Ferguson Syllabus and the Power of Social Media

Monday, December 18, 2017 Comment Marcia Chatelain in studio on public radio program “St. Louis on the Air.”

This is the first part in a multi-part series about participants in the Race, Memory, and the Digital Humanities conference. This series features public intellectuals in the academy discussing digital literacy issues. I first met Marcia Chatelain at the Race, Memory, and the Digital Humanities Conference, where she gave an inspiring talk about how her work on The Ferguson Syllabus was connected to her own past at a variety of academic institutions, including the University of Missouri, Georgetown University, and William and Mary. In introducing a syllabus that provided background materials for understanding police violence against unarmed civilians


From Tech Engagement to Tech Scholars

Monday, December 11, 2017 Comment College of DuPage's 50th annual Commencement

One of the reasons I was very excited to join a community college is because there is a gap in how we think about bringing digital media and technology into learning. While there is a lot of research on K-12 and higher education in general, there isn’t as much research on students who are at risk of failing to continue their education at community colleges. These years are a unique opportunity when it is imperative that people in a position to do so work to close the various achievement gaps. The one people are most familiar


Fostering Democratic Dialogue with Digital Annotation

Monday, December 04, 2017 Comment

As a professor at a public, land-grant institution, I consider it my sacred responsibility to produce and share knowledge that directly benefits the communities I have the honor to serve. As a professor of education, I am particularly committed to supporting young people, teachers, and all who champion learning. Because of these commitments, few things frustrate me more than the academic publishing system that places many of the articles I write about literacy and civic engagement behind firewalls, available only to those with access to institutional databases. The people with whom I hope to communicate through


Watchworthy Wednesday: Be Part of the Connected Learning Summit

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Comment conference attendees

The new Connected Learning Summit (CLS), to be held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab Aug. 1-3, will be all about revolutionizing how kids learn, and those interested in progressive and inclusive education are invited to be part of it. Applications to present at the summit are being accepted through Jan. 22. The mission of the CLS: fuel a growing movement of innovators harnessing the power of emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning. It aims to include a mix of engaging presentation and workshop formats ranging from speculative design, to


Reframing the ‘Progressive’ vs. ‘Traditionalist’ Debate in Education

Monday, November 27, 2017 Comment picture frames

One of the unfortunate side effects of the 2007-8 global economic crash has been our decade-long slide into intolerance of the unfamiliar and unknown. Rival groups trade blows over their proposed solutions to economic problems, which inevitably spill over into increased polarisation in other politically-charged areas, such as education. To my dismay, over the past five years in particular, I’ve seen an unhelpful and unhealthy bifurcation in educational discourse into “traditional” and “progressive” camps. Proponents of each approach never fully explain their position, instead defining it as the opposite of whatever “outrageous” statement has been made


Watchworthy Wednesday: Fellowship Targets Teacher Educators for Social Justice

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Comment

Teacher educators interested in empowering future teachers to teach for social justice are being invited to apply to the Transformative Teacher-Educator Program (TTEP). “I developed the fellowship to provide a space and opportunity for teacher educators to come together to really think about how we need to change teacher education to better empower future teachers to teach for social justice,” said Kira Baker-Doyle, the Rosemary and Walter Blankley associate professor of education at Arcadia University, TTEP director and author of “Transformative Teachers: Teacher Leadership and Learning in a Connected World” and “The Networked Teacher: How New


Wearable Real-time Brainwave Training in the Classroom

Monday, November 20, 2017 Comment cable ties

Earlier this year, I began to detect a growing interest in the idea that “neurotechnologies” such as brain-scanners and Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) could be applied in education. A new field of “ed-neurotech,” I wrote, seemed to be emerging as part of a wider “neurotechnology revolution.” Ed-neurotech brings together educational technology development with aspects of educational neuroscience to monitor students through neural data. Some new developments suggest “neurofeedback learning” software might be used to train the brain, “neurostimulators” might improve cognition, or that “neuro-adaptive” software could be used to enhance personalized education. Students’ neural information and brainwaves


Watchworthy Wednesday: Feeding Mind and Body

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Comment students at UCI food pantry

A University of California, Irvine undergrad, whose mother died two years ago leaving her to care for her grandfather and younger brother, was lucky when she could afford a meal for herself. The transfer student, commuting from L.A. five days a week and working 10-15 hours per week, “was rarely eating one meal per day because she would use any funds she had to feed her grandfather and brother first. In addition, she has a medical condition (post-concussion syndrome), and her lack of appropriate nutrition was making it worse because she was always fatigued and feeling


Selling Social-emotional Learning

Monday, November 13, 2017 Comment child with play money

Social-emotional learning has become a significant education policy priority and a key focus for education technology development and investment. The core idea behind social-emotional learning (SEL) approaches is that the “non-cognitive” aspects of learning are fundamentally linked to academic progress. Improving SEL skills is, therefore, seen as an important prerequisite for raising attainment. This simple idea has now begun to catalyze an outpouring of policy lobbying, ed-tech developments, and, importantly, new models of financial investment and profit-making. SEL, in other words, is being sold as a policy solution to long-standing educational problems, a potentially lucrative ed-tech


Watchworthy Wednesday: Lessons on Digital Citizenship

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 Comment digital citizenship guide

Digital citizenship, according to Common Sense Media, is “a way of thinking critically online, being safe with your information and who you connect with and acting responsibly in how you communicate and behave.” As part of Digital Citizenship Week, which took place the third week of October in California, the nonprofit organization created a guide for educators for promoting digital citizenship. The 35-page guide, “Digital Citizenship and Social and Emotional Learning,” aims to help educators connect challenging digital dilemmas to social and emotional skills through discussion questions, lessons and digital tools that build students’ character. From the guide: A key


The Importance of Student Privacy in Big Data

Monday, November 06, 2017 Comment students using cell phones

I’ve written in the past about understanding the Terms of sites you are asking students to use and been interviewed about the implications of social media in classes. This year, one of the things I want to focus on is bringing those two things together. It is important that we don’t just know the terms we are asking our students to work under when we enforce the use of social media or other proprietary digital platforms for course work, it is important we know the implications and the devastating effects these tools and platforms might have


Watchworthy Wednesday: Day of the Dead Resources Guide Educators

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 Comment altar

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, today celebrated Nov. 1 and 2, is a tradition of honoring ancestors, and more educators are seeking ways to teach about it. Started by the Aztecs some 3,000 years ago, the ritual, which includes honoring deceased loved ones by erecting altars adorned with their pictures and favorite foods, colorful parades and skull face painting, has been spreading throughout the U.S. It’s featured in the movies, museums, schools and cultural centers. And, among the many resources offered to teachers, parents and other educators online, is the Smithsonian Latino


Three Myths About Education Technology and the Points of Light Beyond

Monday, October 30, 2017 Comment Tween boys using digital tablets and cell phone in sunny autumn park

Three powerful myths persist in our narratives around education technology. The first is that technology has the capacity to disrupt systems. For all the hope and hype that technologies can enable major organizational changes in educational systems through personalization, unbundling, or information access, but in reality, the reality is that culture domesticates new technologies. New apps, software, and devices are put in the service of existing structures and systems, rather than rearranging them. The most widely adopted education technologies are those that add a little efficiency to existing practices in school systems. The second myth is


Watchworthy Wednesday: How Arts and Humanities Games Celebrate Life

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Comment Walden game scene

What would happen if games that go beyond simple situational conflict, such as combat and confrontation, instead took on more complex questions about life? Game designer Tracy Fullerton offered her thoughts during her keynote address at the recent Games for Change Festival. “Real life is neither either or, it’s not on or off or versus, it’s not black or white, it’s not any kind of duality no matter how we try to simplify it,” she said. “We all know in our experience that life is filled with grays, with nuance, with layers of perspective and problematising


Where is the Humanity in the Computer Science Curriculum?

Monday, October 23, 2017 Comment AI and human hands

“Let us move from human-centered design to humanity-centered design.” — From the Copenhagen Letter I’ve been struggling to write this post for a long, long time. Every time I see calls for teaching coding to young people or to girls or to minorities, I get frustrated. First off, the need for everyone to learn code may be inflated, as Audrey Watters has written. As someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, I can assure you that no coding bootcamp is going to produce a person as qualified as someone who has studied computer science at


Watchworthy Wednesday: More Twist Fate Reflections

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Comment Gangsters of Zootopia By Amberlina-Chan

Why did Rumpelstiltskin want a first-born child? The Brothers Grimm fairytale never gave a reason. A fascinating explanation is revealed in “Rumpelstiltskin and His Husband,” a twist on the classic story written by Eva Nemirovsky for the Twist Fate Challenge, an international art and writing challenge for 13 to 17 year olds that published a book featuring the best entries. “This is a great explanation,” author Sara Ryan said this week in an Educator Innovator webinar on the challenge. “Because he is not allowed to adopt with his husband because of oppressive laws, he needs to


Reflections on Youth Efficacy in the Twist Fate Challenge

Monday, October 16, 2017 Comment

I think the Twist Fate Challenge is AMAZING….It gives young writers a chance to expand their imaginations. (Simone)*  Sometimes the only thing separating a hero from a villain is a curious twist of fate. An unexpected turn of events — a chance encounter, a hasty decision, an unexpected detour, a best intention — can spark a chain reaction that upends our expectations of familiar fantasy tropes and storylines. In Spring of 2016, young writers and artists were invited to conceptualize their own hypothetical hero/villain twist of fate in the “Twist Fate Challenge.” Together with DeviantArt (DA)


Watchworthy Wednesday: Goodbye DML, Hello CLS

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 Comment DML conferences through the years

As the eighth and final Digital Media and Learning Conference came to a close last week, its organizers announced the creation of a new annual event — the Connected Learning Summit — that will debut next summer at the MIT Media Lab. New Event Debuts at MIT Aug. 1-3 The summit, to be held Aug. 1-3, will be hosted by the Connected Learning Lab from the University of California, Irvine, the UC Humanities Research Institute, the MIT Media Lab and MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program. It will take place at the MIT campus every other year


Anti-Violence Work, Performance Studies and Experimental Pedagogy

Monday, October 09, 2017 Comment T.L. Cowan quote

This post concludes the series that DML Central has been running based on interviews with members of the development team for the Center for Solutions to Online Violence by focusing on T. L. Cowan of the University of Toronto, who describes herself as a “writer, performer, activist, and professor” committed to anti-violence work. Cowan described how she “worked as an anti-violence feminist activist with different community organizations throughout the 90s, which were bricks and mortar centers” and completed “anti-violence training as an undergraduate student.” She also participated “in street-based activism and women’s shelter-based activism and became


Networked Narratives: Netproving in the Mirror World

Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Comment Levine

In our most recent script, we set the stage for how we approached the Networked Narratives course (@NetNarr) as a networked improvisation including some mystery characters. Here, we reflect on what was designed as an open space for the collective imagination — a place where students created alternative personas and then engaged them in the #NetNarr mirror world called #Arganee. Designing for Emergence, The Screenplay, Part 3 Act 3: Scene 1 (Like previous acts, the opening scene dissolves into a view over Alan’s shoulder at a video chat screen with Mia. Her background appears to be