CIRCLS’21: Remake “Broadening” in Research on Emerging Technologies for Teaching and Learning

Virtual Convening September 13 and 14, 2021

Learning technology researchers have long spoken of broader horizons, broad teamwork, broadening participation, broader impacts, and more. Our theme engages the importance of thinking critically and strategically about the meaning of “broad” as our field conducts future-oriented research on learning and teaching technologies. Our prior CL19 convening revealed WHY broadening the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within our research projects is so important. This meeting, CIRCLS’21, will provide multiple, highly interactive opportunities for attendees to work together on HOW the field can make stronger progress by examining and remaking “broad.” How can this familiar word become more meaningful and specific, leading to greater intellectual merit and impacts?

If you have questions about the event, contact the CIRCLS convening staff.


1-5 pm ET
Program outline below. Coming soon – detailed program.

Hashtag: #CIRCLS21

Monday September 13

Welcome and Announcements
Discuss Research at Roundtables
Funding, Partnering, and Impact
Meet New Colleagues
Keynote (information below)
Learning CIRCLS: What We Need to Know to Remake Broadening
Profile Photo
Keynote: Remaking Broadening—From Why to How
Craig Watkins, Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor, The University of Texas at Austin, Founding Director of Institute for Media Innovation

Tuesday September 14

Welcome and Announcements
Poster and Demo Gallery Walk
Keynote (information below)
Define Specific Strategies that Remake Broadening
Review & Find Consensus on Promising Strategies to Remake Broadening
Town Hall with NSF Program Officers
Profile Pic - Dr. Nicki Washington
Nicki Washington, Professor of the Practice of Computer Science at Duke University

Organizers and Sponsors

CIRCLS 2021 is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and hosted by CIRCLS. CIRCLS is chartered by NSF to support the Research on Emerging Technologies for Teaching and Learning (RETTL) research community.

Program Committee Members

Heather Pon-Barry
Erin Ottmar
David Lockett
Yoav Bergner
Matt Bernacki
Vitaliy Popov
‪Monica Miaoxia Chan
Meliissa Rasberry
Nonye Alozie
Brian Smith


Jeremy Roschelle, Digital Promise
Judith Fusco, Digital Promise
Shari Gardner, SRI International
Sarita Nair-Pillai, Education Development Center
Wendy Martin, Education Development Center
Joyce Malyn-Smith, Education Development Center
Sarah MacGillivray, Education Development Center
Erin Walker, University of Pittsburgh
Leah Friedman, University of Pittsburgh
Carly Chillmon, Digital Promise
Dalila Dragnić-Cindrić, Digital Promise
Jonathan Pittman, Digital Promise
Pati Ruiz, Digital Promise

The CIRCLS staff thanks the program committee for their innovative ideas and thoughtful input into the agenda for this meeting.


1. Who can attend this meeting?

Researchers with NSF projects with a RETTL theme as well as teachers, informal educators, foundation program directors, technologists, designers, graduate students, and other stakeholders. Participants must apply, be accepted, and register for the event in order to attend.

2. Can I attend part of the meeting?

CIRCLS’21 will be a working meeting. Participants are expected to commit to the 2 full days of the meeting. Preference for in-person attendance will be given to applicants who offer to share tangible insights and to be actively involved before, during, and after the meeting. For those who cannot attend in person, portions of the meeting will be webcast to allow some virtual participation.

3. I applied to attend; when will I learn if I’m accepted? And why do I have to both apply AND register?

CIRCLS’21 is an convening for NSF PIs as well as others who are involved in RETTL-related work (kind of a PI-meeting-plus). We have an application process to gather input on topics of interest to attendees and to help us prioritize acceptance if more people apply than we can accommodate (i.e., PIs get priority if we have more applicants than space allows).

4. How do I see the webcast?

Portions of the event will be webcast. When you register for the webcast, you will receive an email with instructions. We invite you to also read and post tweets to the event hashtag, #CIRCLS21.

5. What if I have a question before the event?

If you have any questions, please contact the CIRCLS convening staff.

A registration link will be added here.

You can also complete this convening application survey to demonstrate interest.