Advocating for Online Privacy

Thursday, June 09, 2016 Comment Advocating for Online Privacy

As a researcher who actively engages in tech policy, Seda Gürses considers how a variety of actors may disrupt online wellbeing. She also brings an international perspective to her collaborative work. As part of the Trust Challenge team launching the Center for Solutions to Online Violence, Gürses contributes her expertise as a computer scientist and privacy advocate. Now based at Princeton, she previously held positions at New York University and the University of Leuven. In an interview with DML Central, Gürses mused about the fact that her earliest digital literacy experiences had been shaped by childhood experiences.

The Closed Loop of Digital Literacy Debate

Thursday, November 19, 2015 Comment cartoon depicting timeline of how media sources create isolation

Here’s a quiz for you, reader. The following quotes were written about popular books on the effect of technology on our behavior and culture. One was written in the late 1990s and one was written this year. See if you can guess which is which (no Googling, cheaters). Our rapturous submission to digital technology has led to an atrophying of human capacities like empathy and self-­reflection, and the time has come to reassert ourselves, behave like adults and put technology in its place. And …computer-based environments for the practice of literacy are described as contributing to

A Brief History of Web Literacy and its Future Potential

Monday, December 01, 2014 Comment WWW mural of the world this is for everyone tim berners-lee quote

“Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.” — George Orwell Part of history is telling stories. It’s about privileging some type of information over others, forming a narrative that helps us make sense of the world. These overviews are important, as they help us orient ourselves toward the future — in ways that reinforce or question what has gone before. We’re constantly reinterpreting the past to make sense of the present. New technologies and revelations can change the way we view those things we think we knew.

IndieCade, Part 2: Anxieties About GamerGate

Thursday, November 13, 2014 Comment 2 sony video game controllers

The so-called “GamerGate” controversy about the independent games movement, which has finally reached the pages of the New York Times, has become the big story this fall. I have provided a wrap-up of some of the issues in a blog posting for those who can use a #GamerGate 101. Every celebrity from Joss Whedon to Adam Savage seems to have weighed in with an opinion. There also have been more interesting responses from within the independent games movement, including from Polygon’s Christopher Grant and from Frank Lantz, director of the NYU Game Center.    Because hostilities to the

Embracing Possibility: Lessons from Mozfest 2014

Monday, November 03, 2014 Comment mozilla festival conference room hundreds of audience members and speaker

Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to help co-“wrangle” a floor for the 2014 Mozilla Festival, better known as Mozfest. Emphasizing the space’s festival-like ethos (as opposed to typical conference drudgery), Mozfest spills into hallways, walls, and, of course, the web with its bend toward productivity. Described as a “a hands-on festival dedicated to forging the future of this open, global web,” Mozfest brings together a global audience to spend a weekend making stuff. As co-wranglers (with an unequivocally great team of Christina Cantrill, Paul Oh, Jane Park, and Chad Sansing, our role was to

The Case for Open Courses in Higher Ed: Q&A with Connected Learning Educator Kim Jaxon

Thursday, September 18, 2014 Comment kim jaxon teaching at desk to adult students in classroom

Kim Jaxon is interested in having her students “do the thing,” which, she says, means that she’s less interested in preparing them for some later occupation or activity, and more excited about having them “participating right now in ideas that matter to them right now.” The Chico State assistant professor of English is one of a stellar group of open-learning pioneers who I met when they gathered at UC Irvine over the summer to create “Connected Courses,” a free online course for higher education faculty members to learn how to offer their own open online college

Scaffolding Web Literacy Through Learning Pathways

Thursday, August 28, 2014 Comment footprints through the sand on rocky beach

Learning is messy. It starts. It stops. It’s prismatic and elusive. Learners make progress, regress and then make giant leaps forward in understanding and ability. Some concepts and skills come quickly and easily, while others are hard-won. Learning, in other words — while fundamental to what it means to be human — remains somewhat of an enigma. Since leaving the confines of formal education, I’ve found just how messy learning can be. I’ve found that for most people it’s an intensely personal journey, something that not only is important for employment and contribution to society, but for self-actualization and human flourishing. Sometimes, but not

Digital Tools Can’t Magically Create Connections

Monday, August 25, 2014 Comment illustration graphic showing its complicated connecting policy and practice

One of the best perks of supporting the Los Angeles Central Library is advanced notice of the readings and talks coming through town as part of their ALOUD program. A few months ago, when I noticed that danah boyd was going to be talking about her recent book, “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens,” with USC Professor and Connected Learning pioneer, Henry Jenkins, I snapped up a ticket. The talk took place at the end of July, and the ideas that these two scholars expressed about how young people are interacting with digital tools

Teaching Critical Thinking in Age of Digital Credulity

Thursday, August 21, 2014 Comment laptop computer desk with mental warm-up on screen

By the end of 2014, more than 3 billion people will have access to the Internet, which means that they (we) have the power to ask any question at any time and get a multitude of answers within a second. The responsibility for distinguishing between accurate, credible, true information and misinformation or disinformation, however, is no longer vested in trained and vetted experts — editors, publishers, critics, librarians, professors, subject-matter specialists. Now, the enormity, ubiquity and dubious credibility of the information available to most of the world’s population is requiring each of us to become something

‘Breaking the Wall of Internet Censorship’

Monday, August 11, 2014 Comment large house rooftop antenna

When I was in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the reunification of the two divided states, I was struck by how many shop windows advertised how-to guides with technical specifications for TV and radio enthusiasts, so that people once cut-off from the rest of the world could feel connected to various electronic sources for news and information. All over Dresden, where I was, it seemed that hobbyists were mounting antennas on rooftops to get signals from the other side of a once impenetrable Iron Curtain and were building knowledge networks