Digital Media & Learning

Steve Hargadon: Reimagining Education as Networked, Participatory, Social, Global

Monday, December 19, 2011 Comment 3 male students working together at classroom computer

Steve Hargadon is the Charlie Rose of technology, learning and teaching. On his website, the Future of Education, he has interviewed everyone: from Clay Shirky to Diane Ravitch to Ken Robinson to Howard Gardner, and nearly all those in between. He’s been at the center of open education resources, Web 2.0, and social networking for as long as anyone I can think of. He is a master of virtual live events. His Teacher 2.0 site is essentially a megasized personal learning network for teachers. I caught up with him recently and am excited to share his


Forgotten Places: How Digital Media Can Help Support Small, Rural Communities

Friday, December 16, 2011 Comment 3 black male students taking photo of shop window

Sean McCarthy is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Texas, Austin, in the Digital Literacies and Literatures concentration. His dissertation explores the intersection between community literacy and digital literacy and community engagement theory and practice. As assistant director of the Digital Writing and Research Lab at the University of Texas, Austin, McCarthy investigates online digital writing as well as traditional writing practices. His interest in community literacy and digital literacy led him to examine the role digital literacy plays in restoring relationships, building connections, and rejuvenating dying conversations in small,


Adolescent Identity Formation in a Digital Age

Friday, December 09, 2011 Comment 2 students sitting together against a brick wall

Katie Davis is a Project Manager at Harvard Project Zero, where she works with Dr. Howard Gardner in examining the role that digital media technologies play in the lives of adolescents. Her work expands on her doctoral research, which focused on the psychosocial development of adolescents. In particular, Davis explores adolescents’ developing sense of self and factors affecting this process such as digital media and clo se interpersonal relationships. A participant in the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub’s Research Associates Summer Institute 2011, she also serves as an Advisory Board Member for MTV’s digital abuse


Thinking about Failure: Ways to Tell New Stories about Public Education

Monday, December 05, 2011 Comment shadow of person surrounded by light sound waves

Maybe it’s because progress reports at my high school were recently given to students, but lately I’ve been thinking about the role of failure in schools. The F-word, here and its corresponding letter grade support a high-stakes & high-pressure setting in K-16 school systems. The best sail across the chasm of educational failure and the rest fall into cycles of dropping out of school, out of college eligibility, out of dominant expectations of what it means to be successful. Public education is framed in most media as a dire problem in freefall. Without a parachute. What’s


Using Tangible Technologies for Next-Generation Learning

Friday, November 25, 2011 Comment kids colorful learning building blocks in numerical order

Andrew Manches is a 2011-2012 Fellow at the London Knowledge Lab looking at how new forms of technology can support and help young children explore different number concepts. His work builds from his PhD at the University of Nottingham, which evaluated whether technology called tangibles, technology that is embedded inside physical learning materials, represented a great new potential for children in the early years (ages four to eight). Manches was one of 12 participants at the DML Research Associate Summer Institute 2011 hosted by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. According to his thesis, understanding the potential


‘Connected Learning’ in Edge Communities

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Comment 3 youth filmmakers working together on video camera

For more than nine weeks now I have been working with a high school in the Central Texas area, getting to know students, teachers, and administrators.  Along with a fantastic team of graduate students, we are spending time with an after school digital media club that offers students a range of opportunities to hang out, mess around and geek out.  I have also been working directly with two video game development classes on a project we think will offer some insights into creating new kinds of learning environments, learner identities, and youth civic engagement. Part of


Teaching Publishing as a 21st Century Literacy

Friday, November 11, 2011 Comment paper rolls on printing press

For years, a common method for teaching writing in elementary and secondary school was the five paragraph essay. Lately this style of essay has fallen out of favor, for a variety of reasons. However, one of the most compelling reasons to avoid teaching the five paragraph essay is that it is a form of writing that isn’t really found out in the wild. That is, you don’t often see these essays outside of the classroom in magazines or newspapers or other public writing venues. It was really the creation of the academy that had very little


Role-Playing Racial History through Digital Games

Monday, November 07, 2011 Comment illustration drawing character game story of Jane role playing racial history

Teaching historical empathy through gaming is an important area in digital media and learning, but collaborations between university professors and game designers aren’t always easy.  Nonetheless, UC San Diego Theater and Dance Professor Emily Roxworthy, who leads a National Endowment for the Humanities funded project about Japanese American  internment camps in the American South during World War II that also used resources from the San Diego Supercomputing Center to bring the action to life, argues that the challenges are well worth the rewards. In the prototype level of Drama in the Delta that is currently available,


How Age Restrictions Complicate Digital Media & Learning

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 Comment kids playing in field and climbing over fence

Digital media and learning scholars have long understood the importance of access when it comes to digital technologies.  Whether we’re talking about the digital divide or the participation gap, we all recognize that access is the first step.  Once we can assume access, we can talk about skills and digital literacy.  But access is still key. So what happens when children are systematically excluded from accessing digital media environments?  This, in many ways, is the conundrum resulting from how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has been implemented by many general-purpose communication platforms and social


Worthy Reads: Youth Media Production, Games & Learning, Pottermore, Web Freedom

Thursday, October 27, 2011 Comment students sitting at desks playing computer learning games

A new report on YOUmedia, a youth-centered digital learning initiative at the Chicago Public Library, explores what it means to reimagine learning, literacies and libraries. The report takes a hard look at the first year of the YOUmedia project. It details “what aspects of the program were successful in the first year and explores implementation challenges encountered when balancing a youth-driven approach with an adult agenda for learning.” This report comes at an important time within the development of digital media and learning theory and practice, offering a frank assessment of the transition required to bring