A Triptych on Changing Language, Changing Minds

Reading the Comments “Go home you stupid illegal.” I heard it a lot in 2014. As part of a larger effort protesting the racist name of a local eatery, I was struck by how angry the responses were. Voicing concern for both myself and for society about what language does meant that commenters often assumed I was concerned about the racist name of a restaurant because of my own legal status in the country. (And to lay any readers’ thoughts to rest: I grew up multiracial in southern California, I’m half white, and the closest thing

The Book Test

Launa Hall’s recent essay in the Washington Post describes her misgivings and concerns about her third-grade students using ipads in the classroom. Hall describes a handful of arresting moments when her students’ ipad use caused them to tune out both her and each other in favor of their devices, setting the contemporary technology aesthetic of “sleek devices” and “shining screens” against the “give-and-take” of “human interaction.” Hall’s essay is one of a modern genre that despairs over the growing ubiquity of mobile technologies and their impact on human values like conversation and connectedness, but it is

The Learning Village of Our Hybrid Reality

If you are reading this, you have a hybrid life. There are things that you encounter and find meaning in or meaningful both offline and digitally. The device you are reading this from is part of your offline world even as the words you are reading are a digital artifact. Think about the way you found this post, the device you are reading from, and the physical location in which you presently exist. Many, if not all of these things will be different for each individual who accesses this post, just as if, where, and how

What the Connected Learning Research Community Can Learn from YPAR

Last month, the two of us (along with our mentor, Dr. Ernest Morrell) celebrated the release of our book, Doing Youth Participatory Action Research: Transforming Inquiry with Researchers, Educators, and Youth. The book tells the story of the UCLA Council of Youth Research (YPAR), a long-running youth participatory action research program that mentors young people from South and East Los Angeles to develop research questions about the educational and social challenges they recognize in their communities and then conduct rigorous inquiry into those questions for the purposes of fostering empowerment and action for social justice. We

Selfie Pedagogy IV: Diversity, Netprov and Service Learning

We profiled Mark Marino of the Humanities and Critical Code Studies (HaCCS) Lab at USC on this blog five years ago in a post about innovative approaches to service learning. In 2015, we wanted to return to his digital pedagogy in the college writing classroom as part of a four-part series on teaching with selfies. National and international news organizations have been reporting on his recent work at the University of Southern California, but unfortunately this coverage has sometimes reinforced generalizations about the supposed superficiality, narcissism, and anti-intellectualism of young people, stereotypes that he had hoped to dispel. In

Seeking Meaning Through Connected Learning

As we close out 2015, I would like to engage the notion of “connection” for a moment. What does this word mean to all of us in the Connected Learning community? Exactly why do we pair the word “connected” with learning? What essential role does “connecting” play in expanding what is possible in learning, and how does connecting open the gateway for all of us to envision a better world? This blog post is dedicated to the transformative aspiration of connecting that buttresses the Connected Learning movement. And that aspiration is indeed spiritual at its core.

Creating Cyber Connections

We have been reflecting lately on the significance of our network in helping us learn and grow as scholars, as teachers, and as co-learners. Often, people associate the term network with the infrastructure of computer systems. But, what has this important term come to mean for learning in the context of digital pedagogy and the social web? Who do we connect with and how do we share on the web? How do networks facilitate and expand the scope of our own learning? We have met and worked with many new colleagues from around the globe, thanks

Learning The Terms of Digital Literacy

Often when we talk about digital literacy, we are speaking about giving students the tools they need to be successful in a digitally-augmented world. In learning digital literacy, students also learn the social protocols, expectations, and risks that come along with engagement in digital devices, something I’ve written about many times before. Recently, I’ve been working closely with faculty members and asking them a simple question: “Have you read the ‘Terms of Service’ of any of the digital tools and platforms you are using?” More often than not, the answer has been, “no.” This is not

Providing Museum Access to All Through Open Badging

When the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) a few years ago announced it was doing away with museum membership (gasp!), it made big news. Its membership was replaced with an open-badging system called DMA Friends, open to visitors, new and old. I recently contacted Robert Stein, DMA’s deputy director to learn more about DMA Friends, how it empowers visitors, and the ways museum officials analyze the resulting big data to better serve their city. Hi Rob. Please introduce yourself and the Dallas Museum of Art. I’m Robert Stein. The DMA has been in Dallas for 112