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Druin receives NSF CAREER Award; grant

Assistant Professor Allison Druin (EDU/ href="">UMIACS/ISR) has received a 2000 National Science Foundation CAREER award for "A Classroom of the Future: Developing and Infusing New Technologies in Early Childhood Education."

NSF's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program supports junior faculty within the context of their overall career development. It combines the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense, and emphasizes the importance NSF places on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.

Druin's project will address numerous questions that surround infusing technology into the classroom environment, particularly when it involves early childhood education environments. Particular questions include: What will pre-school classrooms look like with new technologies? What (if any) are appropriate new technologies for young children? Will early childhood teachers approach teaching in the same way? Will children learn differently because of these technologies? Druin's research will focus on developing, evaluating, and disseminating new technologies and infusion methods in early childhood education.

This 5-year research program will begin in 2001 and take place at both the University of Maryland's Center for Young Children and Yorktown Elementary School in Bowie, Maryland.

Druin also is the Principal Investigator for a two-and-a-half year, $600,000 NSF grant for Digital Libraries for Children. The grant is part of NSF's Digital Libraries Initiative, Phase 2. Other members of the team are Professor Ben Shneiderman (CS/ISR), HCIL Director and Professor Ben Bederson (UMIACS/CS) Glenda Revelle (UMIACS) and Dana Campbell (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard).

The grant funds a partnership with elementary school children (ages 5-10) and teachers from Yorktown Elementary School to develop a children’s digital library environment containing rich multimedia resources. The project will develop visual interfaces that support young children in querying, browsing, and organizing multimedia information. The children will be “design partners” who will help develop new digital library technologies that support their learning challenges. The project seeks to understand how new technologies can have an effect on learning, communicating, and collaborating in school environments.

You can read more about the Digital Libraries for Children project online.

November 29, 2000

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