Current Research

My latest research projects-in-progress focus on using the connected learning framework to design learning that supports learner voice and choice, especially in the context of teacher preparation around educational technology. Projects in this area include:

Connected Learning in Teacher Education network

I’m an active member of the Connected Learning in Teacher Education network, a group of teacher educator-scholars that collaborates around research and practice related to design and implementation of connected learning experiences. As point person for the Scholarship Working Group, I coordinate activities related to research and publication. Our group is currently working on an annotated bibliography of research on connected learning that’s been accepted for publication in a special issue of CITE.


My colleague Dr. Vicki McQuitty (co-Director, Maryland Writing Project) and I were awarded a SET Seed Funding Grant for 2017-2019 to support our work on designing, implementing, and researching a collaborative MOOC that will support professional learning for faculty, in-service teacher-leaders, and pre-service teachers on the topic of writing as making (hence, wmMOOC). Our design approach is guided by the connected learning principles. wmMOOC’s 6 make cycles will run from Jan 8 – Feb 22, 2018. Stay tuned for additional details!

Connected Learning in Educational Technology Courses

During my sabbatical in Fall 2017, I conducted research in 4 stand-alone educational technology courses to examine the possibilities for connected learning as a design framework for educational technology courses. The findings highlighted areas of synergy between the goals of connected learning and the goals of stand-alone ed tech courses, and illuminated ways in which the connected learning framework can open up a space for student agency in these courses. Work resulting from this research includes:

Lohnes Watulak, S. (accepted). Instructors as brokers of digital learning opportunity: Exploring brokering practices in connected teacher education classrooms. In From connected learning to connected teaching: Toward a new vision of digital literacy teacher education. Structured poster session to be presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.

Lohnes Watulak, S. (under review). Making space for student agency through connected learning in preservice educational technology courses. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education.

Lohnes Watulak, S. (2017, October). Pre-service teacher experiences in the connected educational technology classroom. Presented at the 10th Annual Digital Media & Learning Conference, Irvine, CA.

Lohnes Watulak, S. (2017, March). Connected learning in pre-service technology education courses. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, Austin, TX.