Carnegie Mellon University

Amy Ogan, Thomas and Lydia Moran Associate Professor of Learning Science, CMU

Expanding Educational Opportunities for All

Amy Ogan’s (SCS 2003, 2008, 2011) work as an educational technologist drives better opportunities and outcomes for learners around the world.

“I support cultural relevance and equity in the classroom by supporting the teachers themselves,” Amy says. “The work we’re doing in classroom sensing can help bring out the invisible properties of a classroom like making sure that learners have the same experience in the classroom regardless of gender identity or [that] quiet students in the back are engaged.”

The technology used in Amy’s research captures information on where teachers are looking and how and when students speak. From there, she draws conclusions about cultural relevance, student engagement and other hallmarks of an effective classroom and uses it to improve classroom climate, the engagement of young women in computer science and more.

“My research illuminates things for teachers that they may not see about themselves,” she says.

Amy is one of only a few researchers focused on classrooms in emerging economies as computer access increases both globally and across socioeconomic groups. Her lab works with local researchers and school districts in countries such as Tanzania, Costa Rica and Belgium to explore how educational technology can be reimagined to respond to diverse cultural and socioeconomic contexts and designed for a global scale.

Amy’s work has been recognized and supported by numerous global organizations including the World Economic Forum, National Science Foundation and Google.

“At the high level, my work is about building ed tech that can change the opportunities learners have and the outcomes that they have with it,” she says. “On a smaller scale, we can then give individuals what they need in order to fully participate and take advantage of all the learning opportunities that they have available to them.”