Using Design Research to Support Youth Programs

Monday, April 06, 2015 Comment Dixie Ching teaching 2 students a project in classroom

Rafi Santo and Dixie Ching are figuring out how youth programs in New York can best support young people in learning whatever interests them. Santo, a doctoral candidate in learning sciences at Indiana University, and Ching, a doctoral candidate in educational communication and technology at New York University, are the project leads of the Hive Research Lab, an applied research partner of the Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network. The network is a citywide lab where educators, technologists and youth-development experts from more than 70 organizations, museums, libraries, after-school programs, code clubs and others come together to build innovative, connected

Why Apple is Good at Design

Monday, March 09, 2015 Comment neon silver red apple watches ad

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

Technology, Cities & Collaboration

Friday, May 11, 2012 Comment guy holding phone with headphones on on busy city street

As Assistant Professor of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design, Laura Forlano’s interests converge at the intersection of technology, cities, and culture. Prior to her professorship in design, Forlano was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Interaction Design Lab in the departments of Communication and Information Science at Cornell University. Her research focuses on urban informatics — the integration of digital technologies into urban spaces — and the emergent forms of organizing and collaboration that are possible through the use of ubiquitous technologies. Her current project, “Design Collaborations as Sociotechnical Systems,” is a worldwide

Why Critical Design Literacy is Needed Now More Than Ever

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 Comment 3 students conducting video interview and holding script

One thing is clear in our work at Texas City High School (TCHS) this year: students like to create their own media.  Students at TCHS create their own YouTube channels, compose original music, comics, games, Tumblr pages, art work, and fashion designs.  As young people’s use of social and digital media applications continues to evolve they are developing what I call a “design disposition.”  This is a reference to a distinct generational view that they expect to not only consume media content but create content, too.  Throughout the year we have sought out ways to both

School 3.0: Design. Create. Learn. Repeat.

Friday, January 06, 2012 Comment young boy building electronic circuit board from computer instructions

Karen Brennan is a PhD student in the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, where she is a member of the Scratch Team, a group responsible for creating and developing a user-friendly educational programming language, and leader of the ScratchEd project. 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. Brennan was also a Summer Fellow thi s past August at the Digital Media & Learning Research Hub’s Research Associates

Youth Learn ‘Design Thinking’ at Digital-Age Summer Camp

Monday, August 08, 2011 Comment
male students laughing together and looking at cellphones at digital summer camp

Peals of laughter ring across the room as teens watch other teens maneuver to avoid being hit on the head. There are no bullies here – actually, game designer Kaho Abe is presenting a video clip of a game she created where the goal is to avoid being hit on the head while staying within a designated circle. The game is intended to inspire thought about design constraints, and it appears to be working as students raise their hands to inquire about how difficult it is to stay within a ten-foot diameter, and wonder aloud about

Wanted (And Needed): ‘Radical’ Collaborations

Monday, August 01, 2011 Comment painting with words 20 Learn

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. This insight from Anne Frank is evidenced today all across the world in education and many other domains. People are doing amazing things. Start ups, reforms, revolutions. It’s good news. It’s happening everywhere. And it all fits together, whether we see the connections today or not. Pointillism. Perpetual beta. If you’re not feeling it, if you’re wondering if you’re a part of education’s big picture…we’re thinking, more than anything, you need to know that you are – assuming you

Should We Design Social Justice into Learning?

Monday, May 02, 2011 Comment group of adults sitting in home around couches working on computers

The notion of design is central to the way we think about learning, and to how we think about digital media. Some would argue that learning is “designed in” to digital media such as good video games. But what can this concept tell us about “designing in” social justice to learning experiences? Thinking about digital media from a design perspective compels us to recognize how much of what we take for granted as “just the way things are” are the consequences of design decisions, and reveals how things could be otherwise. It shows how individuals can

Designing Learning From “End to End”

Friday, March 04, 2011 Comment close up of a dandelion

When Tim Berners-Lee and a handful of colleagues began developing the World Wide Web, they did so without a blueprint but with something better:  a principle.  What if all the world’s knowledge could easily be transferred between us without going through a central node controlling the shape of that information?  What if my computer could abide by certain kinds of communication protocols, could send out packets of information, and then any other computer in the world set up to understand those protocols could receive it?  What if we all, the human community, could exchange our ideas

Wikirriculum: Curriculum in the Digital Age

Monday, February 07, 2011 Comment wiki curriculum infographic create usability and sustainability

Developing a school curriculum is a complex act of creative design. Add networked participatory media to the mix and curriculum design gets even more complicated. So, from the perspective of digital media and learning research, what kind of approaches to curriculum design should we be developing? A group of researchers and curriculum developers recently undertook some initial work on “curriculum innovation” as part of the DML working groups program. We were looking for the newest developments in curriculum design, situating what we found in a wider context of social, communications and curriculum theory, and just put