Ari Bader-Natal
I've spent the past 15+ years designing and building social learning spaces on the web. Major projects include: Calbright's technology team (2019-now), Minerva's signature seminars (2012-2019), Sketchpad's coding collaborations (2010-2020), Grockit's adaptive algorithms (2008-2012), and Spellbee's child-constructed challenges (2002-2008).
I currently serve as Chief Technology Officer for Calbright College. Calbright College is committed to increase economic mobility for working adults who lack easy access to traditional forms of higher education. Calbright is designed to offer flexible, affordable skills-based programs that provide tangible economic value for both working adults and hiring managers.
Before this, I served as Chief Learning Scientist at Minerva. I joined Minerva as Employee #1 in 2012, and spent the following six years developing and shipping new technologies to support learning and teaching. The initial versions of our Active Learning Forum, our multimodal tools for formative assessment, and our collaborative curriculum design system are a few past projects that came out of this work.
Prior to Minerva, I was Chief Learning Architect at Grockit, where I helped develop the company's core social learning and assessment technologies, designed a system for educational data analysis and learning analytics, and led all research initiatives. In 2011, I developed Grockit Answers to enable productive peer-to-peer learning around educational videos.
Since I first created it in 2010, I've been host of Studio Sketchpad, a website for creative coders to collaboratively author and share interactive animations written in Processing. In addition to serving as a venue for informal collaborative learning, Sketchpad has also been used in over 125 university courses, high school classes, and coding workshops around the world.
I was awarded a PhD in Computer Science from Brandeis University in 2008. In my dissertation work, I examined the possibilities of motivating learning among peers by incorporating these interactions into a game. This drew on a combination of game theory, system design, and a statistical analysis of data from tens of thousands of kids practicing spelling online. Here's a tough one: accommodation.
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