Dr. Yotam Hod

Humanistic Learning Communities * Future Learning Spaces * Augmented Reality Sandbox * Taking Citizen Science to Schools

Current activities

I am currently an Associate Professor (Sr. Lecturer) at the University of Haifa Faculty of Education. I am Head of the Educational Technologies Graduate Program, Director of the LINKS Future Learning Spaces, Marie Curie Fellow (2018-2020) studying students' identities as knowledge builders, and co-PI on two grants supported by the Israeli Science Foundation (Learning in a Networked Society; Taking Citizen Science to Schools). In 2019 I was honored by the Mordechai Nisan Early Career Research Award from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I was elected to serve a 6-year term (2021-2026) on the board of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS). I currently serve on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and the Journal of the Learning Sciences.

Humanistic Learning Communities

The notion of Humanistic Learning Communities (HLCs) (or Humanistic Knowledge Building Communities: HKBCs) emerged out of my close collaboration with my mentor and friend, Prof. Dani Ben-Zvi, as part of my doctoral work under his supervision. The idea rests on the perspective that identities and knowledge are inseparable and should be designed for mutualistically. HLCs offer a model for how to do this.

One goal of educational research is to conceive of classrooms that encourage students to go beyond acquiring knowledge, but who learn to participate in and become members of a culture devoted to expanding the frontiers of knowledge. My research on students' identities as knowledge builders, supported by a European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship, aims to develop the theoretical grounds for preparing school students to successfully take part in this new knowledge society.

LINKS Future Learning Spaces

I currently direct (and led a multi-year collaborative design process to create) the LINKS Future Learning Spaces - a research and innovation facility aimed at expanding the boundaries of education in the 21st century. To support research on innovative teaching and learning, the LINKS FLS is a video camera-ready facility, equipped with state-of-the-art technologies to investigate the way people learn in the networked society. To foster innovative teaching and learning practices, the facility includes five flexible learning spaces aimed at active, collaborative learning in communities where technologies are in the hands of the students.

Augmented Reality Sandbox Learning Communities

While the AR Sandbox is a well known and used augmented reality device that allows users to explore 2D and 3D representations of topographical features together, it is seldom (if ever) used in schools to teach these ideas. Together with Daniel Twersky, we have built several of these AR Sandboxes and put them within classrooms to support students' (distributed) spatial sense-making. This includes the development of a curriculum, where students learn collaboratively (as a community) to advance their ideas.

Taking Citizen Science to Schools

I currently have the pleasure of serving as a co-PI, along with four other fantastic researchers and a director, on an initiative (research grant) that seeks the break the boundaries between school and society. In short, Taking Citizen Science to School develops mutualistic partnerships that include schools, educational policymakers, educational researchers, and scientists in a number of disciplines to come together and engage in meaningful, action-oriented projects.