2011 TC Research
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College Columbia University

Research

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Susan Lowes

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A. in History, Goucher College, Baltimore, MD
M.Phil. in Anthropology, Teachers College, Columbia University
Ph.D. in Anthropology, Columbia University

Scholarly Interests

Technology and education.   Online teaching and learning. Geography learning.  Technology in developing countries.  Class, ethnicity, race, and gender.

Selected Publications

 Online Teaching and Learning

“Recent Research on Online Teaching and Learning: Implications for Practice,” panels organized for the 2007-2012 Virtual School Symposium of the North American Council for Online Learning.

Lowes, S., Hamilton, G., Hochstetler, V. & Paek, S. (2012). “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog: Training medical students to communicate through role-plays in Second Life.” Paper presented at AERA Symposium on the Affordances and Constraints of Virtual Worlds for Formal and Informal Learning, Vancouver 2012. 

Lowes, S. (2011). “Looking at Group Work in Asynchronous Online Courses.” Paper presented at the Virtual School Symposium of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), Indianapolis, IN, November.

Lowes, S. (2010). “Beyond the Counts: Teacher Beliefs and Teaching Styles in Asynchronous Online Classrooms.” Paper presented at the Virtual School Symposium of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), Phoenix, AZ, November.

Lowes, S. (2010). “The Teacher as Migrant: How Teaching Online Can Change Classroom Practice.”  Distance Learning (US Distance Learning Association publication), June 2010.

Lowes, S. (2009). “Developing a Framework for Looking at Group Work in Asynchronous Online Courses.” Paper presented at the Virtual School Symposium of the North American Council for Online Learning, Austin, TX, November.

Lowes, Susan. (2008). “Online Teaching and Classroom Change: The Trans-Classroom Teacher in the Age of the Internet.” Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 4 (3). http://innovateonline.info. (Research funded by the U.S. Department of Education to Learning Point Associates.)

Lowes, S. (2007). “Trends in Professional Development for K-12 Virtual Schools.” Chapter in C. Cavanaugh and R. Blomeyer, eds., What Works in K-12 Online Learning?  Washington, DC: The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Lowes, S., Lin, P., and Wang, Y. (2007). “Studying the Effectiveness of the Discussion Forum in Online Professional Development Courses.” Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6 (3).

STEM Education

Hotaling, L., Lowes, S., Stolkim, R. & Lin, P. (2012). “SENSE IT: Teaching STEM Principles to Middle and High School Students Through the Design, Construction and Deployment of Water Quality Sensors. Journal of Engineering Education, 101 (2).

 

McGrath, E.W., Lowes, S., McKay, M., Sayres, J., & Lin, P. (2012). “Robots Underwater! Learning Science, Engineering and 21st Century Skills: The Evolution of Curricula, Professional Development and Research in Formal and Informal Contexts.” In B. Barker, G. Nugent, N. Grandgenett, and V.I., Adamchuk, eds.,  Robotics in K-12 Education (Hershey, PA: IGI Global).

McGrath, E. W., Lowes, S. (2011). “Infusing Non-Traditional Engineering Projects into Traditional Classrooms: Where Do They Fit? How Are They Assessed?” Paper presented at the ASEE 2011 Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, Canada, July.

McGrath, E. W., Lowes, S. (2011). “Infusing Non-Traditional Engineering Projects into Traditional Classrooms: Where Do They Fit? How Are They Assessed?” Paper presented at the ASEE 2011 Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, Canada, July.

McGrath, E. W., Lowes, S., Jurado, C., Squires, A. (2011). “SE Capstone: A Pilot Study of 14 Universities to Explore Systems Engineering Learning and Career Interest through Department of Defense Problems.” Paper presented at the ASEE 2011 Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, Canada, July.

Hotaling, L., Stokim, R., Lowes, S. (2011). “Student-Created Water Quality Sensors.”Paper presented at the ASEE 2011 Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, Canada, July. (Best paper Honorable Mention.)

Macalalag, A.Z., Tirthali, D., McGrath, E., McKay, M., & Lowes, S. (2011). “Teacher Professional Development Programs in Grades 3-8: Promoting Teachers' and Students' Content Knowledge in Science and Engineering.” Paper Presented at the National Science Foundation's Mathematics and Science Partnerships Learning Network Conference, Washington, D.C.

Macalalag, A., Lowes, S., Guo, K., and McKay, M. (2010). “Teacher Professional Development in Grades 3-5: Fostering Teachers’ and Students’ Content Knowledge in Science and Engineering. Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, June.

Macalalag, A.Z., Lowes, S., Guo, K., Tirthali, D., McKay., M., and McGrath, E. (2010). “Advancing Science and Engineering in Elementary Schools: Fostering Teachers’ Knowledge and Scientific Inquiry.” National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, March.

McGrath, E., Lowes, S., Lin, P., Sayres, J. (2009). “Analysis of Middle- and High-School Students’ Learning of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Concepts Through an Lego Underwater Robotics Design Challenge.” Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, June.

McGrath, E., Lowes, S., Lin, P., Sayres, J., Hotaling, L., Stolkin, R. (2008). “Build IT: Building Middle and High School Students’ Understanding of Engineering, Science and IT through Underwater Robotics.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference Proceedings, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 2008-781. 

McKay, Mercedes, Lowes, Susan, and McGrath, Beth. (2006). “Do ‘Real World’ Learning Objects Make aDifference?” In C. Crawford et al. (eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2006, pp. 2975-2980. Chesapeake, VA: AACE, 2006.

Geography Education

Lowes, S. (2008). “Mapping the World: Freehand Mapping and Children’s Understanding of Geography Concepts.” Research on Geography Education, 10 (2). (Research funded by the National Geographic Education Fund.)

professional experiences

MSTU 4050: Virtual schools and virtual schooling

This course examines the different models of the K-12 virtual school and virtual schooling experience in the United States and internationally. Special fee: $35.

MSTU 5025: Researching technology in educational environments

This course is designed as an overview of research designs and methodologies for students who are interested in researching the uses of technology in education, including both face-to-face and online/distance learning environments. The course looks at the theoretical bases for, and practical implementation of, different quantitative and qualitative research approaches, methodologies, and instruments. It is structured around a series of hands-on case studies in which students design research studies, revise existing instruments, and analyze previously collected data for technology-related projects in classrooms and online. Students are encouraged, but not required, to come with a research project in mind. Special fee: $40.

Centers and Projects

Institute for Learning Technologies
Website: http://www.ilt.columbia.edu

The Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT), uses digital communications technologies to advance innovation in education and society. Rapid change in information technology is reconfiguring social, cultural and intellectual possibilities. University research, K-12 and post-secondary education, the arts, community and political activities, and social exchange are all in transition. ILT is a major element of Columbia University's effort to shape these transitions-transitions that are central to the University's mission and practice.

ILT takes education in its broadest sense as its primary area of work. In practice, it promotes an intellectually rigorous progressive education accessible to all. To renew progressivism, educators must pose powerful generative questions in cooperative settings; and limitations on the intellectual resources available to students; enable teachers and students to communicate beyond the classroom; and provide advanced tools of analysis, synthesis and simulation. Increasing the interaction of pre-college and higher education is important. The new technologies provide effective support for such novel interactions. The education of the 21st century will feature extensive collaboration among scholars, teachers, university of students, librarians, museum professionals, community organizers, parents, and children of all ages, and these relationships may span great distances and bridge significant cultural divides.

ILT pursues an integrated program of design, development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • School-based projects aim to alter the classroom through infrastructure planning and installation, content and curriculum creation, professional development, technical support, and evaluation.
  • Professional development includes workshops on the use of generic and project-specific technologies, seminars on curriculum design and development, and consultations by content experts and instructional technologists.
  • Content projects develop multimedia to support innovation in education, delivering high quality intellectual resources and learning tools to students.
  • Evaluation projects document the impact of programs and the principles of good design, working with groups in the commercial, governmental, non-profit, and educational sectors.
  • Consulting services provide design, development, and strategic analysis for organizations conducting innovative educational projects.
  • An internship program provides individuals with experience in school-based projects, professional development workshops, evaluation and policy studies, and content creation. Technology does not drive educational change, but it conditions educational possibility. Rooted in traditions of liberal education, ILT acts on the technological context to renew established educational traditions.
For more information, please visit: http://www.ilt.columbia.edu