Equity

Re-Designing Learning For Democracy

Thursday, March 14, 2013 Comment john dewey quote democracy must be born anew within each new generation

Ann Pendleton-Jullian, the architect and educational redesigner, notes that:  “Design has the capacity to shape contexts as frames for things to happen.”  My excitement at being part of the connected learning movement and the Digital Media and Learning initiative sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is that, together, thousands of us are thinking and working and making in order to design new ecosystems for learning in which the democratic, egalitarian, and innovative can thrive and flourish. If you think you hear a critique of the status quo in that sentence, you are


Are We in Danger of Losing Sight of Urban Schools and their Libraries?

Monday, March 11, 2013 Comment hand grabbing old book from bookshelf titled wind sand and stars Antoine De Saint

The rhetoric around libraries today is largely filled with enthusiasm in the digital media and learning world. And it probably should be: YOUmedia, makerspaces, and expanding digital opportunities for young people to learn and to grow are happening every day. However, right now, I have a problem with libraries. More specifically, I have a problem with libraries in urban schools. A Bit of Background To say the library at the school I worked at in South Central Los Angeles faced challenges would be too gracious. One year, for example, the staff was greeted with the welcomed


To Hasten Equity…Scale the Individual

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comment infographic timeline of a quiet virtual revolution IDEC 2013

Public education could be the most accelerating venue for social change. Rather than waiting for any of the incredible [past, current and ongoing] innovations in redefining public education to scale, imagine we scale the individual. Imagine a new (old) narrative that can start anywhere because it begs no prep or training. Imagine we trust simplicity enough to give it a go. Imagine hastening equity and ongoing sustainability. IDEC is an annual global conference that circulates to the US every 10 years. From August 4-8, 2013, it will be hosted at CU-Boulder. We’re taking advantage of this


What Constitutes ‘Rigour’ in Our 21st-Century Educational Systems?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 Comment rows of empty green desks in gymnasium

Recently Michael Gove, the English Secretary of State for Education, announced the Government’s plans to “restore rigour and confidence to our examination system with the introduction of English Baccalaureate Certificates in English, maths, the sciences, history, geography and languages.” Modular assessment with the opportunity for student retakes is out, three-hour final examinations are back in. The number of top grades that are awarded will be limited. This approach is actually a toned-down version of Gove’s initial proposals which were leaked back in June. At the time both Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick


Beyond the Console: Gaming, Learning & Literacy

Thursday, May 24, 2012 Comment teenagers sitting on a couch smiling playing video games

Tanner Higgin is a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Riverside studying race, gender, and power in digital media cultures. He’s also researching and developing play and project-based curriculum at the nonprofit organization GameDesk. Higgin’s dissertation, Race and Videogames, draws from his own gaming experiences and develops a new type of literacy attached to the u nique ways race functions in videogame culture. He discussed his research with 11 other participants and a handful of mentors this past August at the DML Research Associates Summer Institute. In the video below, Higgin talks about


Why Critical Design Literacy is Needed Now More Than Ever

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 Comment 3 students conducting video interview and holding script

One thing is clear in our work at Texas City High School (TCHS) this year: students like to create their own media.  Students at TCHS create their own YouTube channels, compose original music, comics, games, Tumblr pages, art work, and fashion designs.  As young people’s use of social and digital media applications continues to evolve they are developing what I call a “design disposition.”  This is a reference to a distinct generational view that they expect to not only consume media content but create content, too.  Throughout the year we have sought out ways to both


Reflecting on Dharun Ravi’s Conviction

Monday, March 19, 2012 Comment artistic black and white photo of man looking through shades blinds

On Friday, Dharun Ravi — the Rutgers student whose roommate Tyler Clementi killed himself in a case narrated through the lens of cyberbullying — was found guilty of privacy invasion, tampering with evidence, and bias intimidation (a hate crime).  When John Palfrey and I wrote about this case three weeks ago, I was really hopeful that the court proceedings would give clarity and relieve my uncertainty.  Instead, I am left more conflicted and deeply saddened.  I believe the jury did their job, but I am not convinced that justice was served.  More disturbingly, I think the


Four Questions about Civic Media

Monday, June 27, 2011 Comment man holding up sign saying Egypt using social media icons during protest

The civic media field is often better defined by example than in abstractions. The field is so nascent and fluid that any comprehensive, conceptual definition will likely miss key aspects of the field. For those of us who believe civic media – the various ways communities create, find and share actionable information – is transforming media and civic life, exciting examples are always an opportunity to think about the future of the field.


A Teenager Taps Social Media to Help Change his Struggling Community

Monday, June 20, 2011 Comment large pictures of human portraits covering front of buildings in poor community

“Intense shootings happening at this moment in the Complexo do Alemao!” tweeted teenager Rene Silva on Nov. 9, 2010.  Using his personal Twitter account (@Rene_Silva_RJ) and the Twitter account of a newspaper he created, “Voz da Comunidade,” (Community Voice – @vozdacomunidade), Rene was able to broadcast information about a standoff between police and drug traffickers from inside the “Complexo do Alemão,” one of the major groups of favelas in Rio de Janeiro. During the dangerous conflict, Rene and two other kids drew media attention in Brazil because they were able to send out news in real


Mobile Phones, Digital Media, and America’s Learning Divide

Monday, May 30, 2011 Comment 2 students sitting in stairwell with backpacks on phones

During a recent research related visit to New York City I decided to take a stroll down 125th Street in Harlem.  Among the assortment of shops and vendors on the famous stretch that is home to the legendary Apollo Theater were an abundance of mobile phone providers.  Even a few of the street vendors offered mobile phone accessories such as cases, covers, and car adaptors.  It struck me that while you could easily purchase a mobile phone on 125th Street you could not purchase a desktop or laptop computer.  Not that long ago the assumption that