Datafication: How the Lens of Data Changes How We See Ourselves


Digital media allow us to produce, collect, organise and interpret more data about our lives than ever before. Our every digital interaction contributes to vast databases of information that index our behaviour from online movie choices to mapping networks of connections across Twitter. In an age of uncertainty, big data sets promise to provide an objective lens through which to understand the world, and both individuals and institutions like schools are turning to data to drive analysis and action. But what does this increasing datafication mean for how we understand the world, and how we understand

Howard Gardner: Digital Technology and A Well-Rounded Education


As digital technologies become daily staples in both our personal and professional lives, there’s been much discussion among educators and community leaders as to whether these devices and innovations could in some way be accountable for shifts in the ethical and moral make-up of contemporary society. For the last two decades, Howard Gardner has been researching these issues as co-director of the Good Work Project, a MacArthur Foundation funded project that explores the ethical character of young people’s activities in the digital world. In a recent interview with Nesta, an independent charity dedicated to promoting innovation

Mentoring: The Gift of Validation


This short film explores a fundamental ingredient of learning and human potential: mentoring. Its potential is arguably even more pronounced today because of our ability to connect with others who share our interests through the internet and social media. The film asks: 
‘Might we all have the opportunity to mentor another?’
 ‘How powerful is a single moment of validation to a young imagination?’
 ‘Might your influence travel further than you might imagine?’ 
’Teacher or not, might you have a part to play in the education of another?’ The interview subject is Brother Mike, YouMedia coordinator and

Making + Playing + Understanding = Learning


We commissioned filmmaker Nic Askew to make a series of short films that explores the underlying thinking of our six principles of connected learning: interests, peers, youth as producers, networks, shared purpose and academics. Together, the six offer a framework for learning anchored in research and a deep understanding of how people learn, but they also tap the new possibilities of the internet, social media and the information age. This particular film (below) examines a fundamental human experience and key component of connected learning, ‘play,’ and explores whether it has been underestimated and whether, as a

To Hasten Equity…Scale the Individual


Public education could be the most accelerating venue for social change. Rather than waiting for any of the incredible [past, current and ongoing] innovations in redefining public education to scale, imagine we scale the individual. Imagine a new (old) narrative that can start anywhere because it begs no prep or training. Imagine we trust simplicity enough to give it a go. Imagine hastening equity and ongoing sustainability. IDEC is an annual global conference that circulates to the US every 10 years. From August 4-8, 2013, it will be hosted at CU-Boulder. We’re taking advantage of this

On Digital Badging, Edge Work, 12 Lessons After 12 Years


For two years I have worked with my team at Global Kids to highlight some of the best online resources that inspire digital media and learning projects. It has been some time, however, since I made a new post. I am excited to share the reason why: I am now working at the American Museum of Natural History as the new Associate Director For Digital Learning, focusing on on-site, youth-oriented programs. I look forward to shifting the focus of these posts to highlight the most inspiring online resources I can find about digital media and museum-based

Mapping Our Learning Worlds


Digital maps allow us to map our journeys across times and places, linking virtual information to physical locations. What do digital maps teach us about how to see the world and our place in it and what kinds of navigations do they make possible? What opportunities do digital maps offer for mapping our learning journeys across school, home and other spaces and times? What do digital maps teach us about the world? In A History of the World in Twelve Maps, Jerry Brotton traces the history of human civilisations through the maps they produced, showing how