Digital Media and the Changing Nature of Authorship

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 Comment 8 photos of hands writing in notebooks

Students spend a lot of time writing. Most everyone vividly remembers writing essays for school, and, for many, those memories are not necessarily pleasant. Talk of writing in the classroom often dredges up images of empty pages yawning to be filled, writer’s block, and a general uneasiness with the idea of writing in general. The papers we wrote were typically read only by our teachers, and maybe our classmates, after which they disappeared never to be seen again. In Literacy in American Lives, Deborah Brandt explains the origin for some of these uneasy feelings, noting that


Recommended Reading, Viewing, Clicking 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010 Comment teacher helping students with class work

Editor’s note: Global Kids does a great job mining the 24/7 flow of resources coming out of the digital media and learning field. They share some of their favorites each month. Please tell us what you’re reading or watching and why others should as well! How do we pick what to put on this list? Often, when we come across something more than once, from different sources, we usually know we’re on to something fast becoming a meme. A video, “Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” is one of them. The author of


Teens, Social Media, and Celebrity: Anatomy of an Incident

Friday, August 27, 2010 Comment mc and I heart open web

Recently, two Brazilian teenagers practicing sexting on Twitcam, became international news. More than 25,000 Twitter users watched the live transmission of the couple’s intimate moments. Copies of the video and screen shots quickly flooded other social networking sites. Several Twitter users who saw the images denounced the incident and it was reported to a local police chief. The police chief launched an investigation (all links in Portuguese) and contacted the boy, the girl, and their parents. The two teenagers (a 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl) said the broadcast was the result of a wager. The


Social Steganography: Learning to Hide in Plain Sight

Monday, August 23, 2010 Comment drawings of sad faces with one green happy face in the middle

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


If technology is making us stupid, it’s not technology’s fault

Monday, August 16, 2010 Comment 2 students smiling working on laptop computers together in classroom

There has been growing concern that computers have failed to live up to the promise of improving learning for school kids.  The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS have all done stories recently calling into question the benefits of computers in schools.  When computers fail kids, it’s too easy to blame the technology.  And it’s disingenuous simply to cast aspersions on the kids.  Those are responses that do little if anything to account for what is a much more layered set of conditions.  Computers don’t define how they are taken up socially, people do. 


Students: Panic Over Online Privacy, Identity is Overblown

Wednesday, August 04, 2010 Comment facebook homepage reflected in sunglasses

Blogger Chris Sinclair attends the University of California, Irvine, and brings a youth perspective to DMLcentral. Going on the Internet and reading blogs these days I feel like all I see are warnings about the evils of online networking, fleshing out a plethora of controversies involving social media sites. I find many of these articles boring and somewhat repetitive in their chastisement of Facebook and other sites and the Internet in general for suddenly making all of our “private” information “available.” How is this information “private” if a person has willingly made it public to a


Education: Time to experiment, learn, share, mobilize

Monday, July 26, 2010 Comment group of college girls working on outdoor steps

At HASTAC, we’ve been very excited this month to be one of the “community partners” for the upcoming Mozilla Drumbeat Festival: Learning, Freedom and the Open Web taking place in Barcelona, Nov. 3-5. The MacArthur Foundation is one of the sponsors of the event and the linkage between the Digital Media and Learning initiative and the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival promises to be exactly the right convergence of people, place, method, and timing to inspire new ways of thinking and learning together. No talking heads, but tents and self-organizing sessions, and real work plans and lesson plans for


Veiled Censorship: Social Media and Education in Brazil

Monday, July 19, 2010 Comment young female students working together at computer in brazil

Internet access in Brazil has been growing. Data from IBOPE/Net Ratings from December 2009 showed that Brazil had 67.5 million Internet users, with 1.2 million new users just since September 2009. Accessing the Internet from work, schools, and home are all on the rise. This growth has also fed social media usage in Brazil. According to data from CGI (Comitê Gestor da Internet), for example, almost 67% of Internet users access social networking sites such as Orkut and almost 90% use Internet for everyday communication. Interestingly and disturbingly, the use of social media in education and


Recommended Reading, Viewing, Clicking

Thursday, July 15, 2010 Comment Group of Global Kids meeting working together in classroom

Editor’s note: Global Kids does a great job searching, sorting, and filtering the 24/7 flow of resources in the digital media and learning field.  We’ve asked them to sift through their current picks and point us to some of the best.  Please share what you’re reading or watching and why others should as well! At the top of this month’s list is an amazing music video,”Virtual Love” by Legrand.  A collaboration among 20 Japanese students at Temple University in Tokyo and Philadelphia based on hip hop artist Legrand, the music video integrates a variety of social


Probing What’s Next in Learning and Technology, Pt 2

Monday, July 12, 2010 Comment educator teaching students and teachers in Africa how to use computer

Children in Nigeria use laptops from the One Laptop Per Child movement. In the second part of my interview with Keene Haywood, Director of Research at the New Media Consortium, publisher of the annual Horizon Report on technology in education, we covered: the future of textbooks, visualization teaching methods, use of augmented reality and gesture-based computing, open content movement, new media literacies, and practical strategies for advancing the field of digital media and learning In light of the rise of open content and other forms of electronic communication, how viable will the book be in 2-3


Searching for What’s Next in Learning and Digital Media

Tuesday, July 06, 2010 Comment little indian girl working at kids computer at home

A young girl in rural South America uses a laptop from the One Laptop Per Child movement.  The New Media Consortium (NMC) is publisher of the annual Horizon Report, which “seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative expression within higher education.”  I recently had an opportunity to talk with Keene Haywood, Director of Research at NMC, and probe a bit further into the 2010 Horizon Report, which covered trends in mobile learning, open source content, the future of textbooks, among many other pressing topics at the


It’s the Learning, Not the Technology – Jessica K. Parker

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 Comment girl sitting on suitcase reading in street

Without a doubt, your 15-year-old daughter can text one-handed while holding her phone under her desk. Your 11-year-old brother leads his own World of Warcraft guild. Your fellow college students are Googling you during the first class you have together. And if you are the professor, you know that your lectures are now competing against the entire Web for your students’ attention. Without a doubt, today’s youth are tech-savvy. That doesn’t mean, however, that their proficiencies automatically grow into literacies, that they appreciate the lasting social implications of an inappropriate photo on Facebook, know how to


Lessons From Sweden

Thursday, June 24, 2010 Comment HUM lab light banner

This month I had the pleasure to spend time in Sweden, hosted by Patrik Svensson, Director of the HUMlab at Umea University in northern Sweden, and then with Göran Blomqvist, CEO of Riksbankens Jubileumsfond as well as Arne Jarrick, a prominent historian as well as the Secretary General for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Swedish Research Council.  It was a fascinating trip but it was especially exciting to talk with these leaders in the world of academe and philanthropy about digital media and learning.  Most interesting to the DMLcentral community were discussions about the


Crowdsourcing Scholarship

Monday, June 21, 2010 Comment girls sitting on steps outside holding cell phones

A few weeks ago, just before the 2010 THATCAMP, a well-known technology and humanities “unconference,” got underway at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, the center’s director, Dan Cohen, and his colleague and co-director, Tom Scheinfeldt, made a radical proposal.  In a blog posting called “One Week, One Book: Hacking the Academy,” Cohen proposed that conference participants and others following the discussion on Twitter and in the academic blogosphere should assemble a book about digital media and higher education.  The mandate was to do the project quickly – in only one


Rethinking the Human Subjects Process

Monday, June 14, 2010 Comment
research brainstorm written on blackboard

Get a group of social scientists together to talk about prospective research and it won’t take long before the conversation turns to the question of human subjects board approval. Most researchers have a war story, and all have an opinion of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the committee in US universities that must approve any planned investigation to make certain that the subjects of the research are protected. Before too long, someone will suggest doing away with the IRB, or avoiding human subjects altogether. Research in the field of Digital Media and Learning (DML) tends to


How COPPA Fails Parents, Educators, Youth

Thursday, June 10, 2010 Comment large data center lobby hall green and red light

Ever wonder why youth have to be over 13 to create an account on Facebook or Gmail or Skype? It has nothing to do with safety.  In 1998, the U.S. Congress enacted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) with the best of intentions.  They wanted to make certain that corporations could not collect or sell data about children under the age of 13 without parental permission, so they created a requirement to check age and get parental permission for those under 13. Most companies took one look at COPPA and decided that the process of


A professor with unconventional methods, message

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 Comment man and woman sitting next to each other working on phone

Digital media and learning initiatives often talk in utopian terms about a “future without books,” but don’t say that to New School faculty member Trebor Scholz.  Scholz, who teaches in the Department of Culture and Media, has had great success with making a book the final project turned in by students at the end of his new media courses.  Instead of merely offering a traditional final exam, he asks students to submit print-on-demand publications that consist of at least 10,000 words and display real production values, even in large lecture classes. According to Scholz, students appreciate


Privacy and social media sites: a growing, global concern

Friday, June 04, 2010 Comment 3 shadows of people

Raquel Recuero, a Brazilian professor, is an Internet culture researcher in South America. Wherever social networking sites have reached the mainstream, privacy seems to have become a more common worry for users. Brazilians, in general, have not thought much about social network privacy, but that is definitely changing. In the beginning of the social media phenomenon in Brazil, when Orkut started catching on (Orkut was the first SNS to grow significantly in the country), users shared almost everything. Social browsing (navigating through other people’s profiles) became the most common activity and finding new (and old) friends


It’s an amazing time to be a learner – Will Richardson

Tuesday, June 01, 2010 Comment yarn connecting people together

Your personal learning network is not just a network of people you learn from. A “pln,” as enthusiasts call them, is a network of people who are learning together. I was given this essential lore – and truth be told, much of what I know about social media in education – by Will Richardson. The reciprocal nature of learning networks is only the latest useful insight Richardson has given me and the rest of his network. In part, this blog post and interview is a form of reciprocation: you know you have succeeded as an educator


Reanimating education: ideas, questions, inspirations

Friday, May 28, 2010 Comment empty rundown classroom

Editor’s note: We asked student blogger Chris Sinclair to examine all the discourse, content, and conversation in and around the recent TEDxNYED event on education reform, curate it, and comment on it from a student’s perspective. If I had to identify the most consistent narrative around this event, it would be the constraints of the contemporary, lecture-centered classroom environment and how it rewards those who excel at standardized testing, not those interested in actual learning. The speakers questioned the long-standing dynamic between lecturer and student, and suggested that the era of blind memorization of facts is