Kat Galas is a learning sciences researcher. She studies human learning and how computing and communication technology innovations influence and advance learning, thinking, and teaching. At HARC, she is currently working with Flex Project, Computer Tutor Project, and Curriculum Project.
Galas has many years experience as an educator using digital media and programming tools to support children’s learning. She developed practices that served the goals of teaching math, problem solving, inquiry, and nurturing creativity. She launched the first K-12 school website in the US at the UCLA Lab School in 1995. She co-authored the book, Managing Information in the Digital Age, which is still used as the basis for the Critical Thinking Institutes for teachers at the UCLA Lab School. Galas worked to pilot Squeak Etoys soon after its inception at the UCLA Lab School, working closely with Alan Kay’s Squeak group in curriculum creation and refining user experience. She worked with the Scratch team in implementation in the Computer Clubhouses and after school programs. She and her students appeared with Dr. Kay in the Japanese NHK production, “Superteachers: Alan Kay”, and the Ball State University production “Squeakers”. Galas has been part of the research teams of several longitudinal NSF grants studying children’s learning by programming and in virtual worlds at UCLA. She worked on a immersive virtual world science learning NSF study with Harvard University, and has worked with states arts agencies to develop learning and assessment materials for use in California public schools.
Galas served as first author for the first digital textbook approved by the state of California for public school adoption. (2009-10, CK-12, High School Biology and Middle and High School Biology Honors). She created interactive digital science materials and simulations for America’s Choice and Houghton Mifflin. She worked with Agile teams in Israel and Ireland to create digital science materials for the start-up Pangea. Galas worked with colleagues at the Open University UK, Knowledge Media Institute to glean the learning affordances of technologies for learning and assessment, learning platforms, and learning analytics.