Peering Deep into Future of Educational Credentialing


I recently attended Nesta’s FutureFest event in London. It was a heady mix of everything related to what’s next: from food to technology to economics to politics. What really caught my attention, however, was the way in which one particular innovation seemed to have captured the imagination of people across various sectors. That technology is the blockchain. Bear with me. Some of this will have to be slightly technical in order to get across the point I want to make about credentialing. First, I’ll explain in broad brushstrokes how the blockchain is currently used to underpin Bitcoin, the ‘cryptocurrency’ you’ve

Writing Our Way Into Inquiry and Presearch


As we continue our efforts to think about writing literacies as a focal point of our inquiry work in a high school library, my colleague Jennifer Lund and I continue to see the power of an old school technology: pen and paper. We’ve targeted the presearch phase of research projects as a sweet spot for using writing literacies as a medium for critical thinking and making visible student ideas, questions, and patterns of understanding. In their “Pathways to Knowledge“ model of information literacy, Pappas and Tepe define presearch as the stage that “…enables searchers to connect their information need and prior

Looking Ahead to Games for Change


Growing to the thousands of attendees and general public that will encounter the games, ideas, and fun that are a part of this year’s Games for Change Festival hasn’t been easy. Asi Burak, president of Games for Change reflected on the growth that the organization and the movementhas experienced over the past decade. Emphasizing Action As an academic, so much of my time at conferences is spent either presenting to a largely passive audience or quietly consuming (or daydreaming) other people’s panels, lectures, and posters. Sure, the conference space can be enlivened through engaging activity and digital dialogue, butconferences are places I spend a lot

The Spread of Innovation


Tens of thousands from across the U.S. and around the world will settle in Austin this week to join in the big festival known as South by Southwest (SXSW). For two weeks, it’s a chance to see what is happening in the worlds of interactive, film, and music. By the time SXSW is over, 1,800 bands will have performed, 250 films will have screened, more than 4,000 talks will have taken place, and hundreds of events will have happened.  SXSW Interactive is a big playground and a place where new ideas are tested with one of the world’s

Teaching Urban Digital Literacy Outside School, Part 2


Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series highlighting different programs that teach digital literacy outside of school. Doctoral candidate Eunsong Kim has become an expert on Twitter ethics involving communities of color who writes collaboratively for a wide range of audiences.  For example, in 2014 she had her work recognized among the “most important art essays of the year” and she’s weighed in in the opinion pages of TIME magazine. Kim’s work on digital literacy in urban communities and “finding spaces in between” also is foundational for her identity as a scholar. She has been involved withUrban Gateways for nearly six

Why Apple is Good at Design


Today’s impending release of the Apple Watch, Apple’s highly-anticipated entry into wearable computing, has prompted a new round of discussion about the company’s design prowess. While the computer-maker’s design chops are universally acknowledged, praise for the company is often presented as a series of paradoxes. Where Apple has promoted “empathy with user needs” as a design philosophy, the company keeps its distance from market research. Although Apple is hailed as an innovative maker of technology products, it rarely creates new product categories, preferring instead to innovate within existing categories — the Ipod, Iphone, and now the Apple

Augmented Wearables and the Future of Museums


Wired’s recent cover article, “Microsoft in the Age of Satya Nadella,” is a fascinating piece about how the software giant is aiming to reposition itself to remain dominant in the next operating system revolution. They missed the boat when the rest of us migrated from desktops to mobile devices but, this time, their sights are focused on the next potential disruptor: augmented reality wearables. And, Microsoft’s unanticipated new play in this space was announced in January: Project HoloLens. The article rightly grouped HoloLens with Google Glass, Oculus Rift and the largely-unknown Magic Leap. It’s hard to

KitHub Designed to Empower Young Innovators


KitHub, “creative electronics for young innovators,” is a kit-of-the-month club for young makers, their parents, and their families. It was designed to empower kids and parents who weren’t necessarily close to a physical makerspace, by two women — Tara Tiger Brown and Luz Rivas — who are passionately devoted to maker education, not by an edu-biz conglomerate or VC-founded startup. Brown has served as an entrepreneur, executive director, technical director and lead product manager for the MacArthur Foundation-supported Connected Learning Alliance, Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC, Born This Way Foundation, Topspin Media, and Microsoft, and is co-founder