Identity

Three Conversations for Parents: Navigating Networked Publics

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Comment young girl taking picture on her cell phone

Parenting is hard. Many parents find parenting in an era of social media to be confusing, in part because they must advise their children to make sense of spaces that they don’t understand themselves. It’s easy to be afraid of what’s new, but by focusing on technology, parents often lose track of the underlying social issues that their children are trying to navigate. In many ways, the advice that children need to negotiate networked publics parallels advice that parents have always given when their children encounter public spaces. To address online safety concerns, parents need to


Digital Literacies and Web Literacies: What’s the Difference?

Monday, August 20, 2012 Comment graphic showing difference between digital and web literacies

I’m currently iterating some work around Web Literacies for the Mozilla Foundation (you can see the latest version of my thinking here). Perhaps the biggest consideration when dealing with so-called ‘New’ Literacies is distinguishing them from one another. As I’ve discussed many times before, without some clear thinking on this issue both theorists and practitioners alike tend to talk past one another using imprecise terminology. What I want to consider in this post is the relationship between Digital literacies and Web literacies. Aren’t they just synonyms? The topic of digital literacies was the focus of my


Revisiting Techno-euphoria

Thursday, July 05, 2012 Comment black and white photo of boy texting while riding his bike

In my last post, I talked about techno-euphoria as a condition that seems to mark much of our discourse around digital technologies and the promise of the future. The euphoria, as I had suggested, manifests itself either as a utopian view of how digital technologies are going to change the future that we inhabit, or woes of despair about how the overdetermination of the digital is killing the very fibre of our social fabric. A way out of it, for some of us working with young people and their relationships with (as opposed to usage of)


Beyond the Console: Gaming, Learning & Literacy

Thursday, May 24, 2012 Comment teenagers sitting on a couch smiling playing video games

Tanner Higgin is a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Riverside studying race, gender, and power in digital media cultures. He’s also researching and developing play and project-based curriculum at the nonprofit organization GameDesk. Higgin’s dissertation, Race and Videogames, draws from his own gaming experiences and develops a new type of literacy attached to the u nique ways race functions in videogame culture. He discussed his research with 11 other participants and a handful of mentors this past August at the DML Research Associates Summer Institute. In the video below, Higgin talks about


Reflecting on Dharun Ravi’s Conviction

Monday, March 19, 2012 Comment artistic black and white photo of man looking through shades blinds

On Friday, Dharun Ravi — the Rutgers student whose roommate Tyler Clementi killed himself in a case narrated through the lens of cyberbullying — was found guilty of privacy invasion, tampering with evidence, and bias intimidation (a hate crime).  When John Palfrey and I wrote about this case three weeks ago, I was really hopeful that the court proceedings would give clarity and relieve my uncertainty.  Instead, I am left more conflicted and deeply saddened.  I believe the jury did their job, but I am not convinced that justice was served.  More disturbingly, I think the


Reflexivity: Why We Must Choose to Shape, and Not Be Shaped By, Technology

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Comment women sitting in the dark working on laptop

In her new book, Consent of the Networked, Rebecca Mackinnon offers a reality check: “We have a problem,” she writes. “We understand how power works in the physical world, but we do not yet have a clear understanding of how power works in the digital realm.” In fact, we probably don’t even think about power when we update our statuses on Twitter, connect with old school friends and upload pictures on Facebook, buy a book based on a recommendation from Amazon or use Mail, Docs, Plus, Maps or search on Google. Software — from computer games


Internet Research & Ethics: The Case of the London Riots Analysis

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Comment lego pieces characters sitting at lego computers one being arrested by police

In the summer of 2011, London erupted in flames. Now, it’s not the first time the city has burned; it’s had a rich history of conflagration within its walls and revolt in its urban sprawl. But this time it was different: the source of the unrest echoed the sounds of virtual revolutions around the globe — inequality, incomprehension, inefficacy — yet like the people on the streets of Tehran and Cairo, the Londoners who chose to riot also chose to leave an incredibly rich trail of information in their wakes. By using social media to organize


Digital Gaming as a Vehicle for Deep Learning

Friday, December 23, 2011 Comment student sitting at computer playing learning game

Mark Chen is a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Washington in the LIFE Center and Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (UWISME). He is working with the Center for Game Science (CGS), helping to evaluate player learning of science and math in games such as Foldit and Refraction. His research focuses on teamwork, communication, and group expertise in situated gaming cultures and builds on his PhD from the University of Washington that looked at the practice of a group of gamers in the online game World of Warcraft. Chen wa s one of a dozen


Four Difficult Questions Regarding Bullying and Youth Suicide

Monday, December 12, 2011 Comment photo of girl crying and depressed with the word hope written over

Over the last couple of years, I’ve laid awake at night asking myself uncomfortable questions about bullying and teen suicide. I don’t have answers to most of the questions that I have, but I’m choosing to voice my questions, fears, and doubts because I’m not confident that our war on bullying is taking us down the right path. I’m worried about the unintended consequences of our public discourse and I’m worried about the implications that our decisions have on youth, particularly in this high-stakes arena. So I’m asking these four tough questions in the hopes that


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