Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2017 Archive

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Making connections in STEAM Education

3 May 2017

A Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation seminar.

The current excitement in schools around 'makerspaces', robotics, and science technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education is underpinned by substantial research into how students can learn about each of the component disciplines of STEAM education in a connected and collaborative way. Investment in innovative learning spaces, and resources such as 3D printers and electronics, provides educators with an opportunity to change teaching and learning in STEAM.

The presenter of this seminar, Dr Kate Thompson, is the head of Griffith University's Creative Practice Lab, which uses digital technologies (including robotics and digital fabrication) and state-of-the-art video recording and online collaboration systems (including a newly designed virtual internship) to provide teacher education. The CPL aims to provide opportunities to engage with innovative research, and to engage in research partnerships with schools to understand pedagogical approaches to STEAM in face-to-face and online environments.

Dr Thompson will present stories from her research, including a project that connected school students, STEAM education experts, and inservice and preservice teachers. She will describe how this work allows educators to understand those moments in which students connect their knowledge and skills across the STEAM fields to answer questions, solve problems and create products. To conclude, Dr Thompson will discuss the implications of her research for teacher practice and preservice teacher education.

Event details

  • When: 11.30am–1pm

  • Where: Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
    Education Building A35
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: Free

  • RSVP: Not necessary

  • Contact: Ling Wu
    T: +61 8627 5770

  • More info: Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch to eat during the event.

  • Speaker: Kate Thompson is a senior lecturer in digital technologies and design for education in School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University. Dr Thompson teaches all things digital and technology related, and her latest teaching project is a new Graduate Certificate in STEAM Education. Her many research projects are usually with teams of researchers, using innovative analytic or data-collection techniques, and focus on investgating ways of connecting people and knowledge to answer big questions about learning and teaching.

    Dr Thompson is specifically interested in collaborative learning and discovering patterns of learner interaction that could be used by an instructor to indicate progress through a task. Her research in this area influences how educators design for the use of a range of digital technologies as the tool around which collaboration occurs in increasingly complex face-to-face and online collaborative environments. Dr Thompson's research has been applied in collaborative learning and with students of all ages, from primary to postgraduate. Recently, she has  focused on interdisciplinary collaboration with two core groups: environmental science graduate students (in the US); and STEM preservice teachers, teachers and school students (in Australia). In the US, the impact of her research will be widespread because the team has been funded by the National Science Foundation to implement collaborative, interdisciplinary problem-solving based on their findings, in five institutions, expanding to 10 in 2017.

    In Australia, Dr Thompson leads teams working with STEM preservice teachers, teachers and students in Brisbane and Canberra. This research has direct impact on preservice teacher education at three universities. Dr Thompson is also involved in planning for the 2017 National Forum for enhancing the training of mathematics and science teachers. In 2016, Dr Thompson received funding to lead Griffith University's  Creative Practice Lab, to conduct research into pedagogical practices in contemporary learning spaces, learning analytics informed practice, as well as into online collaboration and design.

Making connections in STEAM Education

Where Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
Education Building A35
Click image for interactive map.


3 May 2017

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