2012-13 Visitors

Heli RuokamoCentre

for Media Pedagogy, Univ.

of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland.

June 2012-June 2013.
Hosted by Roy Pea,


My research focuses on the development of pedagogical models for educational use of ICT’s and on-line learning. My visit to H-STAR is a part of the "TravEd - Research and Developmentof Traveling Services through Mobile Education" project, the main objective of which is to develop pedagogical models appropriate especially for decentralized tourism education in resorts. We examine mobile technologies and mobile social media applications that may enhance teaching and learning processes outside classrooms. In addition to exploring the possibilities of flexible learning our focus is on new work solutions in the resorts. modified for the purposes of tourism to promote year-round activities in ski resorts. 


Jari TakataloUniv.
of Helsinki, CICERO
Learning, Finland.
August 2012-July 2013.
Working with Jeremy Bailenson, Dept. of Communication.
My visit to H-STAR is part of the FINNABLE 2020 project, in which I'’ll focus on how emerging learning technologies and communities are evaluated and experienced. I’ am especially interested in the use of serious games, virtual environments, and game elements (i.e., gamification) in education and training. During my visit, I'’ll work on a psychological framework, which can be used to understand and evaluate both the essential experiences related to the use of new technologies, such as the sense of presence and engagement, and the outcomes that are expected for their use, such as learning. 

Kaarina Nikunen,
Swedish School of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
January 2012 - December 2012. Hosted by Byron Reeves, Department of Communication.

My project explores the spaces of compassion and solidarity as well as conflict and hostility in social media. The virtual sphere holds a promise of an inclusive political medium that may restructure political processes and rejuvenate political practices, as we have seen in the case of Arab Spring and the Green Movement of Iran. How do social media add to the understanding of others’ life situations and experiences of struggle and tragedy? Or, do these spaces increase the fragmentation of the public sphere and creation of multiple, even hostile and exclusionary spaces of communication. I am investigating transnational dimensions of social media participation connected particularly with issues of multiculturalism and immigration.

Anna Siewiorek, CICERO Learning, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland.
September 2012-March 2013.

Working with Paulo Blikstein, School of Education.

My research work examines how mobile technology can be applied to learning, and how it can enhance collaboration and sharing across schools in different countries. In particular, my research aims at creating a prototype for global sharing pedagogy where students can share and learn from their digital video stories regardless of time and place.
During my stay at H-STAR, I am focusing primarily on working with schools in the Bay Area and FabLab at Stanford University. The purpose is to promote hands-on learning through digital storytelling across schools around the world.

Ulla Konnerup, e-Learning Lab - Center for User Driven Innovation, Learning and Design, Dept of Communication & Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark
September-December 2012. Hosted by Jeremy Bailenson.
My research explores how interaction in immersive virtual worlds (IVW) might contribute to reconstruction of the communication competency among people suffering from aphasia after a brain injury. By transforming the rehabilitation landscape into an immersive virtual environment, with multimodal ways of communication, social interactions and an involvement of the body and nonverbal activities the reestablishing of the brain may process positively and promote cognitive and communicative functions. During my visit at H-STAR my focus is on the bodily immersion and interaction through avatar mediation and how this representation of self might contribute to recreation of self and communication competencies after a brain injury.

Jun Liu, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
September-December 2012. Hosted by Fred Turner, Dept of Communication.
My research examines the use of the mobile phone in contentious politics in contemporary China. Drawing on Negt and Kluge’s conceptual framework of the counter-public sphere, my study addresses the role of the mobile phone in guaranteeing the right to communication, which not only articulates the lived experiences of social and political exclusion but also ensures a relatively independent communicative sphere for counter-publics beyond the dominant public sphere in China. During my stay at H-STAR, I am focusing on the idea of "liberation technology," social movement, and democratization in authoritarian regimes.

Jakob Eg Larsen, Dept of Informatics and Mathematical Modelling, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). September-December 2012. Hosted by Joy Pea.
My research interests include human-computer interaction, personal informatics, and mobile/wearable sensing in exploration of the phenomena of self-tracking. This involves pervasive computing technologies such as smartphones and wearable sensors for continuous life logging and data capture of everyday life aspects including mobility, behavior, habits, and physiological state. These rich streams of real-time data provide an unprecedented multiplicity and detail of information about human activities and behavior, enabling improvements in self-knowledge and self-awareness. 

Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, Law School, Tallinn University of Technology. November 2012. Hosted by Barbara van Schewick, Law School.
My main interest both for research and my practical work as an international consultant is communications law in a wide sense (ICT, e-governance, media law) especially in post-conflict and developing nations. For my stay at H-Star my topic is communications technology as a key to increased democratic participation, looking at legal aspects. Both e-governance measures and media use in the democratic process are analysed. As always with law and technology, the question is when in the process legal regulation can come in so as not to stifle but instead support innovation while still protecting against risks.

Kristian Kiili, Advanced Multimedia Center, Tampere University of Technology, Pori, Finland.
February-April 2013. Hosted by Byron Reeves.
My research focuses on game based learning, human-computer interaction and user experience. During my visit at H-STAR I am working on the framework for understanding the elements of educational exergames. Educational exergames combine gameplay elements from learning games (cognitively challenging games) and exergames (physically challenging games). This work is part of the FINNABLE 2020 project, in which my research team studies and develops game solutions that increase physical activity in classrooms without interfering the objectives of the curriculum. A particular research interest is exploring ways to utilize mobile phones and tablets as exergame controllers.

Morten Petersen, Dept of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
March 1–July 31, 2013. Working with Larry Leifer, CDR.
I study the current turn to participation within innovation. I do so by exploring ethnographically how links are made between practices of everyday life and innovation within a number of Danish, state-supported user-driven innovation projects. Analytical resources are drawn from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and, more narrowly, Actor-Network Theory (ANT). These resources suggest that everyday life practices comprise durable logics. The delineation and description of such logics conceptualize innovation as dependent upon a non-reductionist understanding of present everyday life and I see this as a constructive way to engage with the turn to participation within innovation. 

Hannele Niemi, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, Univ of Helsinki, Finland.
March–April 2013. Working with Roy Pea, H-STAR
I am the Scientific Leader of the Finnish research consortium Finnable 2020, promoting a new eco system in learning and breaking barriers between formal and non-formal learning using new technology. I am the PI in the “Boundless Classroom - Digital Story Telling” project within Finnable 2020, having connections with Californian schools. The focus is on students’ creating learning contents using video technology. It also connects to the Finnish-American SAVI project, where we collaborate with Roy Pea. I also have a joint project of new teachers’ mentoring, in cooperation with a number of Stanford University researchers.

Peeter Ross, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tallinn Univeristy of Technology, Estonia.
May-June 2013. Hosted by Larry Chu, School of Medicine.
My research area is medical data sharing and shared workflows. I focus on three aspects of data use. Firstly, patient access to their own data and how this might impact patient care and quality assurance in health care. Secondly, large datasets and narrative medical text in electronic medical records with the goal to improve quality. Third, structured reporting in radiology and development of multilingual computer assisted translation tool for cross-border teleradiology reporting. During my stay at H-STAR, I am learning how data mining and language processing are enabling use of medical data stored in electronic medical records.