Technology & Learning

Using Digital Games to Engage Students in Historical Thinking

Wed, 11/30/2011

Author(s): 

Bill Tally and Jim Diamond discuss the ways in which digital history games can capture students' imaginations and engage them in historical thinking.

Jim Diamond

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A State for Excellence: New Jersey Boosts Learning Power with Online Video Resources

Mon, 10/31/2011

Author(s): 

Victoria Duff, Wendy Sauer, Sonia Caus Gleason

New Jersey is using Success at the Core to enhance professional development for teachers. The authors describe the state's experiences with the online professional learning tool kit and its strategies to improve instruction and strengthen leadership teams.

JSD Cover

Length: 

4 pp.

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Evaluation of Breakthrough America's 2049 Game

Sat, 10/01/2011

Author(s): 

Jim Diamond, Cornelia Brunner

The report presents findings from the evaluation of the alternate-reality game America 2049. Produced by Breakthrough, America 2049 is set in a dystopian future in which the U.S. is on the verge of breaking apart because of an inability to tolerate diversity and promote human rights. The evaluation investigated the game’s effectiveness as a tool to mobilize real-world action around the issues players confront in the game.

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Length: 

50 pp.

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ICT in the Classroom: Latin American Experiences

Mon, 08/29/2011

Author(s): 

ICT in the Classroom: Latin American Experiences (Las Tic en las Aulas: Experiencias Latinoamericanas), coauthored by CCT’s Daniel Light, was published by Editorial Paidós in Buenos Aires on Aug. 29. (ICT means Information and Communication Technologies.) “The book is a collaborative effort of all five authors,” Light says.

cover of book

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Technology & Learning

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Technology will never replace teachers. Instead, tech tools can play a key role in helping educators enrich, extend, and reinforce learning. EDC studies and invents new ways to weave technology into instructional design to deepen learners’ understanding, build skills, and track progress. Our goal is to help inform families, teachers, program leaders, and policymakers as they seek tools and resources to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for learners of all ages.

Integrating Technology with Student-Centered Learning

Thu, 09/01/2011

Author(s): 

Babette Moeller, Tim Reitzes

This report, prepared by EDC for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, points to concerns about the technology readiness of adolescent learners for college and work and identifies effective ways to use technology to personalize a student's learning experience and prepare him or her for the future. The authors discuss computer- and Web-based tools, applications, and games, as well as video and technology associated with mechanical and electrical engineering. 

cover of issue

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77pp

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Rebecca Carey

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Rebecca Carey

First name: 

Rebecca

Last name: 

Carey

Bio: 

Rebecca Carey provides leadership and management on large- and small-scale contracts and grants for research and evaluation projects at EDC. She brings experience in educational research, with a focus on collaborative research, and program evaluation, including randomized controlled trials of models of online professional development.

Carey is a Project Director for the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. She oversees a large portfolio of education research studies and technical assistance activities in response to the needs of state and local education agencies across the region. She manages partner relationships and research staff to create relevant, responsive, and rigorous responses to education research questions as well as events bringing researchers and practitioners together to discuss bridging research findings into policy and practice.  She is also the EDC-based Project Director for i3 Implementation Technical Assistance which provides assistance to i3 grantees across the nation in both one on one TA and in communities.

She works with Westat, American Institute of Research, WestEd, Education Consultant Associates, Chesapeake Research Associates and Nimble Assessments, and she has worked closely with the Louisiana Department of Education to provide ongoing evaluation support to its Virtual Academy.

Carey recently coauthored "Scaling Up Evidence-Based Practices: Strategies from Investing in Innovation." She is coauthor of “Developing a Coherent Research Agenda: Lessons from the REL Northeast & Islands Research Agenda Workshops, as well as several publications on virtual education, including “Online Courses for Math Teachers: Comparing Self-Paced and Facilitated Cohort Approaches”; “A Study of the Effectiveness of the Louisiana Algebra I Online Course”; “Comparing Self-paced and Cohort-based Online Courses for Teachers"; “Face-to-Face and Online Professional Development for Mathematics Teachers: A Comparative Study.” She also produced The Reinventing Education Change Toolkit, an online resource for schools and districts undertaking systemic change. She was a peer reviewer for The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment.

Before joining EDC, Carey was an organization change consultant for IBM, working with corporate and education clients and overseeing the creation of The Change Toolkit. She was also a high school history teacher.

Carey received a BA from Vassar College and an EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Project Director

Program: 

Research, Evaluation, and Policy

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2892

Sarita Pillai

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Sarita Pillai

First name: 

Sarita

Last name: 

Pillai

Bio: 

Sarita Pillai, an expert in effective strategies to broaden students' participation in STEM learning and careers, leads national resource centers that advance innovative R&D and deepen understanding of effective strategies to enhance the quality and equity of STEM education. She specializes in forming and sustaining strong communities of practice focused on improving STEM education and designing powerful technology-based resources that help engage and interest youth in STEM.

Pillai is the Principal Investigator of the NSF's STEM Learning and Research Center at EDC, which deepens the impact of the national ITEST program through technical support, dissemination, and outreach to better prepare a diverse, skilled, and innovative STEM workforce. She is the co-PI of the Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL), and she is the co-PI of an NSF-funded initiative to lead a four day workshop at EDC headquarters in Waltham, Mass. that will engage renown researchers, K-12 educators, and disciplinary scientists in identifying effective strategies to support K-12 students’ computational thinking.

With her colleagues, Pillai has designed successful participatory design approaches to engaging underrepresented youth in STEM learning and future careers by placing them at the center of design and development efforts. She drew upon this approach to collaborate with middle schoolers to develop a series of math and science virtual learning experiences as part of the Middle School Portal project. She also used the approach to partner with teenage girls, who served as primary content producers for a series of Web-based videos on science and engineering careers (Girls Communicating Career Connections) and to facilitate the design of the youth-developed FunWorks science career exploration digital library. (Read a 2016 blog post by Pillai.)

Pillai is the coauthor of the report Next Generation STEM Learning For All (2016), the coauthor of a book on gender and equity in education, More Than Title IX: How Equity in Education Has Shaped the Nation (2009), and the coauthor of the chapter "Equity and Diversity" in the report Preparing Tomorrow's STEM Workforce Through Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers. She regularly presents her work at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, the Massachusetts STEM Summit, and the National Science Teachers Association.

Before joining EDC, Pillai held various positions in software development, marketing, and business development.

She received a BS in computer science from Northeastern University and an MBA from Bentley University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Managing Project Director

Program: 

Pathways to College and Careers

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2164

Tony Streit

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Tony Streit

First name: 

Tony

Last name: 

Streit

Bio: 

Tony Streit is a nationally recognized expert in media education, youth development, out-of-school time, and informal STEM learning. He is dedicated to helping educators harness 21st-century tools to provide hands-on, student-centered learning that engages, motivates, and inspires young people. He specializes in providing direct consultation and assistance to the philanthropic community, tailoring services to meet the needs of both corporate and private funders.

Streit is Principal Investigator for EDC's National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE). Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care, EDC and its partners—the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), the National Summer Learning Association, and WRMA, Inc.—are providing materials and training to ensure that all school-age children can access high-quality afterschool and summer learning experiences that promote their development and academic achievement.

Since 2002, Streit has directed The YouthLearn Initiative, a broad array of research, promising practices, and curricular strategies on community-based, contextual learning intended to build critical thinking, creativity, content knowledge, and other skills that are essential to college and career success. Streit and his team provide professional development, program materials, research and evaluation, and technical assistance to organizations and educators in both formal and nonformal settings.

For 10 years, Streit led program management of the Adobe Youth Voices initiative, a global professional development effort for both in-school and afterschool educators in youth media-making.  From 2013 to 2015, Streit’s team provided technical assistance for The Robert R. McCormick Foundation's Why News Matters, a three-year initiative to advance news literacy across Chicago. (Read a blog post by Streit about youth media-making.)  In addition to his project work, Streit serves as the Director of EDC’s corporate office in Chicago, where he provides guidance to local project staff and oversees regional outreach and development.

Streit has been a consultant and trainer on project-based learning (PBL) in afterschool for the Massachusetts Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program for over 10 years. Through workshops coordinated by NIOST, Streit facilitates train-the-trainer style experiences emphasizing the value of creativity and critical thinking skills, inquiry as an instructional approach, and intentional connections to school-day learning. Through this work, a PBL approach has now become a required element of all afterschool programs in Massachusetts.

Similar past projects include co-development of The Afterschool Academies, a comprehensive training approach for afterschool educators developed for the Mott Foundation, management of the National Science Foundation (NSF) ITEST Learning Resource Center (now STELAR, for which Streit is a senior advisor); and consultation with the Verizon Foundation on best strategies to engage afterschool educators in their use of the Thinkfinity educator portal.  He has also collaborated with Noyce Foundation, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Bechtel Foundation, SEDL, MIT Media Lab, Open Society Institute, Time Warner, Kellogg Foundation, USAID, National Institute for Out of School Time, and numerous schools, youth centers, state agencies and school districts across the US and overseas.

Streit is the co-creator of Adobe Youth Voices Program Guide and the co-author of ITEST Convening Report: Defining an Afterschool Research Agenda and the chapter "Working in Afterschool" published in the report Preparing Tomorrow's STEM Workforce Through Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers.  

Currently, Streit is a Board Member and the Treasurer of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and served as Chair of NAMLE’s 2017 National Conference in Chicago. Previously, he served on the Technical Working Group on STEM for the US Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Center Program. He has also served as an advisor to the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition, the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning, the Informal Learning in Science and Afterschool Project, and the Ready to Learn Partnership.

Before joining EDC, Streit was Co-Founder and Co-Director of Street-Level Youth Media, a Chicago organization that he helped build into a nationally recognized youth development model.

Streit received a BA in communications and economics from University of Notre Dame, and studied documentary filmmaking at Columbia College Chicago.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Managing Project Director

Program: 

Pathways to College and Careers

Mailing Address: 

770 North Halsted Street, Suite 205
Chicago, Illinois 60622

Telephone: 

312-962-4521

Kristen Bjork

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Kristen Bjork

First name: 

Kristen

Last name: 

Bjork

Bio: 

Kristen Bjork creates authentic, engaging STEM learning experiences for students of all ages and backgrounds. She draws on her expertise in instructional design, science, science education, and the educational uses of technology to enhance K-12 learning and teaching.

Bjork is leading the development of a new middle school cybersecurity curriculum for SAE International, and is a developer of SAE International’s Gravity Cruiser and K–3 curricula. Recently, she played a lead role in the Crystal Museum of American Arts' 2nd Annual Distance Learning Summit.

With support from the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Bjork developed and launched EPIDEMIC: TB in the Global Community, an educational project spearheaded by award-winning photographer David Rochkind featuring a website and two curriculum units designed to raise awareness about tuberculosis around the world. She contributed to the development of modules in the Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (Ford PAS) curriculum that EDC designed with the support of Ford Motor Company Fund and that can be integrated into high school mathematics and science classes.

Bjork directed the Ethnobotany Explorers and Forensic Botany Investigations curriculum projects funded by the New York Botanical Garden, as well as science curriculum development projects funded by the National Park Service and the New England Board of Higher Education. She has also been Principal Investigator for National Science Foundation (NSF)–funded projects such as digNubia: Exploring the Science of Archaeology, Enlivening Genetics Education, and GLACIER.  She also collaborates with MathResources Inc. and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

Before joining EDC, she was a Research Technician in a biotechnology firm.

Bjork received an AB in biology from Dartmouth College.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Project Director

Program: 

Pathways to College and Careers

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2706

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