Cyberlearning Research Summit
Update March 28, 2013: The Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL) has been funded to support Cyberlearning projects and programmatic efforts.
NSF has the potential to lead a new wave of STEM initiatives through its CyberLearning: Transforming Education program and its cross-cutting initiatives in cyberinfrastructure. To continue to lead in an increasingly crowded space of contributors from other agencies, corporations, and interest groups, however, the community NSF funding fosters will need to realize the “transformative potential” called for. Realizing this transformative potential requires vision, strategy, engagement, talent, and commitment to moving forward.
The Cyberlearning Research Summit was a high-profile gathering in Washington DC, featuring top quality research-based speakers who shared visions for the future of learning with emerging technologies. In the style of the TED conferences, speakers aimed to:
- Discuss big ideas on at the intersection of emerging technology and research on learning;
- Articulate the “transformative potential” of a direction or approach;
- Communicate a sense of the broad research on this topic;
- Engage, inspire, and stimulate thinking in this new program area.
Building on those visions, participants gathered as birds-of-a-feather to crystallize a sense of the unique opportunities that should be the focus of the research community now. We seek a community sense of how to couple the learning sciences with related fields of innovation to leverage new technology affordances for the deepest learning outcomes. Through the contributions of diverse participants, the summit sought to exemplify the “transformative potential” of cutting edge research and development to dramatically advance learning – and is expected to be influential in identifying promising directions for advanced R&D efforts.
To facilitate collegial participation at the physical location of the summit, in-person attendance was limited. The talks were webcast live on the day of the event, allowing a broader audience to watch and interact.
Program officers attending from the National Science Foundation include: John Cherniavsky, Arlene DeStrulle, Janice Earle, Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Janet Kolodner, Tanya Korelsky, Sandra Martell, Barbara Olds, Sharon Tettegah, Elizabeth Vanderputten, and Lee Zia.
The summit was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Grant #1132393) as a means to engage the community in accelerating the focus on transformative R&D in Cyberlearning and related programs, and was hosted by SRI International, the National Geographic Society, and the Lawrence Hall of Science, signaling a strong commitment to innovative STEM learning both in schools and beyond schools. Additional support was also provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.