Learning science with virtual worlds & computer models

29 April 2011

Join us as Professor Michael Jacobson presents, Innovative environments for learning science: Virtual worlds and computational models for understanding the complexity of biological and climate systems.

When: 1-2pm (light refreshments after the seminar), 29 April 2011
Where: Room 535, Carslaw Bldg, The University of Sydney
RSVP: Please RSVP using the form below.

Abstract: There have been recent calls of the increasing importance for students to learn about complex physical and social systems in order to understand new perspectives in the sciences of the 21st century. Not only are complex physical and social systems important to learn about in their own right, but these systems have certain common properties that have the potential to facilitate the learning and understanding of areas in the physical and social sciences currently taught as conceptually distinct and separate subjects. In this talk, I discuss two Australian Research Council funded projects that involve research and development of advanced learning technologies to help students learn important conceptual perspectives related to complex biological and climate systems. One project involves an intelligent agent augmented virtual world for learning about complex ecologies and the second employs agent-based computational modeling and visualization tools for helping students learn scientific perspectives about complexity related to climate change. Prototypes of the learning technologies will be demonstrated, and the implications for learning and teaching in Australian secondary science classes will be considered.

Michael J. Jacobson, PhD is a Professor and Chair of Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney. He also is the Co-director of the Centre for Research on Computer-supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo), Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, the Associate Dean for Information and Knowledge Technologies in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, and an Affiliate of the New England Complex Systems Institute. Previously, he was an Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences Laboratory at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the Senior Associate Director and an Associate Professor at the Korea University Center for Teaching and Learning in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Jacobson has also held faculty and research positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Vanderbilt University, and The University of Georgia, and he has been involved with organizational and international consulting activities. His research has focused on the design of learning technologies to foster deep conceptual understanding, conceptual change, and knowledge transfer in challenging conceptual domains. Most recently, his work has explored learning in agent-augmented multi-user virtual environments and with agent-based modeling and visualization tools, as well as cognitive and learning issues related to understanding new scientific perspectives emerging from the study of complex systems. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991.

Time: 1-2pm (light refreshments after the seminar)

Location: Room 535, Carslaw Bldg., The University of Sydney

Cost: Free

Email: 5a2d042313060318340d2409190b0b42765606