Resume

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OVERVIEW

Summary: 20+ years as leader, researcher, and educator. PhD from MIT Media Lab, VP of Education at The Tech Museum of Innovation, and Project Director and Research Scientist at TERC.

Leadership: Overseeing multifunctional teams of up to 35. Leading multiple projects at once. Building capacity through active listening for projects’ and team members’ needs. Accomplishing goals through partnerships and community engagement.

Domain expertise: Sociotechnical systems, human computer interaction, maker education and hacker culture, data literacy, learning communities, computational thinking, learning sciences, and behavioral economics.

Other Skills: Grant writing. Workshopping and facilitating group events and classes. User experience research. Curriculum development. Mixed methods research including ethnographic study, participatory design, experimental design, and surveys.

EXPERIENCE

Elisabeth Sylvan Consulting: Principal

2011 – Present

I help organizations to design and develop technological tools and programs that support community-based creation. I provide strategy development, insights about current sociotechnical and education trends, research design, user experience research, and early technology prototyping for community-focused nonprofits, museums, multinational corporations, and innovative schools. I often play the role of a ‘critical friend’ to leaders and teams, helping them to define their strengths and goals within a broader context and to develop strategies to implement the goals. Please see http://www.lisard.com for client and project details.

Manylabs: Scientist in Residence & Director of Learning and Community

2014 – 2017

I joined Manylabs when it was a new nonprofit that made open science tools. To help the organization establish itself, I defined a brand and product line, wrote foundation, corporate and NSF grants, built relationships with partners, and established common practices and events for the community. I supported advocacy groups, educators, and engaged citizens to answer real-world questions using scientific data.

The Tech Museum: Vice President of Education

2013 – 2014

I joined The Tech Museum to reestablish an education department that had not existed for many years. Based on the museum’s mission and organizational goals, I developed a vision and strategy for education at The Tech. To execute that strategy I hired a team, both internally and externally, across five areas: Gallery Programming, Labs, Field Trips, School and After-school Programs, and The Tech Challenge.

Under my leadership the education team executed a cohesive set of educational programs with clear short and long goals for revenue, programming, and staffing. For example, we expanded our signature weekend long event, The Tech Challenge, to be a full-year initiative with a five-year plan. We also developed a new gallery and lab staffing system which increased pay and created a new advancement for part-time junior staff, making the museum a more competitive employer and improving the experience of museum visitors.

TERC: Project Director & Research Scientist
2008 – 2013

As a Project Director I ran a 3-year multi-million dollar NSF-funded STEM educational R&D project for youth survey research. Deliverables included software, curriculum, learning analytics, and outreach, executed by a team of a dozen staff and contractors. As a Research Scientist I analyzed STEM educational games, co-developed and ran Scratch workshops, co-developed a company-wide plan for e-publishing, and developed and implemented external evaluations for clients.

MIT MEDIA LAB: Graduate Student Research Assistant
2000 – 2007

My dissertation examined influence and interaction in ‘Online Communities of Creators,’ sociotechnical systems that support sharing creative content. My general exams were on supporting community-enabled group learning and creativity within physical, social, and technological context.  I ran hands-on STEAM workshops around the world. I taught a graduate Research Methods class and co-founded Mediawomen, a social and advocacy group for women in technology.

EARLY RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY ROLES
1996 – 2001

I was Empirical Research Manager for the Gesture and Narrative Language group at the MIT Media Lab, a web designer and webmaster for MIT Sea Grant MIT, and a project manager and web designer at dot.com startups.

EDUCATION

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT Media Laboratory

Ph.D. Media Arts & Sciences 2007

Dissertation: The Sharing of Wonderful Ideas: Influence and Interaction in Online Communities of Creators.
Advisor: Mitch Resnick

M.S. Media Arts & Sciences 2003

Thesis: Analyzing and Designing for Task Switching at Work.
Advisor: Dan Ariely

Carnegie Mellon University

1996 BS. In Psychology

Teaching

Technology in the K12 Classroom. Adjunct Professor at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College, Winter 2018.

Designing Learner Centered Instruction. Adjunct Professor at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College. Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018.

Human Computer Interaction, Spring 2013. Lecturer for Northeastern University College of Computer & Information Science.

Introduction to Teaching Math and Science Teaching Assistant for MIT Teacher Education Program, 2006.

Empirical Research Methods,” Instructor of 1-month graduate-level class MIT Media Laboratory, 2007.

Introduction to Psychology Teaching Assistant in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, 1996.

General Psychology Teaching Assistant in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, 1993-1996.

Selected Workshops and Teacher Professional Development Led

Connected Learning Summit, Cambridge Massachusetts, August 2018.
Tell Data Stories Using Paper Circuit Visualizations With the Open Data/Open Minds Project.

University of Notre Dame, San Jose CA, July 2018
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Notre Dame Center for STEM Education Trustee teacher cohort.

The Tech Museum, San Jose CA, January 2018
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Notre Dame Center for STEM Education Trustee teacher cohort.

University of Notre Dame, San Jose CA, July 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Notre Dame Center for STEM Education Trustee teacher cohort.

The Tech Museum, San Jose CA, July 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Notre Dame Center for STEM Education Trustee teacher cohort.

Pan-PBL Conference, Santa Clara, CA, Santa Clara University, February 2018
Open Data/Open Minds: Tell Local Stories Using with Maps, Paper Circuits and Illuminated Visualizations.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA October 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Monterey Bay Aquarium teacher cohort.

Context Conference, CREATE Lab at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA 2, October 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for conference attendees including Fluency Project teacher cohort.

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, July 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” professional development for Notre Dame Center for STEM Education teacher cohort.

University of Pittsburgh Department of Education, Pittsburgh PA, July 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Western Pennsylvania Writing Project teacher cohort.

University of Pittsburgh Department of Education, Pittsburgh PA,  July 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for the CMU Robotics Institute’s Create Lab Fluency Project cohort.

University of Notre Dame, San Jose CA, July 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Notre Dame Center for STEM Education Trustee teacher cohort.

The Tech Museum, San Jose CA, January 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for Notre Dame Center for STEM Education Trustee teacher cohort.

Manylabs, San Francisco, CA February 2017
“Open Data/Open Minds” teacher professional development workshop for the CMU Robotics Institute’s Create Lab Fluency Project cohort.

Manylabs, San Francisco and National Writing Project, Berkeley CA April 2016
“Open Data/Open Minds Design Conversation” workshop for project advisors.

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, August 2010
“Ejewels” workshop for inaugural Community Day.

Jonah Clarke Middle School, Lexington Massachusetts, September 2006 – June 2007
Year-long afterschool Scratch Programming Club.

Computer Clubhouse Teen Summit, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 2006
Week-long “Understanding Community” for international youth conference.

SIGGRAPH 2006, Boston, Massachusetts, August 2006
“Educational, Robotics: The Next Generation” for conference participants.

Highlands & Islands Enterprise “Digital Future” Conference, Aviemore, Scotland, May 2006
“AskMobi” workshop for youth invited to national conference.

Interaction Design for Children (IDC) Conference, Boulder, Colorado, June 2005
“Creating Electronic Craft Experiences for Children” workshop.

The LEAD program, Hong Kong, May 2005
“Robotics with Crickets and RCX” workshop for national youth conference.

Annual Conference of ACADIA at University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, October 2004
“Responsive Environments: Light, Color and Interaction” and “Fabrication Charrette.”

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s Summer Design Institute, New York, August 2004
“Light, Color and Interaction: Designing Playful Inventions and Explorations with Crickets” for designers and educators.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine, September 2002
“Playing with Light Workshop” at for invited artists and technologists.

The Ark, Dublin,Ireland,  August 2002
Two-week “Ejewels” workshop and one-week “Situated Journalism” workshop.

Selected Guest Lectures & Invited Talks

University of California at Berkeley, School of Information. Paper Tangible Interfaces With and Without Data November 2017.

FXPal. Getting the Work Done Together: How Sociotechnical Systems Support Group Collaboration and Creation. Palo Alto, CA, October 2106.

Yahoo. Untitled talk. Palo Alto, CA, September 2016.

SRI Open Data/Open Minds, presented with David Cole. Menlo Park, CA  March 2016.

Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information, Department of Library and Information Science.  Communities Connections: Supporting Individual And Collective Knowledge and Creativity. New Brunswick, NJ. February 2013.

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. Communities Connections: Socio-Technological Systems To Support Individual And Collective Knowledge and Creativity. Atlanta, GA. January 2013.

Clemson University. Communities Connections: Socio-Technological Systems To Support Individual And Collective Knowledge and Creativity. Clemson, SC. June 2012.

Disney Research. Communities connections: influence and interaction in social games and networked communities. Pittsburgh, PA. March 2012.

Oracle Corporation. What Our Social Networks Say About Us. Cambridge, MA. January 2012.

Northeastern University College of Computer and Information Science, HCI Seminar, Boston, MA, November 2008.

IBM Watson Research Center, Lunchtime Luminary Series, Cambridge, MA, October 2008.

University of Massachusetts Lowell, Computer Science Colloquium, Lowell, MA, October 2008.

Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Studying Youth Social Networks for course on Culture, Technology, and Equity, Cambridge, MA, 2006.

MIT Media Lab. Empirical Research Methods for “Introduction to the Media Lab” course, 2006.

Annual Meeting of Highlands and Islands Enterprises, Nairn, Scotland, September 2005.

MIT Media Lab Center for Bits and Atoms to the NSF, Cambridge, MA, June 2004.

MIT Media Lab Things that Think consortium, Cambridge, MA, February 2003.

MIT Media Lab Digital Life consortium, Cambridge, MA April 2003.

MIT Media Lab Digital Life consortium, Cambridge, MA May 2002.

MasterCard Headquarters, White Plains, NY, December 2001.

PUBLICATIONS

Journal Publications and Conference Presentations with Proceedings

Sylvan, E. (accepted 2018).  Data Literacy As Storytelling Practice In The Open Data/Open Minds Project. To be included in Proc. of the ICLS  June 23 – 27, 2018, London, UK. [pdf]

Puttick, G., Strawhacker, A., Bernstein, D., & Sylvan, E. (2014). It’s Not As Bad As Using the Toaster All The Time – Designing Trade Offs In A Scratch Game About Energy Use. In Proc. of the ICLS  June 23 – 27, 2014, Boulder, CO. [pdf]

Asbell-Clarke, J. Rowe, E. Sylvan, E., (2013). Dwelling and Indwelling: How Games Nurture, Reveal and Measure Tacit Knowledge. In Proc of CHI’13 April 27-May 2, Paris, France.

Sylvan, E., Asbell-Clarke, J., Fraser, J., Gupta, R. & Rowe, E. (2013.) It’s Not Who I Am, It’s What I Do: How Youth Gamer Identity and Beliefs about Social Perception Relates to their Science Understanding. In Proc of Digital Games Research Association (DIGRA 2013) August 26-29, Atlanta, GA.

Asbell-Clarke, J. Rowe, E. Sylvan, E., (2013) Indwelling in Science: Measuring Tacit Learning in a Physics Game. In Proc of Digital Games Research Association (DIGRA 2013) August 26-29, Atlanta, GA.

Asbell-Clarke, J. Rowe, E., Sylvan, E., & Baker, R. (2013). Working through Impulse: Assessment of Emergent Learning in a Physics Game. Proc. of Games + Learning + Society (GLS 9.0.) Madison, Wisconsin. [pdf]

Asbell-Clarke, J., Edwards, T., Larsen, J., Rowe, E., Sylvan, E., & Hewitt, J. (2012). Martian Boneyards: Scientific Inquiry in an MMO Game. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 2(1), 52-76. doi:10.4018/ijgbl.2012010104. [pdf]

Sylvan, E., Larsen, J., Asbell-Clarke, J. & Edwards, T. (2012). The Canary’s Not Dead, It’s Just Resting: The Productive Failure of a Science-Based Augmented-Reality Game. Proc. of Games + Learning + Society (GLS 8.0.) Madison, Wisconsin, USA. [pdf]

Asbell-Clarke, J & Sylvan, E. (2012) Martian Boneyards: Can a Community of Players be a Community of Practice? Proc. of CHI ’12, May 05 – 10 2012, Austin, TX, USA. ACM New York, NY, 409-418. [pdf]

Sylvan, E. (2010). Predicting influence in an online community of creators. In Proc. of CHI ’10. April 10 – 15, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ACM New York, NY, 1913-1916. [pdf]

Sylvan, E. A. (2010). Predicting social influence and project influence in Online Communities of Creators. In Proc. of the ICLS ’09 Vol.2 June 29 – July 02, 2010, Chicago, Illinois, 455-457.

Shneiderman, B., Fischer, G., Czerwinski, M. Resnick, M., Myers, B., Candy, L., Edmonds, E., Eisenberg, M., Giaccardi, E., Hewett, T., Jennings, P., Kules, W., Nakakoji, K., Nunamaker, J., Pausch, R., Selker, T., Sylvan, E., Terry, M. (2006). Creativity support tools: Report from a U. S. National Science Foundation Sponsored Workshop. International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, 20(2), 61-77. [pdf]

Sylvan, E. (2006). Who knows whom in a virtual learning network?: applying social network analysis to communities of learners at the computer clubhouse. In Proc. of the 7th International Conference on Learning Sciences, Bloomington, Indiana, June 27 – July 01, 2006, International Society of the Learning Sciences, 758-764. [pdf]

Seitinger S, Sylvan E, Zuckerman O, Popovic M, & Zuckerman O. (2006). A New Playground Experience: Going Digital. In G. Olson & R.  Jeffries (Eds), Proc. Of CHI 2006, ACM, New York, NY 303-308. [pdf]

Sylvan E. (2005). Methodologies for Understanding Social Creativity During Collaborative Design Activities: A Proposal. In JS Gero  and ML Maher.  Computational and Cognitive Models of Creative Design VI, Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, University of Sydney, Australia, 365-374. [pdf]

Book Chapters and Reports

Sylvan, E. (2009). The Computer Clubhouse Village: An Intranet For Sharing and Connecting. Kafai, Y, Peppler, K, & Chapman, R. The Computer Clubhouse: Creativity and Constructionism in Youth Communities. New York: Teachers College Press. [pdf]

Hewett T, Czerwinski M, Terry M, Nunamaker J, Candy L, Kules B, and Sylvan E. (2005). Creativity Support Tool Evaluation Methods and Metrics. In the NSF Report of Workshop on Creativity Support Tools, September 2005. [pdf]

Shneiderman B, Fischer G, Czerwinski M, Resnick M, Myers B, Candy L, Edmonds E, Eisenberg M, Giaccardi E, Hewett T, Jennings P, Kules B, Nakakoji K, Nunamaker J, Pausch R, Selker T, Sylvan E, Terry M. (2005). White Paper on Creativity Support Tools Workshop. In NSF Report of Workshop on Creativity Support Tools, September 2005. [pdf]

Conference Presentations without Proceedings

Freed, N., Sylvan, E. & Cole, D. (2018). City Data Dashboards: Paper Circuit Pop-Ups to Engage Youth in Creative Exploration with Open Civic Data. Tech demo at Connected Learning Summit, Cambridge Massachusetts, August 2018.

Sylvan, E. (2018). Open Data/Open Minds: Tell Local Stories Using with Maps, Paper Circuits and Illuminated Visualizations, PBL2018 International Conference, Santa Clara, CA.

Sylvan, E. (2017). Open Data/Open Minds: Explorations in Data, Literacy, Craft and Code. Mozfest, London, England.

Sylvan, E., Hutchins, M, Lanas, J & Roop, L. (2017)  Data/Open Minds Panel: Our Experiences with Techniques and Tools for Data Literacy Learning. Context Conference, Pittsburgh Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA.

Sylvan, E., Dicus, E., McGary, K., & Sand, P. (2015). LivingData: An Open Source Environmental Monitoring Toolkit for Learners and Their Communities. FabLearn2015. Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

Sylvan, E. (2014) Online Tools to Support Computational Thinking. CUE eLearning Strategies Symposium, San Mateo, CA.

Sylvan, E. (2014) Computational Thinking: There’s More to Coding Than Code. Fall Cue Conference Napa Valley, CA.

Asbell-Clarke, J. & Sylvan, E. (2012). The Influence of Players’ Interactivity and Identity on Social Games Design for Learning.  #Influence12 Symposium & Workshop. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. [pdf]

Rowe, E., Zalles, D., Sylvan, E., & Hancock, C. (2011). Learning Data Literacy Skills and Concepts in Two Games: Question Detective and Space Chase. Children’s Learning in Videogame and Academic Settings symposium at the Society for Research in Child Development biennial meeting.  Montreal, Canada.

Asbell-Clarke, J., Edwards, T, Larsen, J., Rowe, E., Sylvan, E., & Hewitt, J. (2011). Collaborative Scientific Inquiry in Arcadia: An MMO gaming environment on Blue Mars. American Educational Research Association. Received the AERA ARVEL SIG Emerging Scholar Award.

Peppler, K., Kafai, Y., Rusk, N., Beals, L., Bers, M., Breslow, G., Chapman, R., Martin, C., Barron, B., Wise, S., Millner, A., Rusk, N., Resnick, M., Cooke, S., Sylvan, E., Cole, M. (2009). The Computer Clubhouse Learning Model: Learning Inquiry, Collaboration, and the Development of 21st Century Skills in Informal Learning Spaces. 2009 American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Diego, CA.

Sylvan, E. (2005). Social Network Analysis of Learning Networks. Boston Learning Technology Conference, Museum of Science, Boston, MA.

Sylvan E. (2005). Integrating Aesthetic, Engineering, and Scientific Understanding in a Hands-on Design Activity. Interaction Design for Children, Boulder, CO.

Fujimori Y, Sylvan E, & Alibali M. (1997). Gestures in the classroom in Japan and the United States. Twenty-seventh Annual Jean Piaget Symposium, Santa Monica, CA.

Sylvan E, Fujimori Y, & Kawanaka T. (1997). The functions of teachers’ gestures: What’s the point? Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association. Chicago, IL.

Selected Invited Symposiums and Workshops Participation

FUN: A Finland US Network for Engagement and STEM Learning in Games. Helsinki, Finland, May 2013.

Gaming and Virtual Training Development for First Responders Workshop at Rutgers University for Next-Generation Communication Interoperability, Jan 2013.

The Summer Institute of the Consortium of the Science of Sociotechnical Systems. Sante Fe, NM, July- August 2012.

Creativity and Ingenuity Symposium. Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME, September, 2011.

Workshop on Creativity Support Tools. NSF, Washington DC, June, 2005.

Digital Dialogues Symposium. Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME, October, 2002.

Creative Computing Workshop. CHI conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 2002.

Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality in Psychology and Economics. Max Plank Center for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, July 2001.

SERVICE

Program Committees

Program committee member for the International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU), 2012.

Program Committee member for Social Applications, Networks, and Systems (SNAS), 2009.

Paper and Proposal Reviewing

Reviewer for Computer Human Interaction (CHI), Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL),  Computer-Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) International Conference on the Learning Sciences (ICLS), Internet Research (IR) conference, and Interaction Design for Children (IDC).

NSF peer reviewer, 2009-2010.

Proposal Reviewer for Next General Learning Challenges (NGLC) Wave 1 and 2, 2010-2011.

Advisory boards

Stanford d-school Build Lab, Krause Center for Innovation, Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and zSpace.

Institutional Committees

Institutional Review Board member, TERC 2011-2013.

Institutional Review Board member, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004-2007.

Professional Memberships

CUE, Association for Computing Machinery. SIGCHI. Association of Internet Researchers. International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Volunteering

Mentor for technology professionals through Mozilla Open Leaders and the Jewish High Tech Council.

Girl Scout Leader.

HONORS AND AWARDS

International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE) Fellow, 2011.

2011 Emerging Scholar Award for the AERA Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning (ARVEL) SIG.

Highlands and Islands Fellow, 2005-2006.

Media Lab Europe Fellow, 2003-2004.

MIT Media Lab scholarship, 2000-2003, 2004-2005, 2006-2007.