Crowdsourcing Authority in the Classroom

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Comment art work of colorful people assigning student work

“A wacko holding forth on a soapbox.  If Ms. Davidson just wants to yammer and lead discussions, she should resign her position and head for a park or subway platform, and pass a hat for donations.” That is an example of some of the negative comments I received when I wrote a blog on grading in my “Cat in the Stack” column on a website for the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory( HASTAC). I titled the post How To Crowdsource Grading and its premise grew out of a course I taught last year at


The Rhetoric of MySpace vs. Facebook

Monday, October 26, 2009 Comment myspace is for losers graffiti on building

From Eszter Hargittai’s scholarship to more recent work by marketing analytics firms, we know that race and socio-economic status shape MySpace and Facebook usage. Yet, it is the rhetoric used by participants that highlights how these distinctions play out.  In an upcoming paper entitled “White Flight in Networked Publics?” (to be published in Lisa Nakamura and Peter Chow-White’s upcoming anthology on Race and Digital Technology), I map out the language used by teenagers – and, to a lesser degree, adults – to explain the divisions between MySpace and Facebook.   When one of the teens that I


Field Building and Scholarly Publication

Monday, October 26, 2009 Comment EP banner

As a new media researcher, I’ve struggled to find appropriate venues for publishing and disseminating my work. In the late nineties, when studies of online communities, cyberculture, and electronic gaming were still in their infancy, and when I was launching my scholarly career, my work was never accepted into the journals of my discipline of anthropology. Educational journals didn’t recognize my work on new media and play as part of their charter. This reflected my personal failures in translating my research topics into the established idioms of my discipline and field, but I expect my experience


Welcome to the University of California’s New Digital Media and Learning Research Hub and Website

Monday, October 26, 2009 Comment University of California Humanities research institute banner

Today, at the forum on Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age, being hosted by the Sesame Workshop at Google headquarters, we are announcing the launch of a major new research initiative in digital media and learning (DML) and its associated website. Based at the University of California Humanities Research Institute in Irvine, California, the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub is generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative. The Research Hub, for which I serve as Executive Director and Mimi Ito the Research Director, intersects work promoting and networking collaborative efforts to