Time: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017, 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: 4405 Siebel Center
Title: Technology-Enhanced Informal Learning: Bringing Advanced Learning Technologies into Museums and Out-of-School Settings
Abstract: Although many of the most notable advances in Technology-Enhanced Learning research focus on formal learning, increasingly more attention is being paid to the role of advanced learning technologies in informal contexts, such as summer camps, after school programs, museums, and science centers. In this talk, I will discuss the broad goals of informal learning practices and research, and argue that a shift from formal settings to informal has profound implications for the design of educational technologies. For example, when a learner has complete “veto” power over a learning experience, learning technologies cannot assume that sufficient levels of motivation exist in the learner. They must earn that continued attention from the learner. This positions emotions as central to the learning experience, and suggests technologies must assume simultaneous roles to both promote learning and engagement. I will present two research efforts that seek to address this challenge: the first – completed when I was at the University of Southern California – focused on the use of pedagogical agents to teach basic computing literacy (at the Boston Museum of Science), and the second (ongoing) leverages the popular game Minecraft to trigger interest and learning in Astronomy. My talk will conclude with suggestions for new roles of advanced learning technologies in informal settings, with an emphasis on the increasingly blurred lines between formal and informal learning.
Biography: H. Chad Lane is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Informatics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. Prof. Lane’s research focuses on the design, use, and impacts of intelligent technologies for learning and behavior change. This work involves blending techniques from the entertainment industry (that foster engagement) with those from artificial intelligence and intelligent tutoring systems (that promote learning), as well as running studies to better understand whether and how the resulting learning experiences impact learners. He has led design-based research projects involving educational games, intelligent tutoring systems, and immersive technologies. His current work focuses on the uses of game and sensing technologies for science learning in informal learning contexts. Prior to joining UIUC in early 2015, he was Director of Learning Sciences Research at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies where he led highly interdisciplinary efforts to build and evaluate a variety of educational technologies covering wide-ranging topics such as science learning, intercultural competence, gardening/cooking, computer programming, and motivational interviewing. He has over 60 publications, delivered invited talks around the U.S and Europe, and has hands-on experiences in informal and formal learning contexts. He earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. There, he conducted his doctoral research on intelligent learning technologies for problem understanding and solving skills in the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC).