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August 2012

Please join me in welcoming Sadhbh Warren to the STL team, as Network Co-ordinator. Sadhbh will be providing much-needed organisational and administrative backup for the network. Many of you will know Sadhbh from her role in helping organise the International Conference of the Learning Sciences here in Sydney last month. Sadhbh will also be working on communications and profile-raising for the network, drawing on her background in media & her gift with words.

For those of you with the misfortune of not being able to read Irish, Sadhbh rhymes with 'Five' and if you don't know your Irish history, then I should tell you that Sadhbh was the wife of Fionn mac Cumhail - who built the Giant's Causeway and whose cave on the island of Staffa was such an inspiration for Felix Mendelssohn.

The Computer-Human Adapted Interaction group, CHAI, invite you to a demonstration of their Multi-touch Classroom 2.0.

On Thursday 6th CHAI will demo their vision of a possible “classroom of the future” and deliver a short talk about their research goals. CHAI research explores how teachers can benefit from using interactive tabletops in their classrooms, and hopes to provide teachers with a minimalist control tool to help them orchestrate classroom activities more efficiently through interactive tabletops. The second aim is to provide visual indicators about groups’ activities that can help teachers improve their awareness on the groups’ collaborative processes and possible problems.

Following R&D, a multi-tabletop classroom was arranged at CHAI to enact a number of authentic classroom sessions. They designed a classroom with 4 interactive tabletops, a wall projector and a number of sensors to bring into life a vision of a possible classroom of the future. This classroom will be used during tutorials of an undergraduate Management subject in Week 6 of this semester.

  • When: Thursday, September 6th from 13.00 to 13:45
  • Where: Room 124 (Boardroom), Level 1, School of Information Technologies
  • Who: Roberto Martinez, Kalina Yacef and Judy Kay, in collaboration with Yannis Dimitriadis and Maresa Edbauer
  • More information on the classroom here.

The Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies at the Open University of the Netherlands (CELSTEC) together with the Humanities Lab (Sweden) are hosting this year’s EARLI Advanced Study Colloquium (ASC) on "Using eye tracking to design and evaluate education & training methods". They have lined up interesting paired presentations on the methodological aspects of eye tracking and topics in educational psychology (expertise development, mental effort, instructional design). These presentations will take place on Tuesday, 4 September (9:00 – 14:30) and Wednesday, 5 September (9:00 – 12:00) Central European Time.

All interested people are welcome to join the sessions virtually as they will be streamed in real-time. Go to CELSTEC-ASC2012 (here you can also watch the presentations later on)

During the live session you may also post any questions that you may have to the presenters via twitter using the following hashtags: #CELSTEC #ASC2012

Prof. dr. Paul A. Kirschner | Program Chair

Good news from Dorian Peters and Rafael Calvo - Dorian has a contract with New Riders/Peachpit Press for a book on "Interface Design for Learning". If you're interested in more information on the topic or updates, you can visit her blog at eLearningInterfaceDesign.com or give her a tweet at @dorian_peters.

Dorian and Rafael also have a new contract with MIT Press for a book titled "Positive Computing: Technology for a better world". For more on this emerging area of investigation, you can visit the resource hub at www.PositiveComputing.org or follow the feed: @Positive_Comp.

They are very interested in perspectives and feedback in these areas, so please feel free to contact them.

Congratulations to Fiona Chatteur, PhD completed under the supervision of Andy Dong (with a little help from Peter Goodyear). Fiona's thesis is called "Design for Pedagogy Patterns for E-Learning".

Congratulations also to Shannon Kennedy-Clark, who has been awarded a PhD (with a few little emendations) for her thesis: "Collaborative Game-Based Inquiry Learning in Science Education: an Investigation into the Design of Materials and Teacher Education Programs" Shannon's PhD was supervised by Michael Jacobson and Peter Reimann.

Nino Aditomo is about to submit his PhD thesis on "Preservice Primary Teachers’ Science Epistemology: Coherence and Consistency of Beliefs Across Contexts" (supervised by Peter Reimann and Peter Goodyear)

and so is Karen Scott: "Change in University Teachers' E-Learning Beliefs and Practices" (supervised by Peter Goodyear and Mary Jane Mahoney).

ICLS2012_logo.gifThe 2012 ICLS conference, Sydney was a great success - several blog entries discuss personal experiences (here, here, here, here, and here). There are numerous photos to explore, and the keynote addresses are now available.

Dr. Beat Schwendimann gave a talk at IISME titled "Why is evolution so hard to understand?" (http://proto-knowledge.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/why-is-evolution-so-hard-to-understand.html).

You can find the slides of the talk here: http://proto-knowledge.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/why-is-evolution-so-hard-to-understand.html

Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (The 18th UniServe Science Conference)
Wednesday 26th to Friday 28th September 2012 at the University of Sydney

Teaching and Learning Standards - What does a standard mean to you?

Further details

The Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) organises its inaugural SoLAR Southern Flare in Sydney, UTS, 29-30 November 2012. For details see Conference website

Recent Educause special issue is also dedicated to the Learning analytics.

The latest issue (Vol33 No2) of Distance Education has just been published. It's a special issue on Open Educational Resources and Social Inclusion, guest edited by Gráinne Conole (University of Leicester, UK).

Gráinne will be visiting us again in November. Her book Designing for learning in an open world will be published by Springer next year.

On Wednesday 8th August, I had the opportunity to give the first CoCo seminar of the semester on socio-environmental synthesis education (to watch the adobe connect recording, click here). Two months ago, I was invited to give a plenary presentation at a workshop at SESYNC, the latest synthesis centre funded by the National Science Foundation. Synthesis centres bring interesting people together in order to learn about new ideas and establish networks and partnerships around a common theme. The first workshop on SES education was an intense two days including twelve presentations, three break outs, and a poster session, followed by an additional day of project planning.

The CoCo seminar was a great opportunity for me to unpack and organize some of what I learned over those three days, and start to apply it to developments in the learning sciences, the STL network, and the laureate team. These included issues of data sharing (see how the ecologists make data sets available to anyone), actionable science, and planning for multi-disciplinary teams coming together to do research, in terms of structuring projects as well as the facilities which afford such collaborative work.

Some interesting projects that may come of this include my inclusion in the teaching study as an adviser, the inclusion of some special projects for Masters of Sustainability students on the education pathway, and a mapping exercise of research from the learning sciences as it applies to synthesis education.

The Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education announces a seminar

"Why is Evolution so hard to understand?".

Wednesday 15 August 2012 4:30-5:30pm

presented by Beat Schwendimann, Postdoctoral Research Associate, CoCo Research Centre, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney

Abstract

Many students leave school with a fragmented understanding of biology, which prohibits them from connecting scientific ideas to their everyday lives. Especially one of the core ideas of biology, the theory of evolution, has been found difficult to understand as it incorporates a wide range of ideas from different areas and often gets in conflict with existing contradictory ideas learners' bring to the classroom. Dr. Schwendimann developed an evolution curriculum, "Gene Pool Explorer", using the web-based inquiry science environment (WISE) that combines concept mapping and guided inquiry activities. The WISE curriculum used an example from human evolution as a case study. This talk will discuss the challenges of teaching and learning the theory of evolution and present findings from implementing the WISE "Gene Pool Explorer" curriculum in authentic science classroom environments.

Dr. Beat A. Schwendimann is a postdoctoral research associate in the Laureate Fellowship team at CoCo. He conducted his Ph.D. as a Fulbright Scholar in science education research at the University of California, Berkeley. After receiving his master degree in biology from the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), he worked for several years as a science educator in Switzerland, USA, and India. Dr. Schwendimann was a research fellow at the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning of Science (TELS) where he developed an evolution curriculum using the web-based inquiry science environment (WISE), dynamic simulations, and different forms of concept maps. He is interested in how different forms of knowledge visualizations can support collaborative construction of connections between scientific concepts. His research interests include science education, technology-supported learning environments, inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, and knowledge visualizations.

Details: Wednesday 15 August 2012, 4:30-5:30pm. Please join us for refreshments from 4pm.

New Law School Annexe Seminar Room 346, University of Sydney (main campus),



Our colleagues at FSU have produced a great new paper on the educational value of 'design thinking'.

What Is Design Thinking and Why Is It Important?
Rim Razzouk, Valerie Shute

http://rer.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/08/08/0034654312457429.abstract

Read more...

Michael Jacobson, co-director of CoCo, is giving a keynote at the International Conference on Technology Promoting Educational Innovation, at Tsinghua University, Beijing, 11th August. More details.

Read more...

Stellan Ohlsson is Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Chicago and is a Visiting Researcher in the Sydney Sciences and Technologies of Learning (STL) network.

In the following piece, Stellan reflects on the genius of George Miller, who died recently.

Read more...

Some useful upcoming events for those who are interested in Educational Data Mining
SoLAR Flare Practitioner’s Conference: Using Analytics to Create Real Solutions for Real Problems
Purdue University, October 1-3, 2012
URL: http://www.solaresearch.org/flare/purdue2012/

10-th School on Data Mining: An intensive 3-day introduction to methods and applications
Department of Knowledge Engineering, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands October 22 - October 24, 2012

URL: http://www.unimaas.nl/datamining/

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Research by the University's Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI).
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