Claudia Urrea is the Senior Associate Director for pK-12 at the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL). Claudia was born in Colombia, where she received an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from EAFIT University. In 1994, she joined MIT as a visiting research engineer at the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives and later as one of the last doctoral students of Seymour Papert. Claudia received her master’s degree in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University, and her doctorate degree from the MIT Media Laboratory. Her Ph.D. thesis studied the implications of one-to-one learning in a rural setting in Costa Rica.
Before joining the MIT Office of Open Learning, Claudia Urrea worked at the Interamerican Development Bank as a consultant in the education sector, and at One Laptop Per Child organization as Director of Learning. During the last five years, she has worked in different initiatives such as The Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, The MIT Online Education Policy Initiative, and the MIT pK-12 Action Group. In addition, Dr. Urrea founded a STEAM camp, which MIT’s learning approach to middle schools students and teachers in Hong Kong.
For the past 25 years, Dr. Urrea has helped multiple governments and non-government agencies- The New York Academy of Sciences, Schlumberger Excellence in Education Development, International Development Research Centre, among others- to empower and support schools and communities of learners to evolve from traditional teaching methods into progressive learning environments. She has also a research scientist position with the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. She has taught several classes at the Harvard Summer Program and Early Childhood Development program at Tufts University.
Claudia has been in the board of SugarLabs since 2010. Her goals within the organization are:
- Work together with all members of the board, and community to continue to develop and evolve the mission for the organization, taking into account local al well as global opportunities and challenges,
- Create equitable learning opportunities for all children around the world,
- Continue to advocate and support the development of Constructionist tools,
- Promote the organization among a variety of networks of stakeholders, both in the US and in countries around the world.