Digital Culture

Nishant Shah  Profile Picture
By Nishant Shah August 7, 2014 - 9:56am Comments
Random autobiographical story: When in school, as part of our elocution classes, we had a dragon for a teacher, who used to prowl around with a menacing looking wooden measuring scale, as we obediently enunciated our words and practiced tongue twisters in an attempt to improve our diction and pronunciation.
The Selfish Selfie and Simulation, Part 2 Blog Image
Antero Garcia Profile Picture
By Antero Garcia May 22, 2014 - 8:49am Comments
During the past week, I have been busy. I know this because my phone tells me so. Each night, before I go to bed, I check my schedule for the next day — seeing where I need to be, what time, any student meetings I’ve scheduled, and any notes I’ve made for my classes.
The Algorithms of Busyness Blog Image
Whitney Burke Profile Picture
By Whitney Burke June 15, 2013 - 9:20am Comments
In recent years, international development organizations have started incorporating digital media programming in an effort to merge storytelling and popular media into civic engagement and to bring young people together across national and cultural differences. In 2009, AMIGOS de las Americas partnered with a major development agency to carry out youth media and youth arts programs in Nicaragua.
Enacting Social Change in a Digital Age: An International Case Study Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones July 12, 2012 - 12:10pm Comments
In his essay, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?," Nicholas Carr relates an exchange between Nietzsche and one of his friends, in which the friend remarked that the philosopher's writing style had changed after he began to use a typewriter. As Carr tells us, Nietzsche's reply was to agree, stating, "our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts."
Writing Without Networks  Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones June 25, 2012 - 9:05am Comments
In my last post I wrote about what Derek Mueller calls the "digital underlife," the writing practices of students that fall below the radar of classroom practice, but which are crucial ways in which these students practice literacy. In that post I argued that it is important for teachers to acknowledge the ways in which our students actually write and encourage them to think of themselves as writers.
The Challenge of Teaching Networked Writing Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones May 14, 2012 - 7:05am Comments
In a 1987 paper, Robert Brooke argued that instructors needed to pay attention to the ways that students didn't pay attention, like passing notes in class or whispering conversations.
Digital Underlife and the Writing Classroom Blog Image
Whitney Burke Profile Picture
By Whitney Burke May 11, 2012 - 12:30pm Comments
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.
Technology, Cities & Collaboration
Raquel Recuero Profile Picture
By Raquel Recuero February 13, 2012 - 9:00am Comments
Last year, Rio de Janeiro saw the birth of a new type of battle in the streets of the favelas: the "Small Step Battle.” In this battle, hundreds of kids and teenagers from the poor parts of Rio are fighting with a major weapon: dance steps. Everyday, kids are posting videos of themselves performing creative and often very difficult 'funk' dance steps on YouTube. These videos are now a fever: some have millions of viewers.
Brazil: Kids Teaching Kids with Digital Media, Dance as Resistance Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones February 9, 2012 - 9:50am Comments
One of the great promises of the internet is that it allows for writing to be distributed outside of the restrictions imposed by traditional publications. On the internet there is no scarcity of resources, no oversight by editors, and no need to tap a pre-identified audience, and these features of web publishing have made it possible for anyone with access to post nearly anything to be read by potentially anyone else.
eBooks, Writing, and Ownership Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones January 17, 2012 - 8:10am Comments
Not long ago, I was on an airplane waiting for takeoff. Due to the completely reasonable FAA restrictions on using electronic devices, I was reading the print version of a magazine while we waited to taxi to the runway.
Social Reading and the Foundations of Digital Literacy Blog Image
Aleks Krotoski Profile Picture
By Aleks Krotoski October 17, 2011 - 9:45am Comments
I am obsessed with serendipity. It's become an almost pathological fascination since 2009, when I was inspired by a happy confluence of what I was doing then, and something that bumped up against it. I'm curious about what serendipity is, how it can be predicted and the things that help facilitate it and hinder it. And, being a student of the social psychology of the web, I'm interested in how the digital space affects it.
All Hail the Analogue Computer! It Shows Us What We Are (Not) Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones October 13, 2011 - 8:45am Comments
The following is a shortened version of a talk I gave at the "Engaging the Public" symposium held at Washington & Jefferson College on Oct. 1.
Digital Literacies for Writing in Social Media Blog Image
Cathy Davidson  Profile Picture
By Cathy Davidson October 5, 2011 - 5:25pm Comments
Note: We asked tech-savvy scholar Cathy Davidson to reflect on the realities of an author's tour in the digital age.  Her new book, "Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn" explores whether our brains are cut out for the age of ubiquitous connection.
First Person: The Book Tour in the Age of the Internet Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones December 13, 2010 - 7:45am Comments
The Telegraph recently published an article announcing that, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, "ancient communication technologies" like handwriting "are current like never before." The title of the article -- "How Twitter made handwriting cool" -- is a little misleading in that there isn't much in the article to suggest how Twitter has any impact on the "coolness" of handwriting. Rather, it stands in as a representative of social media, against which the handwriting "movement" establishes itself as cool by rebelling against this new fad.
The Joy of Writing Tools Whether Ancient or New Blog Image
Cathy Davidson  Profile Picture
By Cathy Davidson November 23, 2010 - 2:45pm Comments
If you read the newspapers of the early twentieth century, you realize that everyone was fretting then about the “horseless carriage.”  They were positive that the new technology of an automobile that drove itself would push humans beyond their natural, God-given, biological limits.  They worried it would not be safe because human attention and reflexes were not created to handle so much information flying past the windshield.  That debate reached a crescendo in 1904 when the Hollywood film director, Harry Myers, received the world’s first speeding ticket for rushing down the streets of Dayton, Ohio, at death-defying speed.  He was going twelve miles per hour.  By 1930, pundits had calmed down about the automobile being too fast for the human brain and human reflexes but then Motorola came up with a handy new invention called the dashboard radio and that started a new round of worry.  How could anyone pay attention to the roadway with music or commentary or radio soap operas distracting their attention?  So now, again, we are at one of those moments of rapid technological change when attention again has our attention.
Why Is Everyone Worried About Attention Now? Blog Image
danah boyd Profile Picture
By danah boyd November 15, 2010 - 10:45am Comments
Ever had one of dem days you wish woulda stayed home / Run into a group of niggas who getting they hate on / You walk by they get wrong you reply then shit get blown / Way outta proportion way past discussion / Just you against them, pick one then rush em / Figure you get jumped here thats next / They don't wanna stop there now they bustin / Now you gushin, ambulance rushin you to the hospital / with a bad concussion / Plus ya hit 4 times bullet hit ya spine paralyzed waist down / now ya wheel chair bound / Never mind that now you lucky to be alive. - T.I. "Dead and Gone" Sometimes, I feel like I'm living in parallel universes. I attend conferences and hear from parents and journalists who are talking about the bullying pandemic. And then I talk with teenagers about their social dramas, producing the interactions that adults identify as bullying. I hear from well-meaning adults about how they want to create interventions to help teenagers with bullying. And then I hear teens complain about the assemblies and messaging that they're forced to listen to that don't even begin to resonate with them. Whenever I talk to folks about bullying, I'm forced to confront the fact that adults and teens are talking past one another. And then I hear songs like T.I.'s "Dead and Gone" that capture the escalation at the most extreme sense and hope that teens are taking home the core message of the song, which T.I. captures simply as "I won that fight, I lost that war." The cultural logic underpinning bullying is far more complex than most adults realize. And technology is not radically changing what's happening; it's simply making what's happening far more visible. If we want to combat bullying, we need to start by understanding the underlying dynamics. And we need to approach interventions with an evaluation-based mindset. We won't know how to stop bullying and no amount of legislation requiring education is going to do squat until we actually find intervention mechanisms that work. And that starts with understanding what's happening.
"Bullying" Has Little Resonance with Teenagers Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones September 30, 2010 - 9:50am Comments
In the Phaedrus, Plato famously objected to writing, noting that it would cause a number of ills: it would lead to the decay of memory, it would deceive people into thinking that they possessed knowledge merely because they had read about it, and it was dumb - that is, it couldn't answer questions in a dialectical format. If I read something I don't understand or disagree with, I can't ask the text to explain itself. It will always say what it says, forever. In general, the response of technologists has been that Plato was both right and wrong.
Post-Platonic Writing on the Web Blog Image
danah boyd Profile Picture
By danah boyd August 23, 2010 - 8:20am Comments
Carmen and her mother are close.  As far as Carmen's concerned, she has nothing to hide from her mother so she's happy to have her mom as her 'friend' on Facebook.  Of course, Carmen's mom doesn't always understand the social protocols on Facebook and Carmen sometimes gets frustrated.  She hates that her mom comments on nearly every post, because it "scares everyone away...Everyone kind of disappears after the mom post...It's just uncool having your mom all over your wall. That's just lame."  Still, she knows that her mom means well and she sometimes uses this pattern to her advantage.  While Carmen welcomes her mother's presence, she also knows her mother overreacts.  In order to avoid a freak out, Carmen will avoid posting things that have a high likelihood of mother misinterpretation.  This can make communication tricky at times and Carmen must work to write in ways that are interpreted differently by different people.
Social Steganography: Learning to Hide in Plain Sight Blog Image