Research

iSocial

Dr. Matthew Schmidt

iSocial is a three dimensional virtual learning environment, developed using the Open Wonderland 3D worlds toolkit, for teaching social competence to youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, The goal of iSocial is to provide learners with competencies that make social participation possible in both virtual and natural settings. To this end, iSocial enables social interaction and provides supports for the development of social competence in a safe, completely controlled environment.

Project SIED

Dr. Matthew Schmidt

Project SIED (software identification and evaluation for decision-making), pronounced "seed," is a multi-site effort to develop best practices using a decision-making framework for identifying and evaluating mobile apps in education. The project provides a set of easy to understand, practitioner-friendly tools to help prepare teachers to integrate mobile technology in diverse learning contexts. This project attempts to provide solutions to real world problems that impact teachers, administrators and K-12 staff involved with technology decision-making, as well as university researchers and technologists who are involved with work in the schools.


Social Media and Cyberbullying

Dr. Kay K. Seo

Today‚Äôs advanced social networking technologies such as blogs, wikis, twitter, etc. enable users to create online communities, exchange information, and distribute resources more effectively and more efficiently than ever. This presents exciting opportunities to enhance interaction for educational purposes. However the ease and the instantness of social media can also attract harmful interactions such as cyberbullying. In order to create a safe interactive learning environment, educators, parents, and students should be aware of negative effects of social networking and actively engage in stopping cyberbullying. This project aims at raising awareness of safety issues related to social media and developing prevention and intervention strategies to address cyberbullying.


Math Pursuits

Dr. Janet Mannheimer Zydney

Math Pursuits is a research project, funded through the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (2006-2009), to develop a software prototype where students will embark on exciting adventures. Each adventure will help students achieve their goals in understanding mathematics through their quest to discover the mathematical connections to the world around them. Within each of these adventures, students will be challenged to solve meaningful problem scenarios, presented through realistic videos. These videos portray actual students discussing math problems that are then left to the software user to solve. The students must solve these video problems in order to decipher the clues in the adventure.

Using Social Media Effectively in the Classroom 

Dr. Kay K. Seo

This book project aims at exploring the educational potential of social media and offering practical guidelines for designing a socially empowered learning environment. Given the growing role of social media in education, it is integral for educators to gain insights on how to effectively utilize a variety of social media for instructional purposes and how to solve common issues that may arise so that students can become more engaged in learning and have positive educational experiences. To make a valuable contribution to this quest, this book provides creative, unique insights into the design of instruction by discussing how to best support learners with these user-centered technologies and addressing any trends and issues that may come with these new approaches.


Pollution Solution

Dr. Janet Mannheimer Zydney

Pollution Solution is research project to investigate an interactive multimedia CD that enables middle school and high school students to learn critical problem-solving skills in the context of studying our environment. Through the use of the Pollution Solution software, the classroom is transformed into an environmental consulting firm. The students became interns for a fictitious firm and are given a client, a utility company, who had just been sued for violating the Clean Air Act. In this scenario, the teacher plays the role of an internship supervisor in order to assist the interns in defining and eventually recommending solutions to their client.

Online Protocols

Dr. Janet Mannheimer Zydney and Dr. Kay K. Seo

This research and book project is an evaluation of the use of online protocols in asynchronous discussions.  In face-to-face environments, protocols provide directions for such matters as who should speak and listen when and for how long in problem-solving discussions or data analysis sessions. Given the success that protocols have had in face-to-face settings, this research will explore the use of these protocols in online discussions.   A quasi-experimental study compared the discussions from one class that does not receive a protocol to another class that uses a protocol for discussion.   These studies are being conducted in both graduate online classes and undergraduate hybrid classes.  Dr. Zydney recently published a book called Going Online With Protocols with Teachers College Press to share these online protocols to a broad audience.