Innovations in Early Childhood Instruction and Assessment

August 14, 2018

Today we highlight our CRESSTCON’18 breakout session: Innovations in Early Childhood Instruction and Assessment. This session will showcase research focused on technology in the instruction and assessment of young children. From digital games to innovative in-school curriculum, our presenters will share their expertise and research in this exciting and evolving arena. We hope you will be inspired to come meet them at CRESSTCON’18.



Naomi Hupert is a Senior Research Scientist at Education Development Center, Center for Children and Technology. As a researcher, Naomi Hupert has worked at the intersection of technology, literacy, and STEM for over 20 years, focusing on the use of technology as a tool to support learning for children and the adults who work with them. While her aim is to provide all students with engaging and challenging academic instruction, her emphasis is on improving outcomes for students who struggle to meet grade-level academic benchmarks. Whether this struggle is due to inadequate access to quality instruction or to learning and other disabilities, Hupert’s work explores how digital resources engage and support this student population and their families. The result of Hupert’s research has led to a better understanding of the impact of transmedia learning experiences and how teachers’ and students’ effective use of digital tools can support learning across content areas. Her work is characterized by the development and implementation of rigorous formative and summative program evaluations, which provide usable, real-time information to program developers and educators.


Jeremy Roberts is Senior Director of Learning Technologies for PBS KIDS Digital, where he works closely with award-winning content properties such as Curious George, Dinosaur Train, and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! to deliver innovative educational media and real-world experiences to kids aged 2-8 across multiple platforms including web, phone, tablet, whiteboards, video and the real world. Roberts helps to oversee development of playful learning experiences utilizing newer and promising technologies for learning including personalized and adaptive content, voice and facial recognition, conversational user experiences and more.
One of Roberts’ core initiatives is the development of the PBS KIDS Learning Analytics Platform, designed to help parents and educators track kids’ progress and proficiency across a skill framework aligned to educational standards by capturing, storing and analyzing game play data for individual kids and groups, and to provide a quality measurement foundation upon which personalized and adaptive learning experiences may be pioneered. The system also includes tools to help game developers continue to improve the educational effectiveness of their games, and provides academic researchers access on an unprecedented scale to the granular in-game activity of millions of PBS KIDS.


Rosa Serratore is the Math and Secondary Support Coordinator at Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. She is a former middle and high school mathematics teacher. Her mission is to support teachers of all grades in effective instructional strategies, formative assessment use, data analysis, and use of curriculum guides and resources to help anchor professional learning communities and lesson study teams that design and collaborate in mathematics. She was selected by the California Department of Education to participate in the writing of the mathematics framework using the new state standards. She serves on the executive board of the California Mathematics Council as president-elect of the southern section and has participated in UC/CSU Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project. Dr. Norman Webb used her local and state knowledge and expertise in a recent NAEP/ACT content alignment study. In all ventures, outstanding mathematics instruction and learning for all students is Serratore’s goal.



Elizabeth Redman is a Research Scientist at CRESST UCLA whose interests include STEM education, educational games, and assessment design, particularly as it relates to incorporating assessment into educational STEM games. As a former teacher, Dr. Redman also has an interest in teachers’ professional development and learning. A qualitative researcher by training, she has experience running observational classroom studies, creating and implementing interviews and surveys, and contributing qualitative analysis (such as feature analysis) to large-scale statistical models. Dr. Redman received her MA and PhD in Education from the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University.




Phil Vahey, Ph.D. is Director of Strategic Research and Innovation at SRI Education. His research examines the design and use of technology-based systems that enhance the learning of conceptually difficult STEM concepts, as well as how to scale up the use of these systems. Specifically, his research has focused on the use of computer-based dynamic representations for making foundational concepts in mathematics accessible to a diverse middle school student population, and the use of media and games for making ideas in Math, Science, and Computational Thinking more accessible for preschool children.