In the News
June 22, 2017
The Illinois Digital Ecologies and Learning Laboratory is focused on finding new and innovative ways to teach scientific concepts and to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and math
Two little girls stand side by side in a virtually empty room, gleefully gyrating their arms. The room is “virtually” empty because the girls have a companion of sorts, a computer-simulated robot illuminated in high definition on one wall. Although their manner is playful, the girls have determined expressions on their faces, intent on completing a complex and urgent task. The robot is trapped in a factory that has caught fire, and the girls must help the robot escape by energizing it. Their motions control its movements, and the robot gives them verbal clues about what they need to do.
June 27, 2017
Children must be taught to collaborate, studies say
At its best, collaboration in the classroom can help students think more deeply and creatively about a subject and develop more empathy for others' perspectives. At its worst, group tasks can deteriorate into awkward silences, arguments—or frustration for the one child who ends up doing everyone else's work.
Now, as the teaching technique gains new prominence in state standards, researchers and educators are working to understand how to help students gain the skills needed to learn and work in groups.
June 01, 2017
Asparagus or broccoli: Food for thought
Technology plays an important role in the day-to-day lives of nearly everyone on the planet. When created and used thoughtfully, technology can be incredibly engaging, especially for children. With the advent of smart phones and tablets have come educational apps and a call for an increase in the use of technology in classrooms. When teachers use technology in the classroom, students have the potential to more readily learn and grasp complex concepts and lessons. One assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created an app to do just that.
May 02, 2017
C&I professor’s app helps kids understand the environmental impact of food choices
For two years Curriculum & Instruction scholar Emma Mercier and her team have been working on a Food for Thought app that helps make kids aware of the causes and impacts of climate change and assists them with making sense of data in their decision-making process on the topic.
April 30, 2017
Wired In: Emma Mercier
Each week, Paul Wood chats with a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet EMMA MERCIER, a University of Illinois curriculum and instruction professor with a doctorate from Stanford. A native of Ireland, Mercier, 37, still eats meat sometimes, but teaches children about its impact on our environment, in terms of both the carbon and water it takes to produce. She and her graduate students have created the Food for Thought app, which aims to give seventh and eighth-graders insight into the food industry's impact on the environment. In her study on middle school eating habits, she found most skipped the broccoli option in favor of meat, often burgers. The app now has a brand-new iPad version just available in the App Store as of Friday.
September 24, 2016
C&I professors to collaborate on NSF-funded grant
Emma Mercier and Luc Paquette, both assistant professors in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, have received a $1.35 million National Science Foundation Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies grant for a study that will explore how tools to manage the teaching of collaborative activities can be developed and used to support collaborative problem-solving in core engineering courses.
May 20, 2016
Healthy Eating App Teaches Students Climate Change
Any parent with kids probably knows how challenging it can be to get them to eat healthy foods like vegetables. There’s recommendations about when to introduce sweets, how to make food interesting, and how to avoid vegetable tug-of-war at each meal.
September 22, 2015
College of Education opens new digital learning research laboratory
The College of Education will host an event Sept. 30 to debut a new research laboratory that enables scholars to study learner interactions with digital technologies in real time while collecting massive amounts of varied data.
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