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2016 TELOS Doctoral Student Grantees

Chris Proctor

My project proposes to treat Computer Science as a literacy, and explores whether pedagogies designed for English/Language Arts could also be effective for teaching Computer Science. I will use a design-based approach to develop a web-based platform for reading and writing interactive fiction, a genre of participatory stories somewhere between story and game. Interactive Fiction combines elements such as conditional branching, loops, variables, and functions, and so could be an ideal way of introducing students to Computer Science as a literacy. There is a broad call to make Computer Science part of primary and secondary education. This project could help connect Computer Science to other well-established literacies within a school curriculum.

Holly Pope

The purpose of my study is to examine the interactions of underserved students with their teacher and each other as the class engages in playing the digital game Wuzzit Trouble on iPads. With a combination of video, classroom observations, and student interviews, I will shed light on the affordances of barriers to learning from complex digital games within classroom environment. I will also measure the development of mathematical thinking and number sense using a pre-post written assessment. The goal is to bring attention to the varied ways of children experience digital math games in the classroom.

Soren Rosier

Peer tutoring – one type of peer assisted learning – has been found to increase learning for both tutors and tutees and spur more positive attitudes toward subject matter. However, studies continually find that tutors tend to do much more explaining than tutees, use shallow or procedural questioning, and rarely stimulate deep-level reasoning or monitor the understanding of tutees. With the aid of technology, I hope to facilitate peer tutor training that prepares tutors to use research-based talk moves and shifts their conceptions of good teaching – and eventually their behaviors – from knowledge-telling to strategic questioning and from didactic to dialogic teaching.

Aekta Shah

Technological innovation is transforming the flow of information, the impact of social action, and is giving birth to new forms of bottom up innovation that are capable of expanding and exploding old theories of reproduction and resistance because “smart mobs”, “street knowledge”, and “social movements” cannot be neutralized by powerful structural forces in the same old ways. This research will investigate the concept of YPAR 2.0 (Akom, 2016) in which new technologies enable young people to visualize, validate, and transform social inequalities by using local knowledge + technology in new ways that deepen engagement, democratize data, expand educational opportunity, inform policy, and mobilize community assets. Specially this research aims to investigate how a digital technology –a mobile, mapping and SMS platform called Streetwyze- may impact youth/community sense of agency, self-esteem, civic/educational engagement, environmental stewardship, and investment in community.

Xavier Monroe

To determine if culturally responsive STEM learning activities during summer months can serve as interventions for underrepresented youth, I will investigate how culturally responsive interventions influence students’ participation and motivation related to STEM, and what key experiences and associated factors encourage student agency with respect to their learning and persistence in STEM. The TELOS-funded project will support me in offering a summer STEM opportunity for local middle school students, also explore whether students transfer acquired interests to their formal learning environment during the academic school year. The study will also build off work that considered how a group of urban elementary school instructors made sense of a new district STEAM policy (STEM with Arts included). This research aims to advance discovery and understanding by designing to transform student learning, training, and teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), particularly using Robotics Technology.