Monica Bulger

Monica Bulger picture

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.


Blogs (3)


What We Miss by Comparing MOOCs to Traditional Classrooms

Monday, September 08, 2014

wide shot of beautiful traditional library “They hear a program about sea creatures, another about the North Pole. Werner’s favourite is one about light: eclipses and sundials, auroras and wavelengths. When they find it, Werner feels as if he has been launched into a different existence, a secret place where great discoveries are possible, where an orphan from a coal town can solve some vital mystery hidden in the physical world.”— Anthony Doerr, “All the Light We Cannot See” (2014)  Perhaps imagining vivid worlds unlocked by new knowledge is a romantic notion or perhaps not. Movies and novels depict hallowed halls at Oxford,


Why Technology Alone Can’t Fix the Education Problem

Thursday, February 06, 2014

kids sitting at classroom desk working on music media on ipads For more than a decade now, I’ve internally cringed whenever someone talks about the promise of technology in education. Often, discussions of iPads, video games, laptops for all focus on the potential of access to the software, device, or app rather than how it’s used. In 1999, my department at UC Santa Barbara decided that all lecturers would hold classes in campus computer labs to demonstrate our progressiveness. We received no training. There was no brainstorming about lessons. We were given no information about the specs of the computer labs. Space was reserved and we were


The Trouble with Testing

Monday, July 15, 2013

female students hands filling out traditional scantron test It’s obviously summer because my news alerts are no longer steadily reporting concerns about education, our children’s future, the problems with teachers, etc. Perhaps now, then, is the perfect time to address the issue of testing and its troubles, while a little distance might provide perspective. So, why do we test? What do we hope the tests will achieve? Last summer, Thomas Friedman suggested that parents and teachers view classroom performance as CEOs do economic performance to keep us competitive and to overcome our “education challenge.” In this light, testing helps us know where we stand