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Talk: A conversation with Mitchel Resnick

Time: Monday December 4, 3:30-4:30pm
Location: NYU MAGNET (Media and Games Network) Town Hall, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn.
Space is limited. Please arrive 15-20 minutes early to ensure a seat.


A conversation with Mitch Resnick, MIT Media Lab

About the speaker

Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, develops new technologies and activities to engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences.

His Lifelong Kindergarten research group develops the Scratch programming software and online community (, used by millions of young people around the world. The group also collaborates with the LEGO Company on the development of new educational ideas and products, including LEGO Mindstorms and WeDo robotics kits. Resnick co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of 100 after-school learning centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies.

Resnick earned a BA in physics at Princeton University (1978) and MS and PhD degrees in computer science at MIT (1988, 1992). He worked as a science-technology journalist from 1978 to 1983. He is author of Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams (1994), co-editor of Constructionism in Practice (1996), as well as co-author of Adventures in Modeling (2001) and The Official ScratchJr Book (2015). He was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education in 2011 and the AACE EdMedia Pioneer Award in 2013.

This talk is hosted by Christopher Hoadley and the NYU dolcelab (Lab for the Design of Learning, Collaboration, and Experience).

Learning and Sustainability in the Himalayas: A conversation

Time: Tuesday November 7 3:30-4:30pm
Location: CREATE, 196 Mercer St. 8th Floor (the Noho Building)
Space is limited. Please arrive 15-20 minutes early to ensure a seat.


Learning and Sustainability in the Himalayas: A conversation with leaders of the Uttarakhand Environmental Education Centre, Lalit Pande and Anuradha Pande

The Pandes will begin with a brief description of their Uttarakhand Environmental Education Centre and its activities, but the majority of the time is reserved for discussion and conversation with them about the themes that have arisen in their work over the last 30 years. Simply put, the Uttarakhand Environmental Education Centre provides a platform for ordinary people in rural villages to identify their concerns, develop and implement their own solutions, thereby becoming confident in their own abilities.

About the Uttarakhand Environmental Education Centre

The Uttarakhand Environmental Education Centre (Uttarakhand Seva Nidhi Paryavaran Shiksha Sansthan in Hindi, or USNPSS for short) was founded in 1967. Since 1987, USNPSS has been working with village communities in the Himalayas, when it was appointed a nodal agency by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development to undertake environmental education programmes in schools and villages in the mountain districts of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, now the state of Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand, located in the Central Himalayas of northern India, is a fragile ecological zone where human activities can cause extensive land degradation and significant societal impacts. Difficulty of access had protected this region from external influences and allowed the people living here to continue their traditional and usually sustainable practices. With the advent of education and globalisation, facilitated by roads, telephones, television, Internet etc., their lives are transforming rapidly. Other factors like climate change and migration are compounding the challenges.

USNPSS has a unique holistic way of working with mountain communities. Activities of the Centre have included development of place-based environmental education curricula and teacher training, adopted statewide; programmes on health, water, and sanitation; women’s empowerment and gender issues; programs to support livelihood development that does not depend on globalization; and programs to directly support community-initiated and implemented environmental and energy sustainability in rural villages.

About the speakers

Dr. Lalit Pande, director of the USNPSS, received degrees in Engineering from IIT Delhi, MIT, and Purdue. Along with completing the requirements of a PhD, he made an attempt to answer his own questions about life. He eventually decided to go and live in the mountains and came to Almora, India in 1984, his ancestral home, where he had never lived before. Approaching problems of sustainability and development with an open mind, he began to explore how USNPSS could influence local people and the ecosystem. In time, this resulted in developing and introducing an environmental education programme in the school curriculum, preschool education in villages, rural libraries and evening centres, women’s groups and gender advocacy, practical activities like water and sanitation, plant nurseries and afforestation programmes, and agriculture and climate change interventions.

Anuradha Pande has been working in the state of Uttarakhand for the last twenty five years. Through USNPSS, she has created and nurtured the largest network of rural women’s groups in the state, the Uttarakhand Women’s Federation (Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad), with over 450 local groups and over 16,000 members. She coordinates the network, organises and conducts training for women’s groups and community-based organisations and visits the villages and assists them to take up issues of women’s rights. Every year, she organises about twenty congregations in Uttarakhand providing a platform to rural communities to raise their concerns. She edits a women’s magazine, Nanda, which publishes articles written by rural women. More recently, she has developed a programme on adult women’s literacy and empowerment. She has also worked on development of the programme on environment education for school children. Anuradha did her masters in geology. Her recently published book on her work and reflections is called “Pahari Streeyan” (“The Women of the Mountains”).

Together, their work at USNPSS, with a network of community-based organisations and individuals in about 500 villages, led to insights into ideas of development, environmental and social issues and community learning. Their work has been supported by central and state government in India, by international governmental organizations like UNESCO, by philanthropic foundations like the Ford Foundation, and by individual donors, in addition to countless in-kind contributions from the communities they serve. In 2005, the book “The Ecological Village” was published describing the center’s philosophy and methods of working. In recognition of the impact of USNPSS, Dr. Lalit Pande was awarded the distinction Padma Shri by the President of India in 2007.

This talk is hosted by Christopher Hoadley and the NYU dolcelab (Lab for the Design of Learning, Collaboration, and Experience), with additional financial support from the South Asia | NYU Network. Additional co-sponsors include:

New grant awarded to establish Research-Practice Partnership for CS Education

The National Science Foundation recently awarded dolcelab a grant to support formation of a research-practice partnership with the New York City schools on computer science education for bilingual students. One barrier schools face is how best to teach computer science to students who are learning English. Translanguaging is an approach that allows teachers to tailor their teaching to whatever language skills children bring to the table. It is thought that the skills multilingual kids use to learn multiple languages may also be useful in helping them learn to program computers. This project will explore whether that is the case, and will develop and test approaches for bilingual educators to incorporate computer science concepts in their teaching.

This project is a partnership between researchers in computer science education at NYU, researchers in language and literacy at the City University of New York (CUNY), and educators at three New York City public middle schools serving predominantly low-income Latino students. As part of the project, the researchers will develop a professional development toolkit for integrating computational thinking topics in the middle grades leveraging translanguaging pedagogy. Designed to support emergent bilinguals in the classroom through professional development that encourages teachers to create and adapt curricula to their students, the project will also help build capacity in computer science education as the City continues to roll out its Computer Science for All initiative.

The two-year grant began August 15, 2017. The project is led by Christopher Hoadley, associate professor of learning sciences/educational technology at NYU Steinhardt, along with Kate Menken of CUNY’s Queens College and Laura Ascenzi-Moreno of CUNY’s Brooklyn College.

The project website is

Hoadley in online webinar for the Chronicle of Higher Education

Hoadley presents with learning designers from Pearson today in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s webinar series on LX Design: Using Evidence to Ignite Learner ExperienceThe event explores how evidence and research can be used to inform design practices for learner experience design in online environments.


Hoadley testifies at New York City Council hearing on MOOCs

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Today Dr. Hoadley testified before the New York City Council’s hearing on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Hoadley emphasized the importance of openness in MOOCs and questioned whether MOOCs are, in fact, actually courses. His written testimony is available here.

Visiting Scholar Rolf Steier from Norway presents on museum-based learning technologies


Rolf Steier from University of Oslo’s InterMedia program is a visiting scholar at the dolcelab this spring. Steier presented his work at dolcelab on using digital technologies to enhance learning in physical museum spaces. Steier’s work fuses a variety of technologies, including shared touch tabletop interfaces, physical manipulatives with RFID tags, video capture, social media, and QR codes to support learning about art and art history. His research includes examination of individual and group embodied cognition in learning, and the relationship between physical space and learning processes.


Gabriela and Chris talk on Gender and Games

Gabriela Richard and Chris Hoadley presented a paper titled, “Investigating a Supportive Online Gaming Community as a Means of Reducing Stereotype Threat Vulnerability Across Gender” at the Games+Learning+Society conference in Madison Wisconsin. The study showed how harassment and negative treatment in gaming culture might lead to pushing women, girls, and other minorities out of games, and how equity-supportive gaming clans may provide a protective effect.

Hoadley's laws of edtech

This spring, Chris Hoadley gave a talk to corporate thought leaders on What’s Next in Learning Technologies. With help from the NYCMediaLab, the slides (and Chris’ Three Laws of Educational Technology) are now online


Hoadley featured in report on the digital school

kearny report graphicATKearny recently released an “Issues and Insights” report on The Digital School, featuring an interview with Chris Hoadley.

“No amount of automation can substitute for the personal relationships that often drive learning. If the goal is to make sure that all children have all the important knowledge at their fingertips, we can do that pretty easily. If the goal is to inspire them to actually learn and hold them accountable, then relationships matter a lot more than content. This is an old argument—going back to SMART boards, and VCRs before that, and filmstrips and radios before that. The hardware is merely a platform for the software and the media, which are resources for classroom activities. These activities have to come from somewhere. That’s why the human element must be well aligned with the technological.”


Dr. QIAN Ling visits dolcelab

Dr. Ling Qian, Associate Professor and Director of the Department of Educational Technology at Hebei University came to dolcelab after presenting a talk entitled, “Educational Technology in China.” Welcome Professor Qian!