Equity

Is the Maker Movement Equitable?

Thursday, February 12, 2015 Comment young girl working on measuring a robot with another student

The title of the article from The Atlantic stopped me in my tracks as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed: “Why I am Not a Maker.”  I was perplexed. Why would someone not want to engage in the fun, creativity, and imagination of the maker movement? Within the connected learning and DML communities (at least my involvement in them), making has always had a positive connotation, bringing with it the possibility of turning teaching and learning toward a focus on producing new things/ideas instead of simply consuming the status quo. But, perhaps I was ignorant


Addressing Race, Inequity Issues Through Social Media Power

Monday, September 22, 2014 Comment black twitter text over black twitter logo graphic

The fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. began dominating the national headlines instantly. One of the biggest factors, as Newsweek’s Elijah Wolfson points out, was the use of social media by the residents of Ferguson as well as those sympathetic to the concerns about hyper-aggressive police tactics. Speaking about Ferguson, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes told a New York Times reporter, “this story was put on the map, driven, and followed on social media more so than any story I can remember since the Arab spring.” Amidst the surge of social media, a number of journalists reported on what they perceived


Why Technology Alone Can’t Fix the Education Problem

Thursday, February 06, 2014 Comment kids sitting at classroom desk working on music media on ipads

For more than a decade now, I’ve internally cringed whenever someone talks about the promise of technology in education. Often, discussions of iPads, video games, laptops for all focus on the potential of access to the software, device, or app rather than how it’s used. In 1999, my department at UC Santa Barbara decided that all lecturers would hold classes in campus computer labs to demonstrate our progressiveness. We received no training. There was no brainstorming about lessons. We were given no information about the specs of the computer labs. Space was reserved and we were


Libraries as ‘Sponsors of Literacy and Learning’: Peeling Back the Layers

Friday, December 13, 2013 Comment close up of a white onion

In my last two posts, I have reflected on a rationale for looking at the work of libraries through Deborah Brandt’s concept of sponsors of literacy as well as the philosophical and practical imperatives for libraries to examine the forces and ideologies that shape their work.  As libraries begin to examine the ways they function as sponsors of multiple forms of literacy and to consider the kinds of literate practices that are privileged and marginalized, a checklist or inventory of questions for consideration is needed as a starting point for peeling back the layers of influences.


Libraries as ‘Sponsors of Literacies’: Diving Deep to Expose Narratives & Metanarratives

Monday, October 14, 2013 Comment underwater photograph of scuba diver

In my last post “Literacies and Fallacies,” I introduced Deborah Brandt’s conceptual approach of sponsors of literacy that connects individual literacy development to the economic development of literacy.  I also shared a rationale for why libraries should use this critical interpretive lens and offered an initial list of questions as focal points of inquiry to consider.  As I recently finished Natasha Trethewey’s brilliant and deeply moving Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I saw parallels between the narratives in Trethewey’s work and Brandt’s ethnographic research examining sponsors of literacy.  In this collection of


iFiasco in LA’s Schools: Why Technology Alone Is Never the Answer

Thursday, October 10, 2013 Comment 3 male students working at table together on ipads and work sheets

The opening sentence to a recent Los Angeles Times article says it all: It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students at Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads, raising new concerns about a plan to distribute the devices to all students in the district. When educators and policymakers assume that simply investing in technology will “level the playing field” in schools, it’s clear that those of us in the DML community have a lot of work to do.  As educational researchers who were teachers in


The View From Home

Thursday, September 19, 2013 Comment male student sitting at computer editing photo video of girl

Classes recently began in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the second largest school district in the country, a place where the best practices of digital media and learning face the difficulties of effecting change at a truly massive scale.  This post serves as a challenge to philanthropic organizations, which often focus on boutique programs with younger children when aiming to reform K-12 education, and suggests that there is a vast pool of motivated digital learners who are currently underserved. I don’t tend to talk about my personal life as a DMLcentral blogger, but


Literacies and Fallacies

Monday, August 26, 2013 Comment students setting up equipment to film in classroom

As someone who inhabits multiple learning worlds in libraries and public schools, concepts of literacy–traditional and emerging–are central to my work as I think about pedagogies that inform literacy practices in these spaces.  Educational policies and curricular standards, economic factors, local and federal legislation, and political mandates are increasingly a driving force in the literacy practices championed by libraries (public, academic, K-12) and public schools.  As library and educational organizations craft programming and curriculum in response to traditional literacy mandates like grade-level reading as well as contemporary literacies like digital, new media, and information literacy that


Summer Reading: The Privilege, Petulance, and Passion of Steve Jobs

Monday, August 19, 2013 Comment 3 students gathered around a classroom computer

Like many, I spent part of my summer catching up on books I’ve been meaning to read and haven’t committed the time to do so during the rest of the year. Along with fun genre fiction, one book I finally picked up was Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Steve Jobs. I should note that I am typing this post on a MacBook Pro, that I regularly rely on an iPad Mini for writing while traveling, and that much of my leisure “reading” today comes from playing audiobooks (at double speed no less!) on my iPhone.


Wanted: A New Generation of Problem Solvers

Sunday, June 16, 2013 Comment close up of problem solving mind challenging games

It has been more than a decade since Marc Prensky popularized the term “digital natives” to describe young people’s inherent connection with digital technologies, and while students may be able to successfully navigate these technologies to accomplish everyday tasks, researchers such as Ugochi Acholonu are exploring the extent to which this theory holds true when it comes to a student’s ability to innovate using technology.   Acholonu tested this theory by asking a group of community college students, ages 18-20 who had grown up in technology inclusive environments, to complete a set of problems on paper.