October 22, 2018

INSIDE WCER

October 22, 2018

GET YOUR SPOOK ON AT WCER HALLOWEEN GATHERING, POTLUCK

Panel discussion

All are invited to WCER’s annual Halloween party, this year featuring four costume contests, other seasonal activities and potluck treats from 2-4 pm Wednesday, Oct. 31, in Room 259.

Planners are asking for Halloween decorations and fun photo-booth props to be loaned or donated for the party. If you have any props or decorations, please email Ashley Gile, aagile@wisc.edu. Attendees also are asked to bring a treat to share for the potluck meal. To sign-up for that, just stop by the front desk at the business office or email Ashley.

As part of the festivities, contests will be held for funniest, scariest and most creative costumes, along with a new contest category of best team costume. A separate costume photo gallery also will be created; to be included in the collage, submit photos of you, your family or friends from any previous Halloween celebration held anywhere to Carrie Castree, castree@wisc.edu.


NEW WAYS OFFERED TO CONNECT WITH EPISTEMIC ANALYTICS LAB

WCER researcher David Williamson Shaffer and his associates continue finding new ways to share information and build community around quantitative ethnography, a first-of-its-kind research technique Shaffer developed for the study of culture and human behavior.

Designed to find meaningful connections in big data, Shaffer’s Epistemic Analytics Lab uses novel approaches and statistical tools to improve the assessment of complex thinking.

And now the lab has its own Slack channel, YouTube video site and, most recently, a  Facebook group for a growing number of adherents of QE and the technique’s dedicated data-modeling tool, known as epistemic network analysis, or ENA.

“The purpose of (the Facebook group) is to help facilitate the creation of a community of practice by connecting people from around the world who are using QE/ENA in their research, work or education activities,” lab communications associate Sara Tabatabai says. “It is a place to ask questions, share ideas and support one another’s work.”

The lab also has recently improved the ENA web tool so it runs faster on datasets with a large number of units. “Changes to your model that used to take 30 seconds or more to plot now run in only a few seconds,” Sara says.


EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CENTER LAUNCHING SOON

SXSW Logo

Everyone at WCER is invited to a launch and celebration event for the Center for Research on Early Childhood Education from 2:30-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Room 259. Please RSVP.

The event will be hosted by CRECE director Beth Graue and WCER director Robert Mathieu with Diana Hess, dean of the School of Education.

An opportunity for WCER researchers, advocates and colleagues to meet and network, the event also will introduce Amy Claessens, Gulbrandsen Distinguished Chair of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Educational Policy Studies.


GET QUESTIONS ANSWERED ON NEW E-REIMBURSEMENT SYSTEM

With the new e-Reimbursement system now live, the business office is offering a travel and reimbursement training session to address questions and comments about the system from 10-11:30 am on Oct. 30 in Room 253.

Encouraged to attend the session are those new to the travel & reimbursement processes; those who have not accessed the new e-Reimbursement system yet; and those who have questions or are looking for further guidance regarding the system.

The new reimbursement system is not just for reporting travel-related expenses.

“Non-travel related expenses can be reimbursed through the system, as long as they abide by university policies and procedures, same as travel,” says business office financial specialist Chris Birke.


MATTHEWS STUDYING WAYS TO BOOST EQUAL SIGN KNOWLEDGE

Percival Matthews, a WCER scientist and assistant professor of educational psychology, is the principal investigator on a new National Science Foundation-funded project designed to examine ways to more effectively promote equal sign knowledge among school children. The award is for $670,986 over three years.

The researchers will test the efficacy of brief episodes of instruction over the course of a semester to build children’s understanding of the equal sign and associated gains in algebraic thinking. Participants in the research will be elementary- and middle school students. Read more.


TIME ALMOST UP TO MAKE BENEFIT CHANGES FOR 2019

Just two more days remain to make benefit changes for next year, as the Annual Benefits Enrollment period ends Friday. All changes and elections made during the ABE period will be effective January 1, 2019.

Employees enrolled in the following benefits for 2018 must take action during ABE to continue the coverage: High Deductible Health Plan/Health Savings Account, FSA – Medical and Dependent Care, Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive and Dental WI/EPIC.

More information on benefit plans, premiums and how to enroll is available here.


EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CENTER LAUNCHING SOON

Everyone at WCER is invited to a launch and celebration event for the Center for Research on Early Childhood Education from 2:30-4 p.m. today (Wed, Oct. 24) in Room 259. Please RSVP.

The event will be hosted by CRECE director Beth Graue and WCER director Robert Mathieu with Diana Hess, dean of the School of Education.

An opportunity for WCER researchers, advocates and colleagues to meet and network, the event also will introduce Amy Claessens, Gulbrandsen Distinguished Chair of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Educational Policy Studies.


EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

PVL 96327 – Assistant Director of Professional Learning

PVL 106369–  WIDA Senior Financial Specialist


NEW VIDEO GAME HELPS STUDENTS THINK LIKE HISTORIANS

SXSW LogoWCER’s Field Day Lab created a game with multiple community partners to help teachers introduce students to historical inquiry via the motif of a young girl searching for history in the state Capitol with her pet badger.

The game, “Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case,” was designed with the Department of Public Instruction to ensure it aligns with state academic standards for social studies, English language arts and information technology.

See a video about the game’s creation here.

Field Day Lab is an interdisciplinary team of educational researchers, software engineers, artists and storytellers that explores the intersection of current learning science and media design, specializing in mobile media, video games and simulation.

The team makes learning games, virtual reality experiences and citizen science apps, with all games, apps and courses free and available online.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Nov. 7, 12:30-1:30 pm WIES Lecture Featuring Christien Tompkins, Room 159, Education Building

Dec. 5 Noon-2:00 pm WIES Lecture Featuring Benedikt Harrer, Room 159, Education Building


GRANTED!

Donald Gillian-Daniel received part of a $562,184 grant from the National Science Foundation in a subcontract with prime institution Northwestern University for “Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Undergraduate STEM Instruction,” through Sept. 30, 2023.


WELCOME ABOARD

Jennifer Feldmann, Administrative Program Specialist, WIDA Assessment

Allison Monday, Research Specialist, with Matthews Research Program

Amy Moschkau, Educator Outreach specialist, WIDA Client Relations

Aubrey Starr, Educator Outreach specialist, WIDA Client Relations

Julia Vander Meer, Associate Administrative Program Specialist, CIMER


JOURNAL ARTICLE

Feeling the Stress and Strain – Race, Economics, and the Educational Experiences of Latinx Emergent Bilinguals in a ‘New’ Destination SchoolBailey Smolarek, Race Ethnicity and Education, 2018

Smolarek writes: “The article uses ethnographic data to examine the schooling experiences of Latinx emergent bilinguals and the educators who worked with them at a mid-size high school in a small Wisconsin city.

Using Critical Race Theory, I argue that as tensions have increased in recent years from school funding cuts, deindustrialization and demographic shifts, the community’s white residents have repeated long-standing patterns of white supremacy to assert economic and cultural dominance over communities of color.”