June Ahn: Situating Design & Data, Reimagining Learning and Education @ Pless Hall, 7th fl. Conference Room

03/23/2016 1:30 am – 03/23/2016 Situating Design & Data, Reimagining Learning and Education June Ahn, University of Maryland In this talk, I argue that the most pressing challenges in education, and the most exciting opportunities to solve these challenges, require a deep synthesis of design thinking, partnerships with educators, data analytics, and expanded notions of learning. I will present two of my projects that highlight the interconnectedness of design, data, and researcher-practitioner partnerships in education research. The first project considers the design of an alternate reality game (DUST) that was created in partnership with game designers, university researchers, and NASA to promote informal, science learning for teenagers. I describe the launch of DUST and how our team is using data analytics to understand players’ inquiry practices within the context of collaborative and playful ARGs. In the second project, I present a researcher-practitioner partnership with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and several educational software companies. I highlight how our partnership work, which combines data from the district with log data from digital platforms, has helped us understand issues of equity, technology use, and student achievement. I will also discuss how this partnership work has played a continuing role in iteratively improving policy and practice throughout the school system. June Ahn is Associate Professor of Learning Sciences & Technology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He works in the College of Information Studies with a joint appointment in the College of Education. He earned his Ph.D. in Urban Education from the University of Southern California, MA in Computing and Education from Columbia University, and BA in Computers and Education from Brown University. Dr. Ahn currently directs the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland. His current and past projects have explored after-school STEM programs that utilize science fiction and new media, open education in P2PU, alternate reality games, social media for science learning, and researcher-practitioner partnerships with school districts to understand the impact of blended learning programs. These projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and Institute of Education Sciences.