Akili served for five years as the founding director of the Digital Youth Network. In that role, he helped to define DYN’s unique hybrid model to support youth in developing and applying digital skills in the classroom, out-of-school programming, and in the home.
Currently, as director of digital strategy and development, Akili leads DYN’s work in innovating new digital learning tools and supporting youth-focused organizations to develop models for successfully integrating digital media as a way to increase engagement and effectiveness.
Akili is the creator of the iRemix platform, which allows educators to leverage social networking in a safe solution for educational environments, leveraging social tools and integrating both recommended and custom goal and standard-based curriculum. He is the co-founder and serves as a board director and senior advisor for Remix Learning.
Akili received a B.A. in Computing and Information Systems from Northwestern University and is currently completing a MS in Business Information Technology at Depaul University.
Aleks is an academic and journalist who writes about and studies technology and interactivity. Her PhD thesis in Social Psychology (University of Surrey, 2009) examined how information spreads around the social networks of the World Wide Web. She is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Researcher-in-Residence for the British Library’s Growing Knowledge exhibition.
Read up on her academic and research activities and interests here. She completed the 4-part, prime time BBC 2 series Virtual Revolution in early 2010, about the social history of the World Wide Web. She blogged for the project here, outlining her manifestos about the social, political, economic and psychological impact of the 20 years of the Web. Aleks writes for The Guardian and Observer newspapers, and hosts Tech Weekly, their technology podcast. Her writing also appears in Nature, BBC Technology, New Statesman, MIT Technology Review and The Telegraph. Check out her words here. Finally, she’s the New Media Sector Champion for UKTI, the government department that promotes British businesses around the world. Find out more here. You can ﬁnd Aleks all over the Web.
Antero is an Assistant Professor in the English department at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Antero’s research focuses on developing critical literacies and civic identity through the use of mobile media and game play in formal learning environments. Prior to moving to Colorado, Antero was a teacher at a public high school in South Central Los Angeles. Antero received his Ph.D. in the Urban Schooling division of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In 2008 Antero co-developed the Black Cloud Game. A Digital Media and Learning Competition award recipient, the Black Cloud game provoked students to take real time assessment of air quality in their community. Using custom-developed sensors that measure and send data about air quality, students critically analyzed the role pollution played in their daily lives and presented recommendations to their community.
Antero’s numerous publications and conference presentations address technology, educational equity, youth participatory action research, and critical media literacy. Updates about Antero’s work can be found on his blog, The American Crawl.
Barry is Associate Director For Digital Learning at the American Museum of Natural History. He has developed innovative programs in the areas of youth-led online dialogues, video games as a form of youth media, the application of social networks for social good, the educational potential of virtual worlds like Second Life, the educational application of mobile phones and alternative assessment models. In his position at the AMNH he works with out-of-school, on site youth programs to explore the intersection of digital media and museum-based learning, with a focus on science and cultural topics. His work can be followed at mooshme.org and on twitter at @mmmooshme.
Before his time at AMNH, he did all sorts of fancy pancy things. He served on the initial steering committee of the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning initiative and his writing appears in the Foundation's Ecology of Games volume. (In fact, his desk is just down the hall from the room where the Foundation first launched the initiative in October, 2006). He founded and directed for twelve years Global Kids' Online Leadership Program, when he combined youth development practices with the development of high profile digital media projects that advance 21st Century Skills and New Media Literacies. During his time at Global Kids, Barry also successfully launched Games For Change and the book project Give Me Seltzer.
Ben Williamson is a Lecturer in Education at the University of Stirling. His research examines the interweaving of politics, governing, and digital technologies in education. He studies "network governance" in education policy, and is leading a funded project exploring how computer code interacts with educational institutions, pedagogic practices, and governing processes: http://codeactsineducation.wordpress.com/about/. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @BenPatrickWill.
Buffy J. Hamilton
Buffy J. Hamilton is currently a school librarian at Norcross High School in metropolitan Atlanta. Hamilton, formerly the Learning Strategist for the Cleveland Public Library, has over 20 years of experience in public education as a secondary English teacher and the lead librarian of "The Unquiet Library" at Creekview High School in the Cherokee County School District. Hamilton's research and practitioner interests include participatory learning and culture, ethnographic studies, digital composition, critical pedagogy, and social scholarship.
Buffy is a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker; a 2011 winner of the (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) Cutting Edge Library Service Award; the 2010 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year; and a 2010 National School Boards Association Technology Leadership Network “20 to Watch." She blogs at The Unquiet Librarian, winner of the 2011 Salem Press Best School Library Blog Award.
Monica Bulger is an educational researcher contributing policy research to multi-national groups such as UNICEF and the European Commission. Through her research, she quantifies concepts that are challenging to measure, such as digital literacy, engaged learning, and online harms. She explores these topics through classroom observation, data mining, surveys, interviews, and literature reviews. She is currently a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University and a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. She earned her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Web Science Trust, Transliteracies Project, and National Writing Project. Her teaching background in the often unpopular topic of writing informs much of her work on student engagement and learning. Her blogs for DMLcentral will explore the contexts in which technologies are used for learning and how lessons from DML research can be applied locally, in classrooms and informal learning environments.
Cathy served from 1998 until 2006 as the first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University, where she worked with faculty to help create many programs, including the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the program in Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS). Along with David Theo Goldberg and fifteen scholars from many fields, in 2002 she co-founded Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, HASTAC (“haystack”), a network of innovators dedicated to new forms of learning for the digital age. With Goldberg and HASTAC teams at UCHRI and Duke, she co-directs the $2 million annual HASTAC/John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions.
At Duke University, Cathy holds two distinguished chairs, Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. She has published more than twenty books, including Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America; Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory (with photographer Bill Bamberger); and The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age (with David Theo Goldberg). She blogs regularly on new media, learning, and innovation on the www.hastac.org website as "Cat in the Stack" as well as on dmlcentral.net and PsychologyToday.com. Her most recent book, Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century, is now available in paperback. Her author blog, including the schedule of upcoming appearances on her extended book tour, is at www.nowyouseeit.net. In December 2010, President Obama nominated her to the National Council on the Humanities. You can follow her on Twitter at @catinstack.
Constance M. Yowell, Ph.D.
Connie is the Director of Education at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She oversees a $50 million program on Digital Media and Learning, one of the first philanthropic efforts in the US to systematically explore the effects of digital media on young people and its implications for the future of learning and education.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Yowell conducted extensive research on the connections among educational research, policy and practice. She was an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, where she published scholarly work on the complex interplay among young people’s emerging identity, their social context and achievement. Her research integrated the fields of adolescent psychological development and organization change to address the problem of high school dropout among immigrant students in the United States.
Equally committed to developing educational and social policies for young people, Dr. Yowell has worked worked closely with teachers and administrators in the Chicago Public Schools to develop and implement literacy curricula for Latino youth. She also served as evaluator and program coordinator for youth development programs in New York City.
Most recently, Dr. Yowell received the Distinguished Fellows Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, an award to support scholars seeking to bridge research and practice, under which she is working with the National Writing Project to develop approaches that integrate web 2.0 technologies into the social practices of teachers.
S. Craig Watkins
Craig studies young people's social and digital media behaviors. He teaches at the University of Texas, Austin, in the departments of Radio-Television-Film, Sociology, and the Center for African and African American Studies. Craig is also a Faculty Fellow for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.
His book, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon, 2009), is based on survey research, in-depth interviews, and fieldwork with teens, young twenty-somethings, teachers, parents, and technology advocates. The Young and the Digital explores young people's dynamic engagement with social media, games, mobile phones, and communities like Facebook.
His other books include Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement (Beacon Press, 2005), and Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema (The University of Chicago Press, 1998).
Addressing issues that range from the social impacts of young people's participation in digital media culture to the educational implications, Craig has engaged a dynamic mix of communities. Among them: the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Drug Addiction, IBM Center for Social Software, SXSW Interactive, the National School Boards Association, Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity, the Austin Forum on Science and Technology for Society, Facebook, iCivics, and the MacArthur Foundation,
He is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's research network on Connected Learning. Among other things his work in the network will include leading a team of researchers in an ethnographic study of diverse teens, participatory practices, and social ecologies. Craig is also developing a project that looks at the connection between mobile technologies, youth, and civic engagement. Finally, he is conducting a series of case studies that look at how educators are using social and digital media to redesign learning in schools.
For updates on these and other projects visit his website, theyoungandthedigital.com.