I saw an announcement recently in Mark Guzdials’ blog, Doctoral Fellowships available in Computational Craft Lab | Computing Education Blog, announcing a doctoral fellowship for a “maker lab” position:
4-year Doctoral Fellowship in Digital Fabrication & Learning
Utah State University
Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences
Utah State University’s Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) department is pleased to announce the availability of a prestigious four-year doctoral fellowship for a new doctoral student interested in digital fabrication, the maker movement, and education. This involves bringing technologies as diverse as 3-D printers, sewable circuitry, low cost microcontrollers, and robotics to education.
The fellowship provides full tuition and a stipend for four years, beginning Fall of 2014. The fellow will work with two leading researchers in the ITLS department, Drs. Victor Lee and Deborah Fields,who have produced innovative work in the areas of creative learning technologies, craft and computation, informal and formal learning environments, online social networking sites, and STEM education. The fellow will have numerous professional development and networking opportunities as well as access to the newly created “Computational Craft Lab” with brand new equipment and materials for digital fabrication. Drs. Lee and Fields have a strong reputation for providing mentorship and time to doctoral students, involving them in all aspects of research and implementation.
This competitive fellowship is available for one student beginning doctoral studies in August 2014. Interested students should contact Victor Lee or Deborah Fields as soon as possible. Please include a resume and letter describing your research background, interests, and how they align with this fellowship.
I’m not sure what a PhD thesis from a maker lab would look like, but based on the the lab being located in a department that sounds like an edu-tech department, I wouldn’t expect much.
The “computational craft lab” sounds a lot like the OpenLab in the Arts Division at UCSC, except that the OpenLab is focused on “arts research” rather than “instructional technology”. Quite frankly, I expect more interesting things to come out of the arts research, but sending prospective teachers through a maker lab experience would probably increase the quality of hands-on, experiential learning in our schools.