Dr. Laura Czerniewicz, University of Cape Town, South Africa

About the speaker

Laura_Czerniewicz_csclThe Director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Laura Czerniewicz (@Czernie), is an associate professor in the Centre for Higher Education Development. She is committed to equity of access and success in higher education. Her research interests include the technologically-mediated practices of students and academics, the nature of the changing higher education environment and the geopolitics of knowledge, underpinned by a commitment to surfacing the expressions of inequality within and across contexts. Laura is involved with policy work, is a contributor to national and global conversations in varied formats and serves on the advisory boards of a variety of international higher education educational and technology publications. She blogs intermittently at http://lauraczerniewicz.uct.ac.za/ and can be followed as @czernie on Twitter.


Dr. D. Fox Harrell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Virtual Selves and Learning

Tuesday 20 June, 8:30-10:00 AM

Educational technologies such as adaptive learning systems, educational games, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have proliferated. Almost all students these days play videogames. Given the widespread and growing use of such technologies, which invariably involve virtual identities such as user profiles and avatars, it is important to better understand their impacts and to establish innovative and best practices for learning. In this talk, Harrell explores how our social identities are complicated by their intersection with computing and learning technologies including videogames, virtual worlds, social media, and related digital media forms. With an emphasis on equity, Harrell will explore how virtual identities both implement and transform persistent issues of class, gender, sex, race, ethnicity, and the dynamic construction social categories more generally.

About the speaker

Fox HarrellD. Fox Harrell is Professor (as of July 1, 2017) of Digital Media in both the Comparative Media Studies Program Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. His research focuses on the relationship between imaginative cognition and computation. He founded and directs the MIT Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab) to develop new forms of computational narrative, gaming, social media, and related digital media based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. He is the author of the book Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (MIT Press, 2013). In 2010, Professor Harrell received a NSF CAREER Award and, in 2014-2015, he was awarded a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University and was the recipient of the Lenore Annenberg and Wallis Annenberg Fellowship in Communication.


Dr. Teo Chew Lee, Ministry of Education, Singapore

Symmetrical Advancement: Teachers and Students Sustaining Idea-Centered Collaborative Practices

Wednesday 21 June, 8:30-10:00 AM

With insights established by learning sciences research, educating in the 21st century requires changing not just the procedures of the classroom practice but the underlying principles that guide the practice. There are many strategic approaches to scale such principle-based innovative practice, many involved coordinated efforts across school organization and school administrators. Regardless of the scaling approach, the most important likely remained to be the concerted effort to shift teachers’ conception of their students, the trust on their students and the imagination required to see possibilities of deep learning. Similarly, we seek to shift these conceptions in middle managers and finally the idea of 21st-century school perceived by school leaders.

The content of this talk is taken from an 8-year old Knowledge Building Project in Singapore. In this talk, we attempt to trace the growth of four visible dimensions of the project and the challenges embed within each dimension. Knowledge building practice requires a significant shift from knowledge deepening to knowledge creation paradigm. This particular KB project has been focusing on working with teachers to design and enact idea-centered and collaborative classrooms while tackling all curriculum and assessment demands along with physical and time constraints prevalent in every school. It warrants a detailed study of the areas of growth to ensure symmetry in advancement in all stakeholders in schools and considering all dimensions of schools and teaching and learning processes. This is needed so that intensive innovations, such as KB, have a chance to take root in practice. In fact, creating symmetrical knowledge advancement in all our collaborators and collaborating schools has always been a core principle of design in the research:

Four visible areas of growth include (i) growth in number and connectedness of teachers in practice; (ii) growth in the dimensions of teaching and learning involved in the innovation; (iii) growth in ownership of practice; (iv) growth in research considerations; (v) growth in the role of the researcher.

About the speaker

teochewlee.pngTeo Chew Lee is the Lead Specialist in Learning Partnership in Educational Technology at the Educational Technology Division in the Ministry of Singapore. She began exploring Knowledge Building (KB) technologies in her classroom at the beginning of her career as a science educator about two decades ago. She completed her Ph.D. at OISE/UT, Canada and joined the ministry in 2009 to lead a research group on translating KB theories technologies into Singapore classrooms. Chew Lee uses a design-based research approach to study ways to facilitate Singapore teachers in designing knowledge building environments and has worked at various level and subjects from primary school to junior colleges. She focuses her work on understanding teachers’ problem spaces in their discourse and their work to design idea-centered learning environments. From 2013, she extended the impact of the work to create a KB network learning community in Singapore that builds new understanding of the practice. At the ministry, Chew Lee also does extensive work on Educational Technology in curriculum design & development at the policy level. She currently heads a group of specialists and teacher-researchers in exploring educational technology for active learning with technology in English Language, Chinese Language, Sciences, and the Humanities.