The Digital Learning Lab in the UC Irvine School of Education, led by Professor and Principal Investigator Mark Warschauer, has received a new research grant from the National Science Foundation to continue its cutting-edge research and development on uses of digital media to help diverse children learn.
The project, called “Collaborative Network of Grades 3-5 Educators for Computational Thinking for English Learners,” involves a research-practice partnership between UCI and the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), which includes among the highest percentage of Hispanic students and English language learners in the country. The partnership is developing, implementing, and evaluating new curriculum to teach computational thinking and coding to upper elementary school students from linguistically diverse backgrounds.
The three year $1,000,000 grant begins on September 1, 2019 and extends to August 30, 2022. Principal Investigators include Professor Mark Warschauer of the School of Education, Professor Emeritus Debra Richardson of the School of Information & Computer Sciences, and Bianca Barquin, Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction in SAUSD.
Warschauer explains, "The project is one of the first in the country to develop computer science curriculum for English language learners. Three graduate students with a background in STEM Education and applied linguistics are contributing to the research. The project matches well with the goals of the School of Education to form partnerships with diverse local school districts to foster research that can lead to diverse learners' academic achievement."
This is the second phase of this grant. Information on the original grant is available here.
Mark Warschauer is a Professor of Education and Informatics at the University of California, Irvine and director of the Digital Learning Lab at UC Irvine. Together with colleagues and students, he works on a range of research projects related to digital media in education. Current major projects include a study of online learning in higher education, a randomized-control trial of a promising new literacy software for middle school students, and the use of conversational agents to create interactive science videos for young children. The DLL team is also exploring new approaches to data mining, machine learning, and learning analytics to analyze the learning and educational data that result from use of new digital tools.