Learning Sciences Faculty Present in Netherlands, Sweden

Learning Sciences Faculty Present in Netherlands, Sweden

Kemi Jona

Professor Kemi Jona made stops in the Netherlands and Sweden as he presented at international conferences on the impact of science and computer-supported learning. Fellow Learning Sciences faculty members Reed Stevens, Matthew Easterday and Elizabeth Gerber gave presentations at the computer-supported learning conference in Sweden as well.

In Amsterdam, Jona spoke at the Impact of Science 2015 conference, focused on “Measuring and Demonstrating the Societal Impact of Science.” Intended for science policy makers, assessment experts, university researchers and others, the conference brought together leaders in the effort to demonstrate the impact of science on society.

Showing the broader societal impact of scientific research — such as on health and the environment — is important for justifying investments in scientific research, according to the organizers of the conference. Hosted by ScienceWorks, the conference explored recent advances, ideas for next steps and correlation of definitions related to measurement of the impact of science.

In Gothenburg, Sweden, at the 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Jona presented with Stevens and doctoral student Lauren Penney on “‘Re-mediating’ Learning.” They highlighted the FUSE learning program that Jona and Stevens developed, which engages youth in STEM activities at schools, libraries and camps. FUSE "re-mediates" learning by providing individualized learning pathways, dynamic arrangements for learning, alternative forms of assessment, new roles for teachers and a rethinking of curriculum materials, according to the presenters.

At the same conference, Easterday and Gerber of the Learning Sciences faculty along with with doctoral student Daniel Rees Lewis presented on “The Theoretical Products of Design Research.” The researchers sought to add to understanding of design research by defining the nature of design products. Their presentation maintained that “design research products are arguments for how people should learn in the form of practical prototypes and theoretical models.”

The CSCL 2015 conference focused on “Exploring the Material Conditions of Learning.” Every two years the conference brings together professionals involved in various aspects of technology-based collaborative learning, including research, education, training and technology.

Jona is a professor of learning sciences and computer science who leads research and development projects in STEM curriculum and learning technologies, online science, computational thinking and game-based approaches to engaging youth in STEM and STEAM. He is director of Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships, which connects the university to the K-12 community, and a member of the steering committee of the National Alliance for Broader Impacts, which advances STEM outreach and public engagement.

Stevens, a professor of learning sciences, researches cognitive activity in a range of settings, including classrooms, workplaces, and science museums. On the basis of his comparative work, he discovers new ways to conceptualize cognition and organize learning environments. His multidisciplinary research draws on cognitive science, interactionist traditions, and the social studies of science and technology.

Easterday, an assistant professor of learning sciences, explores technology for the new civics – producing scientifically supported educational technology to create informed and engaged citizens who can solve the serious policy problems facing society such as poverty, global warming and militarism. Easterday has a PhD in human-computer interaction from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Gerber, an assistant professor of both learning sciences and mechanical engineering, researches design and innovation and is known for her expertise at the intersection of human-centered design and organizational behavior. Gerber uses the behavioral sciences to understand and inform the design of innovative processes, products and services. Gerber is the founder of Design for America, a student extracurricular activity for developing design work for social impact.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 3/7/17