Post-Platonic Writing on the Web


In the Phaedrus, Plato famously objected to writing, noting that it would cause a number of ills: it would lead to the decay of memory, it would deceive people into thinking that they possessed knowledge merely because they had read about it, and it was dumb – that is, it couldn’t answer questions in a dialectical format. If I read something I don’t understand or disagree with, I can’t ask the text to explain itself. It will always say what it says, forever. In general, the response of technologists has been that Plato was both right

Bio-Politics, Video Games, and Kids’ Bodies


Some recent research findings have got me thinking a lot about Franz Kafka’s story about a young clerical worker who wakes up half-transformed into a giant insect. No, it’s not research from the new journal Horror Studies but something even more horrifying from pediatric research. Research published in the August issue of Pediatrics by psychologists from Iowa State University has suggested a causal link between playing video games and children developing Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study reported that children who exceeded the two hours per day of screen time recommended by the American

Participation, Technology, and the Power of Sharing


This year’s convention of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) attracted more than 20,000 programmers, artists, researchers, filmmakers, and gaming professionals – as well as students and academics from almost 80 countries.  Apparently SIGGRAPH is also promising to transform contemporary education. Most came to SIGGRAPH to see the newest products in computer graphics and interactive technologies, which were hawked by the 160 exhibitors vying for the audience’s attention on the 46,000-square-foot floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center.  It was a prime location, close to many Los Angeles

Call for Papers: Digital Media & Learning Conference 2011


Professor Katie Salen is Chair of the Digital Media & Learning Conference 2011. Her work at the innovative Quest to Learn school in New York City has been featured most recently in The New York Times Magazine. As temperatures begin slowly to abate from the rather uncomfortable heights of a long Brooklyn summer I find I am already anticipating an escape from winter. An escape that will be made possible by the second annual Digital Media and Learning conference, to be held in sunny Long Beach, Mar. 3-5, 2011. It may seem strange to speak of

Digital Media and the Changing Nature of Authorship


Students spend a lot of time writing. Most everyone vividly remembers writing essays for school, and, for many, those memories are not necessarily pleasant. Talk of writing in the classroom often dredges up images of empty pages yawning to be filled, writer’s block, and a general uneasiness with the idea of writing in general. The papers we wrote were typically read only by our teachers, and maybe our classmates, after which they disappeared never to be seen again. In Literacy in American Lives, Deborah Brandt explains the origin for some of these uneasy feelings, noting that

Recommended Reading, Viewing, Clicking 


Editor’s note: Global Kids does a great job mining the 24/7 flow of resources coming out of the digital media and learning field. They share some of their favorites each month. Please tell us what you’re reading or watching and why others should as well! How do we pick what to put on this list? Often, when we come across something more than once, from different sources, we usually know we’re on to something fast becoming a meme. A video, “Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” is one of them. The author of