Monday, June 30, 2014

ITLS Summer Maker Camp

Dr. Debborah Fields' students conducted a four-day long Maker Camp at USU this summer. This is a special Maker Camp run by former Craft Technologies students (from art, engineering, aviation, audiology, and FCES). 

"About 25 youths came up from Park City as part of a special residential, on-site "camp." Part of what they did was the Maker Camp we ran for them - with drawstring backpacks that they put lights on. They also designed some stickers and laser cut-outs. " says Dr. Fields.

See also photos from the final day of the camp on EEJ CEHS Facebook page.


This year's International Conference of the Learning Sciences was held in Boulder, Colorado from June 23rd to June 27th. Several ITLS faculty and students presented at this year's conference.

Dr. Victor Lee was part of the symposium named: Becoming Reflective: Designing for Reflection on Physical
Performances, where he presented his paper.

Dr. Lee also presented two posters with his graduate students, Joel Drake (Keeping Up: Shifting Access to Gateway Resources in a Cycling Community of Practice), and Nam Ju Kim, Min Yuan, Joel Drake and Scott Smith (Examining How Students Make Sense of Slow-Motion Video).

ITLS alumna, Heather Leary, presented a paper she did with Dr. Victor Lee and Dr. Mimi Recker on More Than Just Plain Old Technology Adoption: Understanding Variations in Teachers' Use of an Online Planning Tool.

Dr. Recker, ITLS alumna, Lei Ye and graduate student, Min Yuan also presented a poster called Sink or Swim: Understanding the Evolution of User Behaviors in an Online Educational Community. 

Dr. Debborah Fields had even three appearances on this year's ICLS. On Friday, she and her graduate student, Whitney King, presented a paper called “So, I think I’m a programmer now.” Developing Connected Learning for Adults in a University Craft Technologies Course. On Wednesday, she presented a paper The Programmers’ Collective: Connecting Collaboration and Computation in a High School
Scratch Mashup Coding Workshop, with a graduate student Veena Vasudevan and Dr. Yasmin Kafai from University of Pennsylvania. That same afternoon, Debbie participated in a symposium called Motivating and Broadening Participation: Competitions, Contests, Challenges, and Circles for Supporting STEM Learning.

Overall, it has been a very successful week for both ITLS faculty and students. 
Please check more photos from this event in an album on our Facebook page.

Dr. Fields and Kafai's Conference Keynote

On Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, Dr. Debborah Fields and Dr. Yasmin Kafai, a Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, gave a keynote speech at two prestigious conferences (NSF sponsored Cyberlearning Summit and Games + Learning + Society Playful Learning Summit). 

To learn more about the conference or watch a full video of this speech, please visit Webcast Archives at the Cyber Learning website.

Fields and Kafai's speech was on cheating and the possibility of learning from it. In other words, about productive cheating. "So what's an example of a good cheat? People do it all the time when they ask a friend for cooking advice or look at a travel guide instead of roaming every square inch of a tourist town, Fields said. "You're not learning at all the hard way. (EEJ Ed Notes, Cheat: Can Kids Learn from it?)"

To read more about Kafai and Fields' research on children in virtual worlds, check out their recently published book Connected Play: Tweens in a Virtual World

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Scratch Club in Herald Journal

Herald Journal News journalist, Kelly Cannon, visited ITLS Scratch Club at USU.

Dr. Fields explained that the club is “part outreach and part research,” as it both provides an interesting summer activity for local children and it serves as a research opportunity for ITLS graduate students. 

To read the full story on HJNews, please go to the following page.

Adjunct Instructor, Kevin Reeve on Cache Makers 4-H Club

UPR reporter Taylor Halversen visited the Cache Makers 4-H club and talked to its co-founders, ITLS Adjunct Instructor, Kevin Reeve, and ITLS alumnus, Joel Duffin

To read the full report of the club including interviews with the co-founders and participating students, please visit UPR website story on Cache Makers 4-H Club

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dr Fields giving a joint keynote to CIRCL and GLS

Tuesday, June 10, Yasmin Kafai and Dr. Debbie Fields are giving a joint keynote to CIRCL and GLS.

They should be streaming our 8:30am CST (7:30am MST!) talk live.

Information on the talk is here:

Tuesday, June 10th
  • Opening Comments
    Presenter: Kurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Keynote
    Presenter: Deborah Fields and Yasmin Kafai
  • Conclusion
    Presenter: Jeremy Roschelle

The Second Cyberlearning Summit is June 9-10, all talks will be webcast, and you are invited to participate virtually. Talks will be on topics such as: The Role of Teachers in Cyber-enabled Classrooms, Deep Learning, and Playful Environments. You can find the schedule and the speaker information on the page for the registration.