New NSF Grant to Promote CS4All Implementation

Happy to announce that I have received a new NSF grant in collaboration with CSNYC/CS4All Consortium (PI Leigh Ann DeLyser). We’ll be developing research practice partnerships between NYU, CSNYC and rural/suburban districts in upstate New York, to prototype strategies for better implementation of computer science for all.

The history of policy implementation in K-12 schools is full of cases of failed implementation of new curriculum and technology. In this project, we are designing and testing strategies for teams of K-12 educators to create more robust visions, implementation plans, and partnerships to ensure successful CS4All implementation. We will also be developing practical measures so districts and educators can track how well-aligned their implementations are to achieve success.

New Grant to study Informal Learning Orgs

We’re excited to be awarded a ~$330,000 grant from the Susan Crown Exchange. We are developing a partnership with 8, innovative, out-of-school learning programs that are using digital media to engage young people in computing, making, and other domains.

Our project will explore the best practices of these learning organizations, and better define the types of skills and literacies that learners develop in these settings, as they connect to future pathways in education and career.

Serving on CHI 2017 Program Committee

I’m honored to be serving on the CHI 2017 Program Committee as an Associate Chair this year. CHI is the premier publication venue in the field of Human-Computer Interaction, and this is my 2nd year serving as an AC to make paper decisions. The past two years I have been working to promote and encourage more learning sciences and technology research in the CHI community, so I’m excited to join in on the paper review and decision-making process again this year.

AERA Open article in top 5 most read

I was pleasantly happy to find out that my recent article in AERA Open was among the top 5 most read in the journal. The paper was the first to come out of a research-practice partnership with the DC Public Schools, and was our first analysis of their adoption of math software.

Awarded New NSF DR-K12 Grant

Excited to announce that I was awarded a new NSF Grant. The project is in collaboration with University of Washington, Vanderbilt University, and University of California-Riverside. My Co-PIs include Kara Jackson, Paul Cobb, Erin Henrick, Thomas Smith, and Marsha Ing.

In the project will create research-practice partnerships with 5 school districts across the country, where our team will work with instructional coaches and middle school math teachers to improve their pedagogical practices. Within this context, we are focusing on creating valid “practical measures” to help teachers understand and reflect on their practice, and inform future decisions.

My role in the project is to help design interactive data visualizations and data collection mechanisms, so that teachers can engage with these practical measures quickly and effectively. I’m excited for this $5 million project (approximately $1 million is NYU’s portion of the project).

Youth & Minecraft: Paper Published in Games and Culture

There is a great deal of excitement around engaging young people in the game Minecraft, and deservedly so. Minecraft is an incredibly rich game world that promotes creativity and creation as young people build worlds on their own and with friends. Numerous projects are now utilizing Minecraft to provide rich learning experiences for kids.

However, we know little about how youth experience and learn in Minecraft – particularly those from under-represented groups. What are their experiences and what can we learn about using Minecraft in equitable ways? As recent events such as Gamergate suggest, there are still stark dangers for groups such as female gamers, and gamers of color, within broader gamer cultures.

I’m happy to share a recent study we published, led by my great doctoral student, Anthony Pellicone, in Games and Culture. We present an ethnography of an adolescent, low-income, African-American youth who has become an avid Minecraft player, producer, and server admin. We show how he stitches his experience together across numerous platforms and affinity spaces, with Skype being a core technology in his practices… but we also document how deep issues of race, class, and gender are prominent in his Minecraft experience – and could offer stark obstacles for young people of color, female gamers, and other under-represented groups from learning and benefitting from this rich game.

Check out the online first article here:

And the PDF here