News Article

Drs. Cavallo and Bers Named 2005 Jan Hawkins Award Recipients

Thursday, April 14, 2005


MONTREAL--David Cavallo, research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory, and Marina Bers, assistant professor in the Eliot-Pearson department of Child Development at Tufts University, are the co-recipients of the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies for 2005.

Drs. Cavallo and Bers will receive the award during the American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting (April 12-16), on Thursday, April 14, at 12:25pm at Montreal's Le Centre Sheraton, Salon 1.

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 (2006).

David Cavallo co-directs the MIT Media Lab's Future of Learning group, which explores how new technologies can enable new ways of thinking, learning, and designing. The group creates new "tools to think with" and examines how these tools can help bring about change in real-world settings, such as schools, museums, and under-served communities. Prior to joining the Media Lab, Dr. Cavallo led the design and implementation of medical informatics at Harvard University Health Services, and was a principal and consulting software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation's Artificial Intelligence Technology Center.

While at Digital, Dr. Cavallo designed and built numerous knowledge-based systems for industry, most notably a set of intelligent microworlds for training air traffic controllers. He founded and led the Advanced Technology group for Digital's Latin American and Caribbean region. In addition to his research and development work, Dr. Cavallo has also acted as an advisor to heads of state and ministries of education on the adoption of advanced technologies for learning and the reform of educational institutions.

Marina Bers directs educational research at the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach (CEEO). She has created a transdisciplinary research group Developmental Technologies, aimed at understanding how new technologies can play a positive role in the development of children and teenagers and their communities. This research operates across three dimensions: theoretical contributions, design of technology and empirical work with populations to test and evaluate the theory and the technologies. The group involves students from disciplines such as child development, psychology, computer sciences, engineering and education.

Her research interests include: educational technology, new technologies for mental health care, collaborative virtual environments for young children and teachers, impact of new technologies for personal, social and moral development, design of innovative human-computer interfaces for learning and teaching, use of technology in hospitals, museums, schools and communities.

Following the presentation of the 2005 Jan Hawkins award, the winners of last year's award (Drs. Brian Smith and Elizabeth Davis) will present papers describing their latest research.

Cavallo's MIT Homepage