Technology & Society

Ben Williamson  Profile Picture
By Ben Williamson January 20, 2014 - 10:20am Comments
Computer code, software and algorithms have sunk deep into the “technological unconscious” of our contemporary “lifeworld.” How might this affect academic research in the social sciences and the formation of the professional identities of academics?
The End of Theory in Digital Social Research? Blog Image
John Jones  Profile Picture
By John Jones January 13, 2014 - 10:20am Comments
It is a common theme to complain about the way that writing (or reading or math) skills are declining as our society becomes increasingly digitized. In this post, I look at some examples of the way that digital technologies are making writing more interesting by exploring stories or trends from the past year that have impacted writing and the teaching of writing. Not all of these examples suggest that writing is getting better (or that it is getting worse).
The 5 Most Interesting Writing Developments for 2014 Blog Image
Ethan Zuckerman Profile Picture
By Ethan Zuckerman December 10, 2013 - 10:05am Comments
The Oxford Internet Institute was kind enough to invite me to give the inaugural lecture in their Bellwether Series. The OII’s director, Professor Helen Margetts, introduced the series explaining that she hoped talks would anticipate what is to come in the space of internet and society…and explained that the word “Bellwether” came from a middle English word for a castrated ram, who was fitted with a bell and made to lead a flock of sheep.
New Media, New Civics?
Liz Losh  Profile Picture
By Liz Losh December 5, 2013 - 12:40pm Comments
“But I just want to remind everybody, we did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website.” – Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act,” Oct. 21, 2013
Learning from Blog Image
Ben Williamson  Profile Picture
By Ben Williamson November 14, 2013 - 5:05pm Comments
The idea that young people should learn to code has become a global educational aspiration in the last few years. What kinds of questions should digital media and learning researchers ask about these developments? I want to suggest three approaches: first, to take a historical look at learning to code; second, to consider it in political and economic context; and third, to understand its cultural dimensions.
Programming Power? Does Learning to Code Empower Kids? Blog Image
Liz Losh  Profile Picture
By Liz Losh October 31, 2013 - 7:55pm Comments
In the past DMLcentral has covered efforts to recruit more women to edit Wikipedia and to produce more women’s studies content.  As a blogger, I have presented this story as a relatively uncontroversial initiative to improve the accuracy and coverage of the sprawling online encyclopedia (See my interview with Wikipedia’s Adrianne Wadewitz here).  Working with the Proje
Expanding Women’s Participation for Wikipedia in India
Lyndsay Grant Profile Picture
By Lyndsay Grant October 25, 2013 - 11:20am Comments
The seduction of ‘Big Data’ lies in its promise of greater knowledge. The large amounts of data created as a by-product of our digital interactions, and the increased computing capacity to analyse it offer the possibility of knowing more about ourselves and the world around us. It promises to make the world less mysterious and more predictable.
Understanding Education through Big Data Blog Image
Liz Losh  Profile Picture
By Liz Losh September 13, 2013 - 9:40am Comments
The horrific Delhi gang rape case in which a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was murdered as a result of a grotesque sexual assault brought tens of thousands of protesters into the streets of the city to express outrage about the prevalence of gender-based violence in India.  Many have credited access to sites like Facebook and Twitter for allowing Indian citizens to express their dissent, but the story of political organization and awareness campaigns on the ground
Using Social Media for Women’s Rights: Breakthrough Blog Image
Ben Williamson  Profile Picture
By Ben Williamson August 2, 2013 - 9:12am Comments
How we think about digital media is paralleled by how we think about learner identities. What kinds of learning identities are being promoted for an anticipated future in an increasingly softwarised society?
How Software Sees Us Blog Image
Nishant Shah  Profile Picture
By Nishant Shah June 24, 2013 - 5:35pm Comments
Openness has become the buzzword for everything in India right now. From the new kids on the block riding the wave of Digital Humanities investing in infrastructure of open knowledge initiatives to the rhetoric of people-centered open government data projects that are architected to create 'empowered citizens', there is an inherent belief that Opening up things will make everything good. I am not an Open-data party pooper.
Big Data, People's Lives, and the Importance of Openness Blog Image
Doug Belshaw Profile Picture
By Doug Belshaw June 17, 2013 - 10:15am Comments
I work for Mozilla. We were one of 86 civil liberties groups that signed an open letter demanding swift access from Congress in the light of recent revelations around NSA surveillance.
Privacy, the NSA and Web Literacies Blog Image
S. Craig Watkins Profile Picture
By S. Craig Watkins May 30, 2013 - 11:00am Comments
When President Barack Obama decided to kick off his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tours” in Austin it highlighted once again the city’s reputation as a growth sector in the nation’s creative and high tech economy. Over the last few years the arrival of Apple, Google, Facebook and others has diversified Austin’s creative economy which has long provided a home for Dell, IBM, and Applied Materials Inc.
Whitney Burke Profile Picture
By Whitney Burke April 11, 2013 - 12:00pm Comments
Can technology really transform education in developing countries? That was the goal of Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child, but since its founding in 2005, the organization has been the subject of debate as many in the education sector have questioned its utopian vision and its ability to fulfill its promises. 
Children and Computers in Paraguay: Studying What Works and What Doesn't
Whitney Burke Profile Picture
By Whitney Burke April 5, 2013 - 11:05am Comments
“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.
Globalization, Education Reform, and the Knowledge Economy Blog Image
Howard Rheingold  Profile Picture
By Howard Rheingold March 25, 2013 - 12:25pm Comments
Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist who uses, as well as studies, social media, offers a refreshingly rigorous and empirically-scaffolded perspective amid the frenzy of armchair social science regarding the impact of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and other participatory media. Too often, public discourse about the influence of social media, both positive and negative, devolves into a Manichaean rhetoric of utopia-or-apocalypse.
Zeynep Tufekci: Technosociologist Blog Image
Raquel Recuero Profile Picture
By Raquel Recuero February 14, 2013 - 5:50pm Comments
On the early morning of Jan. 27, one of the most striking tragedies in Brazil's history took place. A fire started and spread in a popular nightclub in Santa Maria, killing more than 230 people and wounding another 116. The fire began when members of a band ignited fireworks for special effect. A spark reached foam insulation in the ceiling, quickly filling the building with toxic smoke that killed the majority of the victims. Most of the victims were young students from local universities, between the ages of 17 and 20.
Social Networks Support Grieving, Healing in Aftermath of Brazilian Tragedy
Lyndsay Grant Profile Picture
By Lyndsay Grant December 3, 2012 - 6:30am Comments
Digital maps allow us to map our journeys across times and places, linking virtual information to physical locations. What do digital maps teach us about how to see the world and our place in it and what kinds of navigations do they make possible? What opportunities do digital maps offer for mapping our learning journeys across school, home and other spaces and times? What do digital maps teach us about the world?
Mapping Our Learning Worlds Blog Image
Nishant Shah  Profile Picture
By Nishant Shah October 22, 2012 - 2:20pm Comments
Recently, in Bangalore, a cluster of academics, researchers, artists, and practitioners, were supported by Brown University, to assemble in a Thinkathon (a thinking marathon, if you will) and explore how our new habits of everyday life need to be re-thought and refigured to produce new accounts of what it means to be human, to be friends, and to be connected in our networked societies.
Habits of Living: Being Human in a Networked Society Blog Image
Ben Williamson  Profile Picture
By Ben Williamson October 15, 2012 - 10:55am Comments
How should we understand the part played by code in digital media and learning? We are accustomed to arguments that digital media are affecting our existing practices of reading, looking, seeing and hearing, yet relatively little is said of how the underlying code and algorithmic architectures of software actually exert those effects. The work done by code and algorithmic architectures in remediating learning through digital technologies, however, should be treated extremely seriously.
Coded Curriculum: The New Architectures of Learning Blog Image
Ben Williamson  Profile Picture
By Ben Williamson August 27, 2012 - 10:50am Comments
What makes an “expert”? What makes for “expert knowledge” in the digital age? In today's culture of digital media, new forms of expertise and knowledge seem to be increasingly available, with the result that young people are now being encouraged into new knowledge practices and incited to learn from and identify with new models of expertise. As educators, what kinds of expertise are we trying to develop in our students?
Expertise, Redefined Blog Image