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Keynote Speakers

ISLS Annual Meeting 2021 (Online Event)
Reflecting the Past and Embracing the Future
Bochum, Germany, June 7-11


Keynote Speakers and Abstracts

Learning: How the Brain Sees it

Onur Güntürkün​

Biopsychology
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Onur Güntürkün​​: Biography
Onur Güntürkün, he/him
Biopsychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
Biography: I’m a Turkish-born Professor for Biopsychology at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. I’m kept awake with questions like: “Can different kinds of brains produce the same cognition?” or “Why are brains asymmetrically organized?”.

I spent many years in different universities and science institutions on five continents and work (in descending order) with pigeons, humans, dolphins, crocodiles and magpies as experimental subjects. I would call myself a Cognitive and Comparative Neuroscientist who works with research approaches that reach from field work via single cell recordings up to brain imaging at ultrahigh magnetic fields.

I’m a member of the German National Academy of Sciences and received numerous national and international scientific awards, among them both the highest German and Turkish science award.
Abstract: I would like to take you on a journey that tracks the fate of the memory trace from the first moment that drives learning, through its consolidation, its subsequent representation up to the moment where the decision to retrieve this memory item is taken. This last step ultimately changes the trace since memories are modified when we remember them. In my talk, would like to stress one point: Especially within an educational context, learning often is seen as a device to acquire knowledge. It is rarely seen and optimized under the umbrella of retrieval. From the standpoint of the brain, however, retrieval is often more complicated than acquisition, since the relevant information has to be identified under the zillions of items that we store. Also, the decision to retrieve this item and not the other seems to alter and thereby stabilize the trace. As a consequence, teaching has to mind both the acquisition and the retrieval as two equally important goal posts.

Interdisciplinarity as a Core Value and a Core Skill:
Challenges and Opportunities for the Field of CSCL​

Carolyn Rosé

Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

Carolyn Rosé​​​: Biography
Carolyn Rosé, she/her
Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Pittsburgh, U.S.
Biography: Dr. Carolyn Rosé is a Professor of Language Technologies and Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University.

She investigates computational modeling paradigms for understanding the social and pragmatic nature of discourse in order to build intelligent systems for improving collaboration. Her research group’s highly interdisciplinary work is represented in top venues of 5 fields, with awards in 3 of these fields.

She is Past President and Inaugural Fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, Senior member of IEEE, Founding Chair of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in the Digital Era, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of CSCL.
Abstract: As a research community, the International Society of the Learning Sciences has always worked hard to maintain representation across multiple dimensions of diversity, including, but certainly not limited to regions and disciplines. The events of the world’s recent history challenge both our personal senses of safety and wellbeing as well as our bonds of community and joint engagement, which rest upon that foundation, a foundation meant to enable a productive synergy in the light of divers ity. In our CSCL research, we advocate for support that increases transactivity in the collaborative interactions supported within our learning environments. Nevertheless, in both our personal and professional lives even we struggle to engage with others even in our own communities who are distinctly different from ourselves. With this in mind, this talk will provide a reflection on interdisciplinarity as a core value and a core skill, unpacking it through the lens of research on its assessment, and considering how research on collaborative support, processes, and outcomes relate to these operationalizations but leave challenges and opportunities for the field going forward. In particular it considers how CSCL in the classroom might aim to prepare students for more challenging collaborations in the workplace and beyond.

Knowledge Building and the Learning Sciences:
Past, Present and the Future

Carol K.K. Chan

Faculty of Education
University of Hong Kong

Carolyn Rosé​: Biography
Carol K. K. Chan, she/her
Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Biography: Carol Chan is a Professor in the learning sciences at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She was a Co-Convenor of the interdisciplinary Sciences of Learning Strategic Theme at HKU and currently Research Leader of the Human Communication, Development and Information Sciences Unit.

For more than two decades, she has researched on socio-cognitive dynamics and pedagogical designs of Knowledge Building; she has led the Knowledge Building Teacher Network (KBTN), a large-scale professional development project. She is a Co-Editor of the International Handbook of Collaborative Learning and has published in flagship journals of learning sciences and education. She is Associate Editor of International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and editorial board member of Journal of Learning Sciences and Learning and Instruction. She is also Convenor of the Knowledge Building theme at the EDUsummIT 2019 focusing on research, practice and policy integration.
Abstract: Knowledge Building is one of the foundational models of the learning sciences and is more important than ever in the current post-truth era in which the value of science is challenged, and fake news seems rampant. In this talk, I will discuss the past, present and future of Knowledge Building and argue why this model, with its epistemic focus, is important for the learning sciences and education in the post-truth world.  I will outline the history of Knowledge Building including its roots in “taking cognitive science to school” and the pioneering instantiation of Knowledge Building in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment, Knowledge Forum®.  Current research advance in Knowledge Building focusing on theory-pedagogy-technology integration will be reviewed in light of related themes and issues in the learning sciences. I will also discuss the future development of Knowledge Building aligning with current trends in researching for impact and implementation in multi-level and multi-nation networks for scaling innovation in school systems.