine learning environments that increase the demand on the use of mathematical language with online written communication tools, as it affords the opportunity to make more explicit the application of mathematical language in students’ developing understanding. Specifically, exploring the effects of dehumanizing peer-to-peer interactions by utilizing blended and online learning models as an opportunity for creating such constraints is my area of focus.
Paul

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My research focuses on the work of teaching, with an emphasis on how teachers develop knowledge, beliefs, identity, and practice in the context of their work. I am particularly interested in factors that support teachers' learning and enactment of mathematical teaching practices, and in the ways school culture and policy can support teacher change. Drawing from a perspective grounded in situated learning and constructivism, my research aims to help mathematics teachers develop a reflective practice that centers on the cultivation of meaning-making opportunities in the classroom. To this end, I study the design and outcomes of professional learning for teachers that is situated within their communities of work.
Phil

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I am interested in issues of broadening participation of underrepresented students in computer science. Groups that are underrepresented under this definition include women, African-­American and Hispanic students primarily. Specifically, I am interested in mitigating the environmental effect of face-to-face classrooms on underrepresented students. In particular, I am examining the use of peer evaluation in online introductory computer science courses to increase student self-efficacy in computer programming.
Anna

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I am interested in the use of technology in facilitating science learning progressions. I want to explore the relationship between data collection/aggregation and students’ ability to abstract generalized science principles from place-bound observations and experiences. This may assist teachers in designing ideal online or classroom learning environments for students with varying cultural backgrounds and different experiences of the natural world. Technology can connect students who are in disparate locations and mediate their interactions so they all have access to the same wealth of accumulated global data. I am particularly interested in how this may inform the constructivist/connectivist/heutagogical perspectives of science teaching.
Jessica

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My research interest focuses on how absenteeism impacts special education identification and service delivery. I am specifically interested in exploring whether and how often students who qualify for special education services have concurrent chronic absence problems, and whether intervening with chronic absence could prevent misidentification for some students (e.g., students who are suspected of having Specific Learning Disabilities). Furthermore, I would like to investigate the impact of a variety of attendance interventions with students currently in special education to see how increased access to needed services affects students academic growth, behavioral skills, school engagement, and other factors.
Bret

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I am interested in the Internet and social capital. More specifically, I am interested in the extent to which digital affinity spaces (e.g. online videogames, Twitter hashtags, fan forums, podcasts, and YouTube channels) afford and constrain social capital among youth and young adults. For this immediate research proposal, I plan to study the moderating effects of digital affinity spaces on the relationship between bridging social capital and informal learning. Affinity spaces are gathering places whose gravity is first and foremost the endeavor or interest around which the space is organized (Gee, 2004). These spaces begin with content, something for the space to be about; whatever gives the spaces content Gee called a generator. Once a generator is running, the space may be looked at directly in terms of content or indirectly in terms of interactions (how people engage with the content or with each other over the content (Gee, 2004). Affinity spaces have been shown to exhibit what Granovetter called “the strength of weak ties” (as cited in Williams, 2006, p. 597), the loose associations across diverse networks helpful for gaining resources not available in more immediate social circles. These weak ties across diverse networks are the essential features of bridging social capital (Lin, 1999). Digital affinity spaces are associated with engagement interest networks that happen to gather online, influencing participation in information exchange, empathetic exchange, virtual respite, and sense of community (Natriello, 2015). This engagement is associated with bridging social capital behaviors such as generalized reciprocity (giving without expecting something back), meeting new people, hospitality to newcomers, mentoring beginners, empathy and subsequent compassion toward strangers, and increased social engagement of individuals who score high on the Big 5 personality trait of introversion.
Cary

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My research examines the way the presence of others (e.g., peers, teachers) affects academic achievement, motivation, and social relations (e.g., cooperation, competition, conflict resolution, aggression).
Matthew Koehler

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In my research, I seek to understand the pedagogical affordances (and constraints) of newer technologies for learning, specifically in the context of the professional development of teachers, and in the design of technology-rich and innovated learning environments for adults and children.
Josh

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My research activities are driven by an interest in the interactions of reasoning with data and children’s engagement in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In particular, I study students’ motivational and cognitive processes in science content areas. Leveraging my background as a science teacher, I also investigate how teachers integrate technology into their instructional practice and professional learning.
Colin

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Course Data

My research considers the intersection of education and attentional control. More specifically, I consider the learning affects - through the lens of student focus and student distraction - of hypermedia technologies in scholastic environments. As part of this research, I consider curriculum design, classroom management, student self-regulation, special education, and environmental antecedents/factors.