Carnegie Mellon University

Remake Learning Days Offer Sneak Peek Into Next Gen Classroom

Remake Learning Days

The future of learning is here, during Remake Learning Days—a regional celebration and exploration of the future of learning. Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University's Simon Initiative, which aims to transform education by continuously improving teaching and learning based on data, will be an integral part of the event running May 15-26.

"Pittsburgh has been the national leader in the area of advancing learning, and the leadership at CMU has been a big influence on learning through technology," said Ken Koedinger, professor of human-computer interaction and psychology and co-coordinator of the Simon Initiative.

Through technology-enhanced learning tools and interactive activities, students have been seen to learn more—and in drastically less time—than when non-interactive methods such as lectures and readings are used. Koedinger sees an enormous opportunity, as well as a responsibility, for education to become more interactive.

For example, a game called EarthShake developed by alumna Nesra Yannier, now a postdoctoral researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, is highly successful in teaching basic principles of physics by allowing players to create a physical structure with building blocks and then test its ability to withstand earthquakes through a digital simulation. It’s one of numerous examples of the types of new tools and emerging approaches to teaching that will be discussed during Remake Learning Days.

Among the events, the Edtech Showcase and Celebration will give educators demonstrations on May 24 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC).

While showing demos of existing educational software, such as the freeware Alice for budding computer programmers, the showcase will feature new learning products created by ETC graduate students that are readily available, such as the math apps Team Tiny and Arithmagic, as well as an outreach project called Mockingbirds. John Balash, ETC’s educational network coordinator, hopes it will help to further connect the region to ETC’s free resources.

"It’s an opportunity to match schools to the projects coming out of Carnegie Mellon to see how can we scale to make a larger impact," Balash said.

Also on May 24, the School of Art will demonstrate Dranimate, a new interactive animation system, and SocialVR, a virtual reality program that works with digital photography. Both learning tools derive from CMU’s ArtFab laboratory and allow kids to put their creative skills to work through storytelling. The activity takes place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Taking place concurrently with Remake Learning Days, CMU’s LearnLab, the scientific arm of the Simon Initiative, will host its seventh annual corporate partners meeting to bring stakeholders to the region to explore new research and opportunities in educational technology. The partners include organizations from online education, academic institutions and industry.

As a result of participating in the corporate partners meetings, some organizations have collaborated with CMU students in capstone projects for the Human Computer Interaction Institute’s Master of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS) program.

Two keynote speakers are Larry Rudman, vice president of instructional design and research at Kaplan, and Al Essa, vice president of analytics and R&D at McGraw-Hill Education.

Koedinger, who also directs LearnLab and will be among the presenters, said, "We will look forward into learning science and technology to gain a sense of what the possibilities are to improve education."

Remake Learning Days takes place across southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Nearly 350 events will happen at partnering schools, libraries, corporations and communities that are free for educators, families and students of all ages.

Learn more.

By Ann Lyon Ritchie