Dr. Justin Olmanson

Dr. Justin Olmanson


My work at the University of Nebraska Lincoln is about creating the conditions for ongoing, wide-ranging, open-ended community dialogue about design, education, learning, and technology. Such dialogue and interaction is beneficial in its own right and also serves as an incubator for ideas about new practices and new learning experiences and ecologies. I lead a college-wide (College of Education and Human Sciences) design incubator. I also lead and participate on other multi-institutional research and design teams. These endeavors create research opportunities focused on making new ways of learning and interacting possible, particularly new creative and participatory literacy and language development practices.

I lead the Language Learning and Technology Research and Design group. We have designed several technologies including DaZiBao and FunWritr. Both are web-based learner-directed, multimodal language exploration applications for multilingual and monolingual English students. The technologies involved include Natural Language Processing, machine vision, curriculum theory, multimodality, poststructuralism, and learning theory.

I came to the University of Nebraska Lincoln in the Fall of 2014. Here I have found insightful, collaborative colleagues, reflective, experienced, and diverse graduate students, hard-working undergraduate students committed to becoming the best possible teachers they can be, and a welcoming community.

Current Research Interest:
Design new ways for people to interact with and better understand: each other, the concepts they care about, and the data and technologies associated with learning. Understanding and expanding the capacity of people to build and express their ideas and understanding. To design, integrate, and use technologies such as artificial intelligence, learning analytics, data science, and qualitative inquiry to make new forms of meaning-making and expression possible, to overcome barriers to understanding and expression, and to reduce the alienation and oppression often associated with interacting in society and learning in academic contexts. To collaboratively design, build, and study new technologies that support people as they learn new and difficult practices (e.g. developing literacy in logosyllabic or abjad writing systems, writing in unfamiliar academic genres, or learning new academic constructs).

Key Manuscripts:
Olmanson, J., Liu, X., Heselton, C. C., Srivastava, A., & Wang, N. (2021). Chinese character recognition and literacy development via a techno-pedagogical pivot. Educational Technology Research and Development. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-021-09976-5 Free Read-Only Version: https://rdcu.be/cgCGK

Justin Olmanson