Holbert, Nathan R. (nrh2118)

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Holbert, Nathan
Assistant Professor of Communications, Computing and Technology in Ed.
Mathematics, Science & Technology
212-678-8207

Office:
322C Thmps

Office Hours:
T 4-6; R 3-4

Educational Background

Ph.D., Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
M.A.Ed., Instructional Process, Washington University
B.S., Secondary Chemistry Education, Greenville College

Scholarly Interests

I explore how children engage in testing, tinkering, and sense making during play around topics or phenomena that they find personally engaging. In particular I study how children use intuitions about natural phenomena and scientific principles to interpret and assimilate central representations and tools found in play spaces, and how we might reconceive these environments to provide rich learning experiences that all children will see as highly connected to their personal values and goals as well as to formal tools and ideas. This work involves attending closely to the design of representations and tools within these play spaces as well as the artifacts (both tangible and intangible) constructed by children during play. My work is situated squarely in the constructionist tradition and often involves the design and creation of useful and powerful educational tools in the service of the refinement and development of cognitive theory. My current research explores play and learning in diverse contexts (such as makerspaces, the beanbag chair, and the classroom) and domains (such as computer science, engineering, and the physical sciences). More information about current projects can be found at www.snowdaylearninglab.org.

American Education Research Association Annual Conference, April 2015 -- Chicago, IL

Paper Presentation: "Designing Games to be Object-to-Think-With." N. Holbert in "New Perspectives for Serious Gaming: Games that Integrate Making and Playing for Learning," Y. B. Kafai session chair.

American Education Research Association Annual Conference, April 2015 -- Chicago, IL

Poster Presentation: "The Model Gallery: Supporting Idea Diffusion in Computational Modeling Activities." N. Holbert, C. Brady, F. Soylu, M. Novak, U. Wilensky.

International Conference of the Learning Sciences, June 2014 -- Boulder, Colorado

Paper Presentation: "Constructionist Video Games: Creating Educational Video Games that Empower Players to Construct New Knowledge" N. Holbert, D. Weintrop, & U. Wilensky in "Combining Video Games and Constructionist Design to Support Deep Learning in Play," N. Holbert session chair.

International Conference of the Learning Sciences, June 2014 -- Boulder, Colorado

Paper Presentation: "Exploring the Particulate Nature of Matter in a Constructionist Video Game." N. Holbert in "Science Sims and Games: Best Design Practices and Fave Flops," M. Johnson-Glenberg symposium chair.

American Education Research Association Annual Conference, April 2014 -- Philadelphia, PA

Paper Presentation: "The thinking hand: Embodiment of tool use, social cognition and metaphorical thinking and implications for learning design." F. Soylu, C. Brady, N. Holbert, U. Wilensky.

Jean Piaget Society, June 2013 -- Chicago, IL
Paper Presentation: "Designing clinical interviews to explore learning from video game play." R. Russ & N. Holbert

American Education Research Association Annual Conference, April 2013 -- San Francisco, CA
Paper Presentation: "Using technology to think differently: Changing the form of knowledge with digital media." N. Holbert in "Digital Media and Learning 2.0: A New Culture of Learning,' From Theory to Practice," E. M. King session chair.

Constructionism, August 2012 -- Athens, Greece
Paper Presentation: "Representational congruence: Connecting video game experiences to the design and use of formal representations." N. Holbert & U. Wilensky

Constructionism, August 2012 -- Athens, Greece
Demonstration of Constructionist Media: "Redefining constructionist video games: Marrying constructionism and video game design." D. Weintrop, N. Holbert, U. Wilensky, & M. Horn

International Conference of the Learning Sciences, July 2012 -- Sydney, Australia
Paper Presentation: "Designing Video Games that Encourage Players to Integrate Formal Representations with Informal Play." N. R. Holbert & U. Wilensky
Games + Learning + Society 7.0 Conference, June 2011 -- Madison, WI
Paper Presentation: "FormulaT Racing: Designing a game for kinematic exploration and computational thinking." N. R. Holbert & U. Wilensky

American Education Research Association Annual Conference, April 2011 -- New Orleans, LA
Paper Presentation: "Racing games for exploring kinematics: A computational thinking approach." N. R. Holbert & U. Wilensky in "Supporting Computational Thinking through Games and Game Design," M. Berland session chair.

National Association for Research in Science Teaching Conference, April 2011 -- Orlando, FL
Paper Presentation: "Putting the turtle on the racetrack: Investigating a constructionist racing game for exploring kinematics." N. R. Holbert & U. Wilensky in the invited session "Digital Games and Conceptual Change in Core Science Concepts," D. Clark session chair.

Constructionism Conference, August 2010 -- Paris, France
Paper Presentation: "Bringing constructionism to action gameplay." N. Holbert, L. Penney, & U. Wilensky

International Conference of the Learning Sciences, June 2010 -- Chicago, IL
Poster Presentation: "FormulaT Racing: Combining gaming culture and intuitive sense of mechanism for video game design." N. R. Holbert & U. Wilensky

Games + Learning + Society 6.0, June 2010 -- Madison, WI
Worked Example: "FormulaT Racing: Bringing kinematics to the bean bag chair." N. R. Holbert & U. Wilensky.

American Education Research Association Annual Conference, April 2010 -- Denver, CO
Poster Presentation: "Feeling fast: The role of intuitive thinking in video games." N. R. Holbert & U. Wilensky.

Games + Learning + Society 6.0 Conference, June 2010 -- Madison, WI
Poster Presentation: "Learning Newton by Crashing Cars." N. R. Holbert.
Holbert, N., Wilensky, U. (2014). Constructible Authentic Representations: Designing video games that enable players to utilize knowledge developed in-game to reason about science. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 19(1-2), 53-79.

Brady, C., Holbert, N. Soylu, F., Novak, M., Wilensky, U. (2014). Sandboxes for model-based inquiry. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 1-22.

Holbert, N., Weintrop, D. & Wilensky, U. (2014). Constructionist Video Games: Creating Educational Video Games that Empower Players to Construct New Knowledge. In N. Holbert & D. Weintrop (Org), N. Holbert (Chair), and Y. Kafai (Discussant), Combining Video Games and Constructionist Design to Support Deep Learning in Play. In J. Poleman, E. Kyza, I. Tabak & K. O'Neill (Eds.), Proceedings of "Learning and Becoming in Practice," the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2014). University of Colorado at Boulder: ISLS.

Holbert, N. (2014). Exploring the Particulate Nature of Matter in a Constructionist Video Game. In M. Johnson-Glenberg (Org & Chair), Science Sims and Games: Best Design Practices and Fave Flops. In J. Poleman, E. Kyza, I. Tabak & K. O'Neill (Eds.), Proceedings of "Learning and Becoming in Practice," the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2014). University of Colorado at Boulder: ISLS.

Holbert, N., Wilensky, U. (2012). Representational congruence: Connecting video game experiences to the design and use of formal representations. In Kynigos, C., Clayson, J. E., & Yiannoutsou, N. (Ed.), Constructionism Theory, Practice, and Impact: Proceedings of Constructionism 2012. Athens, Greece.

Weintrop, D., Holbert, N., Wilensky, U., Horn, M. (2012).Redefining constructionist video games: Marrying constructionism and video game design. In Kynigos, C., Clayson, J. E., & Yiannoutsou, N. (Ed.), Constructionism Theory, Practice, and Impact: Proceedings of Constructionism 2012. Athens, Greece.

Holbert, N. R., Wilensky, U. (2012). Designing Video Games that Encourage Players to Integrate Formal Representations with Informal Play. In van Aalst, J., Thompson, K., Jacobson, M. J., & Reimann, P. (Eds.) The Future of Learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012) - Volume 1, Full papers. International Society of the Learning Sciences: Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Holbert, N. R., Wilensky, U. (2011). FormulaT Racing: Designing a game for kinematic exploration and computational thinking. In Steinkuehler, K., Martin, C., Ochsner, A. (Eds.), Proceedings GLS 7.0 Games + Learning + Society Conference. Madison, WI.

Holbert, N., Penney, L., & Wilensky, U. (2010). Bringing constructionism to action gameplay. In J. E. Clayson & I. Kalas (Ed.), Constructionism 2010. Paris, France.

Holbert, N. R., Wilensky, U. (2010). FormulaT Racing: Combining gaming culture and intuitive sense of mechanism for video game design. In Gomez, K., Lyons, L., & Radinsky, J. (Eds.) Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2010) - Volume 2, Short Papers, Symposia, and Selected Abstracts (pp. 268-269). International Society of the Learning Sciences: Chicago, IL.

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