Summer 2011 Fellows

Rebecca Black Profile Picture

Rebecca Black

Mentor

Rebecca Black is an Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and Technology in the Department of Education at UC Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research centers on the literacy and socialization practices of young people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds who are writing and participating in online, popular culture-inspired environments. This work includes an explicit focus on the 21st century skills and forms of literacy and learning that youth are engaging with in online spaces. Dr. Black's work has been published in Teachers College Record, Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, the International Journal of Learning and Media, and E-learning. Her book, Adolescents and Online Fan Fiction, explores how English language learning youth represent their cultural and linguistic identities through fan fiction texts was published by Peter Lang in the Spring of 2008.

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Tom Boellstorff Profile Picture

Tom Boellstorff

Mentor

Tom Boellstorff is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, and Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association. He is the author of The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia (Princeton University Press, 2005); A Coincidence of Desires: Anthropology, Queer Studies, Indonesia (Duke University Press, 2007); and Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human (Princeton University Press, 2008).

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Karen Brennan Profile Picture

Karen Brennan

Fellow

Karen is a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab, a member of the Scratch Team, and leads the ScratchEd project. Her research is primarily concerned with the ways in which learning communities support computational creators. More concretely, her work focuses on Scratch and the Scratch educator community, studying how participation in the Scratch online community and how professional development for educators can support young people as creators of computational media.

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Mark Chen Profile Picture

Mark Chen

Fellow

Mark's research focuses on teamwork, communication, and group expertise in situated gaming cultures. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, looking at the practice of a group of gamers in the online game World of Warcraft. He is currently a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Washington Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (UWISME) and the Advancing Games as Innovative Learning Environments (AGILE) group, helping to evaluate player learning of science and math games such as Foldit and Refraction. Prior to doctoral work, Mark was the webmaster and a web game developer for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. He holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Reed College and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area as a child of the 80s. You can read more about Mark on his blog at http://markdangerchen.net

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Drew Davidson Profile Picture

Drew Davidson

Mentor

Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories across texts, comics, games and other media. He is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center – Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University and the Editor of ETC Press. http://waxebb.com/

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Katie Davis Profile Picture

Katie Davis

Fellow

Katie is an advanced doctoral student in the Human Development and Education Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studies under Dr. Howard Gardner and Dr. Kurt Fischer. Her research focuses on the psychosocial development of adolescents and emerging adults. In particular, she studies adolescents’ developing sense of self and factors affecting this process, such as digital media and close interpersonal relationships. Katie holds two master's degrees from Harvard, one in Mind, Brain, and Education and one in Risk and Prevention. Before beginning her doctoral work in 2005, she taught in Framingham, Massachusetts, and Saltus Grammar School in Bermuda, her native country.

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Betsy DiSalvo Profile Picture

Betsy DiSalvo

Fellow

Betsy is a Human Centered Computing Ph.D. Candidate at Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Interactive Computing. She is pursuing research that examines how culture impacts technology use, and how we can leverage cultural practices in designing learning interventions. She is focusing on young African American males' use of video games and why they are not leveraging this into an interest in computer science as other groups do. In response to this, Betsy has created the Glitch Game Testers, where teens work as game testers for game companies and participate in computer science workshops. Glitch, in its second year, has shown a dramatic increase in the number of participants who are or intend to pursue computer related majors in college. Prior to graduate school Betsy worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center where she lead the development of the Click! Urban Adventure Game, games for the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, curriculum for Robot 250, and educational technology evaluations for the Warhol Museum.

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Laura Forlano Profile Picture

Laura Forlano

Fellow

Laura is a writer, researcher and consultant based in New York City. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Interaction Design Lab in the Departments of Communication and Information Science at Cornell University. In the fall she will be an Assistant Professor of Design at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Forlano’s research is on the role of information technology in supporting open innovation networks in urban environments with a specific emphasis on the use of mobile, wireless and ubiquitous computing technologies to support collaboration. She is co-editor with Marcus Foth, Christine Satchell and Martin Gibbs of From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement, which is to be published by MIT Press in 2011. Forlano received her Ph.D. in Communications from Columbia University in 2008. Since 2007, Forlano has been an Adjunct Faculty member in the Design and Management department at Parsons and the Graduate Programs in International Affairs and Media Studies at The New School where she teaches courses on Innovation, Technology and the City, New Media and Global Affairs, Service Design, and Design and Everyday Experience. She serves as a board member of NYCwireless and the New York City Computer Human Interaction Association. Forlano received a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University, a Diploma in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s in Asian Studies from Skidmore College. Forlano’s blog can be found at http://www.lauraforlano.org.

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Alex Halavais Profile Picture

Alex Halavais

Mentor

Alex is an associate professor at Quinnipiac University, where he teaches in a masters program in interactive communications. He formerly directed a masters program in informatics at the University at Buffalo, and was Research Director for the New Media Research Lab at the University of Washington. He has also worked in marketing for a large financial services firm, designed simulations for NASA, a public school teacher in Japan, and in city government as a budget analyst and planner. Alex has published articles and book chapters on how social media relates to social change, as well as a book introducing the social role of search engines. He is vice president of the Association of Internet Researchers and serve as the Technical Director of the Digital Media and Learning Hub based at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

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Tanner Higgin Profile Picture

Tanner Higgin

Fellow

Tanner is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of California, Riverside. His research examines race, gender, and power in digital media cultures. He is currently working on a dissertation titled "Race and Videogames," which develops a theory of how race functions procedurally in videogames. He is also interested in developing a computer art project to act as a companion piece to my dissertation. Ideally this project would illustrate the main analytic he has developed in his dissertation, racial displacement. This analytic invites critics and players to evaluate how race is represented off of bodies through discourse, space, and code. Feel free to browse his personal site or follow him on Twitter.

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Aaron Knochel Profile Picture

Aaron Knochel

Fellow

Aaron is finishing his dissertation research at Ohio State University in Art Education. In his career as both an artist and teacher, he has explored the use of innovative technology in creative practices from classrooms to museum contexts. His current research develops connections between visual culture studies and actor-network theory. In the fall 2011, Aaron will start his position as an Assistant Professor of Art Education at SUNY New Paltz.

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Andrew Manches Profile Picture

Andrew Manches

Fellow

Andrew is a Research Fellow at the London Knowledge Lab, UK. His work builds on his PhD looking at how new forms of technology, such as tangible technology, can be designed to help young children explore different number concepts. This has recently informed the design of an exploratory number environment currently being evaluated on an Ipad. This work reflects Andrew’s wider interests into the way technology and forms of interaction shape early learning experiences and opportunities. Prior to research, Andrew worked as a qualified Infant teacher in Primary and Special Needs schools in a socially deprived area in the South of England. Andrew recently set up a joint company, Plingtoys, which is currently building a prototype learning technology for young children.

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Sean McCarthy Profile Picture

Sean McCarthy

Fellow

Sean is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at University of Texas, Austin, in the Digital Literacies and Literatures concentration. His dissertation explores the intersections between digital literacy and community engagement theory and practice. Tentatively titled "Networked Engagement," this digital-born project argues that digital culture offers humanities disciplines innovative approaches to collaborating with non-academic partners but also presents distinct challenges for traditional research and teaching practices to adapt to such innovation. Sean is currently an assistant director at the Digital Writing and Research Lab at UT, Austin. He is also a HASTAC scholar and a Publicly Active Graduate Education Scholar with the Imagining America consortium.

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Bonnie Nardi Profile Picture

Bonnie Nardi

Mentor

Bonnie Nardi is a Professor in the Department of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. An anthropologist, she has studied the uses of digital technologies in offices, schools, homes, libraries, hospitals, scientific laboratories, and virtual worlds. Her theoretical orientation is activity theory. She is the author of many scientific articles and five books. Her latest book, a study of an online community, is My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft (University of Michigan Press, 2010).

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Jan L. Plass Profile Picture

Jan L. Plass

Mentor

Jan L. Plass Ph.D. is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Digital Media and Learning Sciences in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, where he co-directs the Games for Learning Institute. He is the founding director of the CREATE Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technology in Education. His research is at the intersection of cognitive science, learning sciences, and design, and seeks to enhance the design of highly interactive visual environments. His current focus is on cognitive and emotional aspects of information design and interaction design of simulations and educational games for math and science education. Dr. Plass received his MA in Mathematics and Physics Education and his Ph.D. in Educational Technologies from Erfurt University (PH Erfurt, Germany).

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Justin Reich Profile Picture

Justin Reich

Fellow

Justin is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and project manager of the Digital Collaborative Learning Communities Project funded by the Hewlett Foundation. Justin researches how Web 2.0 tools are used in K-12 settings, with particular attention to issues of excellence, equity and learner analytics. His work uses both ethnographic methods and novel approaches for longitudinal modeling of individual and community behavior using the real-time user data generated by Web 2.0 tools. Justin is also co-Director of EdTechTeacher.org, a professional development firm that helps teachers and schools leverage new technologies to create student-centered, inquiry-based learning environments, and the author of Best Ideas for Teaching with Technology: A Practical Guide for Teachers by Teachers.

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Lisa Schwartz Profile Picture

Lisa Schwartz

Fellow

Lisa is a PhD candidate in the Program of Language Reading and Culture, Department of Teaching Learning and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. She is currently writing her dissertation "Forming a Collaborative Model for Appropriating Youth and Digital Practices for New Literacies Development with Teachers and Latino Students." The study documents participatory ethnographic research with high school English teachers and predominately Latino students in urban southern Arizona. The interventionist methodology of the research is embedded in an anthropological and cultural historical framework. The work challenges deficit discourses and digital divide narratives for Latino youth by enlisting diversity in adolescent technology access, forms of participation and interests to engage literacy development across multiple discursive and spatial domains. Lisa's dissertation reflects the accumulation of her experience as a researcher, educator and designer of digital learning environments working primarily with youth from diverse racial, working-class and immigrant backgrounds. Currently, as part of the Wired Up Project at Utrecht University, she is working on a comparative study of immigrant youths' practices with digital media in Arizona and the Netherlands. She also continues to consult with and assist the participants in her dissertation study on their endeavors with digital stories, wikis and social network sites. In the past, Lisa designed online learning spaces as the Learning Materials Editor and Coordinator for the Tree of Life Web Project (tolweb.org, a collaborative phylogenetic biology website), as an outreach and technology coordinator for the Tucson GEAR UP project, and as a teacher and researcher of secondary school multimedia studies and primary grade science in the Bay Area and Tucson, Arizona.

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Christo Sims Profile Picture

Christo Sims

Fellow

Christo is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley's School of Information and a researcher for the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at the University of California's systemwide Humanities Research Institute. His scholarship studies the intersection of youth cultures, digital media use, and the production of social inequalities. He’s currently working on his dissertation, an ethnography centered on the youth and families who attend an innovative New York City public middle school that celebrates digital media production and playing games as a way to “recruit” learning.

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Elisabeth (Lissa) Soep Profile Picture

Elisabeth (Lissa) Soep

Mentor

Elisabeth (Lissa) Soep is Research Director and Senior Producer at Youth Radio, a national youth-driven production company in Oakland, CA. With a PhD from Stanford, she researches and writes about youth discourse, learning, and digital media culture for academic journals, popular websites, and books including Drop that Knowledge (Soep & Chávez, UC Press) and Youthscapes (Maira & Soep, UPenn Press). The Youth Radio stories Lissa has produced for NPR have been recognized with honors including two Peabody Awards, three Murrow Awards, an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. With NSF support, Lissa co-created the Brains and Beakers series—interactive dialogues between youth and inventors. She is Principal Investigator for a 2010 winning entry in the MacArthur Foundation’s global Digital Media and Learning Competition, which launched Mobile Action Lab (youth partnering with pro developers to create mobile apps serving community needs). She teaches grad classes on ethnography and education, including a 2011 Urban Education course at UC Berkeley. Lissa joined the MacArthur Foundation’s research network on Youth Political Participation in 2011.

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Holly Willis Profile Picture

Holly Willis

Mentor

Holly Willis is Director of Academic Programs at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy, where she teaches, organizes workshops and oversees academic programs designed to introduce new media literacy skills across USC’s campus and curriculum. She is also the editor of The New Ecology of Things (Art Center College of Design, 2007), a collection of essays, words, images and fiction that grapples with the potential and design challenges of pervasive computing, and she is the author of New Digital Cinema: Reinventing the Moving Image (Wallflower Press, 2005), which chronicles the advent of digital filmmaking tools and their impact on contemporary media practices. The former editor of RES Magazine, Ms. Willis has written extensively on experimental media practices for a variety of publications. She holds a Ph.D. in Critical Studies in Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California.

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