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Hoadley Named Winner of Fulbright Scholarship

Article about Chris Hoadley's Fulbright Award for 2008-2009

by Joe Savrock (July 2008)

hoadley.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Christopher M. Hoadley, associate professor of instructional systems and information sciences and technology, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for the 2008–2009 academic year.

Hoadley’s fellowship, under the South Asia Regional Research program, will support research in the Almora region of India and in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. He will be affiliated with the Uttarakhand Environmental Education Centre in India as well as the nonprofit Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness in Nepal.

Hoadley plans to conduct research on how technology can support children and community members in rural Himalayan villages to learn about sustainability. In particular, he will be using technologies to allow village-to-village collaboration and knowledge building internationally within the Himalayan region. Important aspects of the work include determining what types of technology are most appropriate for villages in the developing world and what benefits crosscultural communication provides for environmental learning and sustainable decision-making.

For the past four years, Hoadley and two Penn State collaborators—Ken Tamminga, professor of landscape architecture in the intercollege Ecology program, and Sameer Honwad, doctoral candidate in Instructional Systems—have been conducting pilot research on these topics via the Mountain Project (www.personal.psu.edu/krt1/mountain-proj.html). “We believe technology can help people help themselves by allowing them to communicate directly with others who share similar environmental challenges,” said Hoadley. “People learn more about their own place, and the impact of local decisions, by comparing it to experiences in similar villages with different political, cultural, and religious histories.”

Hoadley’s research interests include computer-supported collaborative learning, design methods for learning and groupware technologies, the use of design as a mode of inquiry, social informatics, and science and engineering education.

Hoadley is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Scholar Program. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world.