I'm a learning scientist bridging theory and practice to build stronger education institutions and support equitable social futures for young people in the face of an evolving digital world. I engage in scholarly research, as well as organizational consulting and technical assistance.
I specialize in the intersection of three areas:
digital culture and learning
youth pathways and cross-setting learning ecosystems
organizational networks, collective action and institutional change
I work across these areas to generate new insights into social theory around learning, culture and institutions while also producing designs, principles and strategies that can drive impact. I approach applied research through lenses of collaborative design, democratic participation and fostering collective agency through joint work.
Digital Culture and Learning
Shifts in digital culture both afford new approaches to designing learning environments, as well as require an attention to the teaching of new literacies and technical skills. My work has focused on theorizing emergent critical computational literacies, constructionist pedagogies around making, computing and digital design, and teaching systems thinking through digital production.
Youth Pathways and Cross-setting Learning Ecosystems
Youth learning around technology is not bound to any one context, it takes place across multiple settings including home, school, peer groups, online, and in informal, community-based organizations. My work has focused on how continuities and discontinuities around youth learning pathways occur, and the critical role of learning brokers in supporting equitable outcomes.
Organizational Networks, Collective Action and Institutional Change
In a changing landscape around learning and technology, youth serving organizations are struggling to respond and adapt, and new institutional forms are emerging. My work centers on ways that designed organizational networks operate and how they support and are supported by institutional change within individual organizations.
Methods and Approaches
In order to support work in these areas, I engage in approaches rooted in traditions of participatory and collaborative design, democratic participation, research-practice partnerships, improvement science, and design-based implementation research. In my view, effective social change is rooted in collective agency, and I approach my work through this lens.
Funding for my work has been provided by The Spencer Foundation, The National Science Foundation, Google, The Mozilla Foundation, The Hive Digital Media and Learning Fund, The MacArthur Foundation, Capital One, and the Susan Crown Exchange.
My partners have included the Mozilla Foundation, Hive NYC Learning Network, CSforALL,
Scope of Work, MOUSE, Beam Center, Institute of Play, National Writing Project, Digital Youth Network, Frameworks Institute, PBS News Hour, UNICEF, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Broadly, my areas of expertise include:
Learning sciences, youth development, youth leadership, new media & learning, digital literacies, critical literacies, computing/computer science education, open source culture, youth civic engagement, DIY and Maker culture in education, design thinking, design-based learning, constructionist pedagogy, creativity and new media, systems thinking education, informal learning, out of school learning organizations, organizational theory, innovation networks, networked improvement, organizational collaboration, spread and scale of learning innovations, educational program design, improvement science, design-based research, design-based implementation research, research-practice partnerships.