Social Media

Brazil: Kids Using Digital Media to Teach Each Other, Change Culture

Monday, February 13, 2012 Comment Internet Uvre students working in computer lab

Last year, Rio de Janeiro saw the birth of a new type of battle in the streets of the favelas: the “Small Step Battle.” In this battle, hundreds of kids and teenagers from the poor parts of Rio are fighting with a major weapon: dance steps. Everyday, kids are posting videos of themselves performing creative and often very difficult ‘funk’ dance steps on YouTube. These videos are now a fever: some have millions of viewers. The battle is on and these kids are challenging others to create better (and often, even more difficult steps) to dance


Digital Futures: Internet Freedom and Millennials

Friday, February 03, 2012 Comment padlock on green door

Last year was a turbulent year for freedom of speech and online expression in India. Early in 2011 we saw the introduction of an Intermediaries Liability amendment to the existing Information Technologies Law in the country, which allowed intermediaries like internet service providers (ISPs), digital content platforms (like Facebook and Twitter) and other actors managing online content, to remove material that is deemed objectionable without routing it through a court of law. Effectively, this was an attempt at crowdsourcing censorship, where at the whim or fancy of any person who flags information as offensive, it could


What Schools are Really Blocking When They Block Social Media

Monday, January 30, 2012 Comment 1 female student sitting alone in empty classroom

The debates about schools and social media are a subject of great public and policy interests.  In reality, the debate has been shaped by one key fact: the almost universal decision by school administrators to block social media.  Because social media is such a big part of many students social lives, cultural identities, and informal learning networks schools actually find themselves grappling with social media everyday but often from a defensive posture—reacting to student disputes that play out over social media or policing rather than engaging student’s social media behaviors. Education administrators block social media because


Toward Peeragogy

Monday, January 23, 2012 Comment 5 women working on laptops around conference table

Editor’s Note: This evening Howard will deliver the 2011 Regents’ Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley. His topic: the transformative power of social media and peer learning. Here, in a continuing series, Howard reflects on his ongoing experiment in high-end, peer-to-peer, global learning via the internet and social networks. The more I give my teacher-power to students and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning, the more they show me how to redesign my ways of teaching. At the end of the first course I taught solo, I asked students for their


Internet Research & Ethics: The Case of the London Riots Analysis

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Comment lego pieces characters sitting at lego computers one being arrested by police

In the summer of 2011, London erupted in flames. Now, it’s not the first time the city has burned; it’s had a rich history of conflagration within its walls and revolt in its urban sprawl. But this time it was different: the source of the unrest echoed the sounds of virtual revolutions around the globe — inequality, incomprehension, inefficacy — yet like the people on the streets of Tehran and Cairo, the Londoners who chose to riot also chose to leave an incredibly rich trail of information in their wakes. By using social media to organize


Recommended Resources: Mobile Learning, Digital Activism, Multitasking

Thursday, December 29, 2011 Comment teachers holding ipads instructing students outside

Professor of urban planning, Amy Hillier, recently spoke at TEDxPhilly to talk about how data visualization technology can map a city’s emotions and memories. Geographic Information System (G.I.S.) technology has become more commonplace and allows statistics to be easily mapped, but in this article, “Mobile Technology: Mapping a City’s Emotions, Memories,” Hillier argues that we can go one step further. By using data visualization to map the city that isn’t visible to the eye (i.e. sewage system, water pipes, and other underlying infrastructure), it can be used as an experiential tool. She gives an example of


#Occupy and Digital Media in Latin America: Observations

Monday, November 28, 2011 Comment hundreds of men and women sitting on the ground holding up cameras

Young people from many countries in Latin America have organized themselves and occupied public places just like their counterparts around the globe.  While some protesters are still camped, others are not.  In both instances, the spread of these ideas through digital media and social media has been impressive.  In Rio de Janeiro, a nonviolent occupation is happening in Cinelandia Square downtown.  More than 100 tents have been pitched and protesters have decorated them with placards opposing capitalism, consumerism and social inequality. The #OcupaRio movement has an ambitious agenda.  It is taking up specific local issues.  One


Connecting the K-12 Classroom to the 21st Century

Friday, November 18, 2011 Comment group of kids in kindergarden classroom sitting on the floor doing a video conference call with another classroom

Justin Reich is a fifth year doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education studying the ways in which social media support the development of 21st century skills when used in K-12 settings. This past August, he was among a cohort of junior scholars who participated in the DML Research Associate Summer Institute, a week-long program funded by the DML Research Hub designed to support advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are conducting research in the emerging field of digital media and learning. Reich is co-director of EdTechTeacher, a professional development firm dedicated to helping


Media, Youth Activism & Participatory Politics: Case Studies in a Digital Age

Friday, November 04, 2011 Comment Education not deportation immigration reform rally protest women marching with signs

The growing use of digital media for social change is nourishing a dialogue about its impact on young people’s involvement in civic and political affairs. The Media Activism Participatory Politics (MAPP) project, an undertaking of the MacArthur Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP), was created to further that conversation by examining youth-led organizations that encourage productive forms of participation in the public sphere. MAPP’s case study on the DREAM activist movement is the first of four case studies from Henry Jenkins’ Civic Paths project at the University of Southern California. The four projects examine exemplary


Worthy Reads: Youth Media Production, Games & Learning, Pottermore, Web Freedom

Thursday, October 27, 2011 Comment students sitting at desks playing computer learning games

A new report on YOUmedia, a youth-centered digital learning initiative at the Chicago Public Library, explores what it means to reimagine learning, literacies and libraries. The report takes a hard look at the first year of the YOUmedia project. It details “what aspects of the program were successful in the first year and explores implementation challenges encountered when balancing a youth-driven approach with an adult agenda for learning.” This report comes at an important time within the development of digital media and learning theory and practice, offering a frank assessment of the transition required to bring