Margaret (Meg) Dickey-Kurdziolek
Completion Date: May 30, 2011
Keywords: HCI, CSCW, Educational Technology, CS Education, Ethnography
Personal Web Page: http://www.megkurdziolek.com
I am currently a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, and expect to defend in March 2011. Previously, I received my B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics (2005) and my Masters degree in Computer Science Applications (2007), also at Virginia Tech. Both my master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation have focused on Human-Computer Interaction, and specifically on the use, perception and design of technological resources for education.
My master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation work has been conducted within the context of the Scaling Up SimCalc Study. Scaling Up SimCalc is a large, controlled, randomized investigation with the hypothesis that a wide variety of teachers and students can benefit from the use of SimCalc, where SimCalc is the package of teacher professional development, curriculum, and SimCalc MathWorlds®. Both my master’s and dissertation work are concerned with the analysis of qualitative data, either from in-depth telephone interviews, or longitudinal classroom observations. In the first year of the Scaling-Up SimCalc study I conducted 34 of the 95 hour-long semi-structured teacher interviews, and the analysis of all the year one interviews was the subject of my master’s thesis. During the second year of the study I also conducted interviews with participating teachers (22 of 64) and conducted five weeks of in-depth observations in four participating middle-school classrooms. The analysis of the observation data, including 87 hours of video and 150 pages of field notes, is the subject of my doctoral dissertation.
By progressing from rough logging of topics to more refined creation of categories based on behaviors and use of words (Grounded Theory), I have created models of change which can be tested empirically due to the scale of the project. My master’s work resulted in a testable model of teacher-directed use of technological resources such as SimCalc MathWorlds in mathematics education, which identified three components: the teacher’s comfort with technology, the teacher’s belief in its importance for mathematic learning and barriers to use of technology in the environment. While my dissertation work is still ongoing, I have categorized issues of contention in student resource sharing and negotiation, as well as implicit and explicit teacher control over resources, which may affect how the students relate to the mathematics being taught. Specifically, from my dissertation work we can see factors of how the physical set-up and design of the technology impacts how the teachers make learning resources available for their students.
In addition to my masters and doctoral work, I have led a research team in the development and evaluation of a technology designed to deepen co-present classroom discussions. The technology is called “ThoughtSwap”, and has been piloted in middle-school science classrooms, undergraduate English classes, and undergraduate computer science classes. I was pleased to present the first round of ThoughtSwap evaluations at CSCW 2010.
My research has centered around the belief that technology can and should be designed for betterment of all types of users. Throughout my graduate studies I have focused on the ways technology can improve education for a wide-variety of students. However, in the future I would like to investigate use and design of technology in the domestic space as well for marginalized groups.
E-Mail: EMAIL OBFUSCATED
Phone: 001 – 540- 230- 9205