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
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
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.
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.
In recent years, international development organizations have started incorporating digital media programming in an effort to merge storytelling and popular media into civic engagement and to bring young people together across national and cultural differences. In 2009, AMIGOS de las Americas partnered with a major development agency to carry out youth media and youth arts programs in Nicaragua. As the program’s director, Chelsey Hauge, a doctoral candidate in Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, spent three years studying young people’s relationships with media production, community development, and civic engagement. She was especially interested
Taking advantage of the online world’s ability to help youth develop knowledge, expertise, skills and important new literacies involves risks, but how much? Some researchers and authors such as Lenore Skenazy, Sonia Livingstone, and Lynn Schofield Clark have reasoned that a number of policies and strategies, which are intended to protect youth, are actually misguided and may be making youth’s learning experiences even more limiting. Jacqueline Vickery, an assistant professor in the department of Radio-Television-Film University of North Texas, studies the discourse around risk and digital media and how it fuels moral panics and influences policy.
With Iron Man 3 raking in millions and marking the official start of summer blockbusters, it is thrilling to recognize that moviegoers are largely staring at a screen enraptured with Hollywood’s most successful maker. As such, I have good news and bad news for the maker movement. First the good news: to state the obvious, the movie’s hero, Tony Stark, has an uncannily familiar special power – he’s a tinkerer. Without diving into the plot too deeply, it is fair to say that the reason Tony Stark can save the world is because he’s a really
What do a New York public school, the Howard County Public School system in Maryland, and a small private K-8 school in California all have in common? Each is re-conceptualizing the standard school curriculum by using design thinking, a learning approach that is collaborative, action-based, and experimental, as a way to meet the needs of today’s learners. Design thinking can be a powerful tool for developing higher-order skills such as complex problem solving, creativity and critical thinking. But it can also be an unfamiliar and intangible concept for teachers to grasp, making professional development and pre-service
We live in a world today where broadband access is becoming increasingly necessary for attaining jobs, expanding innovation and remaining globally competitive. Even in an iconic city like Philadelphia many residents are struggling to gain basic access to technology. Based on findings from a 2011 poll from the Pew Internet and American Life Project and Knight Foundation, 41 percent of Philadelphia households lack access to the Internet. Some experts have argued that this number could be as high as 55 percent. According to a report released last year by IBM and the city of Philadelphia, it
A few months ago, I interviewed a former high school teacher and asked him what his hope was for the digital media and learning community in 2013. His answer: to push for a stronger focus on schools. “Students are in schools from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm everyday. Think about how much time that is. Do we want students to get more of the same, or should we give them a transformational education for the 21st century?” For an entire school year, Alexander Cho and a group of researchers immersed themselves in the trenches of a