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Can We Enhance our Curriculum with Cyberlearning Resources?

Presenters: Jennifer Chiu, Kathy Perkins, Jeremy Roschelle

This session provides an overview of innovative learning technologies emerging through cyberlearning research. Presenters explore two resources: PhET simulations serve students in grade 3 through college and address physics, chemistry, math, biology, and earth science topics; WISE Engineering projects integrate math based on Common Core with NGSS science concepts combined with engineering design pedagogy. Both exemplify how technology-enabled learning environments can address challenging learning goals, while fitting within today's classrooms and extending existing instructional materials.


Jennifer Chiu, Assistant Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Jennifer Chiu is an assistant professor at the Curry School of Education at University of Virginia. Currently, she develops and implements technology-enhanced engineering design projects in schools where students learn and apply science and mathematics concepts using the WISEngineering learning environment. This work aligns with both the NGSS and the Common Core State Standards. Her other projects include developing mixed-reality technologies and accompanying instructional materials for science classrooms, and implementing and researching best practices with simulations for science and engineering learning. Chiu was formerly a high school science and mathematics teacher (physics, chemistry, calculus, algebra II) and used engineering projects in her classroom as a way to motivate and demonstrate learning of science and math concepts. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER grant and the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. She has a BS in Engineering from Stanford University and PhD in Education in science, math, and technology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kathy Perkins, Director, PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
Kathy Perkins is director of the PhET Interactive Simulations Project at University of Colorado, Boulder. Her work focuses on the design and classroom use of interactive simulations to increase engagement and learning in STEM, and on scaling impact with free, open educational resources. Currently, PhET’s collection of 130 simulations are used 75 million times/year. Under her leadership, PhET Interactives Simulations has received international recognition for its innovative work in STEM education, including being named a 2011 Tech Award Laureate and the 2014 Overall Winner of the Reimagine Education Awards.Perkins also directed CU's Science Education Initiative, and serves as a faculty member in physics and a fellow of the Center for STEM Learning at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has worked in the field of STEM education since 2003, reforming undergraduate courses, studying students’ beliefs about science, training faculty in new forms of pedagogy, and engaging in institutional change efforts. Perkins holds a BA in Physics, an MA in Chemistry, and a PhD in Atmospheric Science from Harvard University. 

Jeremy Roschelle, Director, SRI International
Jeremy Roschelle is the director of SRI International, where he leads the Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning, conducts studies of the impact of online and blended learning in mathematics education, and develops innovative assessments for NAEP mathematics. Prior to that, he worked on SimCalc/SunBay/Cornerstone Mathematics—an integration of technology, workbooks, and teacher professional development that increases students’ understanding of challenging middle school mathematics concepts. Roschelle has a BS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.