Community and Writing in an Age of New Collectives

Monday, November 08, 2010 Comment geographic map of online communities and platforms

In Larry Sanger’s history of the development of Wikipedia in Open Sources 2.0, the Wikipedia co-founder writes: For months I denied that Wikipedia was a community, claiming that it was, instead, only an encyclopedia project, and that there should not be any serious governance problems if people would simply stick to the task of making an encyclopedia. This was wishful thinking. In fact, Wikipedia was from the beginning both a community and an encyclopedia project. (p. 329; my emphasis). In other words, Sanger argues that the problems he associated with Wikipedia when he was head of


Literacies, Semantic Web and Recommended Resources

Monday, November 01, 2010 Comment teacher sitting with student giving student interview in classroom

Editor’s note: Global Kids does a stellar job each month pointing us to excellent resources.  The 2010 Horizon Report: Museum Edition (report) The 2010 Horizon Report: Museum Edition, part of the New Media Consortium‘s Horizon Project, looks at emerging technologies and their potential impact on museums. The report, like all Horizon reports, identifies six key technological trends. For museums, the report features: mobile technology, social media, augmented reality, location-based services, gesture-based computing, and semantic Web. The report delves into each technology in much more detail, provides a list of museums that are exemplary in their use


Learning, Playing, Designing: Video Games in School

Thursday, October 21, 2010 Comment female girls shadows looking into glass aquarium

Most education has been fashioned around the reasonable-sounding objective of equipping students with tools to solve problems. This is one facet of what some educators call the “eat your broccoli” approach to education — “Sit still and learn this; it will come in handy later,” parents and teachers repeat to their children and students. Unfortunately, it turns out that too many students resist sitting still and learning things that have no immediate use to them, but which adults insist are necessary. What would happen if you inverted that strategy? What would happen if you presented students


Social Justice and Diverse Cultures of Participation

Monday, October 18, 2010 Comment baby holding onto table looking at laptop computer

Many educators are excited by the new opportunities and challenges for learning that digital media brings us. Stories about 11-year-old Kai, a learner at Quest to Learn school in New York, paint a picture of a young person for whom digital media are an integral constituent of his learning at school and at home, his social life and his hobbies and interests. This picture of the digital native (pdf) – a young person who has grown up surrounded by digital media and is expert in its use – is a familiar concept in the field of


Shelly Terrell: Global Netweaver, Curator, PLN Builder

Friday, October 15, 2010 Comment glass ceiling in building

When I started using social media in the classroom, I looked for and began to learn from more experienced educators. First, I read and then tried to comment usefully on their blog posts and tweets. When I began to understand who knew what in the world of social media in education, I narrowed my focus to the most knowledgeable and adventurous among them. I paid attention to the people the savviest social media educators paid attention to. I added and subtracted voices from my attention network, listened and followed, then commented and opened conversations. When I


Recommended Reading, Viewing, Clicking

Monday, October 11, 2010 Comment group of international students posing for photo with castle in background

Editor’s note: Global Kids does a stellar job each month pointing us to key resources. We are not Waiting for Superman, We are Empowering Superheroes (Presentation)Social entrepreneur and learning researcher Diana Rhoten, at a recent conference, presented, “Design for Learning: We Are Not Waiting for Superman, We are Empowering Superheroes,” a response to the recent film about the failures of American education, “Waiting For Superman.” Interested in re-designing the face and the future of learning, Diana laid out three assumptions and three aspirations that offer a great summary (with much better articulation) of how we at


Becoming a Master in Knowledge and Networks

Thursday, October 07, 2010 Comment students connected together by colorful strings of yarn

Last December, deans from the Graduate School and the College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University came to me and asked if I and the team at the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) team based at Duke would assess the need and opportunity and then propose a multi-disciplinary Master’s Degree that would help its graduates be prepared for communication, interaction, commerce, and other features of a digital age.  We began work, putting calls out to the HASTAC and Digital Media and Learning community, soliciting feedback on our way to drafting a proposal


Brazilian Elections and Emerging Webcitizenship

Monday, October 04, 2010 Comment Global voices students sitting at computer in brazil

Diego Casaes and Paula Goes from Global Voices Online have been instrumental in crowdsourcing efforts for the 2010 Brazilian elections. Oct. 3 was Election Day in Brazil. About 135 million Brazilians voted (in Brazil, voting is compulsory) for their candidates for president, state governors, senators, federal and district deputies. However, these elections took place in a new context. It was the first time Brazilians experienced the Internet playing a significant role in the media coverage and in the election itself. All the candidates for president and most of the other candidates have had websites and Twitter


Post-Platonic Writing on the Web

Thursday, September 30, 2010 Comment plato statue

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


Bio-Politics, Video Games, and Kids’ Bodies

Monday, September 27, 2010 Comment kids playing video games at school fair

Some recent research findings have got me thinking a lot about Franz Kafka’s story about a young clerical worker who wakes up half-transformed into a giant insect. No, it’s not research from the new journal Horror Studies but something even more horrifying from pediatric research. Research published in the August issue of Pediatrics by psychologists from Iowa State University has suggested a causal link between playing video games and children developing Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study reported that children who exceeded the two hours per day of screen time recommended by the American


YouMedia: A New Vision for Learning

Thursday, September 23, 2010 Comment students performing spoken word at You Media center

In July 2009, YouMedia launched as an ambitious attempt to re-imagine the library as a more relevant learning resource for today’s teens. Understanding that the landscape has changed how teens learn, socialize and self-identify, how do we remix the public library experience so it can truly engage teens in a way that supports its core mission? A partnership between the Chicago Public Library and the Digital Youth Network, YouMedia took on this task through the creation of a unique 21st century physical learning space and an innovative online space to connect learners 24/7. The 5,500-square-foot space


Participation, Technology, and the Power of Sharing

Monday, September 20, 2010 Comment people celebrating and hi fiving in conference room

This year’s convention of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) attracted more than 20,000 programmers, artists, researchers, filmmakers, and gaming professionals – as well as students and academics from almost 80 countries.  Apparently SIGGRAPH is also promising to transform contemporary education. Most came to SIGGRAPH to see the newest products in computer graphics and interactive technologies, which were hawked by the 160 exhibitors vying for the audience’s attention on the 46,000-square-foot floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center.  It was a prime location, close to many Los Angeles


Call for Papers: Digital Media & Learning Conference 2011

Monday, September 13, 2010 Comment

Professor Katie Salen is Chair of the Digital Media & Learning Conference 2011. Her work at the innovative Quest to Learn school in New York City has been featured most recently in The New York Times Magazine. As temperatures begin slowly to abate from the rather uncomfortable heights of a long Brooklyn summer I find I am already anticipating an escape from winter. An escape that will be made possible by the second annual Digital Media and Learning conference, to be held in sunny Long Beach, Mar. 3-5, 2011. It may seem strange to speak of


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