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Elisabeth Sylvan, PhD

Elisabeth SylvanI am an educational technology innovator who is passionate about technological tools and social spaces for learning and collaborating. As a consultant and advisory board member, I help organizations to define and build educational technologies, programs, and physical spaces. Recent projects have particularly focused on computer science education, maker education, game-based learning and learning analytics. My prior positions include the Vice of Education at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Research Scientist and Project Director at TERC, and Lecturer on Human Computer Interaction at Northeastern University. My Master’s and PhD are from the MIT Media Lab. Having worn the hats of a researcher, leader, designer and educator, I bring a unique perspective to my work.  

My work is driven by an underlying research interest in how sociotechnical systems support creativity and shared knowledge. I applied this interest to at The Tech by founding a new education department and building a team that developed and implemented all gallery programs gallery floor programming, educational labs, field trips, school and after-school programs, and The Tech Challenge. At TERC this interest took the form of researching the diffusion of ideas in communities of science learning games and directing an online learning environment for developing data literacy through survey research and games. At MIT I worked on projects such as the Scratch programming environment and online community, The Computer Clubhouse, and programmable bricks used to make robots, interactive sculpture and other inventions. Her dissertation, The Sharing of Wonderful Ideas: Influence and Interaction in Online Communities of Creators, addressed on how people in online communities create, influence one another, and share knowledge. 

For more detail about all of these projects and more, please see my resume and project list or email me.

• Ed tech, online and in-person learning communities, maker spaces, educational games, learning to code.
• Leadership, research, strategy, partnerships, grant writing, team-building.
• Human-centered computing, computer supported collaborative learning, computer supported collaborative work, creativity research, the learning sciences.
• Online communities of creators, social networks and learning, diffusion of ideas in technologically-mediated environments.

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