January 15-16, 2015 · GitHub Headquarters, San Francisco · #OERSummit

Developer & Researcher Summit
OER, Data, APIs & Interoperability in Simulations, Games & Learning Analytics

We convened for two days of important thinking, great food and drink, and excellent networking at the intersection of games, simulations and research on learning. This interactive summit took place at the gorgeous and geeky GitHub HQ in San Francisco.

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Guiding Questions

  • What commonalities unite our development and research of data and analytics related to the use of simulations and games? What types of data are most valuable for what purposes?
  • How can we ensure interoperability of games, simulations and learning environments, particularly in the case of open resources, standards and approaches? What data are most useful to share among these tools or environments? How does the existence of HTML5 enable or facilitate new approaches to this work?
  • What tools, APIs and approaches are currently useful for analysis and data interchange? What challenges exist now? What commonalities can ensure synergy and integration among analysis tools and approaches?
  • What areas still need to be explored, particularly in the realm of combining different data sources, tools and techniques? What additional considerations including privacy, federation, research considerations, etc. are involved in investigating these questions?


 Researcher TrackDeveloper Track
8:30 AM—9:00 AMBreakfast and networking
9:00 AM—9:45 AMWelcome, logistics and speed introductions
9:45 AM—10:30 AMHack Day proposals and feedback
10:30 AM—12:00 PMResearchHacking
12:00 PM—12:45 PMLunch and networking
12:45 PM—1:00 PMUnconference introHacking
1:00 PM—2:30 PMUnconferenceHacking
2:30 PM—3:00 PMBreak and networking
3:00 PM—5:00 PMDataHacking
5:00 PM—6:00 PMSynthesis/Hack Day updates
6:30 PM—10:00 PMEvening Event — EdSurge


Thanks to these fabulous attendees for making the event a success!

Turadg Aleahmad, Coursera

Turadg Aleahmad is a software engineer at Coursera. Before that he cofounded Geknowm, researched OER technologies in his HCI PhD at CMU, and developed an open OER stack called SAIL at UC Berkeley TELS Center.

Matthew Berland, UW Madison

Matthew Berland is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He uses design-based research methods and learning analytics to create and analyze tools and constructionist learning environments that support students' creativity in learning computational literacies, systems literacies, and computer science and engineering content.

Marie Bienkowski, SRI

Marie Bienkowski is Deputy Director at the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International, a nonprofit research firm in Menlo Park, California. Research interests relevant to this summit include leveraging analytics to understand how K-12 students learn in open-ended, blocks-based visual programming environments. She is the author of the U.S. Department of Education policy brief "Enhancing Teaching and Learning Through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics."

Ahrash BissellAhrash Bissell, NROC

Ahrash N. Bissell joined the NROC Project in 2010, where he has managed the EdReady project since inception. Ahrash is also a consultant or board member on innovation in education and science for several projects and foundations, with special focus on science and math (STEM) disciplines, open educational resources (OER), and data-sharing. Prior positions include serving as the Executive Director of the education program at Creative Commons, the Assistant Director of the Academic Resource Center and a Research Associate in Biology at Duke University, and an instructor at several universities. He has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Oregon and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego.

Julie Ann CrommettJulie Ann Crommett, Google

Julie Ann Crommett joined Google in December 2013 and is currently the Program Manager, Computer Science Education in Media, working to shift perceptions of computer science in mainstream media to encourage more diversity in the field. Previously, Julie Ann was at NBCUniversal where she was responsible for behind-the-camera diversity initiatives, including the NBCU Directing Fellowship Program and Writers on the Verge. Throughout her time in Hollywood, Julie Ann initiated a cross-company Hispanic episode of NBC's Grimm, was an Entertainment Associate at Universal Cable Productions, an associate producer on the Animal Planet series I'm Alive, and a production intern in DVD/Promotions at Pixar Animation Studios. Julie Ann is originally from Atlanta, GA, via San Juan, Puerto Rico (Cuban, too!), and graduated with a B.A. degree in English and American literature from Harvard University.

Scott CytackiScott Cytacki, Concord Consortium

Scott Cytacki is a Senior Software Engineer. He is a strong proponent of open source software development. He has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Cornell University where he focused on machine vision. He worked for Xerox PARC for 2 years before joining the Concord Consortium.

Dan DamelinDan Damelin, Concord Consortium

Dan Damelin is currently PI for several projects focussed on modeling, curricular development and assessment related to the Next Generation Science Standards. For the past 14 years he has been involved with many projects at the Concord Consortium, most related to development of software and curriculum utilizing the Molecular Workbench. He has an undergraduate degree in chemistry, computer science, and environmental studies, as well as, a masters in education from Tufts University. He has also taught high school chemistry for 14 years and worked as a professional software engineer.

Cynthia D'AngeloCynthia D'Angelo, SRI

Cynthia D'Angelo, Ph.D., is a researcher specializing in science education, simulations, games, and learning. She is interested in how we can leverage data gathered through online technologies to better understand how it is that students learn STEM concepts and practices. She has a background in physics and science education.

Angela DeBargerAngela DeBarger, Lucas Education Research

Dr. Angela DeBarger is a program officer at Lucas Education Research, which supports the George Lucas Educational Foundation's mission by building evidence of transformative practices that promote student learning and lifelong achievement. Angela oversees science, math, and interdisciplinary learning initiatives for grades 4-8 at the Foundation. Previously, she was a Senior Research Scientist at SRI International. Her research focused on the application of assessment to enhance student learning and engagement through project-based activities in science.

Chad DorseyChad Dorsey, Concord Consortium

Chad Dorsey is President and CEO of the Concord Consortium. Chad's professional experience ranges across the fields of science, education, and technology. Prior to joining the Concord Consortium, Chad led teacher professional development workshops as a member of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. There he developed technology-embedded assessments, analyzed Web-based phenomena and representations for an online library, and co-authored an NSTA Press book of science formative assessment probes. Chad has also taught science in classrooms from middle schools through college and has guided educational reform efforts at the district-wide and whole-school levels. While earning his B.A. in physics at St. Olaf College and his M.A. in physics at the University of Oregon, Chad conducted experimental fluid mechanics research, built software models of Antarctic ice streams, and dragged a radar sled by hand across South Cascade Glacier. He first met computers when his family hooked an Apple II to their fancy new color TV set, and he's been a shameless geek ever since.

Bill FinzerBill Finzer, Concord Consortium

Bill Finzer is an educational software developer focusing on providing classroom tools with which students can engage with data. Formerly at KCP Technologies where he led the Fathom Dynamic Data team, he moved to Concord Consortium nine months ago to serve as PI of CODAP (Common Online Data Analysis Platform).

Stephen Guerin, SimTable

Stephen Guerin is the principal in Redfish Group, a research and development company in Santa Fe, New Mexico. RedfishGroup takes on research projects in agent-based modeling, human computer interaction, and ambient computing (spatial augmented reality). RedfishGroup produces AgentScript.org, an open-source HTML5 agent-based modeling framework. Stephen also serves as the CEO of Simtable, a product spinout from RedfishGroup. Simtable produces interactive simulations for firefighters and emergency managers that are projected onto physical 3D sandtables. Over 50 Simtables are deployed. Versions of the Simtable are now being used in high schools and universities with STEM simulation modules. Stephen lectures as a faculty member of Santa Fe Institute's Complex System Summer School.

Sam GweonSam Gweon, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gey-Hong (Sam) Gweon earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. He also worked at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, before coming to Santa Cruz, to become a Banana Slug (after being a Wolverine at the University of Michigan). His science training goes back to his undergraduate years in the Department of Physics at Seoul National University of South Korea, and his high school years when his enthusiastic physics teacher influenced him greatly.

Rina HofferRina Hoffer, Concord Consortium

Rina Hoffer is currently the project manager for the CODAP (Common Online Data Analysis Platform) project and the Office Manager for the West Coast office of the Concord Consortium based in Emeryville, CA.

Sherry HsiSherry Hsi, LHS

Sherry Hsi is a learning technology designer and researcher. She is the co-creator of HOWTOSMILE.org, an open STEM digital library of out-of-school hands-on activities. She is also the creator of the TechHive Studio, a teen internship program in engineering design at the Lawrence Hall of Science. With grants she won from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Hsi has designed innovative exhibits, websites, programs, and iPad Apps for children and families. She leads the California Girls Collaborative in STEM (CalGirlS), a project to build network of girl-serving STEM programs across California as part of the National Girls Collaborative.

Irvin R. Katz, ETS

Irvin R. Katz, Ph.D., directs the Cognitive Science Research group at Educational Testing Service. The 12 scientists in the group conduct research and development at the forefront of educational assessment, using cognitive theory in the design of assessments, building cognitive models to guide interpretation of test-takers' performance, and researching cognitive issues in the context of assessment. Moving beyond traditional (e.g., multiple-choice) tests, the group investigates reliable and valid assessment using innovative, highly interactive digital environments such as online games, virtual labs or other simulations, and human-agent conversation-based interactions.

Janet Kolodner, Georgia Institute of Technology

Janet Kolodner has been working in the learning sciences and learning technologies for 20 years and was one of the founders of the field, journal, and association of learning scientists. Her specialty has been learning from experience, and she has designed project-based/design-based curriculum that are worth learning from and the activities around those experiences that foster learning from those experiences. She has also designed software to help with those reflective activities. She was at NSF for the past four years running the Cyberlearning program. In her next life, Janet plans to bring several large integrative projects to life -- projects seamlessly integrating technologies with each other (in ways that go beyond interoperability) and that invite good pedagogy and integrating the technology with curriculum -- all over several sustained periods of time (three years of middle school science, for example).

Andrew Krumm, SRI

Andrew Krumm is an education researcher in SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning. As a learning scientist specializing in the use of technology to enhance K-16 learning environments, Andrew has received funding from NSF, IES, and SRI International to explore the intersection of learning sciences, advanced analytics, and researcher-practitioner partnerships.

Owen LawlorOwen Lawlor, Metacog

Owen Lawlor is a startup technology business executive with large data driven and visual analytics focus demonstrating success validating new markets, developing comprehensive product and go-to-market strategies, as well as managing global accounts, recruiting, sales and marketing activities, having been directly involved in growing companies from startup to nine figure top line revenues.

Hee-Sun LeeHee-Sun Lee, University of California, Santa Cruz

Hee-Sun Lee is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a science education research consultant and a science education researcher/learning scientist.

Steve Midgley, Mixrun

Steve Midgley is the managing member of Mixrun, a CTO consultancy firm. He is also a senior consulting adviser to the U.S. Department of Education for education technology, interoperable standards and educational infrastructure. As a government adviser, his principal areas of work are Race to the Top, Race to the Top Assessment and the Learning Registry. From 2010 to 2012, Steve served as Deputy Director of Education Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. Before this appointment, he was the Director of Education at the FCC, where he headed the team that developed the education chapter of the National Broadband Plan.

Tom Moher, University of Illinois, Chicago

Tom Moher is a faculty member of computer science and learning sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research centers on the use of embedded, mobile, and tangible technologies to support collaborative investigations of scientific phenomena in upper elementary school classrooms. Tom is the author of over 80 peer-reviewed publications, and has served as principal investigator of multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. Tom is most well known for his introduction of the "embedded phenomena" design framework, which situates classroom learners within distributed simulations of scientific phenomena presumed to share the space and time of regular classroom instruction.

Emily MooreEmily Moore, PhET

Dr. Emily Moore is the Research Coordinator for the PhET Interactive Simulations project, and project lead for efforts to increase the accessibility of PhET simulations. Dr. Moore studies the use and effectiveness of PhET simulations in classrooms from elementary to undergraduate level. She is particularly interested in understanding the role of PhET simulations in supporting effective guided-inquiry learning, including student reasoning with simulations and collaboration with shared visualizations.

Kathy PerkinsKathy Perkins, PhET

Dr. Kathy Perkins is Director of the PhET Interactive Simulations Project at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU). She also directs CU's Science Education Initiative and serves as a faculty member in Physics. She was trained in physics, chemistry, and atmospheric science at Harvard University, and transitioned to physics education research in January 2003 as a post-doctoral researcher with Carl Wieman. Since then, her work in education and education research has focused on advancing STEM education through several avenues, including work and research on pedagogically effective design and use of interactive simulations, sustainable course reform, students' beliefs about science, and institutional change.

Darrell Porcello, Berkeley

As the CTO of the science museum of University of California, Berkeley, Darrell Porcello manages, designs, and finds funding for digital education projects. He is a seasoned director-level professional for creative development teams and IT support staff. In his time at the Lawrence Hall of Science, he has grown a small multimedia service group into a successful production house for independent educational technology products with significant impact and thousands of active users. His group specializes in the creation and support of digital libraries containing many OERs for a diverse educational community; these projects include Howtosmile.org, NASAWavelength.org, and Informalscience.org.

Jason RavitzJason Ravitz, PhET

Jason Ravitz currently oversees evaluation of Google's outreach programs to increase participation in computer science education by under-represented minorities and women. Jason has training in instructional design, and has focused on research and evaluation of educational technologies and pedagogical reform for the last 20 years, including the development of technology-supported assessments and large-scale studies of teaching reforms, project-based learning and technology use in schools.

Sam Reid, PhET

Sam Reid has been developing software for PhET Interactive Simulations at the University of Colorado, Boulder since 2002. While working for PhET, he completed a Master's degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in the field of Machine Learning. He is currently involved with the design and implementation of new educational simulations as well as data analysis studies and foundational library development. Find him on GitHub and on Twitter

Ido Roll, University of British Columbia

Ido Roll is a Senior Manager for Research and Evaluation in the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology in the University of British Columbia. Ido studies the use of adaptive technologies to help students become more competent, curious, creative, and collaborative learners in classroom and online settings. He is particularly interested in using large-scale fine-grain data to create computational cognitive models that support personalized instruction and inform theories of learning. Ido's research utilizes a variety of methodologies from the fields of learning analytics, the learning sciences, cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and education. More can be found on his website at idoroll.com

Margaret RothMargaret Roth, Yet Analytics

Margaret Roth is Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Yet Analytics, a Baltimore-based company that is building the core data infrastructure for connected learning and training. As CMO, Margaret oversees operational and administrative projects, client and partnership relations, team management and facilitation, marketing, and development strategy. She is the former Director of Operations for the Office of Experiential Education at the Johns Hopkins University, and is the co-founder of EdTechWomen, an international network for women leaders in her field. She is a two time graduate of JHU and is thus a die-hard Blue Jay lacrosse fan, and spends a lot of time cooking, writing, organizing, kayaking and exploring.

Jonathan SandoeJonathan Sandoe, Concord Consortium

Jonathan Sandoe is a Senior Software Engineer located at the West Coast offices of the Concord Consortium, working primarily on the CODAP (Common Online Data Analysis Platform) project. He comes to the Concord Consortium from KCP Technologies, where he developed software for the Geometer's Sketchpad.

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Daniel SchwartzDaniel Schwartz, Stanford

Daniel Schwartz is a Professor of Educational Technology at Stanford University.

Ira SockowitzIra Sockowitz, Learning Games Network

As Executive Director of the Learning Games Network (LGN), Mr. Sockowitz manages the operation of LGN and ensures that the organization executes its mission of advancing the field of game-based learning. In doing so, Ira engenders partnerships with public, private and philanthropic organizations and represents LGN at industry and thought leader gatherings. In addition to serving the interests of the field, Ira oversees LGN's development of serious, educational games for learners of all ages with a staff of approximately 15. Ira Sockowitz' career spans the fields of law, public policy, and communications, giving him a unique blend of strategic planning and management know-how. As a result, Ira has earned a reputation as an effective leader who achieves his organizations' and clients' mission-critical goals.

Doug SteinDoug Stein, Metacog

Doug Stein was originally a physicist and high school teacher. In 1987 he started a software development career that has spanned industries as varied as higher ed interactive publishing (Pearson), technical computing (Wolfram Research), quantitative finance, enterprise software, K-12 SaaS, and now machine learning and educational data analytics (metacog). Along the way, he's also authored articles on scientific visualization and a book on lab data analysis using Mathematica. He was also one of the founding parents of a K-8 independent school that's been operating since 1992.

Elisabeth SylvanElisabeth Sylvan, Elisabeth Sylvan Consulting

Elisabeth Sylvan is a consultant who helps organizations to define and build educational technologies, programs, and spaces. Previously she was the Vice of Education at the Tech Museum where she founded and oversaw a new education department. Prior to that, she was a Research Scientist and Project Director at TERC where she researched the diffusion of ideas in communities in educational games and directed an online learning environment for developing data literacy through survey research and games. Her Master’s and PhD are from the MIT Media Lab where her dissertation presented a framework describing how online communities of creators influence and learn from one another.

Mike Tissenbaum, UW Madison

Mike Tissenbaum is a designer and researcher of classroom spaces to support students investigating and building knowledge through authentic inquiry. He is interested in how technology can transform physical spaces into dynamic environments that promote new forms of immersive and collective learning. Currently, Mike is a postdoctoral research associate at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and the Complex Play Lab (University of Wisconsin-Madison), where he is helping develop interactive museum exhibits to teach engineering and science. Mike received his Ph.D. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and a Master's from the Faculty of Information and the Knowledge Media Design Institute.

Jutta TreviranusJutta Treviranus, OCAD University

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and full professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto. Jutta also heads the Inclusive Design Institute, a multi-university regional centre of expertise. Jutta founded and directs an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University. Jutta is the co-director of Raising the Floor International. She leads international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented innovations that support inclusion, e.g., Fluid Project, FLOE, and many others. Jutta and her team have pioneered network-supported personalization as an approach to accessibility in the digital domain.

Susan Van GundySusan Van Gundy, Eduvate

Susan Van Gundy is a dynamic and innovative leader with more than 20 years of experience in national-scale program design and deployment emphasizing educational impact, technology strategy, organizational growth, sustainability planning, project management, strategic partnership building and community engagement. She possesses diverse expertise focused on educational technology infrastructure and policy; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development; open educational resources (OER); data interoperability; collaborative knowledge networks; teacher professional development; informal learning environments; and educational outreach.

Susan is CEO and Founder of Eduvate, a strategy consulting organization supporting innovations in K-12 learning and assessment, with an emphasis on effective educational technology practices. She is the former Director of Technology for the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. She is also the former Director of Education and Strategic Partnerships for the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). In addition, Susan was part of the initial team that conceptualized and developed the Learning Registry, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education intended to better connect educators to effective teaching and learning materials. Susan serves on numerous educational technology and science education advisory boards.

Hack Day

During the summit, we conducted a combined in-person and virtual hackathon to demonstrate working examples of interoperability and data exchange. The hackathon concluded with demos for summit attendees.

Evening Event

edSurgeBeyond Oregon Trail: Using Research to Build Better Learning Games
This evening event brought together educators, researchers and game designers to discuss how to build truly engaging games and experiences that deliver meaningful student outcomes. Read more about this event here: The Future of Educational Games.

Panel included:

  • Chad Dorsey, President & CEO, The Concord Consortium
  • Esteban Sosnik, Executive Director, co.lab
  • Ira Sockowitz, Executive Director, Learning Games Network
  • Michael John, Game Director, GlassLab
  • Janet Kolodner, former National Science Foundation Cyberlearning Program Head and Regents' Professor Emerita, Georgia Institute of Technology

Moderator: Tony Wan, Managing Editor, EdSurge