News Article

2004 Jan Hawkins Award Recipients Announced

Monday, April 12, 2004


SAN DIEGO--Brian Smith, associate professor of instructional systems at Penn State University, and Elizabeth A. Davis, assistant professor of education at the University of Michigan, are the co-recipients of the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies for 2004.

Drs. Smith and Davis will receive the award during the American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting (April 12-16), on Thursday, April 15, at 2:15pm at San Diego Manchester Grand Hyatt, Ballroom E.

Created to honor the memory of Jan Hawkins, a developmental psychologist well known for her respectful, humanistic conceptions of appropriate roles for using technology in K-12 learning environments, the Jan Hawkins Award recognizes an individual, individuals or small collaborative teams engaged in research that combines in some way with practice and advocacy. Award recipients receive a stipend of $500 and the opportunity to present at the following AERA (2005).

Dr. Smith's research deals with computer-aided cognition and decision-making--how computational artifacts can be designed to enhance human learning and performance in "everyday" settings. Examples of his work include video annotation systems for biology education, GPS-enabled cameras and image databases for history education, and interventions around photography and computer visualizations to promote awareness of personal health practices. His current projects explore information design for informal, everyday decision-making.

"Brian Smith is helping students see images and video not as information to learn but as data to investigate. He uses multimedia digital artifacts--movies of wild animals stalking their prey or collections of historical images of the same location over time--to engage students in collaborative inquiry and intellectual dicussion," says Margaret Riel, senior researcher at the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI. Riel and Andee Rubin, senior scientist at TERC, co-chaired the Jan Hawkins award selection committee.

Dr. Davis is a science educator whose research integrates aspects of science education, teacher education, and the learning sciences. Her research investigates how new elementary science teachers learn--in particular, science content and pedagogical content. Her NSF-funded research project CASES focuses on how preservice and new elementary teachers learn to teach inquiry-oriented science and how technology can support their learning. She is particularly interested in the role that reflection plays in that process. Dr. Davis's research also explores how technology-mediated learning environments support, more generally, students' and teachers' science learning.

"Working with Marcia Linn and Phillip Bell at UC Berkeley, Betsy Davis has experimented with different forms of scaffolding to help direct student inquiry in science," says Riel. "Her design and research on learning environments for teachers, CASES (curriculum access system for elementary science), is providing valuable insights about how science teachers develop their expertise."

Following the presentation of the 2004 Jan Hawkins award, the winners of last year's award will present papers describing their latest research. Nicole Pinkard (University of Chicago) will deliver a talk titled, "Making Culture Visible: Exploring Children's Perceptions of Self Through Their Use of Educational Technology." Reed R. Stevens (University of Washington) will deliver a talk titled, "Learning to See in Technoscience."