Zhang Research Lab: Technology
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Technology-Augmented Co-Creativity Lab (TaCCL)
led by Dr. Jianwei Zhang at the University at Albany, State University of New York
Technology Design and Innovation
- Idea Thread Mapper (ITM 3.0) (https://idea-thread.net/ ). Interoperating with Knowledge Forum, ITM integrates support for student-driven discourse in each classroom community and boundary-crossing interaction across communities. The support for knowledge building within each classroom encourages students to co-organize evolving inquiry directions and social roles as their collective work proceeds. Systematic support is further incorporated to enable cross-classroom sharing and collaboration. A rich set of knowledge visualizations and collaborative analytics are embedded in ITM to detect emergent topics, trace student idea progress and connections, and generate automated feedback on student discourse. ITM has grown out of two NSF-funded research projects. The design of ITM was featured in several reviews of collaborative learning technology and analytics, such as Alwyn Vwen Yen Lee and Chew Lee Teo (2020). Beyond Threaded Discussions: Learning with Knowledge Building Analytics. SoLAR Nexus on Medium.com.
- The Knowledge Network for Innovations in Learning and Teaching (KNILT, https://knilt.arcc.albany.edu/ ). KNILT is an open online knowledge space—built upon the Mediawiki platform—where educators can generate, share, and search for ideas on how to improve education in the 21st century context. Since its inception in September 2007, KNILT has accumulated more than 600 mini-courses (as of December 2021). The mini-courses are further made freely available to educators from all around the world. KNILT is used by 1,000-2,000 users each day. During the COVID pandemic, the KNILT site has been used by a half million users from 223 countries, including many developing nations that lack educational resources. The University at Albany News Center created a news release featuring students' work on the KNILT project. See ETAP Students Create Mini-Courses to Empower 21st Century Educators (Feb. 8, 2022). Agencies that have endorsed and recommended KNILT mini-courses include the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Dropout Prevention Center, Ohio Department of Education, American Mathematical Society, and New York State Reading Association (NYSRA).