Diana Rhoten: The Science of Reimagining Learning

Monday, March 29, 2010 Comment little students excited throwing hats in the air

“From the standpoint of the child, the great waste in the school comes from his inability to utilize the experiences he gets outside the school in any complete and free way within the school itself; while, on the other hand, he is unable to apply in daily life what he is learning at school. That is the isolation of the school – its isolation from life. When the child gets into the schoolroom he has to put out of his mind a large part of the ideas, interests, and activities that predominate in his home and


Facebook’s Games: Emerging Sociality

Monday, March 22, 2010 Comment painting of butterflies

Raquel Recuero is a professor of linguistics and communication in Brazil, and a researcher in social media and Internet culture in South America. The content of this post is based on her recent research about Facebook’s role-playing games. Social networking games are typically regarded as “casual” in the sense that they don’t require players to become so addicted to them, or to invest a lot of time in order to be enjoyed. Game mechanisms are simpler, allowing users, in many cases, just to point-and-click and the rules aren’t complex. Thus, one would doubt that RPGs (role


ChatRoulette: Devil Incarnate or Accessible Public?

Monday, March 15, 2010 Comment roulette game

It’s easy to see new Internet phenomena and panic, especially when the technology in question opens up a portal to all of the weird parts of the Internet.  This is precisely what is happening around ChatRoulette, a new peer-to-peer webcam-based video chat site. Although the site was built by a 17-year-old Russian high school student to connect with other teens, nearly every adult who has visited the site runs screaming that this is a terrible space for young people.  In some senses, they’re right.  But the more that they panic and talk about how bad this


Spin: The Digital Media & Learning Conference 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010 Comment art piece of record player in snow outside

Hidden in the tweetstream from the Digital Media and Learning Conference 2010 are hundreds of provocative insights, comments, and observations, and we couldn’t help but mine the archive for another round. The full stream can be found here: #dml2010. The tweets we’ve collected below contain ideas, questions, and thoughts that can be readily absorbed by both those who attended the conference and those who did not – as well as recommended resources and links. Cast of Characters (in order of tweets that reference them):Katie Salen (presenter) Ernest Morrell (panelist) Henry Jenkins (conference chair) Benjamin Stokes (panelist)Lev


Reimagining Learning

Monday, March 08, 2010 Comment students sitting at desks working on computers

Teaching and education in America has been a very hot subject in the news. In recent days, there have been lengthy pieces on “building a better teacher,”  the ripple effects of a Rhode Island school board’s decision to fire the entire faculty of a poorly performing school and President Obama’s remarks, and the results of a large survey of teachers. So, I wanted to bring attention to a new effort coming out of the office of our friend, Jim Shelton, at the U.S. Department of Education. It’s a new web 2.0 site on Ed.gov called The


Apprenticeship 2.0 Could Fuel 21st Century Learning

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 Comment old photograph of elder teaching young boy to make apprenticeship

In a recent New Yorker piece on cookbooks, Adam Gopnik observes that “the space between learning the facts about how something is done and learning how to do it always turns out to be large, at times immense.” Although Gopnik is explicitly referring to cooking, this statement could be equally applied to most forms of learning since the nineteenth century. As Cathy Davidson points out, the history of modern education has been that of the constant refinement of how we rank and classify individuals and their relative worth. Cathy notes that this history is intimately bound up


Dispatches: Digital Media & Learning Conference 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010 Comment phone in the sand at beach

In the wake of the Digital Media and Learning Conference, we’re seeing many great conversations taking place and intriguing questions being asked. Here’s a second wave of tweets harvested from the conference tweetstream. As before, these are tweets containing insights, observations, comments, questions, takeaways, and resource referrals compelling both to those who were there, but also to those who were not. The full tweetsream can be found on Twitter at #dml2010. Cast of characters (in order of reference in tweets):danah boyd (presenter)David Theo Goldberg (moderator) Sonia Livingstone (keynote/closing)Jeremy Hunsinger (discussant)Tracy Fullerton (presenter) Alexander Halavais (presenter)S. Craig


Remix: Digital Media and Learning Conference 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 Comment DML Conference 2010 Diversifying participation logo

More than 400 researchers, scholars, educators, practitioners, and youth experts from the emerging digital media and learning field have just returned from our first Digital Media and Learning Conference. We’re still trying to wrap our arms around the riveting conversation and probing questions that bubbled up at the conference, held at UC San Diego. Meantime, here’s an initial batch of raw tweets from the conference with insights, ideas, observations, comments, questions, takeaways, and resource referrals that might be compelling both to those who were there, but also to those who were not. By most accounts, it


Information & Convergence: Twitter’s Practices in Brazil

Thursday, February 18, 2010 Comment Talk twitter banner in spanish

Recent data from Hubspot showed that Twitter’s growth in Brazil is slowing down, but it is definitely in the mainstream population. Its role and its profile have grown, and more and more TV shows, magazines, and other media are using the tool in significant ways. The recent edition of “Big Brother Brasil” (a reality show where ordinary people are confined to a house under 24-hour camera surveillance – link in Portuguese) is one of the most popular programs in Brazil. It is using Twitter so that the participants can communicate with the outside world. One of


Recommended reading, watching, listening

Monday, February 15, 2010 Comment group of global kids girls smiling holding up signs

Global Kids‘ New York City-based programs address the urgent need for young people to possess leadership skills and an understanding of complex global issues to succeed in the 21st century workplace and participate in the democratic process. The staff has a wonderful appetite for learning and we regularly provide DMLcentral.net a snapshot of resource picks we consider insightful and relevant. Please comment and tell us what you are reading and watching, too! Topping our current list: Feed by M.T. Anderson, a dystopic science fiction novel about a world where technology has become such a part of


21st Century Assessment: A Critical Moment

Thursday, February 11, 2010 Comment word education on brick building wall

Editor’s Note: This is a re-blog of a timely post by guest bloggers Daniel Hickey and Brian Nelson. You can find the post in its original form here. The authors argue that the opportunity to institute true reform in assessment practices is now, and those leading the government’s Race to the Top Assessment Initiative must think more broadly about how we measure progress in schools. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has set aside up to $350 million of Race to the Top funds for the potential purpose of supporting states in developing a next generation of assessments


A Thought Experiment: Why grade? Why test? What if?

Monday, February 08, 2010 Comment outside building sign 21st century

Let’s try a thought experiment.   Let’s assume we live in a culture where all forms of educational achievement tests have been banned and no one is allowed to assign a letter or numerical grade for anything.   How would we evaluate what students are learning?  How would we decide which teachers were doing their job effectively or how they could be more effective?  Would there be objective (i.e. impartial, unbiased) ways of determining who was the smartest student and who needed help?   And why would we want or need to know that?  Without testing, would being the


Teaching, Texting, and Twittering with Obama

Monday, February 01, 2010 Comment screen shots of barack obama social media banners

With the first year of the Obama administration officially coming to a close, educators have been thinking about how the president’s online presence could be used for both civic education and media literacy purposes.  Obama came into office with the promise of delivering web-based participatory democracy or “Government 2.0” to citizens.  But I have found myself arguing that Obama’s “embrace” of online practices was actually quite limited, when it came to the messages he was promulgating.  I am also not alone in wondering if online commenting and voting really constitutes democratic engagement. Many educators have visited


“Game Changer” Competition

Friday, January 29, 2010 Comment
Reimagining Learning banner

Take a few minutes and help influence the next generation of games. The 2010 game design competition sponsored by HASTAC and the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning program is looking for help in deciding which games and designers deserve to advance. The narratives in this year’s proposals are innovative, fun, gripping and timely, including: finding a missing genius scientist, repelling invaders of human consciousness, rescuing victims of a killer earthquake, and the proper care and feeding of aliens. They all feature provocative characters, including: “Sackboy,” a Geico-like lizard named “Sal,” an invisible time traveling professor


Public by Default, Private when Necessary

Monday, January 25, 2010 Comment person shadow behind window

With Facebook systematically dismantling its revered privacy infrastructure, I think it’s important to drill down on the issue of privacy as it relates to teens. There’s an assumption that teens don’t care about privacy but this is completely inaccurate. Teens care deeply about privacy, but their conceptualization of what this means may not make sense in a setting where privacy settings are a binary.  What teens care about is the ability to control information as it flows and to have the information necessary to adjust to a situation when information flows too far or in unexpected


eBooks and Learning

Thursday, January 21, 2010 Comment Stack of Psychology books

Now that the ebook industry has set its sights on the textbook and educational markets, it’s especially important for educators to shape discussion of the benefits and potential impact of ereaders. Rather than bemoan the loss of wood pulp and glue that make up current texts, we are better served by asking how these physical objects serve learning, and what is lost (or gained) by replacing them with electronic texts. One doesn’t have to abandon a love for print books to appreciate the unique affordances of new technologies. For example: how many would prefer poring through


Educating for the Future, Not the Past

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 Comment Einstein writing on chalk board quote

Historian Robert Darnton has argued that we are currently in the fourth great Information Age in all human history.  The first information revolution came with the development of writing in 4000 B.C. Mesopotamia.  The second was facilitated by the invention of movable type (in 10th Century China and 15th Century Europe).  The third was marked by the advent of mass printing (presses, cheap ink and paper, mass distribution systems, and mass literacy) in late 18th Century Europe and America. The current Information Age is the fourth such era, marked by the development of the Internet and,


An Emerging Theory: Things Rule

Thursday, January 14, 2010 Comment pictures of presentation trash technology

The international conference on Digital Arts and Culture is often a place for previewing coming theoretical trends in digital scholarship.  Long before the formation of separate conferences for the Electronic Literature Organization and the Digital Games Research Association, DAC was at the forefront of interactive literature and game studies.  This year’s DAC conference, “After Media: Embodiment and Context,” included a prominent “Interdisciplinary Pedagogy” theme led by digital artist Cynthia Beth Rubin that tried to make connections between the cutting-edge, sophisticated theory that the conference represented and the more mundane practical challenges posed by instructional technology and


Social Networks and Civic Mobilization in Latin America

Monday, January 11, 2010 Comment christalk tweet #projectoenchentes

Translation of the Tweet: “People with more than one thousand followers: RT (Retweet) is a good way to contribute with #projetoenchentes (flood relief in Brazil).” Access to the Internet as well as social networking sites has been growing steadily and rapidly in Latin American countries, despite economic impediments. It is increasingly common to hear discussion of the growth of social network sites such as Facebook in Argentina. In one month, between October and November of 2009, the number of Facebook users in Argentina grew 10 percent, by 3.9 million users, to a total of 39.3 million,


Global Kids: Recommended Reading…Viewing…Listening

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 Comment 3 diverse global kids girls posing for photo

Global Kids’ New York City-based programs address the urgent need for young people to possess leadership skills and an understanding of complex global issues to succeed in the 21st century workplace and participate in the democratic process. Now in its ninth year, Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program (OLP) integrates a youth development approach and international and public policy issues into youth media programs that build digital literacy, foster substantive online dialogues, develop resources for educators, and promote civic participation. To keep the work connected to emerging research and practice, OLP staff feed their voracious appetite reading