Fellowship Inauguration

On Tuesday, September 23rd 2008 a reception was held in Wallenberg Hall on the Stanford University campus to celebrate the inauguration of the Amir Lopatin Fellowship at Stanford University School of Education. The speeches and presentations are below:

· Mrs. Sara Lopatin's Speech [text]
· Prof. Roy Pea's Presentation [PowerPoint]
· Marcela Muņiz's Speech [text]
· Robb Lindgren's Speech [text]

We would like to thank Shoshana Lopatin Wainer and Jonathan Wolfson for posting online photo galleries of the event. Please let us know if you have pictures we can link to.

The Amir Lopatin Fellowship will provide funding for exceptional PhD students to support a summer or post-graduation project involving technology and education. Special preference will be given to PhD students in the School of Education's Program in Learning Sciences and Technology Design pursuing summer projects involving community-level fieldwork which use technology and project based learning to make education more engaging for primary and secondary school age students and otherwise enhance children's educational experience. We believe this grant will help perpetuate Amir's work by awarding and encouraging those most closely involved in Amir's life goal of making education more exciting and accessible through technology.

The 2009 grant has gone to Ugochi Acholonu. The description of her project is below:

To take full advantage of the learning potential inherent in digital devices, people need to become more than casual consumers of technology. Through participating in the active construction and design of technologies, individuals can learn to recognize the malleable nature of digital devices, and become empowered to effectively manipulate digital devices to solve problems and express their ideas. My research agenda is to understand how to design learning environments to support young people’s abilities to create, adapt, and repurpose technology to problem solve, express ideas, and fulfill personal needs. I am particularly interested in broadening such access for under-served youth so that they will have the knowledge and ability to create and adapt technology. To further my research agenda, I will use the Summer to implement an online learning environment. The learning environment will focus on engaging students in design activities where the students are creating, hacking, repairing, and repurposing technology. It is my hypothesis that by providing technology education that requires students to take on various roles (i.e. hacker, designer, fixer) with respect to technology, it will further increase their confidence in manipulating technology as well as increase their overall technical understanding of digital devices. The framework guiding the construction of this learning environment was developed this past year through pilot studies that I conducted at a local Charter School in East Palo Alto . It is my hope to complete the online environment this Summer, and to empirically evaluate its values in the Charter School during the Fall. Many schools across world do not have skilled educators to teach technical content to youth. By providing a free, online environment, I hope to remove the barriers of finances and curriculum that prevent many from learning more about technology. In addition to removing barriers, I strive to contribute to the knowledge base in the learning sciences concerning how environments influence student learning, motivation, and confidence.

In Memory of Amir Lopatin