Contributors » Current Research Team

Current Research Team

Harvard University


Chris Dede, Principal Investigator. Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies

Chris’s fundamental interest is the expanded human capabilities for knowledge creation, sharing, and mastery that emerging technologies enable. His teaching models the use of information technology to distribute and orchestrate learning across space, time, and multiple interactive media. His research spans emerging technologies for learning, infusing technology into large-scale educational improvement initiatives, policy formulation and analysis, and leadership in educational innovation. He is currently conducting funded studies to develop and assess learning environments based on modeling and visualization, online teacher professional development, wireless mobile devices for ubiquitous computing, and multiuser virtual environments. Dede also is active in policy initiatives, including creating a widely used State Policy Framework for Assessing Educational Technology Implementation and studying the potential of developing a scalability index for educational innovations. From 2001 to 2004, he served as chair of the Learning & Teaching area at HGSE.

Jody Clarke, Project Director, Virtual Performance Assessments Project

Jody is a learning scientist whose research explores how virtual environments and serious games can be used to engage under-represented students in STEM.  Her research bridges numerous areas: study of the development of science inquiry skills, socio-cultural aspects of learning, equity, learning and assessment in virtual environments, and mixed methods research.  

Shari Metcalf, PhD, Project Director, EcoMUVE Project

Shari holds a SB and SM from MIT, and a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she designed and developed Model-It, a software tool for students building models of dynamic systems. She has been working as a researcher in educational technology for over 10 years, particularly in middle and high school science. Along with a strong technical background, she has extensive experience in assessment design, data collection and analysis. Her professional interest is the design of educational software tools, particularly the use of modeling and simulation to support science learning.

Janet Smith, Project Coordinator/Trainer, River City Project

Janet comes to River City with a background in education and technology and a strong interest in science education. Before joining River City, she was the Project Coordinator for the Usable Knowledge Web site at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to working at Harvard, she was a technical writer and documentation architect at Lotus Development Corporation and IBM. She holds an Ed. M. from Boston University and has experience teaching children (K-6) and training adults to use computer applications

Eugenia Garduño, Research Assistant, Doctoral Student


Eugenia Garduño is experienced in educational research and evaluation. Her research interests include the introduction of emerging technologies in schools serving rural and indigenous populations in Latin America, as well as studying the factors that contribute to successful implementation, scaling and sustainability of such educational technology initiatives. Prior to coming to the U.S. she worked for close to ten years in Mexico, primarily in the field of higher education, at the ministry of education and in a public university. She was also a member of the Latin American Institute for Educational Communication (ILCE) team that coordinated the design of a distance education program for Mexico, financed in part by the Inter-American Development Bank. More recently, she collaborated with several professors from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in evaluating " Enciclomedia ", a national program in Mexico, aimed at introducing a digitized curriculum for 5th and 6th graders.

San Chye Cheng, Research Assistant, Doctoral Student

Ron Rothenberg, Programming and Technical Support


Past members of the River City Research Team


Ed Dieterle, Education Researcher, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International, Washington, DC

Ed’s research interests focus on the psychosocial and policy aspects of learning and teaching with current and emerging technologies. In regard to teaching and learning, his primary research interests focus on media-based learning styles made possible by multiuser virtual environments and augmented realities, which support the situational and distributional nature of cognition with respect to thinking, learning, and doing. In terms of policy, he is primarily interested in issues related to secondary school reform and educational technology policies. At the nexus of policy and practice, he is most interested in how policy, learning science, and practice can collaborate to harness the power of tools that streamline administrative tasks, amplify social constructivism among learners inside and outside of schools, and better capture and represent what students know and are able to do.

Temple University


Diane Jass Ketelhut, Researcher. Assistant Professor of Education

Diane’s research interests center on scientific inquiry, specifically looking at the effects of (a) inquiry on science self-efficacy, (b) using emerging technologies to deliver scientific inquiry curricula on student learning and engagement, (c) professional development in scientific inquiry on helping teachers integrate scientific inquiry into their curricula, and (d) different methods of assessing scientific inquiry. In her teaching, she provides students with scientific inquiry experiences meant to engage them and challenge them to confront their own preconceptions.

Arizona State University


Brian Nelson, Project Designer. Assistant Professor of Educational Technology

Brian currently has several research foci, including: (a) designing and evaluating educational multiuser virtual environments, (b) designing and evaluating adaptive guidance systems, and (c) designing and evaluating learning environments for second language learners.

Linda Kaye Davenport, Researcher. Doctoral Student in Educational Administration and Supervision

Linda's research interests examine the advancement and enhancement of positive, technology literate environments for teaching and learning through multiple intelligences. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked in Elementary Education in schools throughout Arizona and Texas. She enjoys writing poetry and prose, reading, singing, dramatic arts, examining various cultures, playing the clarinet, practical ministry, and helping others.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 9980464, 0296001, 0202543, 0310188, and 0532446. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.