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2023 speakers


Opening Keynote

Marcelo Worsley

Dr. Marcelo Worsley is the Karr Family Associate Professor of Computer Science and Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. His research integrates artificial intelligence and data mining with multimodal interfaces to study and support human learning. He directs the technological innovations for inclusive learning and teaching (tilt) lab which works with community and industry partners around the world to empower people and organizations through the design and use of equity focused learning tools. These tools include both pedagogical and technological solutions for in school and out of school learning.


Panel Speaker

Aireale J. Rodgers

Dr. Aireale J. Rodgers is an Anna Julia Cooper Fellow and Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Drawing on frameworks from critical race studies and the learning sciences, Dr. Rodgers’ scholarship seeks to illuminate how people’s everyday (mis)understandings about race and racism shape learning across various higher education ecologies. Currently, she uses qualitative techniques to study faculty development programs, graduate student socialization processes, and classroom teaching and learning to better understand how educators can facilitate learning that advances critical race consciousness for faculty and students in postsecondary institutions.     


Panel Speaker

Kay Ramey

Dr. Kay Ramey is an Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences and Educational Psychology. Ramey joined the University of Iowa College of Education in 2022. Prior to joining the University of Iowa College of Education, she was a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She earned her PhD in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University (2017). Her research examines how young people organize their own learning and how to design spaces and activities that allow equitable access for them to do so. Most of her research has focused on STEAM activities and maker spaces, both in and out of school. She has lines of research investigating interest development and the role of interest in learning, how young people organize and make use of social and material resources to learn spatial skills and 21st century skills, and how educators make sense of and adapt innovative STEAM programming to meet their needs and the needs of their students. Her work primarily draws upon distributed perspectives on thinking and learning, and as a result, is largely qualitative, relying on interviews, video-ethnography, and interaction analysis.


Closing Keynote

Maxine McKinney de Royston

Dr. Maxine McKinney de Royston is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research analyzes the pedagogical and interactional characteristics of learning environments, such as math classrooms, as they relate to larger discourses about race, identity, power, and learning. Dr. McKinney de Royston’s work centers around two interrelated research strands: conceptualizing the multidimensional and politicized nature of learning and its implications for teaching; and examining how learning environments operate as racialized learning spaces. Within the first strand she studies the political clarity of Black educators to illuminate the sociopolitical and relational nature of teaching and learning. The second strand examines how learning environments can be shaped by societal discourses, learning contexts, and practices that honor more expansive ways of knowing and being for racially minoritized children. Among other places, Dr. McKinney de Royston’s work has been published in Teachers College Record, The Journal of the Learning Sciences, Cognition and Instruction, and Urban Education. She is a co-editor, along with Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Carol Lee, and Roy Pea, of the Handbook of the Cultural Foundations of Learning.


Panel Speaker

Joseph E. Michaelis

Dr. Joseph E Michaelis is an Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Science at the University of Illinois Chicago, and a former 6-12 science teacher. His research takes a sociocultural perspective to examine how technologies, such as social robots, can improve learning in STEM, by supporting deeper knowledge, a sense of belonging and value through socially rich interactions. Joe is an active member of the learning sciences community.  Over the last 10 years, he has shared ideas and built connections through numerous presentations, roundtables, and workshops at AERA and ISLS conferences. He was also a founding organizer and program chair for the Learning Sciences Graduate Student Conference. These communities have been a continual source of intellectual inspiration for his work.


Pre-Conference Workshop and UI Wild

Kathy L. Schuh

Kathy L. Schuh is a professor in Learning Sciences and Educational Psychology at the University of Iowa. She earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Instructional Systems Technology, and a Masters in Educational Psychology, from Indiana University
at Bloomington. The primary thread that runs through her scholarship trajectory is how learners are able to make meaning and how that process may be mediated. Mediation, as used in her work, focuses on elements that are often at the learners’ and instructors’
disposal and are naturally occurring – typical tools that are used, the environment and the interactions that take place within, and (primarily) learners’ prior knowledge. Given this mediational stance, her studies are grounded in aspects of socio-cultural constructivism, semiotics, and the mind as rhizome metaphor.

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