Education and Technology

We do a lot of work designing technologies that invite—but do not command—learning.   We focus on using the computer to change the representational infrastructure available to the learner to create the possibility of a new perspective.

Most of our technologies are classroom-focused interventions.

We see the technology as an integrated whole together with curriculum and, possibly, teacher professional development.

A new project as of Fall, 2015 is the Chem+C (Thank you, NSF, for award number 1543022).  We are still pursuing the vision of computational thinking integrated with core curricular content (see below), but now in the context of Chemistry in 8th Grade Integrated Science.

For several years, we worked on a project in which VT students (graduates and undergraduates) work with core curricular middle school teachers to co-develop develop activities that promote computational or at least proto-computational thinking.   We called this integrated computational thinking.

Another project, which spun out of the integrated computational thinking work, is the Sound of Fractions.   The Sound of Fractions uses percussion, novel and familiar visual representations, and embodied interaction as an approach to teaching students to work with the system of parts and wholes that constitute fractions.  The target students have met with prior failure in mastering the components of fractions, and make systematic errors such as adding 1/3 and 1/2 to get 2/5.  More information can be found here.

Other educational technology projects that we have worked on include SimCalc, Netcalc, WHIRL, and ThoughtSwap.

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