Technology & Learning

New Projects Build Capacity for Online Learning

Conference brochure cover

EDC continues to help organizations around the country build capacity through online learning. This spring, our EdTech Leaders Online program kicked off three new projects and prepared to host its 8th Annual Online Learning Institute at the 33rd Annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in San Diego.

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Mary Fries

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Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

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Mary Fries

First name: 

Mary

Last name: 

Fries

Affiliation/Organization: 

EDC

Bio: 

Mary Fries, a highly skilled instructional designer and professional developer, brings expertise in mathematics education, including teaching, leadership, professional development, and curriculum planning and design. Her work reflects her commitment to designing resources and interventions that address “Mathematics Trauma” and seek to close opportunity gaps in mathematics education that serve to perpetuate racism.

Fries is a web and content developer and researcher on the Beauty and Joy of Computing project, which is adapting a University of California, Berkeley introductory computer science course into a high school AP Computer Science Principles course with the goal of helping diverse students enjoy and succeed at computer science. 

Fries is also the lead developer for the iPuzzle project, a two-year research and development initiative funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that is creating apps for users to play, build, and share arithmetic and algebraic puzzles. The project’s first app is SolveMe Mobiles. She has also contributed to EDC’s Implementing the Mathematical Practice Standards online resource for educators.

Recently, Fries coauthored EDC’s Transition to Algebra (TTA) curriculum published by Heinemann. TTA provides a full year of student and teacher materials that support struggling learners in enjoying and succeeding in algebra class. She is also the coauthor of Making Sense of Algebra: Developing Students' Mathematical Habits of Mind, a professional book that describes the teaching and learning principles espoused in TTA.  Fries provides TTA professional development for teachers around the country, and shares her work at the annual conferences of leading organizations such as the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 

Before joining EDC, Fries served as the dean of mathematics, science, and technology at Windham High School in Windham, NH; as a board member and curriculum committee chair of the Academy for Science and Design Charter in Merrimack, NH; and as a member of the Windham Initiative for Renewable Energy.

Fries holds a BS in Mathematics through Mary Baldwin College’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, an MA in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a CAGS in Mathematics Education from Boston University. 

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Curriculum/Instructional Design Associate

Program: 

Science and Mathematics Programs

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2710

New Resource for STEM Education Professionals

The ITEST National STEM Learning Resource Center launched a new STEM Education Instrument Database that shares the collective knowledge of ITEST projects with the STEM education community. Developed by EDC's Alyssa Na’im, Enrique Colón-Bacó, and Dot Wheeler, the database includes publically available, externally validated instruments that measure 18 individual constructs, categorized in five domains.

The database describes the constructs the instruments measure, details the instruments’ validity and reliability, and, in some cases, provides links to the instruments.

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Immersive Learning for Teacher Professional Development

Sun, 04/01/2012

Author(s): 

Mary Burns

One of the most emergent and rapidly mutating forms of online and computer-based learning is "immersive environments." As its name suggests, an immersive environment allows learners to be totally "immersed" in a self-contained artificial or simulated environment while experiencing it as real. Immersive environments can offer learners rich and complex content-based learning while also helping learners hone their technical, creative, and problem-solving skills. Because immersive environments are so rich and visual, users tend to be highly engaged.

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Using the History of Science in the Physics Classroom

Mon, 01/02/2006

Author(s): 

Christine Brown

This product contains specific resources and suggestions for how the history of science might be integrated into an introductory physics classroom. Features include annotated lists of links to Web resources on the history of physics, using the history of science in teaching, and historical entries that have been created to align both to standards and students' sense of curiosity and interest.

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Computational Thinking for Youth White Paper

Tue, 06/15/2010

Author(s): 

Walt Allan, Foundation for Blood Research; Bob Coulter, Missouri Botanical Garden; Jill Denner, ETR Associates;
Jeri Erickson, Foundation for Blood Research; Irene Lee, Santa Fe Institute; Joyce Malyn-Smith, ITEST LRC at EDC; Fred Martin, University of Massachusetts Lowell

The authors describe what computational thinking (CT) looks like when practiced by youth in ITEST and other NSF-funded programs and explore how educators can support growth in computational thinking. The paper includes examples of CT as observed in middle school projects and shares observations in the form of a model that describes three stages that youth appear to progress through as their computational thinking skills evolve. The paper was prepared by The ITEST Small Working Group on Computational Thinking.

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Length: 

15 pp.

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Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Portable Wordplay Final Report

Thu, 03/01/2012

Author(s): 

Cornelia Brunner, Katherine McMillan Culp, Jay Bachhuber, Jeffrey Nelson, John Parris, Andrea Rizzo

This report presents findings from the conceptualization, design, development, and field-testing of Portable Wordplay, two digital games and related curricular materials for middle grade classrooms. The games and materials were designed to support the growth of students’ knowledge of multiple meaning, high frequency academic vocabulary.

students playing game

Length: 

10 pp.

Publication Type: 

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

ITEST Hosts 9th Annual Online Summit

The National Science Foundation established the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers Program to respond to concerns about the shortage of professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to seek solutions to help ensure the breadth and depth of the STEM workforce.
 

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Ashley Lewis Presser

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Ashley Lewis Presser

First name: 

Ashley

Last name: 

Lewis Presser

Bio: 

Ashley Lewis Presser leads education research that has a special focus on investigating the effectiveness of preschool math and science interventions and develops assessments for children. She brings expertise in conducting quasi-experimental and randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies and has conducted RCTs on several projects, including Next Generation Preschool Math, Big Math for Little Kids, and Possible Worlds Digital Games. Her research interests include technology integration into classrooms, comprehension within various media formats, the evaluation of after-school and STEM programs, the impact of domestic violence on children's development, the moral development of gifted students, and the symbolic understanding of young children.

Lewis Presser is the Principal Investigator of Finding Our Way Around, a Heising-Simons Foundation-funded initiative to design resources for families that feature digital and hands-on activities to promote children’s understanding of spatial ideas and prepare them for success in mathematics. She also leads Next Generation Preschool Math, an R&D initiative to develop and evaluate supplemental preschool math modules that integrate digital games and non-digital classroom activities to promote young children’s learning of foundational mathematics concepts. These games are now available for free in Apple’s Appstore and the curriculum guides are available online for public use. As a member of the Next Generation Preschool Science team, she is contributing to an R&D initiative to develop and evaluate a program to promote young children’s learning of key science practices and concepts.

With a long track record of leading successful projects that focus on student learning outcomes, Lewis Presser is currently leading a formative and summative evaluation of Side x Side Project Imagine, a K-5 comprehensive arts integration pilot program in a public elementary school, As the project director for the Big Math for Little Kids evaluation, she contributed to a longitudinal RCT that investigated the impact of the curriculum on young children’s mathematics knowledge after experiencing it during both the preschool and kindergarten years. In research that built on EDC’s work as a National R&D Center on Instructional Technology, Lewis Presser worked with a team that investigated how representational choices made in the design of digital games for learning influenced student engagement with core science concepts. And, she and colleagues studied how educators used and implemented PBS LearningMedia resources and assessed how the resources impacted classroom practices, quality of instruction, and student learning. She also led a formative and summative evaluation of GreenFab,  a project-based, hands-on approach to teaching STEM concepts to high-school students that features a focus on career development in the emergent field of sustainable technologies.

Lewis Presser is the lead author of peer reviewed articles, such as “Big Math for Little Kids: The Effectiveness of a Preschool and Kindergarten Mathematics Curriculum” (Early Education and Development).  In addition, she has co-authored chapters published in Handbook of Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood and 21st Century Education: A Reference Handbook. She presents her research at national conferences such as the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, the Interaction Design & Children Conference, and the National Head Start Research Conference.

Before joining EDC, Lewis Presser worked as a research assistant at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. In addition to her research experience, she has extensive experience teaching both graduate and undergraduate students.  

Lewis Presser earned a BS in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and an MA and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Scientist

Program: 

Center for Children and Technology

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Telephone: 

212-807-4264

Daniel Light

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Daniel Light

First name: 

Daniel

Last name: 

Light

Bio: 

Daniel Light focuses his research on the issues of school reform, social media, and the networked world, as well as technology-enhanced education across school systems both in the U.S. and internationally. He brings expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to his leadership of studies that seek to identify new strategies to improve outcomes for students, particularly those in under-resourced communities.

Light is currently coordinating the evaluation of a Sesame Workshop program on financial empowerment in India, China, Mexico, Brasil, Egypt, Chile and Bangladesh. Light is also the PI of an NSF-funded study, TwISLE (Twitter and Informal Science Learning and Engagement), that is examining the role of social media in public science discourse. To date, much of the existing literature on social media tools, such as Twitter, has involved quantitative analysis of the number of followers and has focused on the volume, rather than the nature, of the communication. In contrast, EDC's study will examine how the public understands and uses information shared by respected science institutions via social media.

Over the past 15 years, Light has led extensive research on the introduction of technology and pedagogical reform in schools throughout the developing world. He has done field research in schools in many countries, including Bosnia, Canada, China, India (Growing Changes: An Indian Case Study of Transforming Learning with Technology), Jordan, Macedonia, Russia (read a related blog post), Turkey, and Vietnam. In 2015, the United Nations' State of the World's Children 2015 report featured a chapter written by Light, and he recently authored a chapter based on his research ("Multiple Paths to the 21st Century: National Responses to Enhancing Education with ICTs in Chile, India, and Turkey") published in the book Transforming Education: Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications.  

Light has been particularly involved in studying the use of educational technologies in Latin American countries (Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Peru) and has shared this work in the book Las TIC en las aulas. Experiencias latinoamericanas (ICT in the Classroom: Experiences from Latin America), in journals such as Policy Futures in Education (An Educational Revolution to Support Change in the Classroom"), and at international conferences. In 2016, Light was an invited speaker at the Communicative Figurations Conference in Bremen, Germany; the International Conference of Education, Research, and Innovatoin in Seville, Spain; and the IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies in Athens, Greece.

His research in the U.S. has encompassed a broad range of topics, including comprehensive systems of learning supports, innovative models of high school education, technology integration, the evaluation of youth development and school-to-work programs, the design of technology-related needs assessment instruments, impact studies of technology use with students, and the role of guidance counseling in helping students plan for the future. He has published this work extensively in case studies, reports, and articles, including: Rebuilding for Learning (Gainesville, GA case study); Integrating Web 2.0 Tools Into the Classroom: Changing the Culture of Learning); and "Principals for Web 2.0 Success" (Learning & Leading with Technology). (Visit ResearchGate and Academia.edu to view all of Light's publications.)

He received an MA in International Affairs from Carleton University, Canada, an MA in Sociology and Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research, and a PhD in Sociology from the New School for Social Research. 

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Scientist

Program: 

Center for Children and Technology

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Telephone: 

212-807-4223

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