This is my second post in a series exploring my journey to develop and teach a graduate “Multimodal Literacies” course for pre-service and in-service teachers based on the connected learning framework. You can see the first post here and my original inspiration here. Now that I have a sense of the conceptual and thematic organization of my course and have decided upon some focus texts, I am confronted with the task of setting up weekly structure and my methods for communicating content. Several of my colleagues have asked me whether, considering the multimodal subject I am
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John W. Gardner (1912-2001, no relation) was the most impressive public citizen of my time. Trained as a psychologist, president of the Carnegie Foundation at an early age, and a dedicated public servant who served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the cabinet of President Lyndon Johnson, Gardner achieved his most important influence in the latter part of his life, as a private citizen. He launched and helped guide important initiatives like Common Cause, the Independent Sector, the White House Fellowship, and Encore; of equal importance, he served as a role model and mentor
Here’s a quiz for you, reader. The following quotes were written about popular books on the effect of technology on our behavior and culture. One was written in the late 1990s and one was written this year. See if you can guess which is which (no Googling, cheaters). Our rapturous submission to digital technology has led to an atrophying of human capacities like empathy and self-reflection, and the time has come to reassert ourselves, behave like adults and put technology in its place. And …computer-based environments for the practice of literacy are described as contributing to
If #connectedlearning is an educational approach designed for our ever-changing world, then Virtually Connecting is a #connectedlearning community that is reshaping the ways we think about professional collegiality. In a traditional model of professional development, conferences have always been the key location to build conversations and connections. Conferences enrich our growth as educators and scholars in countless ways. That said, some conferences are simply more friendly than others (read accessible/open vs. elite/prestigious). Either way, it has always been the case that there are more wonderful conferences on the annual calendar than one could ever possibly
My father passed away part way through my second year as a teacher. This happened in the middle of one of our school breaks and I was able to use the time away from kids to take care of family arrangements. What I didn’t do during this break was find the time to process, reflect, grieve. And so, when the time came to go back to school, I made the rookie mistake of putting on a smiling face and continuing in my classroom as if it was business as usual. The need to process my own
This is the second installment of a two-part interview with Henry Jenkins, co-author with Mizuko Ito and danah boyd of the brilliant new book, “Participatory Culture in a Networked Era.” In the first part, we talked about defining participatory culture; youth culture, youth practices; gaps and genres in participation. In this second part, we talk about learning and literacy; commercial culture; democracy, civic engagement, and activism; and reimagining participatory culture. Although Professor Jenkins articulates the main themes of the book clearly in our video conversation, I should emphasize that this book is a conversation among the
You are probably reading this because you are interested in the use of digital media in learning. My single strongest recommendation to you: if you want the best and latest evidence-based, authoritative, nuanced, critical knowledge about how digital media and networks are transforming not just learning but commercial media, citizen participation in democracy, and the everyday practices of young people, my advice is to obtain a copy of the new book, “Participatory Culture in A Networked Era,” by Henry Jenkins, Mizuko Ito, and danah boyd. This book is the opposite of so much sound-bite generalization about “digital natives”
There are some phrases — “communities of practice” and “close reading” spring to mind — that we as educators tend to use automatically. It’s never just an “online community” or “reading.” Sometimes, this is because we’re not aware of the very specific meaning of these terms; sometimes it’s because we want to make what we’re doing sound more important or useful than it is. I have to confess that I was using the term “Deliberate Practice” (which I’ll capitalise for emphasis) incorrectly. I had been using it to mean “practice done deliberately.” My mother sitting me
In my current “Writing Theory & Practice” course, we have been discussing the elusive notion of “voice” in writing. What makes a writerly voice distinct, audible, sincere, authentic? What makes a voice compelling? We have recognized that voice is connected to both embodiment and subjectivity. We have talked about the important link between voice and empowerment. We have acknowledged how hard it is to hone one’s writerly voice, as we reach for a kind of agility that allows us to shift our voices depending on audience or context. All of this to say that finding
Disruptive innovation. Bleeding edge. Scalable solutions. The Uber for X. Silicon Valley is routinely ridiculed for the language of technology entrepreneurship and startup culture it has dispersed. Yet, the Silicon Valley vocabulary is fast becoming part of the language of education, and major tech companies are using their massive financial power to create their own new schools. In the last few years, IBM has launched P-TECH, a network of “smarter schools” modeled on its Smarter Cities program. A former Google executive has established AltSchool, a chain of schools designed more like makerspaces than conventional schools. And,
I don’t want to be “that guy,” but we need to talk about “Star Wars,” race, class, gender, and sexuality today. Apologies in advance. In particular, we need to talk about who gets to be in “Star Wars,” who gets to make this decision, and what happens when nerd culture is removed from the vestiges of historically primarily white, male space. If you avoided the spew of hate that was #BoycottStarWarsVII on Monday, then let me briefly fill you in: On Monday, Oct. 19, a handful of tweets surfaced accusing the new Star Wars film of advancing an
Every day that I arrive to and leave from work, I’m greeted by an Uber billboard. The photograph shows a women of color, probably in her 30s squinting as she looks at the camera. The accompanying text says, “Driving with Uber means I can provide for my daughter.” The “Uber means” text is in blue. This billboard replaced a previous Uber billboard that simply featured a car and said “Drive with Uber.” There is an obvious link between the existence of these billboards and education as they were placed directly outside of a community college. There
In my last post, I described my rationale for developing a “New and Multimodal Literacies” course for pre-service and in-service teachers grounded in the principles of connected learning. Even though the start of the course is still more than three months away, the journey has begun. In one of the more painful routines of the academic world, professors need to submit book orders for their spring courses just as they are settling into their fall ones. (Sigh) On the bright side, this deadline has spurred me to begin thinking seriously about some of the texts that will
Officially, James Collins is the Digital Media Project Manager at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, working across all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, and the National Zoo. But, to me, as someone deeply interested in how games can transform museum visitor experiences, he’s the right guy in the right place at the right time. His email sig reads “Games are a series of interesting choices.” Yup, the guy I want to speak with. I ran into James recently at the Serious Play Conference in Pittsburgh and we sat down to explore his
Millennials live in a world of contradictions. They are the most educated generation in U.S. history and yet they earn less than the previous generation of young workers. They live in the richest economy the world has ever seen and yet stable and meaningful employment remains elusive. This year, the U.S. Census announced that millennials now make up a greater share of the workforce than any other population segment. Millennials are coming of age at a time when many of our notions about work, identity, opportunity, and mobility are undergoing profound change. How are young 20 and 30-somethings navigating these
A friend told me I was “going rogue” when I leased a slice of off-campus server to host The Social Media Classroom for my UC Berkeley and Stanford courses. The social affordances for the learning management systems at both institutions did not fulfill my needs for sophisticated forum, blog, wiki, and chat tools in courses about social media that used social media intensively as part of the curriculum. It cost me $50/year for a server that enabled me to install the SMC, MediaWiki, WordPress, and other online publishing platforms. When I taught Digital Journalism at Stanford,
What’s this all about?
This collaborative blog and curated collection of free and open resources is produced by the Digital Media & Learning Research Hub, which is dedicated to analyzing and interpreting the impact of the Internet and digital media on education, civic engagement, and youth.
- Algorithmic Studies
- On-Ramps, Lane Changes, Detours and Destinations: Building Connected Learning Pathways in Hive NYC through Brokering Future Learning Opportunities
- Youth, New Media, and the Rise of Participatory Politics
- Teens, Digital Media, and the Chicago Public Library
- What Counts as Writing?