Policy

Is It Time to Rethink Most Everything We Think About ‘Screen Time’?

Thursday, July 07, 2016 Comment screen time: dad and son in bed on ipads

Is “screen time” equivalent to… crossing the road? Necessary but don’t let little ones go unsupervised. Eating a balanced diet? Prioritize things that are “good for you” but you can occasionally sneak in some treats. Smoking? OK to experiment but stop before you do permanent damage. These and other sometimes-apt comparisons have emerged during our research project, Parenting for a Digital Future, where we asked parents how they imagine the role of digital media in their children’s lives — in the present and projected into the future. Part of the Connected Learning Research Network, our study demonstrates


The Ontology of the Web (Why I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Learning Standards)

Monday, September 16, 2013 Comment close up of old john dewey united states stamp pink ink

At the beginning of 2013 the Mozilla Foundation announced its intention to work with the community to create a new learning standard for Web Literacy. I’m delighted to say that we’re well on course to release v1.0 of that standard at the Mozilla Festival in London at the end of October. In this post I want to give an overview of how I went from being initially skeptical to an enthusiastic project lead – all because of something I learned about ontology from Clay Shirky. If it’s impossible to create a completely coherent categorization, even when you’re doing


Edu.txt: Mediating Education

Monday, July 01, 2013 Comment Maurice Sendak quote with art spiegelman children keeping knowledge from adults

Digital media are increasingly shaping how we produce, transmit and receive knowledge, but do we often pause to think about the techniques which now mediate how we think and know about education and learning? In the field of digital media and learning, the use of the web, digital devices and social media for communicating what we know about learning and education has become entirely normalized. We blog on education, we Tweet learning, we wiki about assessment, we Skype MOOCs, and so on. The stock of knowledge about digital media and learning has escaped from the analogue


A Student-driven, Afterschool Technology Club: When Reality and Policy Collide

Friday, May 17, 2013 Comment male student sitting at classroom desk texting on phone under desk

Taking advantage of the online world’s ability to help youth develop knowledge, expertise, skills and important new literacies involves risks, but how much? Some researchers and authors such as Lenore Skenazy, Sonia Livingstone, and Lynn Schofield Clark have reasoned that a number of policies and strategies, which are intended to protect youth, are actually misguided and may be making youth’s learning experiences even more limiting. Jacqueline Vickery, an assistant professor in the department of Radio-Television-Film University of North Texas, studies the discourse around risk and digital media and how it fuels moral panics and influences policy.


How Does Globalization Shape Education Reform?

Friday, April 05, 2013 Comment light at the end of beautiful blue tunnel

“We’re living in a 21st century knowledge economy, but our schools, our homes, and our culture are still based around 20th century expectations,” said then-Senator Barack Obama in a 2005 speech to the American Library Association. In the past decade, there’s been increased discussion amongst education stakeholders in regards to new openings for education reform around the global economy’s transition to this singular postindustrial era of which Obama spoke. But according to Daniel Araya, a Research Fellow in Learning and Innovation with the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (I-CHASS) at the


Should We Fear Children Accessing Facebook?

Thursday, June 21, 2012 Comment
close up of iphone with facebook loading on screen

In recent months, there has been an intense media and policy vortex surrounding the questions of when and how children – especially those under 13 – should gain access to popular online sites like Facebook. The outcome of these cultural and political conversations will have a profound effect on key components of connected learning from values such as full participation and social connection to activities that are peer-supported, interest-powered, and openly networked. The focus on age as a metric for assessing the appropriateness of children’s online interactions primarily comes from several historical sources, including alcohol and


What Schools are Really Blocking When They Block Social Media

Monday, January 30, 2012 Comment 1 female student sitting alone in empty classroom

The debates about schools and social media are a subject of great public and policy interests.  In reality, the debate has been shaped by one key fact: the almost universal decision by school administrators to block social media.  Because social media is such a big part of many students social lives, cultural identities, and informal learning networks schools actually find themselves grappling with social media everyday but often from a defensive posture—reacting to student disputes that play out over social media or policing rather than engaging student’s social media behaviors. Education administrators block social media because


Wikirriculum: The Promises and Politics of an Open Source Curriculum

Thursday, January 12, 2012 Comment social browsing redefined infographic

The idea of an “open source curriculum” has until now seemed entirely at odds with the political standardization and prescription of the curriculum. Are there any signs that curriculum will catch up with the decentered open source potential of digital media, and what are the political implications? “Advances in technology should … make us think about the broader school curriculum in a new way. In an open-source world, why should we accept that a curriculum is a single, static document? A statement of priorities frozen in time; a blunt instrument landing with a thunk on teachers’


When Traditional Policy Goes Bad: Teen Social Use of Mobile Devices in High Schools

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 Comment woman holding cell phone in hand using the screen as a mirror

As I’ve been lately analyzing my data set related to in-school use of mobile devices at an urban school in South Central Los Angeles, I’ve been intrigued by some of the general tensions that exist in mobile media use in schools and the way teens tend to utilize mobile devices in ways that oppose traditional school power structures. Though the initial findings I will share in this post come from one research site over the course of a year, the social practices, based on my ongoing conversations with both high school youth and teachers, mirror the


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