Awarded Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Grant

I was recently awarded a 2-year, $400,000 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences with my Co-PI John Rice in the District of Columbia Public Schools. We will be developing a partnership to explore DCPS’ recent investments to implement blended learning to improve student learning. My greatest excitement is having the opportunity to blend research and practice, and hopefully make a positive impact on students in Washington, DC.

AC’ing for CHI 2016!

Happy to announce that I’ve been asked to be an Associate Chair for CHI 2016. I’ll be excited to meet some great scholars, see how the paper review process works from the inside, and hopefully help some great papers at the intersection of education, learning, and HCI get some exposure at CHI.

If you’re working on a CHI paper in these areas, submit them to the Specific Application Areas subcommittee: See here.

Invited talk at Affinity Spaces & STEM Learning Workshop

I’ll be giving an invited talk at a workshop in Madison, WI, on July 6, 2015 (before the Games, Learning, and Society conference). The talk will be for a group of scholars who are convening a future research agenda about affinity spaces and STEM learning.

I’ll be talking about my work in the Sci-Dentity, Alternate Reality Games, and Science Everywhere projects where we are working to understand how young people engage with new media and learning, and develop identity through these activities.

CIRCL Center Interview

I was recently interviewed by The Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL). They are an organization that aims to communicate cyberlearning research to the public and enhance the effectiveness of our projects (I’ve had two projects funded by NSF Cyberlearning).

A big thanks to CIRCL for inviting me for an interview to share some of my work and the things I’m thinking about these days. Take a look to learn more about what I’m doing!

Legislative Briefing: K-12 Online Education in MD

I’m doing my first briefing to the Maryland state legislature (General Assembly) on Feb 4. I’ll be briefing state policymakers on lessons learned in my research on K-12 online education and learning technologies, and setting policy to better implement these options in the coming years. I’m excited to be able to translate some of the work I’m currently doing to hopefully impact how policymakers think about this topic.


New Publication! Using social media for science learning

My colleagues and I wrote a paper that will appear in a future issue of Learning, Media, and Technology. In the paper, we document our work  designing a social media app called ScienceKit for children. In the app children document and share their everyday life (just as they would using tools such as Instagram etc.), but in the process of sharing see their life through a lens of scientific inquiry. We also document the amazing work by co-author Dr. Tammy Clegg in designing a program called Kitchen Chemistry (KC) where children learn scientific inquiry through cooking.

What happens when we combine these two ideas – social media in a life relevant learning environment like KC? We feel that some magic can occur by thoughtfully combining technology and curriculum, and we present some case studies to show how.

Take a look at the pre-publication manuscript here: LINK.

CSCW 2015 Paper: P2PU and fostering open education

I led a paper with Sarah Webster (HCI Masters Student) and Dr. Brian Butler that was recently accepted to the CSCW 2015 conference! In the paper we examine the phenomenon of entirely user-generated, open education communities through a study of P2PU. Our paper uses log data from P2PU to show how fostering peer to peer collaboration and helping participants gain experience in open education settings are the critical factors needed to cultivate course developers (or peers who take on the task of creating more courses for others). You can read a draft of the paper here: PDF.

Reviewed “It’s Complicated” and “The App Generation” for JoCAM

Vicky Rideout invited me to write a book review for the Journal of Children and Media this past year, on two recent, high profile books that deal with issues of digital youth. I’m happy to report that the book review is out, and I believe is fully available for download for the public. Please check it out here:

Ahn, J. (2014). Book Review – It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens; The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World. Journal of Children and Media8(3), 313-316.