Full Schedule

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8:00 AM - 9:00 AM:  REGISTRATION OPENS    
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM:  OPENING KEYNOTE    
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM:  PANELS SESSION I    
  • IPE: Challenge-based Learning and the PLAYground: What is challenge-based learning and how can we use an online platform to explore it?

    This hands-on workshop will explore challenge-based learning opportunities using Project New Media Literacies’ PLAYground on-line platform. Teachers, students and researchers will facilitate an exploration of challenges created by our pilot program and demonstrate opportunities for workshop participants to create action-oriented curriculum for student participation/engagement in both formal (classroom) and informal learning environments.

    In 2009, the New Media Consortium collaborated with Apple to define a new pedagogical framework called challenge-based learning. This combines project-based learning, problem-based learning and the  importance of taking action in solving real-world problems to share with the world. With information and sharing with others at the tips of our fingers, challenges encourage participants to search, synthesize, collaboratively remix and disseminate information central to questions that are open-ended and serve as a framework for student-centered learning and inquiry on specific topics that they are passionate about (Johnson, Smith, Smythe, & Varon, 2009).

    The PLAYground is an online platform for the curation, creation and circulation of user-generated challenges, where the majority of participants are teachers and students from various disciplines and ages. It is designed to cultivate and promote challenge-based learning experiences. In large and small groups, participants are able to: design and participate in learning-rich activities; identify these activities’ potential contributions to teaching and learning; reflect upon their own pedagogical practices; and discover intersections and practical take-aways.

    The innovation of the PLAYground is embedded in both its content and design as a technological tool that serves teachers and students within the learning eco-system. The platform is free, user friendly, and has been piloted with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) public school teachers and students from a range of disciplines (e.g., special needs, math and sciences, health, literacy, social studies, etc). Every teacher who participated in the pilot phase testing of the PLAYground derived benefit, regardless of classroom access to technology. Those who lacked digital tools utilized the challenge content within the PLAYground to create dynamic lessons off-line using the 21st century skill sets implicit to challenge-based learning.

    Workshop Outline

    15 min: Introduction to Challenge-Based Learning in the context of PLAY!; Working Definition of “Challenge-based learning” – what key nuances distinguish it from other types of learning; PLAY!/NML and PD projects (Summer Sandbox, Playing Outside the Box)

    5 min: Break into groups; Each group is facilitated activity by Researcher and Teacher 

    20 min: PLAY! platform-immersion; Each group goes through the same challenge

    30 min: Challenge Creation; Each group creates a challenge
    NOTE: Individuals with their own technology may also create their own challenge.

    15 min: Reflection; Group discussion/presentation of the challenges:
    How can this be used in the classroom and beyond?
    Vision for PLAY! Future PD (e.g., relations with education departments/emerging teachers)

    5 min: Wrap Up
    NOTE: Additional reflection can be offered at adjacent videotaping booth

    Henry Jenkins
    Erin Reilly
    Laurel Felt
    Kirsten Carthew
    Vanessa Vartabedian
    Akifa Khan
  • MRT: Remixing iRemix: Data Visualizations to Understand Learning and Development in Online Social Learning Networks

    As the use of online social networks continues to proliferate as contexts for 21st century learning, we are faced with great new opportunities to learn from data about how users behave and interact.  The business world has exploded with tools and metrics for analyzing the use of social networks, with the goals of building product loyalty, making sales, and learning about consumer interests.  For educational contexts where the aim is explicitly on learning and development, the tools, metrics, and analytical frameworks for understanding online learning networks are much less developed.  For example, how are youth participating and interacting with others, and how do we know that such interactions are productive?  How do adult or more expert users help develop expertise?  We argue that educators must have ready access to this kind of information in order to realize the potential of online social learning networks for youth learning and development.

    The iRemix platform provides a unique context for exploring these questions.  It combines traditional social networking with features designed to support both structured and self-directed learning.  It has affordances for supporting critique and production of digital media, exploring interests, and for leveraging relationships between mentors and peers.  It is currently in use in diverse in-school, afterschool, and informal settings around the country.  iRemix customization features allow program designers to establish expectations and share content to shape participants’ behavior around its own community goals and values.

    Data generated from the use of social learning networks like iRemix present enormous opportunities for researchers to explore questions related to how expertise, interest, and social capital can develop.  What patterns of passive and active participation do we see, and how do interactions with peers and mentors play a role in learning?  How do actions such as viewing media and user profiles relate to production-oriented actions such as posting comments, critiques, rating media, and posting original work? Educators who use social networks need a window on learning patterns, and require information beyond login counts, page views, and time on site.

    In this workshop, we present a design challenge focused on making sense of iRemix user logs and exploring questions related to the conference theme of “Making, Tinkering and Remixing.”  In advance of the workshop, we will provide a (de-identified) data set that describes user behaviors that were logged in three different instances of iRemix.  This data will allow us to investigate questions about learning pathways and connections between media consumption and media production.

    To begin the discussion, we will present some frameworks and data visualizations we have developed.  We invite others to explore these data and come to the workshop with metrics, frameworks, sketches, visualizations, or other displays.  Approaches to the analysis may include individual user profiles, whole network perspectives, relationships, or changes over time.  We expect that this workshop will engage participants with issues and questions about online social learning network data and analysis that will inform continued, collaborative work.

    Denise Nacu
    Nichole Pinkard
    Kiley Larson
    Ruth Schmidt
  • MRT: Reprogramming Urban Ecologies through Youth-Made Apps

    Inside an Oakland studio, a team of youth and adults debates the placement of a button on an app the group is preparing to launch. They’re part of Mobile Action Lab, a project of the Peabody Award-winning production company, Youth Radio. Lab participants partner with pro developers to make apps serving community needs. This app, Forage City, invites users to share backyard fruit and other sources of excess produce (e.g., farmers market leftovers) with neighbors and people in need. With adult partners, the young people—youth of color from public schools—conceptualized and prototyped the app. Now they’re testing, tweaking, and planning ways to use social media and street-team tactics to spread the app among city dwellers across the nation.

    On the other side of that nation, in DC, a second team of youth is creating an app promoting food security. Youth APPLab includes kids as young as eight, who’ve spent the past year developing 30 apps, including tools that: use math to warm up the brain, map afterschool programs, and help kindergarteners learn the alphabet. Participants are experts on App Inventor, a Google tool housed at MIT’s Media Lab that allows novices to develop Android apps. APPLab’s food-related app, Go Green DC: Community Garden Edition, shares information about DC’s 36+ community gardens, with tips on starting new ones. Food Justice organizations will partner with APPLab students to improve the app over the coming year.

    Drawing insights from these case studies, the panel identifies new modes of learning and disruption that emerge when young people intervene at the intersection of two systems that have marginalized low-income youth of color: software development and urban ecology. These are not professionals developing learning applications for youth, but youth learning by developing applications. The young people don’t produce one-offs. They deploy products through cycles of iteration and community engagement, so that users, too, learn and re-organize towards equitable resource distribution.

    The panel is composed of leaders and researchers from the two app labs. Elisabeth Soep and Leshell Hatley are the labs’ PIs, backed by the DML2010 competition. UCBerkeley grad student and HASTAC scholar Asiya Wadud studies citizens’ use of mobile technology to drive urban planning in low-income communities. Wadud founded Forage Oakland, the residential fruit-bartering project that inspired Youth Radio’s work on Forage City, on which Wadud has collaborated for one year. Asha Richardson is the lead youth member and co-founder of the Mobile Action Lab. As collaborators, all four of us will share responsibility for intentionally creating cross-panelist conversation and audience interaction.

    The panel reveals the production processes behind these two apps and the labs out of which they emerged. Data include development artifacts (e.g., user flows, coding blocks, prototypes), interviews and field notes. Panelists identify key features of infrastructures for learning through mobile technology creation that yield potent outcomes for youth and communities. Those features include: public accountability, negotiated analytics, collegiality with experts, and clear pathways for youth to material advancement. 

    Elisabeth Soep
    Leshell Hatley
    Elisabeth Soep
    Asiya Wadud
    Leshell Hatley
    Asha Richardson
  • DLI: Digital Media and Gender: Women and Girls Engaging with Technology

    Expertise with digital media and technology has become a gateway for participation in many
    aspects of society, including high earning careers.  Despite efforts to ensure equity in
    technology education and the workplace, stark gender divisions in computing careers
    remain.  Research has traced under-representation of women in computing to several
    sources: gendered environments of social support, interest at young ages, experience, and
    stereotypes.  This panel presents four papers that either investigate the gender divide as it
    occurs “in the wild”, or highlight innovative program designs that have sought to engage

    -Tomorrow's Technologists Today: Gender differences in Computing Pathways
    How do differential levels of experience and interest at early ages impact young people’s
    trajectories as they learn about computing and develop interest in computing careers?  To
    answer this question, we investigate computing attitudes and experiences in a sample of
    358 public middle school students in a community where most parents are employed in the
    tech industry.  Despite students' ample access to tools and role models in parents, there
    were significant gender differences in projected technology careers and future learning
    activities.  However our results also indicate that personal experience should be taken into
    account when attempting to understand reasons for persistent gender differences. 

    -Women Remixing History on YouTube: Vidding Practices
    This paper examines gender and fan practices of vidding history on YouTube. Women and
    remixed media have a rich, decades’ long association (Jenkins, 1992; Harris & Alexander,
    1998). Coppa (2008) describes vidding as “a form of grassroots filmmaking in which clips
    from television shows and movies are set to music” (1.1). Interviews with female creators
    and analysis of vid content, as well as reactions to the vid in the YouTube comments
    section, reveal the new and complex ways women appropriate and remix pre-existing media
    to create their own historical sources.

    "Digital Queendom":  Engaging Urban Middle School Girls in Technology
    This paper presents findings from a longitudinal study on the Digital Youth Network, a media
    arts and technology program implemented at an inner city middle school.  In order to
    encourage girls’ participation in the program, DYN leaders created a girls-only after-school
    class, actively recruited female students to other technology activities and hired female
    instructors.  By the end of eighth grade, the gender differences for Internet use were no
    longer significant, suggesting that incoming gender divides had been bridged during the
    years of middle school.  However, girls’ participation in computational activities (video game
    design, robotics) remained significantly lower than boys’.

    -Mandatory Computer Science at The Girls' Middle School
    This study examines the factors affecting interest and experience with technology among
    students at a private all-girls middle school in Silicon Valley. After three years of mandatory
    computer science courses aimed at increasing women’s ability and interest in high-tech
    careers, 37% of students indicated they would probably or definitely take more classes
    about computers. The presentation will discuss the girls’ anticipation of their future academic
    and work plans compared to other factors such as parents’ careers, student technology
    experience outside of school, and student confidence.

    Amber Levinson
    Daniel Stringer
    Daniel Stringer
    Jolie Matthews
    Amber Levinson
    Michelle Hutton
  • RML: What Do Students Learn? Connecting Classroom Games and Measures of Student Learning

    Do games really help students learn in classrooms and other learning spaces? How do we
    know what they learn? For those of us who work in the realm of games and education, this
    question is at the core of our efforts to re-imagine new, innovative, and effective learning
    environments. To gauge the connection between the use of playful games and learning
    growth, these questions must be addressed. Thoughtful, well-planned, and innovative
    processes and tools are needed to effectively integrate gaming, learning, and assessment.
    The Institute of Play, a non-profit design lab and learning center, and Quest to Learn, a New
    York City public middle school, are working together to develop evaluative processes and
    tools to meld the creative and re-imagined use of games in classrooms with quality
    measures of student learning.

    Quest to Learn, founded by a partnership between the Institute of Play and NYC Department
    of Education, is designed to provide students with an innovative learning environment
    grounded in situated, game-like experiences. In collaborative teams, teachers, game
    designers, and curriculum developers design games and challenge-based activities aligned
    with specific learning goals. To fully gauge whether students meet the learning goals during
    and after playing games, curriculum teams developed a three-tiered evaluative process with
    aligned tools to measure student learning.

    The three-tiered evaluative process consists of:
    •    Curriculum Team Play-Test – This play-test by the curriculum team (curriculum
    designer, game designer, and teacher) is focused on the clarity of the game and alignment
    with student learning goals.
    •    Student Play-Test – This play-test by a subset of students is focused on the game
    clarity, level of engagement/fun, and student learning outcomes.
    •    Classroom Game Play – When the game or learning activity is played in the
    classroom, the teacher uses formative assessments to gauge student learning during the
    game and summative assessments after the game. Following the game, students provide
    directed feedback on game clarity, level of engagement/fun, and learning outcomes.

    Along with classroom games, this three-tiered evaluative process has started to be adapted
    by the Institute for use in the informal learning space as well.

    The outcomes of this evaluative process are multi-layered. The first outcome is a stronger
    connection between games and their specified learning goals. Secondly, a clearer and more
    explicit link is made for students and educators between games students play and learning
    goals students achieve. Lastly, curriculum team members’ collaborative work is
    strengthened because all team members play varying roles, such as designers, researchers,
    evaluators, and revisers during the evaluative process.

    This panel will share the three-tiered evaluative process and aligned tools from multiple
    perspectives of a teacher, game designer, curriculum designer, professional developer, and
    an informal learning specialist. As we work to successfully connect the worlds of games and
    education, the role of assessment is essential to the design of quality challenge-based
    activities that support the achievement of student learning goals. In the end, the
    development of processes and tools to meld games and assessment will support the power
    and value of learning through and with games.

    Eliza Spang
    Brendon Trombley
    Dan O' Keefe
    Leah Gilliam
    Alicia Iannuchi
    Nicole Mirra, Discussant
  • IPE: Why and How we work INSIDE Schools: The Exploring Computer Science Project

    Digital media technology is often considered the magic bullet for awakening students’
    interests and improving academic achievement but, in schools, technology often serves only
    as a shiny veneer to cover profoundly deadened learning situations.
    Over multiple years researching and working on computer science (CS) education reform,
    we have found that too many American high schools are “technology rich, but curriculum
    poor” (Margolis, et al., 2008).  Especially in urban schools with high numbers of African
    American and Latino/a students, learning is often limited to rudimentary user skills with basic
    applications while curriculum rarely teaches critical problem solving for innovation with digital
    media technology (i.e. the “science” of CS).
    To address these inadequacies and inequities, we have built a university/K-12 partnership
    with the second largest school district in the country—Los Angeles Unified School District
    (LAUSD). Our NSF-supported research team developed “Exploring Computer Science”
    (ECS)—a high school curriculum that embodies “making, tinkering, and remixing” through
    inquiry-based projects that bring rigorous, college-preparatory, CS knowledge to diverse,
    urban schools (see www.exploringcs.org). Our mission is to democratize CS learning by
    engaging students with fundamental CS concepts (algorithms, pattern recognition, etc.)
    through culturally relevant, hands on, critical pedagogy that makes classroom education
    relate to students’ lived experiences and interests. Through ECS, we have built a
    professional teaching community and coaching program, supporting educators with learning
    content and pedagogical skills. To date we have grown over 500% in 3 years, with over
    2000 predominately Latino and African American students enrolled in ECS.
    By presenting what we have accomplished with ECS in LA Unified, we wish to share our
    lessons learned within the “Innovations for Public Education” themes of this conference. This
    panel will be a place for participants to discuss the very real limits of working within the
    schools, but also ways to challenge those limits through projects like ECS. Through
    interactive dialogue, we wish to challenge the “2012 call for proposals” statement that:
    "…there is great evidence to suggest that 'basic skills' and 'core competencies' may be best
    learned in classroom environments but then augmented and advanced with the type of
    independent, interactive learner-centered experiences that new technologies can provide
    outside of the classroom."
    Through the voices of ECS researchers, teachers, and students, we will argue that, unless
    programs exist within public schools, the digital media movement will further marginalize
    traditionally marginalized youth.  
    Our panel will consist of two ECS researchers, a teacher, a student, and two discussants—
    Antero Garcia, LAUSD English teacher familiar with our work and Todd Ullah, Principal of
    LAUSD’s Washington Preparatory High School where ECS is taught. While these
    discussants have been involved with ECS projects, we invite them to be internal critics in
    this panel. After panelists share their personal experiences with ECS in LAUSD, we will
    engage our audience in conversations around ways to democratize access to digital media-
    based learning within our public school systems.


    Jean Ryoo
    Jane Margolis
    John Landa
    EZ$ Harper
    Jane Margolis
    Jean Ryoo
    Todd Ullah, Discussant
    Antero Garcia, Discussant
  • DML: It Depends on Where you Look: Understanding the Role of Digital Media in Civic Learning and Engagement

    New media ecologies have created new contexts, tools and demands for civic learning. Technological changes have provided some youth with greater access to communities of practice where adults and peers work together towards a common goal (Ito et al., 2008), and in the process, may learn civic skills (Jenkins et al, 2009). Furthermore, scholars have called attention to how the increasing ubiquity of digital media as a conduit for public life presents new challenges and requires new skills for civic and political participation (Jenkins et al, 2009; Rheingold, 2009). The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) is examining how digital media may be changing the face of youth civic and political engagement and the implications for youth civic learning.

    We ask, “What is the role of digital media in civic learning?”  We draw on three studies, which examine this question in different ways and provide different insights.  The first study draws on case studies of exemplary youth organizations and networks where new media tools and practices are woven throughout the fabric of the community.  This study illustrates, through an examination of online and offline youth civic practices, the role that digital media can play in supporting and transforming the learning of civic skills.  The second study draws on interviews with civically and politically engaged youth about their civic identities.  This study explores the role of digital media in civic learning when youth are involved in more "traditional" civic or political contexts. The third study draws on a national survey of youth values and behaviors related to civic skills that are increasingly important in a new media rich public.  This study draws attention to the how youth are adapting to, and may need additional support for, engagement in civic and political life where the norms of information production and consumption and communication may be changing.

    The panel will be structured as a series of brief presentations followed by audience discussion. The chair will provide background on the overarching question and the work of the YPP network, followed by brief presentations from panel members and discussant.

    An interesting feature of this panel is that the different methodologies yield slightly different answers to the question “What does ‘civic learning’ look like in the digital age?”  One study finds that digital media can support civic learning in and around traditional contexts, but isn’t necessarily a “game changer”; offline civic learning experiences remain relevant. Another study suggests that putting traditional civic skills into practice comes with new challenges when carried out through digital tools and networks.  The final study finds that members of participatory cultures engage in practices that are central to their future civic lives, some common to traditional civic organizations and others relevant to the unique experiences of participatory culture civics.  By comparing divergent findings, we identify opportunities, challenges, and puzzles about the role of digital media in youth civic learning.  This panel highlights the importance of multi-disciplinary and multi-method approaches understanding digital media and learning. 

    Ellen Middaugh
    Sangita Shresthova
    Joseph Kahne
    Erhardt Graeff
    Ellen Middaugh
    Chris Evans
    Neta Kligler Vilenchik
    Sangita Shresthova
    Carrie James
    Christian Greer, Discussant
  • Featured Session DLI: Democratizing Learning Innovation

    Today's learners are accessing educational resources, socializing online and off with peer mentors and sharing with audiences across a variety of platforms and media. Whether it is gaming or tinkering with tech, learners are engaging with content, while simultaneously being offered the opportunity to innovate and create their own tools and unique approaches to learning. During this wide-ranging conversation, we will explore several examples that  illustrate how learners drive new ideas in teaching, curriculum and assessment, and how those ideas transitioned from idea to innovation. 

    Mark Surman
    Jessica Klein
    "Super-Awesome" Sylvia and James Todd- Tech Ninja
    Gever Tulley
    Dr. Preeti Gupta
    Jessica Klein, Discussant
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM:  LUNCH BREAK     
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM:  PANELS SESSION II    
  • DLI: We Live Here: Youth Media Convergence, San Francisco Style

    The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned globally for its innovations in technology and digital media—it’s no coincidence that the 2012 DML Conference is being held in San Francisco. But what you may not know is that the Bay Area is also hotbed of innovation for youth media. In this highly participatory workshop, five San Francisco-based organizations working in the youth media arena come together for a lively session on the art of collaboration, innovation and the digital dissemination of a generation’s voice.

    Through a cross-cultural and organizational collaboration between The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), San Francisco Film Society (SFFS), KQED Public Media, Teaching Intermedia Literacy Tools (TILT) and the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), we will demonstrate how to cultivate a dynamic organizational network to support youth media and learning in a vibrant, but often disconnected, urban environment.  By bringing together resources and ideas from local organizations working in youth media, public media, public education, the arts, science and research, afterschool programs, the digital media industry, and the youth themselves, we’ll showcase how virtual connections can build identity and community that feels equally meaningful as in-person connections. The end result is an interconnected breeding ground for innovation that bridges the in-school and after-school arenas, leveraging the full potential of the broader digital and educational communities.

    Through a brief overview of the collaborative work of these organizations and an explanation of their process, workshop participants will be tasked with developing citywide media based collaborations of their own, with the goal of creating connected learning opportunities that are both relevant and valuable to the end users: youth.  Additionally, Bay Area youth will actively participate in the workshop, providing valuable real-time feedback on participants’ ideas as they are developed, via Twitter and other online media resources available through KQED’s Do Now program.  We will teach, test and tweak all layers of technologies that can add an additional arena of learning, community feel and space for creative expression and civic engagement.

    Ingrid Dahl
    Matt Williams
    Joanne Parsont
    Ingrid Dahl
    Joanne Parsont
    Puja Dasari
    Robyn Bykofsky
    Matt Williams
  • MRT: Teaching with App Inventor

    Do you like it when students drive the learning process? Do you want to expand your students' media literacy across the "programmer divide" and into the realm of interactive software? App Inventor, the centerpiece of MIT's new Center for Mobile Learning, provides a disruptive way to change the way you teach. In this hands-on workshop, you'll learn how to build mobile apps with App Inventor and and explore ways it can be used as a motivating force in the classroom.

    Despite the efforts of innovators like Steve Jobs, there is still one digital medium from which most are barred: interactive software. Only programmers can directly create in this mysterious medium, leaving most people on the wrong side of the programmer divide. Have an idea for a mobile app? You better know a programmer!

    App Inventor, created by MIT's Hal Abelson and some Google engineers, helps bridge the divide. Like its predecessors Lego Mindstorms and Scratch, it provides a visual, drag-and-drop "blocks" language, making programming more like putting puzzle pieces together than writing code.

    With App Inventor, the end-goal of the puzzle-making is software for mobile phones and tablets. Instead of creating mundane interest rate calculators, as in traditional courses, beginners create apps that connect to mobile technology such as SMS texting, text-to-speech, and GPS. Within weeks, they can create powerful software such as the "No Texting While Driving" app created by USF student Daniel Finnegan and featured in Wired magazine.

    We offer the perspectives of a university teacher (Wolber, USF) who has taught App Inventor since its pilot phase in 2009, and an after-school program director (Hatley,Youth APPLab) who has taught 21 African-American students to build apps.

    Most of our students never dreamed they could create software for their phone. Because of App Inventor's low barrier to entry, they attain early success. Because they are building software for mobile phones, motivation goes out the roof. The students at Youth APPLab have developed over 30 apps, with 4 published on the Android Market having over 1000 downloads. USF students, 50% women, now present along side our advanced students at the annual CS night. Many continue on in Computer Science and some have even gone on to teach App Inventor in youth programs.

    In a quest to build more sophisticated apps, the students drive the learning process. The learning crosses the traditional classroom boundary: the students take the phones home, tinker with them, and show off their work to their friends and family members. In the process, they learn a ton of math, logic, and problem solving without even realizing it.

    Attendees will create a fun, introductory app, then break into teams to see who can create the best "re-mix" of a more sophisticated app. Winners will receive a copy of Wolber's App Inventor book (co-authored with Abelson et al.). As the session progresses, we'll discuss ways App Inventor can be used to teach programming, problem solving, and "learning-by-creating" in any discipline.

    David Wolber
    Leshell Hatley
    David Wolber
  • MRT: Making MakeShop: Designing Making Experiences with Families

    Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has partnered with Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE) to create MakeShop, a space within the Children’s Museum dedicated to nurturing and furthering informal learning opportunities and research-based understanding at the intersection of the digital and the physical. As a collaborative project among the fields of research, design and practice, MakeShop is a laboratory for curiosity, creativity, exploration, and innovation that is focused on providing kids, and their families, interest-driven, hands-on learning experiences.

    MakeShop is a new 1800 square foot, permanent exhibit in the Children’s Museum, staffed by a team of makers—crafters, inventors, hackers, educators and artists—with expertise in the areas of informal learning, sewing, woodworking, metals, electronics, interaction design and digital media. As a physical and conceptual expansion of the Museum’s philosophy “play with real stuff,” visitors to MakeShop engage in the process of designing, exploring, tinkering, sharing ideas, iterating and building with old and new technologies. Through this open-making experience, visitors are encouraged to investigate how things work, consider materials and techniques at play, and develop interests and valuable skills that may extend beyond their Museum experience.

    MakeShop was conceived as space for the Museum’s “older” child, ages 8-12, who is developing fluency with emerging and traditional technologies, and might be inclined to engage in a deeper, sustained, and extendable informal learning experience with knowledgeable peers, parents and mentors. 

    Since the initial conception over a year ago, we have prototyped, reflected and refined our practice, consulting existing models to determine what works best for our audience and the kinds of learning made possible through their participation in this context. 

    As an organization focused on children and families, MakeShop targets a slightly younger child-demographic than popular models of new media-based creative spaces, such as Chicago’s YouMedia, as well as adult-centered maker- or “hack” spaces across the country. For this reason, the Museum must consider different intergenerational dynamics of participation with new media and traditional technologies. Such dynamics must reflect the possible roles, practices and attitudes of a wider range of child-participants, parents and family-units when establishing design principles and learning frameworks.

    In this session, we will discuss our process of combining our areas of expertise—practice, design and research—to bring MakeShop to life. We will describe the iterative development of MakeShop, from initial idea to public prototyping to full-scale exhibit. This includes collaboration with kids and their families to help discover the affordances, challenges, and essential components for meaningful visitor experience. In addition, we will share our evolving framework for evaluation, which integrates elements of reflective practice and empirical study to determine a refined and evidentiary set of guiding principles of practice. Throughout, we will provide concrete examples of our process of designing making experiences with and for families.

    Lisa Brahms
    Drew Davidson
    Drew Davidson
    Lisa Brahms
    Jane Werner
    Discussant: Dale Doughtery
  • MRT: Beyond Game Play: Developing Youth Identity as Civic Minded Game Designers

    In this panel, we will explore how games and game play can shape young people’s identities as game designers, with a focus on social and civic issues. Through innovative programs, youth are taught not just to interact with games, but to be part of an iterative process where they design games about issues such as climate change and human rights.  In one program, Global Kids and the New York Public Library worked with youth to create a location-based game using mobile devices about local history and broader social issues.  In another program, E-Line Media and Global Kids worked with youth to create social impact games, while introducing them to game professionals and having them teach other youth about game design.  In a third program between New York University’s Games for Learning Institute and Global Kids, middle school girls designed games to teach their peers difficult math concepts.  Lessons from these programs highlight how youth go beyond playing games to design and create games that shape their identities as both game designers and socially-responsible citizens.

    Daria Ng
    Barry Joseph
    Jack Martin
    Ricki Goldman
  • RML: What's Going On...Now: A National Youth Conversation through Digital Media

    In May of 1971, Marvin Gaye released the landmark record album What’s Going On. A year later, he performed it at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Beginning in 2011, the Kennedy Center will lead the national conversation by creating a digital media education platform celebrating the 40th anniversary of this iconic work. In May 2012, we’ll bring that conversation home to the Kennedy Center in a celebration concert featuring John Legend, the National Symphony Orchestra, and many special guests—including young artists and youth media producers.

    At the center of this conversation is an international youth media campaign with a simple and direct call to action:

    In 1971, Marvin Gaye captured and commented on the spiritual and cultural chaos of the nation. It’s been 40 years. Have things changed? What’s Going On…Now? You tell us.

    The campaign invites young people to share their perspectives through images, poetry, video, music—wherever they find their creative voice. Through the original recording itself, historical artifacts, and contemporary celebrity interviews and remixes, the Kennedy Center will provide the foundation for youth media producers to be at the forefront of this national conversation. We’ll showcase the best of this youth-produced media online and at the Kennedy Center during the celebration.

    To ensure deep connections for teens and young adults, the project will be incubated in the Fall of 2011 within a network of established youth media, arts groups, high schools, and media partners before its public launch in late January 2012.  These groups include YOUMedia Chicago, Youth Radio, ARTLAB+ in Washington, DC, and Venice Arts, each of whom bring their unique perspectives on digital media and learning to the project and its participants.

    Leveraging a custom curriculum and the iRemix social learning network for primary and secondary education, youth partners from 7 different cities across the United States, will be able to dive deeply into an educational resources surrounding the iconic album, ultimately enabling youth at all skill levels to develop original transmedia offerings that respond to the critical question, “What’s Going On…Now?”  The platform will also allow youth from each of the participating cities, and their adult allies that support them, to critique and evolve the submitted work; thereby allowing for a unique nationwide critical experience for all of the young people involved.

    Through this project, the Kennedy Center and its collaborators will provide youth the incentive and opportunity to develop their artistic, critical literacy, and career skills – and nurturing their idealism and commitment to civic action through the arts. Our panel will discuss the evolution of the project, its breakthroughs and challenges, and share some of the youth-produced media from the campaign.

    Uday Joshi
    Nuit Hangsen
    Nuit Hangsen
    Uday Joshi
    MIke Hawkins
    Darrell Johnson
    Akili Lee, Discussant
    Garth Ross, Discussant
  • IPE: Divide and Conquer: Examining and Confronting the Digital Divide

    The “digital divide” creates an additional layer of challenge for students already facing inadequate services in their schools. But what does the digital divide look like?  And what strategies are being employed to provide greater access to meaningful technologies? The intent of this panel is to bolster understandings of how students from low-income backgrounds use technology and explore what digital and game innovations are being developed for under-served students. Panelists hail from education, communications, interactive media and sociology programs and all are currently working with game and social media projects designed to provide high quality digital resources to low-income communities. The panelists will: 1) share quantitative and qualitative research findings that describe the digital divide and 2) discuss how researchers and game designers are addressing the digital divide through innovative programs.  A moderator will facilitate a questions and answer segment with the aim of stimulating discussion among audience and panelists  about what we know about the digital divide and how we are confronting it.

    1:Digital snapshot of urban high school students
    This paper describes digital profiles of students at three urban Los Angeles area schools.  Data derive from focus groups, questionnaires, and observations. Study findings outline what types of technology students use at school and at home, ease and speed of Internet access, social networking behaviors, mobile device usage, influence of technology on interactions with peers and family members, and students’ willingness and ability to learn about college through technology.

    2:Serious problem, seriously fun game
    Through the Collegeology Games project, researchers and game designers from the University of Southern California have utilized new media forms, such as digital and tabletop games, to boost college aspirations and promote college-going strategies for underserved students. The focus of the presentation will be on identifying potential aspects of a problem space, and adapting educational games for different platforms and audiences. 

    3:After-school digital literacy, Part 1: Explore Locally, Excel Digitally
    How one negotiates digital tools and norms impacts citizenship on and offline. USC Annenberg’s Participatory Learning and You! (PLAY!) initiative’s after-school program “Explore Locally, Excel Digitally” (ELED) used hardware, software, and team-building activities to investigate ethics, mapping, and their intersections. Students examined their own communities and the nature of their participation within these networks, looking at ELED, their friendship circles, schools, and neighborhood. Ethnographic fieldnotes, video footage, student-generated multimedia content, and survey measures demonstrated that this pedagogical framework supported a participatory learning culture and facilitated students’ development of self- and collective efficacy.

    4:After-school digital literacy, Part 2: Play On! Workshops
    Play On! Workshops are a series of after-school programs facilitated by USC Annenberg's PLAY! initiative. Workshops included: Laughter for a Change, focused on improvisational theater and comedy training ; AnimAction, focused on animation and digital ethics; and Departures Youth Voices, focused on multimedia exploration of community. While the subject matter and tools differed from workshop to workshop, each experience offered students opportunities to explore civic engagement through storytelling and work toward a more participatory approach to learning.

    Zoe Corwin
    Elizabeth Swenson
    Sean Brouchard
    Jenna Sablan
    Zoe Corwin
    Elizabeth Swenson
    Tracy Fullerton
    Erin Reilly
    Laurel Felt
    Discussants: Vanessa Monterosa, Tracy Fullerton, Sean Brouchard
  • DML: Are Badges the Answer? Perspectives on Motivation for Lifelong Learning

    The field of digital media and learning is focusing attention on badges as motivators and credentials for lifelong learning. Are badges and related reward systems crowding out other important sources of motivation? Join this session for a provocative yet practical discussion of approaches for engaging youth in sustained pursuit of learning.

    Panelists will share ideas from research and practice on creating conditions that foster motivation for learning. Session participants will engage in discussion of examples of youth engaged in learning online and offline, with each scenario highlighting a different source of motivation and alternative pathways for gaining recognition. Panelists and participants will discuss how to apply these concepts and approaches to the design of digital environments and initiatives.

    How can we encourage youth with diverse abilities to engage in problem solving and persist in learning? After experiencing a failure or other setback, some young people give up while others engage in problem solving. A consistent finding from decades of research is that an environment that emphasizes performance goals (i.e., seeking to demonstrate one’s ability) makes people more likely to give up, whereas an environment that emphasizes learning goals (i.e., seeking to develop one’s ability) encourages people to persist in problem solving and improve their strategies (Kaplan & Maehr, 2007; Rusk & Rothbaum, 2010). Participants will be invited to discuss implications for badge systems and how these ideas apply to their own experiences and learning communities.

    Mitch Resnick will frame and moderate the discussion, highlighting the urgency of considering alternative approaches to sparking young people's motivation. Avi Kaplan will present findings and ideas from the frontiers of research, including a framework for promoting learning goals and principles for supporting an exploratory orientation. Natalie Rusk will illustrate how theories of motivation can inform the design of learning environments, providing examples from Scratch and the Computer Clubhouse. Amon Millner will share strategies for engaging high school students with diverse interests as mentors and developers of innovative technologies. 

    AGENDA FOR SESSSION (90 minutes total)
    - Framing questions of motivation (Resnick) - 5 min.
    - Introducing perspectives (Kaplan, Rusk, Millner) - 30 min. 
    - Discussion of motivational scenarios (All participants) - 25 min.
    - Applying ideas to digital media environments (All) - 15 minutes
    - Reflection and discussion (Resnick leads) - 15 minutes 

    Natalie Rusk
    Avi Kaplan
    Amon Milner
    Natalie Rusk
    Mitch Resnick, Discussant
  • Featured Session IPE: Digital Innovation and Equity in Schools

    While digital, participatory media are signaling cultural shifts in the ways students learn,
    socialize, and create texts, much of the nation’s K-12 schooling system is still mired by
    traditional educational practices. With significant shifts taking place in out-of-school learning,
    this panel explores the ways that digital innovation can improve schooling by highlighting the
    voices of teachers, students, administrators, and researchers currently working
    in America’s schooling system.


    Though the opportunity to leverage technology to improve the learning and life opportunities of
    students is bigger than ever before, schools face significant challenges in leveraging technology
    in an equitable, sustainable way. From teacher pedagogical preparation to school infrastructure
    to school and research partnerships, crucial barriers stand in the way of wide-spread digital
    innovation for schools. Couple these barriers with an achievement gap that cleaves educational
    outcomes for students by race and class and the issue of digital media use in schools becomes
    an imperative struggle of equity. As policy-makers look to digital technology as an antidote for
    improving education for students, the challenges that schools face are best articulated by those
    working and engaging within classrooms.


    This panel brings together the viewpoints of various participants within schools to discuss
    opportunities, challenges, and experience with digital innovation in schools. Teachers,
    students, administrators, and researchers engage in dialogue about the role of digital
    innovation in addressing educational equity. Finally, this panel welcomes a larger dialogue
    with the audience about ways to foster and support digital innovation within formal schooling
    environments in the K-16 and beyond schooling system. At stake are the learning, career,
    and civic outcomes for students as a result of digital innovation.

    Antero Garcia
    Erin Reilly
    Myrna Rubel
    Katie McKay
    High school student, UCLA Council of Youth research
    High school student, Social Justice Learning Institute
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM:  BREAK    
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM:  IGNITE TALKS    
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM:  REGISTRATION OPENS    
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM:  PANELS SESSION III    
  • Featured Session RML: This is Not an Orientation: Gameful Layers for the Freshman Experience

    The transition to college is a difficult experience for many young people, marked by rapid 
    change as well as social, emotional and intellectual challenges. Additionally, today's 
    students may feel disconnected from traditional university classroom materials and 
    structures, spending the majority of their out of class time interacting via text and web.
    This session will look at two very different experimental games which attempt 
    to scaffold that freshman experience, allowing digital natives to bring their existing 
    communication and media skills to bear on the building of college-level social groups and 
    21st century skills such as team-building, problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, brainstorming, experimentation, etc.
    The two case studies were both launched in Fall of 2011 and each team has worked to assess and 
    evaluate the outcomes so far. Just Press Play, from the Rochester Institute of Technology, is 
    funded by Microsoft Research, and is an achievement-based system that encourages 
    students to think of the obstacles in their path as part of a narrative of their educational 
    development. Reality Ends Here, from the University of Southern California, is an internally 
    funded project from the School of Cinematic Arts. Structured as an alternate reality game, 
    the experience introduces students to the culture and history of the school, encouraging 
    them to become part of that tradition from day one. Designers and evaluators from each 
    project will discuss learning goals, design strategies, assessment approaches, preliminary 
    outcomes and next steps for these innovative digital learning environments.
    Tracy Fullerton
    Jeff Watson
    Ben Stokes
    Andy Phelps
    Liz Lawley
    Kurt Squire
    Tracy Fullerton
    Donald Brinkman, (moderator)
  • MRT: A culture of sharing: Exploring ways to support connections among designers of digital media

    A young boy wants to make an interactive birthday card for his friend, but isn't sure what might be possible, so he looks online for examples of cards that other young people have created. A girl wants to design the ultimate side-scrolling game and she builds her project using another designer's side-scrolling project as the base. Three young people team up to create an interactive media tribute to Halloween, and they recruit 20 others to help build the project. A boy creates a logic puzzle and thinks that it needs improvement, so he posts it online for others to try and give feedback.

    Each of these scenarios highlights how a culture of sharing makes it possible for young designers to create artifacts that might otherwise be unrealizable and supports their development as designers of digital media. In this workshop for educators and researchers, we will explore two central questions - What can a culture of sharing for digital media designers look like? and How can we support this culture of sharing? - using Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu), an authoring environment and online community, as a motivating example. There are more than 2 million projects on the Scratch website, and each day members (mostly ages 8 to 16) upload approximately 2500 new Scratch projects to the website - on average, two new projects every minute. The collection of projects is incredibly diverse: interactive newsletters, science simulations, virtual tours, animated dance contests, interactive tutorials, and many others.

    The workshop will begin with a quick, hands-on Scratch activity in which participants experiment with two forms of sharing in digital media design: collaboration (developing a project with a partner) and remixing (building on someone else's work). We will use this concrete experience to start group discussions around the two central workshop questions. With respect to the first question (What can a culture of sharing for digital media designers look like?), we will discuss manifestations of sharing culture by examining the dimensions of: (1) participants, including peers, parents, and teachers, (2) activities, including inspiration, creation, collaboration, and reflection, and (3) settings, including online and face-to-face, formal and informal. With respect to the second question (How can we support this culture of sharing?), we will discuss strategies for supporting sharing culture, as well as factors that act as barriers to sharing (such as counternarratives about "stealing" and "copying").

    The workshop will be led by two members of the MIT Scratch Team, Karen Brennan and Ricarose Roque. Karen is a 5th-year PhD student, who studies how learning communities support computational creators. Ricarose is a 2nd-year Master's student, who designs contexts that support Scratch online community members to create collaboratively.

    Karen Brennan
    Ricarose Roque
    Karen Brennan
  • MRT: Tinkering with Tangibles: Electronic Textiles in Classrooms, Colleges, and Clubs

    Today’s discussions about digital media and learning focus largely on video games, social networks, and other screen-based technologies. There is little recognition, if any, that digital media has moved from the screen and into our material world. Electronic textiles, or e-textiles, are articles of clothing, home furnishings, or architectures that include soft conductive materials (e.g., conductive fabrics, thread, and Velcro?) embedded computation, and traditional electronics (e.g., light sensors, motion sensors, and LEDs), and are prime examples of the opportunities that lie at intersection of digital and physical media. This emerging field suggests an extension of the traditional notion of digital learning, one that can enrich one's expressive and intellectual life by combining the affordances of virtual and physical, technical and artistic, and high- and low-tech. This panel focuses attention on the ways in which new digital media have begun to be integrated with textiles?the soft fabrics that are part of our everyday lives?and how these integrations are reshaping education across the K-16 spectrum.
    Leah Buechley will provide an introduction to e-textiles and describe some of the tools and techniques that she has developed, in collaboration with students and other partners, for working in this domain. The discussion will include an overview of the LilyPad Arduino toolkit, the ModKit programming environment, and the LilyPond website.  She will also briefly introduce tools that she is developing that enable people to integrate
    digital and physical crafting in other material domains.

    Mike Eisenberg will discuss his experience teaching a semester-long project-based course using e-textiles (for first-year engineering students at the University of Colorado, Boulder). Reflecting on this course suggests a variety of potentially important directions for continuing progress in the design of educational e-textiles.

    Yasmin Kafai will showcase examples of e-textile designs and e-textile deconstruction kits created with the LilyPad Arduino and discuss how high school students engaged with crafts, coding, and circuitry and how such activities can be integrated within in high school classes.

    Kylie Peppler will talk about employing e-puppetry for storytelling and character development in language arts classrooms. Over the course of an intense summer camp for middle school youth in the Chicago metropolitan area, teachers from the National Writing Project co-developed activities around different forms of e-puppetry, storyboarding and interactivity to engage youth in the "big ideas" of fiction writing.

    Sherry Hsi, the Research Director in the Center for Technology Innovation at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, will be our discussant.

    Yasmin Kafai
    Leah Buechly
    Michael Eisenberg
    Yasmin Kafai
    Deborah Fields
    Kristin Searle
    Discussant: Sherry Hsi
  • DLI: Hive Learning Networks [Explore + Create + Share]: an infrastructure for connected learning

    Accelerated by digital media and other learning technologies, the learning landscape for youth is rapidly transforming. Today’s interest-driven youth are empowered like never before to explore, create, and share their interests in fantastic new ways. As the landscape evolves and expands, particularly within online spaces, learning-focused organizations (both formal and informal) are struggling to meet youth where they are. With increased youth engagement in participatory practices and the boundaries of existing in-school and out-of-school program formats being stretched to the limit, the need for a connected learning framework becomes critical.

    For these organizations to be capable of fostering new literacies in transitional spaces among the spheres of interest-based affiliation, peer friendships, and adult-driven learning goals, a new approach to learning innovation must be established.

    However, the challenges of balancing competing pedagogies, emerging technologies, creative funding models, and complex communication are enormous. Working within this challenge space, the Hive Learning Networks are attempting to remix existing frameworks and re-framing traditional paradigms while constructing agile and open infrastructures for facilitating connected learning.

    Hive NYC and Hive Chicago both include member organizations that prominently feature youth-centered program models that emphasize making, remixing, and tinkering within anytime anywhere learning spaces. However, each network has followed its own path to developing network infrastructure while maintaining effective cross-network collaboration.

    From programs in Hive NYC that empower youth to explore their roles as citizen activists such as:

    The Point’s A.C.T.I.O.N. project

    to Hive Chicago’s YouSTEM project that incorporates HOMAGO and game-based leveling up strategies in STEM learning,

    the Hive Learning Networks are definitely increasing the velocity of learning innovation.

    In this interactive panel, we will explore the products, processes and challenges associated with constructing the infrastructure for learning networks.

    Panelist presentations will touch on many of the following topics:

    •    Constructing an effective learning network infrastructure
    •    Blending connected learning research and practice demonstration sites
    •    Employing pop-up events as a way to generate a “buzz” for learning
    •    Shaping, selecting, and funding multi-institutional project proposals
    •    Cultivating professional learning communities
    •    Sharing and disseminating this work to the funding community

    General questions, such as:

    •    What defines a learning network?
    •    How do learning networks evolve?
    •    What roles do youth play within the network and how is “youth voice” incorporated?

    After a brief series of presentations by the panelists, the session will be opened up for facilitated activity that engages the audience members in a lively discussion about learning networks and their impact on the learning landscape for youth.

    Engaging questions like the ones listed below should provide energy to the discussion.

    •    How do we get youth, mentors, innovative designers and other talented people together to make interesting things?
    •    How do you identify projects with a “network effect” or impact?
    •    How do you evaluate process as well as product in a connected learning ecology?

    Christian Greer
    Christian Greer
    Chris Lawrence
    Kerry McCarthy
    Chistina Timmins
  • RML: Design Thinking + Digital Media: A Model for Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences in the 21st Century Museum

    The New Learning Institute delivers engaging, personalized, project-based digital media programs to young people and educators. We work in classrooms, after-school centers, museums, and cultural institutions, or wherever learning takes place. Using the latest mobile technologies and digital media practices and tools, we help young people explore their interests, direct their own learning, and better prepare themselves for living and working in the 21st century.  New Learning Institute programs help young people transfer the digital media, social, and technological skills they have developed on their own and turn them into authentic catalysts for learning, sharing and participating.

    Museums and other cultural institutions are important sources of scholarship, research, and the exhibition of historical and cultural artifacts. While they are the bastions of informal learning experiences for adults and youth alike, museums and cultural institutions are also striving to make these experiences richer and deeper in the context of 21st century shifts around who defines knowledge and how visitors participate. They are grappling with the challenge of encouraging youth visitors to interact with concepts and content, not just consume them.

    Inspired by what takes place at the intersection of pedagogy and practice, NLI programs in museums and cultural institutions directly address this challenge by creating learning spaces where participants engage in new ways of experiencing the museum and integrate digital media as tools to collaborate, participate, and remix content.

    Working closely with partners at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, the YOUMedia ArtLab@The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, The Field Museum in Chicago, and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, NLI programs share a common objective: to put young people in the role of designing experiences for other young people.

    NLI programs at the Smithsonian, The Field Museum, and California Academy of Science focus on giving teens the opportunity to (1) design digital media experiences that will further engage themselves and others in the museum’s collections (2) engage in authentic work for a real audience, and (3) use digital media tools in ways that allow them to participate in the world in new ways. Youth designers who participate in NLI programming become contributors to the museum ecosystem by producing mobile videos, podcasts, games, etc. that will be made available to youth visitors, thereby playing a central participatory role in shaping a museum experience that blends content and collections with new media devices and practices of the 21st century.

    Through interactive presentations and discussions, the Design Thinking + Digital Media panelists will describe the NLI programs at their respective institutions, focusing on how the design-thinking process has created learning spaces where youth are active participants and problem-solvers, where adults play the role of facilitators and experts, and where teens use digital media as tools to authentically collaborate and participate. Focusing on both participant experience and teen work, panelists will share their program frameworks and describe how their practices respond to the localized needs and interests of the stakeholders at their institution.

    Nancy Chou
    Stephanie Norby
    Elizabeth Babcock
    Ryan Hill
    Johana Thompson
    Discussants: Nancy Chou, Tiffany McGettigan
  • IPE: Democratizing Computer Science through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in Urban Schools: Building on Students‚ Funds of Knowledge and Community Cultural Wealth

    Often described as “Digital Natives,” the majority of today’s K-12 students are using technological devices for accessing instant information, communicating (social networking, texting, etc.), and playing videogames. Virtually all aspects of this technological explosion are driven by computer science (CS). While those using CS-developed tools are extremely diverse, those studying and working in CS-related fields are not. By limiting the production of new technology to a homogenous group, much of our digital world is being dictated by a shrinking sphere of influence.
    CS’s lack of diversity can be traced back to secondary education where women, Blacks, and Latino/as are routinely denied access to high-level computing classes due to tracking, a lack of teacher preparedness, differential curricula, and the absence of culturally relevant CS curricula. Deficit ideologies rationalizing CS’s lack of diversity to an inability to learn or disinterest further exacerbate this divide.

    In an effort to challenge CS’s lack of diversity, this symposium’s three projects explore and highlight how engaging culturally relevant pedagogy in a CS curriculum—while placing critical consciousness on equal footing to academic success—can motivate non-dominant students to learn CS in high-poverty, majority Black and Latino/a schools in the second largest school district in America. All three projects draw on “funds of knowledge” and “community cultural wealth” research as theoretical foundations for addressing diversity in CS classrooms. These projects illustrate how incorporating students’ funds of knowledge—students’ “historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge” and community cultural wealth (students’ aspirational, familial, social, navigational, resistant, and linguistic capital) to contextualize academic learning within the knowledge students already possess, can increase student learning and engagement. All three projects promote social justice and community activism based on students’ cultural wealth within a CS curricular context.

    The first paper examines how a student-produced video game through the Scratch program can be used to teach critical literacy, computational thinking and self-reflective practices. Students investigate, research and self-reflect about their lives in the context of larger sociopolitical issues to produce a “choose-your-own-adventure” serious game for the express purpose of initiating social change. The second paper showcases work that is grounded within an indigenous research paradigm and aims to develop a learning foundation of ancestral knowledge in a high school computer science classroom. Finally, the third paper involves a K-12/University partnership dedicated to increasing access to quality, computer science (CS) learning in diverse, urban, public schools by developing innovative methods for engaging students in computational thinking and data analysis. Students use mobile phones, phone apps, and web services to conduct community-based research around issues that are important to them.

    This session invites audience participation and dialogue around ideas and research shared. During a momentous time when “21st century skills” have become the lingua franca of educational reform with CS knowledge playing an increasingly important role in all fields, this symposium makes a unique contribution to public education by providing valuable examples of how culturally-relevant CS curricula can successfully engage traditionally underrepresented groups.

    Clifford Lee
    Clifford Lee
    Jean Ryoo
    Vic Pacheco
    Discussants: Ernest Morrell, Jane Margolis
  • DML: Exploring Locality: A Community-Based Social Network for Youth

    Youth in urban areas can grow up isolated from one another, separated by affiliations with a turf, a gang, an ethnic group.  This panel will report on a project that exploited the potential of social media to link urban youth across local spaces that sometimes represent vast divides. As such, it addresses the conference themes of innovative digital practice and research that expands access.

    A team of researchers and educators joined forces last year to link 75 young people aged 8-13 in five elementary and middle schools located in Oakland, California and Richmond, California. These communities and schools, though contiguous geographically, were worlds away in terms of youth’s knowledge and perceptions of each other.  We created a 6-week digital and social media class in the schools’ after-school programs, designing a networked pedagogy that fostered kids’ passions and foregrounded peer-to-peer learning. The young people created digital artifacts like short movies that they shared across the network, exploring issues around ‘locality’ with one another. That is, these young people considered where they were ‘from’ in many senses--familial, geographical, communal, and ideological--and explored how they were connected to other young people and what it meant to connect via social media.

    This project drew on our previous design-based research to create and study an international social network for older youth and took advantage of a custom-built social network made just for kids (space2cre8.com).  Exploring the nature of locality/connectivity across a range of spaces often viewed as separate (offline/online, school/afterschool, school/community/home, city/neighborhood/region), we offer evidence of children’s social and cognitive growth in terms of empathy, vocabulary development, and semiotic awareness, and we illustrate as well the challenges of conducting this kind of work with new media in old school settings. Our findings are drawn from a variety of research measures: pre- and post-interviews, surveys, field notes, video data, collection of artifacts, composing pre- and post-measures, and automated network analytics (tracking youth’s participation online).

    Rather than a traditional set of paper presentations, the session will open with a short youth-driven movie that introduces the network and the theme of locality, giving the audience a sense of the learning spaces youth created and inhabited. Several children then will present their work, showcasing their digital projects and, with their teachers, explaining how these projects afford particular learning opportunities. To anchor this discussion, we will watch a series of ‘learning moment’ vignettes, short video recordings youth filmed when they felt they were learning something. School principals and after-school site coordinators as well as community partners and parents will then respond, discussing how the notions of learning that teachers and students presented fit into but also stretch their understandings of learning and knowing across different spaces. Researchers will frame this discussion in terms of the project’s overarching findings about connected learning, looking especially at youth’s online communication. Finally, discussant Chris Dale, a YouTube/Google PR manager, will discuss how this project  helps illuminate efforts to educate people to be savvy social networkers.


    Amy Stornaiuolo
    Glynda Hull
    Glynda Hull
    Amy Stornaiuolo
    Jen Dizio
    Emily Hellmich
    Jeeva Rochesmith
    Gary Jones
    Discussant: Chris Dale
  • DLI: Education for a Digital Democracy: Harnessing the Power of New Media to Empower

    More than ever before, participatory digital technology is changing the ways young people are socializing, learning, consuming, and producing media products (Watkins, 2009; Livingstone, 2009; Lenhart, 2009; Lenhart, 2010). New media offer significant opportunities for authentic learning experiences, as well as new opportunities for civic participation; indeed, digital tools can be used not only to engage students in meaningful learning experiences, but also to shape ways people participate and interact with the world (Lievrouw, 2011).

    At the same time, however, the "new culture of learning" (Thomas and Brown, 2011) poses significant policy and pedagogical challenges for educators (Frey and Fisher, 2008). While students continually encounter myriad opportunities to engage in new media learning practices, researchers have identified a “participation gap” that divides meaningful engagement with new media tools by race and class in ways that mirror the U.S. academic achievement gap (Jenkins, 2008; Margolis et al, 2008).  Although urban youth are gaining increased access to participatory digital technology, they often lack access to sophisticated instruction in digital media analysis and programming that can help them become producers of digital content rather than mere consumers (Kellner & Share, 2009). In a similar challenge, reform efforts in schools and other social institutions often fail to honor the voices of young people and engage them in decision-making about issues that affect their lives; adults make decisions for young people rather than with them.

    The participants in this interactive, participatory workshop will work together with audience members to explore how critical digital literacy and digital civic engagement can empower urban students by giving them opportunities to express themselves, learn in new and meaningful ways, and take action to solve social problems. The workshop will be led by Los Angeles high school students who are involved in nationally recognized youth participatory action research programs in which they conduct research aimed at improving schools and communities and promoting social justice. Along with teachers and graduate students, these powerful young people from the Council of Youth Research and the Black Male Academy will demonstrate how they use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs to create and disseminate research and create a national network of young people interested in civic engagement and education reform.

    Theoretically, the ideas that the students and audience members in this workshop will be discussing come from the current scholarship in literacy, learning and democracy; however, this workshop will push the boundaries of these theories by examining the ways that understandings about learning, teaching and public engagement are being constructed within the new, media-rich environments in which students are immersed. Students will demonstrate with the audience the kind of pedagogy that they argue all young people deserve, and they will engage audience members in group dialogue and brainstorming about cutting edge ways to integrate technology into urban students’ lives. This collaborative session will spark conversations that will continue to grow as students, teachers, and audience members connect online and find new ways to use technology in transformative ways with young people.

    Nicole Mirra
    D'Artagnan Scorza
    Nicole Mirra
    D'Artagnan Scorza
    Students from the Black Male Academy
    Students from the Council of Youth Research
    Discussant: Nicole Mirra
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM:  BREAK    
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM:  PLENARY SESSION:     
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM:  LUNCH BREAK     
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM:  PANELS SESSION IV    
  • IPE: Big Ideas, Real Problems: Designing K-12 learning experiences with (and without) social media

    The NYC iSchool believes that learning experiences should be grounded in “real world” problems that have not yet been solved. This workshop will guide participants through the process of identifying these problems and developing a new curriculum around their investigation. The workshop will highlight two of these "module" courses: The Sixteen Project and #disastercamp.

    With Michael Wesch’s work as a precedent for “digital ethnography” in an undergraduate setting, The Sixteen Project aims to investigate similar themes with high school students by investigating culture and coming of age from an anthropological perspective. The Sixteen Project proposes new questions about the high school experience. How might learning be more intimately connected to both personal and global questions? How do students engage with “other” communities and at the same time begin to see themselves as “other”? How significant is the physical classroom environment when these investigations occur across the globe via Skype, Flickr, Google Voice and Vimeo?

    #disastercamp asks participants to design creative solutions for disaster response. Inspired by the 2011 Imagine Cup Emergency Response and Crowd Sourcing challenge, this course investigates the extent to which natural disasters are ever “natural” and looks to design as a methodology for creative problem-solving. Participants engage with each step of the design process as they move toward a final concept that leverages social media and other tools to improve communication and coordination for disaster relief.

    Christina Jenkins
    Mary Moss
    Franchesca Fay
    Christina Jenkins
  • DLI: iPhones and Intersessions: The Potential for Civic Engagement through Mobile Learning

    How can a museum facilitate civic engagement with high school students? How can a design approach catalyze real world learning and mobilization? The Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum is the founder of the ArtLab, a design studio for teens. This year, the ArtLab partnered with two D.C. public charter schools to answer these questions.

    With guidance and support from the Pearson Foundation, the ArtLab developed a Community Design program for high school students. During week-long workshops, teens formed design teams and explored their communities to identify sites that (a) they care about and (b) that need revitalization. Sites ranged from their over-crowded local youth center to the gang-controlled streets of San Salvador, El Salvador. Once they identified and researched sites they wanted to change, teens conducted field research and interviewed community members to find out how others relate to their site. Finally, the participants developed potential solutions to their problem locations and presented them through documentaries and 3D models to members of their local communities.

    The key to the Community Design program’s success is engaging teens with interest-based challenges that empower them to reexamine and redefine the world they live in. In the process, teens become active citizens and community members. The ArtLab’s design studio approach facilitates this process by encouraging team work and posing problems as design challenges. Young people are given professional roles and tools that allow them to design real solutions. This freedom allows teens to push the boundaries of what they think they can accomplish; gain important 21st century skills such as collaboration and problem-solving; and master with digital tools essential for today’s workforce. Furthermore, through access to the physical and professional resources in the Hirshhorn - a museum of modern and contemporary art - students learn to look for innovative, artful solutions to their tasks.

    The “iPhones and Intercessions” workshop is an active exploration of real world learning and civic engagement. Participants will be challenged to explore a community problem and develop a design solution collaboratively--in 45 minutes. A concluding discussion will address challenges participants and ArtLab staff faced implementing this approach as well as possible solutions. Participants will leave with specific design challenges and applications for their own sites and communities.

    Anna Kassinger
    Tiffany McGettigan
    Anna Kassinger
    Tiffany McGettigan
    Dan Solberg
  • Short Talk Panel MRT: Literacies of Making

    Title: Acts of Transformation: The intersection of Technology, Knowledge, and Exploration     
    Organizer: Ugochi Acholonu
    Participant: Ugochi Acholonu

    Tinkering, remixing, and repurposing are all acts of transformation.  Individuals engaged in these practices are not only transforming an artifact from one thing to another, but they are also transforming the relationship between the user and the designer. Instead of just consuming what is given, the "remixer" is fundamentally shaping the technology to more tightly integrate into their cultural ecologies, as well as creating an avenue for authentic expression. Through transformational acts with technology, the boundary of what is possible with technology is expanded. The user, instead of the designer, determines the purpose for the device in their context. The ability to adapt technology to support individual and community needs is a type of innovative skill that many are calling for.  To support this call, we as researchers, educators, and industry leaders must understand what factors are important to supporting the growth of the remix nation.

    In this talk, I will discuss a study conducted at a community college that investigates how people behave when faced with the opportunity to innovate with common household technologies.  Through this study, I will highlight the relationship between convention, knowledge, and exploration when innovating with technology in a problem-solving situation.  I will explain why just increasing a person's technical knowledge is not enough to allow people to be comfortable performing transformational acts, such as repurposing, with technology.

    Six Degrees of Specialization: How Youth Learn on YouTube
    Organizer: Patricia G. Lange
    Participant: Patricia G. Lange

    Discourses about “digital youth” stress how kids have become immersed in a range of media making and sharing practices. These discourses often emphasize kids’ participation in communicative media such as texting and social network sites. However, research also shows that young people have various levels of interest and engagement with different kinds of technologies and services. For example, the present research on YouTube reveals that vast disparities exist between media makers in terms of how deeply they wish to engage with making and sharing videos, and with helping others to learn about the various aspects of creating and producing videos for online, entertainment economies. Prior to the current iteration of social media, researchers had recognized that amateurs and professionals did not exist in a binary relationship; rather they exhibited a continuum of skills, identifications, and relative commitment to particular creative endeavors. Drawing on a more fine-grained set of categories developed from a two-year ethnographic study, this paper will examine the range of emotional commitments and nuanced specializations that kids and youth have exhibited in terms of participating in video-sharing environments. While some kids were completely disinterested in even making videos, others preferred to specialize in making videos and became quite skilled. In addition, although many young people made videos, not all participants saw YouTube as the best way to distribute them or participate in digital cultures. Participating on YouTube in social ways was a qualitatively different experience than specializing in video by establishing one’s own video blog. In addition, kids often made videos together socially, in groups, and tended to specialize in various aspects of video-making (such as acting, editing, directing, and promotional work) that sometimes broadened their access to acquiring new abilities. Yet, at other times, such interpersonal specialization potentially curtailed exploration of new skills. Operating under time pressures and within social milieu in which kids wanted to perform technical identities of competence, kids did not always encourage equal knowledge-building and skill development between peers. Further, only a select few youth specialized in making tutorial videos to help others learn how to improve video-making techniques. By studying a range of dimensions of specialization, this paper aims to provide a deeper understanding of the inner workings of video-sharing cultures as well as insight into processes of informal learning.

    Making It: An Examination of the Technological Creations of Low-Income, Urban Youth in Community Technology Centers
    Organizer: Johanna Pabst
    Participant: Johanna Pabst

    Drawing on my dissertation research which examines the technological experiences of urban, low-income and racially diverse teenagers within two community technology programs, my presentation will examine the independent, yet guided, technological creations of youth within two very different community technology programs. I explore the youth creations in both centers, generally moving from more independent projects to more guided and boundaried projects. What do the youth make with technology? How do creations reflect the presence or lack of youth autonomy around technology? What kinds of concerns and interests do youth express through their creations? I look at how consumer culture and popular culture appear within these creations in order to demonstrate the permeable boundaries between the CTC space and the larger techno-culture. Ultimately, I explore themes of what drives and shapes youth creation and autonomy in both centers. I consider how youth’s pre-existing attitudes and desires around technology influence the larger community technology project to encourage low-income youth to become empowered users of technology. I find that building youth autonomy around technology is not a straight line as youth come into the CTC world with not only differing levels of technological skill but vastly differing personal experiences of technology, intersecting with variables like socioeconomic status, race and gender. Though the centers have somewhat specific goals for their youth, the actual projects reveal the complex interplay between the community technology environment and the “tech-savvy” consumer youth that enter into it. This work carries implications for those seek to encourage and alter the relationship of low-income youth, as well as youth in general, to technology.

    Challenging texts: from machinima to plain text to installation and back again
    Organizer: Stephanie Hendrick
    Participant: Stephanie Hendrick

    The definitions of literacy and text need to be expanded in schools to include vernaculars of multimedia. In a joint project between researchers from sociology, languages and digital humanities, the local municipality and schools in Umeå, Sweden, an expanded notion of text was explored in order to include the grammar of the image, sound, and media composition as co-equal to traditional literary texts and in contrast to national documents. While some national school instructions explore such a notion of text, they tend to only nominally include texts such as computer games and importantly, there is a focus on consumption and analysis rather than production and engagement.

    In the project described in this talk, middle school students using the theme, The Other, created short machinima films in a 5-week film production course. Students were given access to researchers from the university, technology and a short film-editing course. From these films, the Swedish prize-winning author, Peter Kihlgård, created a literary text, which was submitted back to the students. The combined works were presented online and in an installation at Umeå University/HUMlab during a media event in which the films and literary text were used to generate a dialogue between participants and the students about how performative and creative arenas can realize an expanded notion of text in education. The aim of this project was to help students create a deep understanding of how different modalities interact in meaning making and to challenge traditional expectations of literacy.

    Remix: Learning from Media Fans
    Organizer: Tisha Turk
    Participant: Tisha Turk

    In order to help students become more effective multimedia composers, it makes sense to study the practices of people who do this composing successfully. Vidding--the media fandom practice of editing clips from movies or television and combining them with carefully chosen music to interpret, celebrate, or critique the original source--has been around since 1975: the first vids were slideshows, and vids made on two VCRs were the norm until computer vidding took over about ten years ago. Vidding, like other forms of remixing, is a complex multimedia literacy practice that requires creators to synthesize and analyze multiple simultaneous information streams and to critique, create, and evaluate multimedia texts. It can be a staggering amount of technical and rhetorical work, yet its practitioners undertake that work voluntarily and call it fun. Why?

    In this talk, I present preliminary results of interviews with vidders about their processes of planning, composing, revising, and “reading” vids. I argue that if we understand how and why vidders and vidwatchers do what they do, we will better understand the purposes, social contexts, tools, and resources that scaffold multimedia literacy acquisition, and will therefore be able to, as James Gee says, build schooling on better principles of learning.


    Ugochi Acholonu
    Patricia G. Lange
    Johanna Pabst
    Stephanie Hendrick
    Tisha Turk
    Ugochi Acholonu
    Patricia G. Lange
    Johanna Pabst
    Stephanie Hendrick
    Tisha Turk
  • DLI: Thoughts from DML's Emerging Scholars: Findings and Insights from Early Career Researchers, Developers, and Practitioners

    This year’s DML conference is about connectedness; as conference organizers explained, this focus is about bringing to fruition the promise of digital media by “bridging learning practices and philosophies through networks of learning institutions and alliances.”  Part of this challenge is bridging gaps between academic fields and discipline and among researchers, developers, and practitioners in formal and informal settings and across virtual and non-virtual environments.  But how do we go about this work?

    In this panel we will hear from a group of early career researchers, developers, and practitioners who are trying to build “connectedness” into the work they do, both conceptually and concretely.  They are a part of an “Emerging Scholars Group” organized and supported by James Gee.

    The panel will speak on three topics: first, the benefits and challenges of doing interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder research and development; second, specific examples of their work now in progress; and third, the importance, successes, and challenges of building a distributed support network of junior and senior scholars. (Words up to this point w/out history: 159)

    Part I: Benefits and Challenges of Doing Interdisciplinary, Multi-Stakeholder Research and Development

    How does the Digital Media & Learning “movement” define who DML “belongs to,” and who belongs to DML? How can we develop a shared language and system of collaboration when the needs and interests of our respective fields vary so widely? And how can we address differences in how stakeholders 1) conceptualize and talk about learning, 2) define methodological boundaries, and 3) think about and value ways of impacting the field overall? The panel will discuss how these factors shape the field (i.e., defining DML and addressing practical issues) and how we might address some of these challenges.

    Part II: How to feed and water your scholarly network
    The Emerging Scholars group is sustained through a mix of junior and senior scholars who offer a range of support structures, from serving as panelists and sounding boards for innovative work to offering travel funds for the Scholars to work with each other. In this section, James Gee will discuss what he has learned through the development and support of the Gee-Unit, his team of researchers, practitioners, and designers working in DML.

    Part II: Examples of Emerging Scholars’ Work

    In this session, panelists will present current work that addresses some of the concerns identified earlier in this panel. This work includes:
    Framing Discourse for Digital Media and Learning, an ongoing effort to frame the research and rhetoric of DML for increased impact on the broader field of education.

    ECDemocratized: ECD (Evidence-Centered Design) is an approach to educational assessment that relies on evidentiary arguments. We will present the design of a tool based on ECD ideas, that supports the learning of assessment as a 21st century skill. The use of this tool is distributed across both teachers and students such that students are participants in the assessment development process as well as the production of work to satisfy the assessment.

    Jenna McWilliams
    Cassidy Puckett
    Jennifer Conner-Zachocki
    James Gee
    Adam Ingram-Goble
    Jenna McWilliams
    Discussant: James Gee
  • RML: Extreme Makeover DML Edition: Rethinking designs for younger and older users

    Most new consumer technologies are designed for the 18- to 49-year-old set. But when a product strikes success across this market, it inevitably reaches the hands of both younger and older users. To be sure, this spillover has positive implications for children and senior citizens alike, as new technologies offer new opportunities for learning, communication, productivity, and play, regardless of age. However, given the rapid rate at which such penetration occurs, there's little time to redesign these popular platforms or the media they deliver in ways that best support their "unintended" users' developmental stages, needs, interests, and lifestyles. Too often, we see children and seniors failing to reap the maximum benefit from new technologies as a result. 

    This panel will bring together representatives from academia, advocacy, and industry to highlight efforts taking place in these sectors to optimize popular platforms and media for younger and older users. Some are conducting careful usability research and revamping hardware, software, and/or content so these media can be more meaningfully experienced by younger/older users. Others are appropriating existing technologies for younger/older users in ways never imagined by their original inventors.

    Jeff Makowka, Senior Strategic Advisor in the Thought Leadership Group at AARP, advocates for better design of consumer electronics for users of all ages. His "Design for All" campaign aims to lower barriers to use, raise adoption rates, and generally make things easier to use.

    Allison Druin, Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, has worked with Google to investigate how its popular search engine is used by children as young as age 7, and influence adjustments to the tool's interface so that young children can be more successful searchers.

    Sirius Thinking's Cynthia Chiong will share findings from a study that compared how parents and preschoolers read e-books versus how they read print books together. Findings from this research will be used to design e-books that better support learning and conversation between parents and children.

    Through a cross-sectoral partnership, Nokia Research Center’s Rafael “Tico” Ballagas worked with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center to design Story Visit, a Skype-based storybook reading device that connects grandparents and grandchildren in real-time co-reading activity.

    Each panelist will have 12 minutes to address the following questions in the context of their redesign project:
    - What event inspired their need to undertake this redesign project?
    - What does their redesign process entail?
    - What outcomes and impacts have you witnessed or do you anticipate?

    In the remaining 40 minutes of the session, discussant Lori Takeuchi (Joan Ganz Cooney Center) will engage panelists and audience members in a conversation about the important tensions between what we think we knew about design for younger and older audiences, and the reality of digital media use in the lives of these users. We will also discuss the cultural, institutional, and other forces that make this work difficult, as well as the strategies and processes that panelists and participants have found effective in overcoming these obstacles.

    Lori Takeuchi
    Jeff Makowka
    Allison Druin
    Cynthia Chiong
    Rafael (Tico) Ballagas
    Discussant: Lori Takeuchi
  • IPE: Tapping into the Multiplicity of Composition

    New media studies make visible the multiplicity of composition as visual, embodied, sonic 
    and textual. This interest in multiple literacies offers the potential to give writers of all ages a 
    choice in how they express their ideas, and honors the varying ways in which each 
    individual learns and communicates with authentic audiences of their work. Replacing 
    traditional text-only assignments in any discipline with equally (if not much more) rigorous 
    multimodal work has the potential for increased student engagement and ownership, as well 
    as richer understandings of the nuances of digital literacies and their potentials.
    As educators, we see that social networking, new media, and a changing access to 
    technology mean that, for example, to simply summarize plot and theme is to disregard the 
    critical skills students need to consider as writers. The power is in student production; and 
    production is a necessary tool for critical analysis and discourse.
    The educators on this panel will share the ways they have innovated to support students in 
    tapping into the multiplicity of composition, developing their voice, producing compositions 
    and thinking critically about the work they are doing across grade levels, from early 
    childhood to pre-service teachers. Panelists will examine student work examples connected 
    to ongoing conversations at the National Writing Project’s Digital Is website 
    Paul Oh
    Chrisina Cantrill
    Tene Gray
    Lacy Arnold Manship
    Peter Kittle
    Tracy Lee
    Meenoo Ram
    Chad Sansing
    Antero Garcia, Discussant
    Ben Hunt, Discussant
  • DML: Case Study in Digital Media and Learning Partnerships: A Youth-Centered Design Framework in San Francisco

    In San Francisco, a new initiative brings together some of the Bay Area’s most prominent institutions to re-envision the use of digital media in informal learning environments.  As a local leader in narrowing the technology gap – particularly for the 42,000 middle and high-school youth within the city - the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) has a core responsibility in providing free public access to learning opportunities and supporting our citizens’ exploration, critical assessment, development, and ownership of the digital landscape.  With new or renovated neighborhood libraries citywide, SFPL is positioned as an anchor institution, upon which to build strong partnerships and create a larger learning network that leverages the strengths of many organizations serving youth and pioneering digital media efforts. To that end, the SFPL entered into partnership with three leading providers of creative educational programs for youth in the city: the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), the California Academy of Sciences, and KQED to accomplish two overarching goals:
    1)    Develop a unified vision for incorporating participatory, project-based learning experiences in teen spaces, including public libraries; and
    2)    Develop a framework for incorporating content-based curriculum in a shared online platform between these partners and other bay area collaborators.

    Each of the four partners brings a wide base of expertise, experience, and resources to the program, forming a strong basis for a citywide digital learning network.  In addition, the project engages the help of a broad consortium of youth service providers and a team of youth leaders across the city.  Education design consultants The Third Teacher of Cannon Design are facilitating the iterative program and space design process.  Over a 12-month period – launched in October 2011 with a three day youth design camp – the partners will conduct a series of monthly pilot programs, prototype a variety of learning models within the city, and gather data from users and the community to inform a future vision and plan. 

    While the planning process and program goals hold potentially significant impact - supporting the attainment of multiple literacies in technology, media, environment, health, reading, and civic engagement –many fundamental assumptions may be challenged and questioned:

    How can diverse stakeholders articulate a shared vision for digital media learning across multiple service organizations?

    What is the best conceptual design for a ”learning lab” that works within a public library and other less formal learning spaces?

    Can we build a solid framework for providing content and curriculum in a learning lab environment?

    How can we formalize a city-wide Learning Network of youth service providers with an established work plan that is endorsed by city and educational leaders?

    In this panel session, representatives from each partner organization will provide an overview of the following: goals of this initiative, planning strategies, partnership development models, lessons learned from prototyping and pilot efforts, and intermediate and anticipated long range project outcomes. Through discussion, presentation of project findings and results, and opportunities for audience interaction, the panel will explore the process and challenges.

    Jill Bourne
    Brian Banon
    Jen Gilomen
    Jill Bourne
    Elizabeth Babcock
    Tim Olson
    Ingrid Dahl
  • Featured Session MTR: Learning through Making: Opportunities and Challenges for a Maker Culture

    MAKE Magazine. Maker Faires. Maker Spaces. Maker Clubs. In the past few years, we 
    have seen the emergence (or resurgence?) of a Maker culture, in which people explore new 
    ways to build, create, personalize, and customize things in the world around them – and 
    share their ideas and creations with one another. Maker culture aligns with Seymour 
    Papert’s Constructionist approach to learning, supporting project-based, design-oriented, 
    personally-meaningful learning experiences. 
    This panel brings together four leaders of the Maker movement, including the founder of 
    MAKE magazine and Maker Faire (Dale Dougherty), creators of the Tinkering Studio at the 
    Exploratorium (Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich), and director of the High-Low Tech 
    research group at the MIT Media Lab (Leah Buechley). 
    Among the questions that the panelists will explore: 
    • What are the defining characteristics of Maker Culture? 
    • How does Maker Culture relate to Participatory Culture? 
    • What technologies and social structures are needed to support Maker Culture? 
    • What are the learning trajectories for a Young Maker? 
    • How can the immersion of making be balanced with analysis and reflection?
    Mitchel Resnick
    Dale Dougherty
    Mike Petrich
    Karen Wilkinson
    Leah Buechley
    Mitchel Resnick, Moderator
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM:  COFFEE HOUR & AUTHORS TABLES (CYRIL MAGNIN FOYER) Featuring: Nishant Shah, Jabari Mahiri, Howard Rheingold, and MIT Press.    
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM:  REGISTRATION OPENS    
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM:  PLENARY SESSION II:     
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM:  BREAK    
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM:  PANELS SESSION V    
  • DLI: Creating Badges with BadgePost

    This proposal represents a successor to our very successful Badge Research Sprint last year, taking us from asking the big questions to “action research.” It also draws on the success of one of the most productive sessions in the Badge Lab at Mozilla Drumbeat last winter, which asked participants to create example badges. During this workshop, participants will be introduced to the BadgePost system, and be asked to create a working badge within the system. BadgePost supports the management of the badge earning process, and in the beta version will allow users to create their own badges, with the appropriate visual depiction, criteria for awards, human or automatic endorsement triggers, and the ability to exchange awarded badges with other badge systems via the Open Badge Infrastructure..

    Participants in the workshop will leave not only with a badge that they can use in their own teaching, but more importantly with an idea of the kinds of constraints that drive good badge design. A good badge infrastructure can only take us so far, we need a catalog of well designed exemplar badges to help show the way. Not all of the badges resulting from our work during the workshop will result in exemplar badges, of course, but if we can engage in “elegant failures,” this too will serve as an instructive process.

    The workshop will consist of a short, practical introduction to the design of badges and how to use BadgePost to create them. Then participants will form small groups, and come up with a working badge design. They will create accounts on BadgePost and set up their new badges. At the end we will come together to discuss what we learned through the process: what the challenges were, how they were overcome, and how the new badges might be integrated into a learning environment.

    Alexander Halavais
    Alexander Halavais
  • DLI: Mobile Quests that Remix Public Events for Social Change?

    In this workshop, small groups will design their own "quests" to hack public urban events.  Mobile phones are at the center of our approach, and we will help participants explore how locative media can intersect with public events like festivals, parades and tours.  The workshop builds on our experience designing quests within a large Los Angeles event called CicLAvia, which regularly transforms 10+ miles of downtown L.A. into a car-free zone for 80,000 people to re-imagine their city.

    Our designs will be based around a timely question: As more cities host events like CicLAvia that open the streets, how can we collaborate with community-based organizations to plant mobile "hooks and triggers" for longer-term civic learning and social change?  (This notion of hooks and triggers is borrowed from game design as discussed by Katie Salen.)

    Our approach is aggressively democratic on several fronts.  We emphasize mobile designs that work in poorer communities and ideally avoid smartphones entirely.  The workshop will introduce several technologies, including one that allows for basic phones to create and exchange multimedia using basic text and picture messaging.  (This is based on the system designed with day laborers in Los Angeles called Mobile Voices.)  Another technology we will cover is a branching text-message tool akin to choose-your-own adventure books. 

    We also seek to democratize innovation by going beyond technology, and looking to design the social fabric.  Social change is sustained and secured with organizations.  This necessitates a kind of design which targets community-based partnerships as much as user experience.  For this workshop, the small groups will be challenged to create designs that support multiple organizations operating quests in parallel, each with its own social change objectives, including research efforts based at universities. 

    This workshop will demo and modify the ParTour system we tested in Los Angeles this fall.  On our pilot, we rapidly trained more than 70 individuals and sent them on quests as urban storytellers, mappers and photographers. 

    For the workshop, small groups will each tackle a recurring event in a major city, and develop a plan to hack it with a combination of mobile technology and community partnerships.  We will borrow rapid prototyping techniques from the world of game design, using role play and paper designs.  Yet all groups will also be asked to apply some of the mobile technologies we will teach.  After groups demonstrate their designs by city, the full group will debrief on implications of this exercise for both research and mobile practice.

    Benjamin Stokes
    Francois Bar
    George Villanueva
    Benjamin Stokes
    Francois Bar
    George Villanueva
    Otto Khera
  • MTR: Meta-remix: Reflecting on four communities built for learning, tinkering, and remixing with code

    In this panel, we bring together four people who have actively engaged in making, tinkering, and remixing the designs of learning communities in which young people make, tinker, and remix with code. Drawing on experiences creating and experimenting with Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu/), Studio Sketchpad (http://studio.sketchpad.cc),  Kodu (http://www.kodugamelab.com), AppJet, and other informal environments, we seek to identify the socio-technical factors that impact peer learning with social media.  We will talk about lessons learned and have a discussion about questions such as how to support young people's development of a maker mindset.

    We will introduce each of the four systems, drawing particular attention to the various mechanisms built-in for remixing, iteratively refining, collaborating, and sharing with others. We then use this as a starting point for identifying commonalities and differences to discuss in more detail. What do we agree are valuable components in creating a remix culture? What have we discovered to be promising, but ultimately unsuccessful? What styles of remixing have emerged and what seems to be their purpose? How generalizable are our observations?

    This panel aims at providing insights for meta-designers, practitioners and educators interested in learning how to support and inspire young people to learn to create computational artifacts within a community of peers.

    Ari Bader-Natal
    Ari Bader-Natal
    Andrés Monroy-Hernández
    J.D. Zamfirescu-Pereira
    Shelly Farnham
  • Short Talk Panel IPE: Innovations Across Communities: Technology, Participation and Education

    Title: Language Learning Games

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Anuj Twari

    Participant: Anuj Twari


    In this presentation we will talk about three projects that explore the implications of technology in education.

    Mobile and Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies (MILLEE)
    MILLEE aims at developing cellphones applications that enable children in the villages and slums in the developing world to acquire language and literacy in immersive, game-like environments. These applications target localized language learning needs and aim to make literacy resources more accessible to underprivileged children, at times and places that are more convenient than schools. Our design methodology is informed by best practices in commercial language learning packages and the traditional village games that children in the developing world play. 

    Speech and Pronunciation Improvement via Games (SPRING)
    Lack of proper English pronunciations is a major problem for immigrant population in developed countries like U.S. This poses various problems, including a barrier to entry into mainstream society. Project SPRING is an exploration of speech technologies merged with activity-based and arcade-based games to do pronunciation feedback for Hispanic children within the U.S. We have also done a 3-month long study with immigrant population in California to investigate and analyze the effectiveness of computer aided pronunciation feedback through games.

    Technologies to support early child literacy
    A large body of research has shown that the literacy gap between children is well-established before formal schooling begins, that it is enormous, and that it predicts academic performance throughout primary, middle and secondary school. Indeed rather than closing this gap, there is much evidence that formal schooling exacerbates it: once behind in reading and vocabulary, children read with lower comprehension, learn more slowly and have lower motivation than their more language-able peers. Many national organizations like National early literacy panel, National Centre for Family Literacy and NIH recognize the essential role of early literacy in a child’s later educational and life opportunities. As a part of this research, we are trying to explore natural interactions for pre-schoolers that would involve them in game-like activities that involve short follow-up conversations. We are hoping to make interventions that use speech-enabled technologies in various forms aimed towards early childhood literacy that happens through conversations, and primarily question-answer sequences.

    Title: Seeing through Student Experiences: Using Digital Media to Unveil Complexities in the 

    School-Community Divide for Muslim girls

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Negin Dahya

    Participant: Negin Dahya


    The Toronto District School Board, Toronto, Ontario (Canada), considers the declining state of schools in low-income areas as closely related to the faltering relationship between schools and the community, and to multiple forms of marginalization for students. For Muslim girls, the students at the focus of this study, marginalization occurs based on class, race, gender, religion, and more (Zine, 2000). In response to this problem, I am conducting an ethnographic study in the 2011-2012 school-year with Muslim girls who are creating digital media to represent their perceptions and experiences of themselves, their school and their community. This work draws on postcolonial feminist theory to understand the complex and diverse factors relevant to the lives of Muslim girls. I draw on feminist ethnography as my methodology to deconstruct the interrelationship between ‘systems of difference’ (Visweswaran, 1994), focused on how multimodal digital media production impacts and exposes the diverse experiences of Muslim girls in a public school.

    In this short talk, I will present the preliminary findings from this doctoral research, which looks to better understand the educational experiences of these girls, the relationship between the school and community according to them, and to explore the impact of innovative pedagogical practices using new technology with underprivileged and racialized communities. My research builds on Ito et al. (2010), Buckingham (2003) and others who assert that digital media production can engage youth in a valuable, hands-on processes of creation, through which they can also participate in their education, society and in cultural production.

    Title: The politics of participation: Transnational media programming and democratization

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Chelsey Hauge

    Participant: Chelsey Hauge


    Too often, youth hailing from rural communities in the global south have little or no consistent access to digital technologies or the educational opportunities they afford. Yet, these youth navigate transnational media and technology networks on a daily basis as they traverse borders to find work, participate in both local and global social networks, and consume and mash-up media originating from diverse parts of the world. There are numerous international public education programs designed to provide opportunity for these youth to interface with media literacy- these programs often teach video editing, radio broadcasting, blogging, and other like skills. Frequently, these programs and pedagogical interventions hope to foster democratic practices and participation through involvement with media projects. There is much excitement around the possibility of new media to revitalize education. Even so, the excitement sometimes is manifested as romantisization of youth voice and participation in liberatory media projects can inadvertently work against itself, “positing a fully egalitarian environment where none exists, thereby obscuring rather than unsettling uneven distributions of power” (Soep, 2006, p. 201).

    This talk complicates capacity in international youth media programming by attending to the ways it both fosters moments of democratic participation, and at other times makes democratic practice challenging and even impossible. I do this by analyzing the experiences and resulting narrative of a group of transnational youth gathered in a Nicaraguan community on the side of the Pan-American highway. The youth are from three countries, and, some of them having themselves to Costa Rica and the US, decide to create a video about immigration, hoping to rupture notions of the American Dream and create critical conversations with their peers about the globalized economic, social, and cultural injustices that drive immigration. At times, they interact with both local and global publics in ways that evidence democratization, whilst at other moments their participation in these publics fails. In order to understand how digital innovation could directly intervene in disparities in achievement and access for historically marginalized populations, we must situate experiences of media pedagogy and practices within broader networks of globalization and transnationalism, and understand the ways in which media discourses and pedagogies both challenge and reinforce the globalized structures and forces that cause the marginalization we are attempting to ameliorate at all.

    Soep, L. (2006). Beyond literacy and voice in youth media production. McGill Journal of Education, 41(5), 197-214.

    Title: Appropriation practices of innovative ICT in developing Veracruz, Mexico

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Gerardo D. Sanchez Romero

    Participant: Gerardo D. Sanchez Romero 


    Digital Innovation and ICT4D have become a hugely debated subject in discussions of information access. In many circles, the questions of democratic and equitable access to information and knowledge has been conceptualized as concomitant with human rights as the basis of the knowledge society. The aim of the paper is to analyze the approach of ‘Programa Vasconcelos’ of the State of Veracruz to foster the Information literacy and innovation in social participation, by examining the methodology of a “misión” (mission) in two different communities in the State. The inquiry is framed in the context of the unequal access to ICT between rural and urban landscapes in Mexico in a process of social inclusion/exclusion. By doing this the following questions will be stated: What is the current usage of these technologies amongst the beneficiaries of the program? How are they appropriating these new tools in their everyday life? And/or, what are the main barriers to appropriate ICT? And how are they shaping these practices of meaning?  It will be argued that, beyond consideration of the social impact of ICT4D in segregated localities, it is also important to consider the construction of meaning laying on the practices of ICT usage in everyday life, in order to better understand the ways in which undeveloped communities appropriate and make sense of ICT according/opposed to traditional wisdom, and other signifying systems. The paper will conclude by enacting the challenges the program is facing to truly achieve the goal of social inclusion through innovative communal participation using ICT.

  • Short Talk Panel RML: Playful interventions: libraries, college access, after school and media arts

    Title: iPod Apps, Mobile Learning, Game Dynamics: A More Playful Library Orientation

    Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Adam Rogers

    Participants: Adam Rogers, Adrienne Lai, Anne Burke

    Orientation to the college library is a standard event in a freshman’s life. Typically, this will
    take place over an hour in a library computer lab, where a librarian will give a Powerpoint
    presentation and perhaps have the students conduct searches on the library website. It is
    not uncommon for students to tune out these sessions, using the computers to check
    Facebook, or to respond to the traditional lecture format as they always have – by falling

    The NCSU Libraries’ Mobile Scavenger Hunt aims to provide a more active, engaging
    introduction to the library. It is a team-based activity that sends students around the library in
    search of answers to clues that orient them to the library’s spaces, collections, and
    technologies. The activity provides a fun, low-stakes means to promote resources and
    services critical to academic success and invites students to explore the building and
    interact with staff.

    Each team (named after a Muppet) uses an iPod Touch to submit their scavenger hunt
    answers with Evernote, a free, cloud-based multimedia note-taking app. Answers are
    submitted as text or photographs taken with the built-in iPod camera, and staff keep score in
    real time by monitoring the teams’ shared Evernote notebooks. At the end of the scavenger
    hunt, a winning team is declared, a librarian reviews the clues that were answered
    incorrectly, and students are invited to ask any lingering questions they have about the

    The main goal of this project is to demystify this often-overwhelming new environment and
    reduce library anxiety by using situated, problem-based learning. In feedback provided after
    the delivery of traditional, computer lab-based instruction sessions, students reported that
    the thing they were most concerned or confused about was how to navigate library spaces. 
    D. H. Hill Library is NC State University’s main library, where resources are spread across
    225,000 square feet, nine floors and three wings. NC State students come from diverse
    backgrounds, including many from rural communities where the local libraries are likely to be
    small and have limited access to information technology resources. 

    The scavenger hunt aims to promote the library as a space of discovery and to empower
    students by having them acquire knowledge about the library through hands-on experience.
    Working in randomly-assigned teams, students to get to know their classmates as they
    interact and work collaboratively to answer the clues. The clues prompt the teams to go find
    a book in the stacks, creatively photograph themselves in different spaces around the
    building, ask library staff for help, and navigate the library’s web-based resources.

    A secondary goal is to introduce students to some of the mobile devices that are available
    for borrowing at the library.  For students who are already familiar with these technologies,
    the activity demonstrates how these mobile devices and free applications can be used in
    educational and collaborative ways.

    To date, over 35 scavenger hunts have taken place. Feedback from the students has been
    overwhelmingly positive, with the most common comment being: “We want more time to do


    Title: Building college aspirations, building games: A case study of a middle school game 


    Type: individual-paper

    Organizers: Vanessa Monterosa, Elizabeth Swenson

    Participants: Sean Brouchard, Elizabeth Swenson, Vanessa Monterosa, Zoe Corwin


    College preparation efforts most frequently focus on high school students.  Yet middle
    schools can serve a critical gatekeeping or empowering function with regard to college
    readiness. In this presentation, researcher game designers overview an innovative game
    project that illustrates how the choices a student makes during middle school affect his/her
    opportunities in high school, college, and beyond. The game objective is to help middle
    school students develop a vocabulary and build aspirations around college at this key
    moment in their development. Throughout the game, players will engage in playful learning
    by adopting and exploring different ambitions. While trying to meet these ambitions, the
    player will encounter obstacles inspired by some of the real-world challenges that students
    face, providing opportunities for individual discovery and growth.

    Presenters will: 1) share current research on middle school college outreach efforts; 2)
    chronicle the game design process, highlighting the challenges and lessons learned from
    working with middle school junior game designers; and 3) discuss the evolution of the actual


    Title: The Junior AV Club: An Action Research Approach to Early Childhood Media Arts 


    Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Gabriel Peters-Lazaro

    Participant: Gabriel Peters-Lazaro


    What can four-year olds learn from making movies?  Do the video cameras even fit in their
    hands?  How do iPads compare to sidewalk chalk when it comes to teaching computational
    literacies?  Addressing these and other questions, this short talk will address the theme of
    ‘Re-imagining Media for Learning’ by presenting findings from an ongoing action research
    project called The Junior AV Club.  Conducted at the USC School of Cinematic Art’s Institute
    for Multimedia Literacy, the project began by introducing media production skills along with
    concepts of recombinant and transmedia storytelling to four- and five-year old preschool
    students over the course of a 16-week curriculum in 2010.  The Junior AV Club has since
    continued through several iterations, expanding the participant age range and enlarging our
    pedagogical focus to include an emphasis on computational literacies and games.  Through
    an account of our experimental pedagogical approaches, and through an examination of
    student-produced media artifacts, this talk aims to identify key insights and challenges to the
    pursuit of early childhood media arts education, addressing issues of collaborative
    curriculum design, facilitation of pre-linear creative expression, and promotion of media
    literacy skills as an integrated component of early childhood literacy education.

    Title: After School Tech Club & the Blurring of In/formal Learning Environments

    Theme: digital-media-and-learning

    Type: individual-paper

    Organizers: Jacqueline Vickery, S. Craig Watkins

    Participant: Jacquieline Vickery

    This presentation draws from ethnographic research conducted by the MacArthur Foundation’s Connected Learning Research Network. Our research works with a large, ethnically diverse, low income high school in central Texas where many of the students do not have quality access to computers and internet at home. Our overall goal is to explore the media ecologies of teens and to understand how schools can optimize in/formal learning environments for connected learning. We are spending the fall semester conducting an in-depth and multi-methodological ethnography in an after school technology club and working with about 15 teens, their families and teachers.

    What we are finding is that the after school technology club provides a liminal space between formal and informal learning which tends to be both socially and interest driven. Teens come to the club to (learn to) use video editing software, write scripts, play online games, upload and edit photos, create web pages, produce music, and hang out (online and off). The club provides access to technology and a space for students to apply formal skills learned in the classroom with informal messing around on their own interest-driven projects. However, the school district is subject to strict regulations which block all video sites including YouTube and Vimeo and all social networking sites. Thus, students’ participation and access is regulated and limited which is particularly significant for students without quality access at home.

    This talk explores the value and blurring of the in/formal after school club; the environment blurs both formal and informal approaches to learning as well as the very architecture of the space which functions informally although exists within the formal institute of the school. Also, we address the larger implications of school policies which inhibit and limit students’ participation.  Our talk presents an overview of our findings from a semester of in-depth ethnography and solicits feedback as to how schools can optimize in/formal learning spaces and re-think restrictive policies.

  • IPE: Does digital and media literacy support civic engagement?

    Theorists and advocates of media literacy have long claimed that it supports civic and
    political participation. For young people, experiences with media and technology may
    contribute to building the motivations, knowledge and skills associated with civic and political

    For instance, instructional practices of media literacy often include information search and
    evaluation strategies, reading/viewing/listening and discussion, close analysis, cross-media
    comparison, gaming/simulation/role-playing, and multimedia composition. Participation in
    the public sphere may be cultivated as young people gain direct experience with the
    practices of online publishing, discourse, debate, and collective action. Digital and media
    literacy enables young people to ask good questions, seek out information on relevant
    issues, evaluate the quality of information available on a political or social issue, and engage
    in dialogue with others.

    The increasing availability and decreasing costs of high-quality digital production and
    information and communication technologies opens up an array of opportunities to provide
    participatory and collaborative learning experiences inside the school. Also, new
    technologies and digital media have potential to blend classroom learning with independent,
    interactive learner-centered experiences outside the formal education context. Nonetheless,
    to realize the civic potential of digital media, media educators should move beyond a naive
    belief in the power of educational technology.

    In particular, research is beginning to show that program effectiveness depends on the
    complex relationships between young people’s social and educational background and
    preexisting differences in their attitudes towards information-seeking, offline and online
    media use patterns, media literacy competencies, and institutionalized and non-
    institutionalized civic and political participation levels.

    This panel is organized into two phases. First, we present results of four research studies
    that examine the relations between digital and media literacy programs, information-seeking
    motivations, news analysis competencies, out-of-school media and technology habits, and
    civic and political engagement. In the first study, we examine the relationship between
    participation in a digital media literacy program and measures of civic engagement at a large
    urban school in Maryland. In the second study, we share evidence from an cross-national
    survey of teachers that reveals how different types of teacher motivations for digital and
    media literacy (empowerment, protection, and create-use-share) may affect classroom
    practices that impact youth civic engagement. In the third study, we report results of a
    survey on youth participatory politics that offers evidence about the frequency of some
    media literacy activities from diverse school districts in California as well as findings on their
    impact on youth practices. In the fourth study, we examine the use of participatory social
    media for exploring news literacy in the context of remix practice.

    In the second half of the panel, we offer a wider discussion on the opportunities and
    challenges that researchers face when exploring the potential impact of digital media on the
    practices of civic engagement. What unanswered questions are most pressing? What are
    the biggest challenges associated with this work and how are we addressing them? What
    are the implications of our research for practitioners and advocates?

    Renee Hobbs
    Hans Martens
    Joseph Kahne
    Paul Mihailidis
    Silke Grafe
    Bradley Bergey
    Renee Hobbs
  • DML: Universal Designs for DML: Innovations for Students with Disabilities

    Special education and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) have been nearly absent from
    DML discussions.  Students with disabilities, as well as their teachers and parents, are often
    marginalized from these crucial conversations, widening the digital “participation gap.”  This
    innovative panel will begin to fill this gap by exploring practices, products, and
    methodologies based in UDL.  In doing so, we hope to champion a plurality of paths to
    inclusive cultural and civic participation.  We will present research from a variety of
    disciplines (computer science, communication, special education), a range of stakeholders
    (industry developers, speech and language pathology school practitioners, academic
    researchers), and multiple international perspectives.

    Alexandra Dunn:
    This presentation focuses on “smart inclusion” - a UDL toolkit for students and educators
    including emerging technology (e.g., interactive whiteboards, iPads, Nintendo DSi), in
    conjunction with what is generally thought of as “special needs” software/hardware.  Acting
    as a catalyst for inclusive classroom practices, this approach is “necessary for some, good
    for all.”  Combining technology with good instruction enhances educational and social
    participation for ALL students including those with disabilities.  This initiative is data-driven
    with outcomes in both teacher training and student social and academic participation. 

    Meryl Alper:

    This presentation bridges the underexplored relationships between blindness and visual impairment and the New Media Literacies in order to better account for how expanding notions of literacy are enmeshed with the affordances of specific technologies.  The presenter will draw parallels in the “hacking” of technology to better suit young children with disabilities, as well as the issue of declining literacies in the form a much debated US “Braille literacy crisis.”

    Juan Pablo Hourcade:
    In spite of great improvements in early diagnosis and interventions, most children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are unlikely to live independently when they reach adulthood. We have been conducting research on novel computer-based interventions with the goal of promoting social skills. Working with more than 40 children with ASD, their teachers, and other stakeholders, we have iteratively developed a set of activities based on applications that run on multitouch tablets. Our observations suggest these activities increased pro-social behaviors such as collaboration and coordination, augmented appreciation for social activities, and provided children with novel forms of expression.

    Sooin Lee:
    Touch-based technology opens the door to independent play for toddlers and young children with special needs. What role do game designers play in developing high-quality learning experiences that can be used by parents and therapists to address the cognitive, fine-motor, and speech delays of children with special needs? The presenter will share her best practices for designing award winning learning games that are fun to play and accessible to children with autism and developmental delays.

    James D. Basham and Maya Israel:
    Panelists will discuss research and design of a mobile learning system for iOS devices dubbed the Interactive Field Investigation Guide (iFIG).  Based on the instructional design framework of UDL and gaming technology, the iFIG integrates learner analytics and instructional protocols to provide all learners with an individualized, accessible, and engaging learning experience.

    Meryl Alper
    Meryl Alper
    Alexandra Dunn
    Juan Pablo Hourcade
    Sooin Lee
    James D. Basham
    Maya Israel
  • DML: Working Examples: New and Improved

    Whether we make policy, design things, study an emerging issue, or implement programs,
    we all know there is great instructive power in good examples. In today’s complex world,
    where major problems require pooling knowledge from a variety of perspectives and fields, it
    is crucial to compare and contrast examples of different solutions using different tools and
    approaches.  We need safe spaces to test and explore new ideas and help them succeed,
    fail, and improve.  We need new ways to network people across traditional boundaries of all
    sorts in the service of knowledge building and problem solving, and we need to leverage the
    power of markets, crowds, and collaborations to make new discoveries and break out of
    traditional molds.

    The Working Examples site responds to these needs by providing a form of social media for
    ideas, not just for people, that enables ideas to go viral and rapidly push the field’s
    development while connecting its members through their work.  Working Examples functions
    as a “market place” for ideas where they can jostle, combine, and compete for prominence,
    which is determined by the community. In this way, it is also a site for discovery and a forum
    where crowd sourcing and experts come together in a way that is fundamentally different
    and, we contend, more productive than existing mechanisms for sharing knowledge and
    ideas such as refereed journals, conferences, and traditional publications.
    The innovation at the heart of Working Examples is that it is designed to invite people to
    break through the micro-communities within the field of Digital Media and Learning.  The
    open-access, collaborative model of idea-sharing fosters interdisciplinary collaboration that
    is critical to large-scale innovation and development: without it, an individual researcher,
    producer, or developer can innovate, but innovation does not achieve critical mass. The
    model also fosters growing and diversifying membership in the field of Digital Media and
    Learning. We believe that Working Examples can be an important platform to help advance
    all areas of learning. There is much good research—even just good ideas—that are never
    fully developed or implemented.  The Working Examples site provides a way for ideas to be
    heard and evaluated, and it provides a platform to describe not only the development of
    those ideas, but also how people are implementing them.
    This workshop will illustrate the newly redesigned system for creating working examples. It
    will also provide a hands-on overview of how the system works and how it can be used to
    help document your projects in their development process and unpack the design decisions
    a team makes as they try to develop a digital media and learning project. The goal of the
    workshop will be to give attendees the information they need in order to use the system and
    create working examples around their projects and provide input into features to help
    continue improving the site.

    Jolene Zywica
    Eric Keylor
    Jolene Zywica
    Eric Keylor
    Drew Davidson
    James Gee
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM:  LUNCH BREAK     
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM:  PANELS SESSION VI    
  • RML: Using Mobile Devices for Community and Team-Building in the Classroom

    This interactive, experiential BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) workshop has its foundation in two guiding principles: (1) Building a sense of community in the classroom helps address the whole learner including achievement and academic success, and (2) Mobile devices are extensions of young people. As such, they should be leveraged in the classroom.

    Young people are connecting with one another through technology in unprecedented ways. Computers, wi-fi networks, and smart phones allow young people 24/7 access to technology and to one another. Using smart devices in educational settings as learning and community building tools can promote interpersonal communication and encourage young people to positively express their individuality and build their student-to-student, student-to-educator relationships. The activities that will be presented and experienced during this workshop use the technology that young people use - cell phones, social networking sites, laptops, blogs, and digital cameras. These activities focus upon and build diversity and cultural sensitivity, teamwork and problem solving, self-reflection and self-exploration, and communication and self-expression (adapted from Wolfe & Sparkman, 2009).

    Through participation in this workshop, you can expect to:
    • Understand the importance of building community in the class.
    • Explore the research about the use of mobile devices by young people.
    • Learn through experience at least six community-building activities that you can use with your students.
    • Develop ideas and strategies for integrating mobile-driven team building activities into your classroom environment.
    This workshop is divided into three parts:

    1) Exploring research on the importance of building a classroom community and how young people are using their mobile devices.

    2) Learning, playing, and experiencing team-building games using mobile devices - see http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/team-and-communit... for a list and descriptions of these activities.

    3) Large group brainstorming through Wallwisher and discussion - how these ideas and activities can be integrated into one's own work environment.

    Supporting Research:    
    Cisco. (2011). Air, Food, Water, Internet – Cisco Study Reveals Just How Important Internet and Networks Have Become as Fundamental Resources in Daily Life. Retrieved from http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleI...

    Lenhart, A., Ling, R., Campbell, S., Purcell, K. (2010, April). Teens and Mobile Phones. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Teens-and-Mobile-Phones.aspx.

    Schaps, E. (2003) Creating Caring Schools. Educational Leadership, 60(6) p. 31-33.

    Smith, A. (2011, August). Americans and Text Messaging. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phone-Texting-2011/Summary-of-F....

    Shuler, C. (2009). Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning New York: Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Retrieved from http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/Reports-23.html.

    Teaching Today. (n.d.). Cell Phones in the Classroom. Retrieved from http://teachingtoday.glencoe.com/howtoarticles/cell-phones-in-the-classroom.

    Wallace. J. (2011). Student-Community Collaboration to Construct Mobile Learning Games Educause 24(3). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolu....

    Watters, E. (2011). Texting in the Classroom: Not Just a Distraction. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/texting-classroom-audrey-watters.

    Wolfe, B. D, and Sparkman, C. P. (2009). Team-Building Activities for the Digital Age: Using Technology to Develop Effective Groups. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

    Jackie Gerstein
    Jackie Gerstein
  • MRT: Design Tinkering

    Current brain research on how students deeply learn information, economic research on how our college graduates fit into the world job market, and the growing need for designers/inventors who work toward a sustainable healthy system, make it clear that there is a great need to investigate our current teaching practices and learning environments.  Making change in traditional systems of thought can be an uncomfortable experience as the general methodology shifts. Marin Country Day School, a K – 8 institution, currently paves the way for teachers to let go of the reigns on a students’ education, to allow students to find, connect and develop real world challenges with real world solutions.

    It began with the creation of the Makers’ Lab, which exists at the school as a model, providing both the tools and tenets to tinker, play and investigate phenomena in the world around them. Over time, the Makers’ Lab has begun to grow roots in the school culture and extend into the classrooms, using Design Thinking to harness a passion for learning and further frame problem finding.  Students are empowered to fail often with the idea that through rapid failure comes rapid learning.  When a student learns to take risks, fail, receive feedback with open arms, iterate on that feedback and persevere, their failure and success blur into one.

    Marin Country Day School currently funds a cohort of teachers to actively explore Innovation and Creativity through the lens of Design Thinking. This cohort is coming up with concrete ways to infuse the successes of the Makers’ Lab into the classrooms, so that all students will have the opportunity to think like designers and create like natural inventors.  As students play, tinker and remix materials, teachers guide and facilitate the students' ownership of their learning.  With increased exposure to Design Thinking, and an active role in directing their problem finding, students become fully engaged in owning their learning experience.

    This workshop is a chance for our cohort to share the failures and successes of working to make this shift in teaching practices an institutional reality, share strategies from the classroom, and practice the hands-on play that is the heart of this work. The participant will get a chance to explore materials and cooperatively tackle a challenge while being encouraged to access creative thinking.  These activities will help ground the participant’s understanding of this process in experiential understanding.

    Matt Pearson
    Melita Morales, Christopher Warner, Matt Pearson, Mare Manangan
  • DLI: The Politics and Paradoxes of Inclusion

    Many online settings and democratic institutions, such as public schools, aspire to an ideal of inclusiveness. Such an aspiration is especially important at the current historical moment. Not only are people and cultures with different histories coming together in unprecedented ways, but persons are increasingly asked to juggle a multiplicity of commitments to families, friend groups, neighborhood communities, subcultures, affinity groups, fandoms, taste-publics, schools, workplaces, and so forth. In theory, settings that hold up an inclusive ideal welcome the diversity of perspectives and commitments that increasingly define contemporary life. In practice, even “inclusive” forms of collective life are laden with power relationships, and some perspectives and social practices win out over others.

    This panel addresses some of the challenges, complexities, and ironies involved in efforts to design and promote inclusive publics, communities, and learning environments. In particular, we look at how young people and adults negotiate autonomy, codependence, and normative social practices in these settings. We plan to address these issues by drawing on four qualitative case studies from different regions of the U.S. Mary will discuss how LGBT identifying students in Massachusetts used online tools to connect with each other and yet ultimately had to negotiate with local adult sponsors in order to change policies at their schools. Jeff will address how teenagers in a distressed region of Harlem integrated digital technologies into performances of longstanding street rituals, changing the very nature of street life and posing new questions around the reproduction of inequalities. Antero will show how students in South Central Los Angeles excluded school adults from their day-to-day mobile practices in ways that ultimately reinforced traditional power relations in school. Christo will discuss how parents and educators at a New York City public middle school attempted to define normative masculinity in ways that were simultaneously progressive and yet exclusive of boys from poor and working class families. danah will act a as discussant, drawing on her own ethnographic work with a diverse collection of children and youth from around the U.S. Through these illustrative cases, the panelists hope to engender a broader conversation about the politics, complexities, and potential paradoxes of efforts to promote social inclusion and cohesion.

    Christo Sims
    danah boyd
    Mary Gray
    Jeffrey Lane
    Antero Garcia
    Christo Sims
    Discussant: danah boyd
  • RML: Learning In and Around Games: Minecraft as Affinity Space

    Few digital media artifacts become cultural phenomena, but sometimes they become so popular with international audiences that they become cornerstones of digital experiences. Minecraft, an independently-developed PC game, gained such fame over the past year, attracting millions of players and gaining a world-renowned reputation for excellent gameplay, intriguing game environments, and extensively participatory game experiences. Minecraft has also become a site for immersive and interactive learning, as teachers begin to adopt it for in-class activities, clubs pop up at schools around the world, and both kids and adults (even parents!) come together in diverse online forums, video sharing sites, and communities.

    So what potential does Minecraft have as a learning opportunity? This panel will explore how Minecraft epitomizes James Gee's concept of the affinity space: a place where diverse forms of informal learning take place in the game and around it, where individuals -- especially kids -- have the chance to develop various digital competencies and learn from peers.

    This panel will look at how the popularity of Minecraft makes it a strategic object to be adopted as a learning tool, both in and out of the classroom. First, we'll examine why Minecraft has come to be so popular, especially exploring practices around the game and the theoretical implications of Minecraft's unique cultural moment (especially the role that social media plays in establishing learning networks), with dozens of online communities, thousands of conversations, and even millions of videos on YouTube. We'll look at skills that kids can learn as they participate in these communities, from information sharing and socializing to video editing and game modding. Then the panel will discuss implementations of Minecraft as a learning tool in educational settings with three practitioners and the lessons they have learned over the past few months teaching kids and fostering networks for education. Finally, we'll actually demo Minecraft live for the audience and talk about opportunities to help teachers adopt the game for their own educational settings.

    Alex Leavitt
    Alex Leavitt
    Joel Levin
    Rob Newberry
    Browyn Stucky
  • Short Talk Panel RML: Concepts: Math & Science Games

    Title: Playful Family Mathematics Learning Design

    Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Osvaldo Jimenez

    Participants: Osvaldo Jimenez, Shelley Goldman, Ben Hedrick, Roy Pea, Kristen Pilner Blair, Daniel Steinback


    Often web-based communities of practice and playful learning are designed for users with similar age demographics. But with mobile technologies becoming pervasive, we believe the family unit has tremendous promise as a design focus for playful learning communities.  The family is an exciting unit for playful learning community because it is intergenerational, sometimes co-located yet also distributed, and already has strong social bonds connecting its members.  In the Family Math Project we have pursued a process of “Reciprocal Research Design & Development” (WMUTE, 2010), where we not only use basic research to feed our design process, but employ research results from observations of our pilot products in use to guide a new cycle of iterative design, as well as fueling new directions for basic research.  We will present design rationale, a demo, and review outcomes of our work with GoRoadTrip — which aims to mathematize the experience of taking a car road trip, by having mobile phone-based math games and activities that families can do together during such trips.  We will present a synthesis of what we’ve learned about how families encounter math in their daily lives, share our design research process, and explain how our mobile math designs embody innovative learning practices within the family and support how they learn socially. We will show how families coming together to learn with and from each other based on a mobile web product is novel as well as informative for providing insights on playful STEM learning at a variety of levels.

    Title: Foldit Practice: Science or Gaming?

    Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Theresa Horstman, Mark Chen

    Participants: Theresa Horstman, Mark Chen


    Each time Foldit (http://fold.it) makes the news, a question that is often asked by science educators is whether players are learning any of the science behind the game. Do players learn the biochemistry of protein structures and the principles behind efficient folds? Another question to ask, however, is whether players are engaging in scientific practice even while being disengaged from the scientific principles, bringing into question what it means to be doing science.

    In analysis of the in-game and out-of-game discourse of Foldit players, we believe that the practice of playing occupies a hybrid space between scientific practice and gaming practice and that these two strands cannot be disentangled. Practice, whether classified as science or gaming, exists in contexts such that the the work involved can be described as a mangle of constraints and participant workarounds. The classification is imposed by us onto the activity to help us make sense of the world, but it would be the same regardless of label.

    Still, the short answer to the science educators’ question is, yes, some Foldit players are learning the science behind the game. The long answer--what we’ll cover in this presentation--is that many players learn, talk, and do science as part and parcel to learning, talking, and playing. The puzzle game is understood through science, just as the science is understood through playing. Foldit playing experience is not monolithic, however. Not all players engage the same way, and we will also cover a range of player experiences.


    Title: Motion, Meaning, and Math

    Type: individual-paper

    Organizers: Greg Niemeyer, Jan Hua

    Participants: Eric Kaltman, Jan Hua

    Discussant: Greg Niemeyer


     In the effort to innovate alternative technologies to facilitate mathematical reasoning in children (avg. age 11.85 yrs), we investigated the impact of a video game involving inverse spatial relations on the players’ abilities to reason about constant ratios. Participants were divided into a control group (n=8) and an experimental group (n=11). Both groups took part in a pre-trial Balance Scale Test to determine their ability to reason about constant ratios. The experimental group then played the Rulemaker game in three sessions, spaced one week apart. The game asked players in the experimental group to develop increasingly quantitative strategies for solving inverse proportionality problems. The control group played "Tangrams" during each of the three game-playing sessions. After the third play session, we conducted a Balance Scale Test. We found that 9 out of 9 experimental participants (who were not already using formal operations) showed qualitative shifts in reasoning about inverse proportions between weights and distances. None of the 8 control participants displayed such a shifts in reasoning about inverse proportions. We conclude that these shifts in reasoning are correlated to the manipulation of game assets. Players were able to transfer these shifts in reasoning from one experiential framework (area) to another (weight). We speculate that subjects developed reasoning about constant ratios effectively because the game initially provides tangible, embodied activities that lead to more abstract activities involving proportions. Future work will involve functional neuro-imaging to track such sequences and document longitudinal changes in proportional reasoning at the neural level.

    Title: Beetles, Beasties, and Bunnies: Ubiquitous Games for Biology?

    Types: individual-paper

    Ogranizer: Louisa Rosenback

    Participants: Judy Perry, Louisa Rosenback


    Over the past two years, MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program has been conducting a research study around the UbiqBio project, a suite of mobile biology games that promote deep learning and strong engagement for 9th and 10th grade biology students, funded through an NIH grant. As part of the Ubiquitous Games genre, these casual games are designed for the mobile screen but playable in any web browser. Each game’s content is tied to curriculum and standards, but is designed to be played primarily outside of the classroom. Games are generally played in short, frequent bursts of time making anytime, anywhere learning accessible to students via mobile devices. Through their gameplay, students gain authentic experience with the topic and teachers reference that gameplay to tie students’ experiences back to classroom teaching.

    One of the main goals of this project is to utilize media that youth already use – mobile phones and casual games – and design the experiences in such a way that students can fit learning into their lives in a way that feels natural and fun. To research this, during our study students borrowed smartphones to access and play each game as teachers taught the corresponding unit in the curriculum. Using various methods, we collected data pertaining to appeal and engagement, students’ play patterns, content knowledge gains, and students’ attitudes toward biology. Analysis of this data has given us insight into the effectiveness of these games in particular, as well as the feasibility of UbiqGames as a genre.

  • Short Talk Panel IPE: Redefining Learning Communities and Practices Through Technology and Media

    Title: Moving Beyond the Classroom Walls: Creating Models for 21st Century Learning

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Tiffany McGettigan

    Participant: Brian Burnett, Tiffany McGettigan


    How can schools take learning outside the classroom and into the community and wider world? What strategies enable educators to successfully utilize 21st century skills and literacies, despite the challenges faced within public schools? How can these educators create adaptable learning models?

    A 1st grade class leaves school grounds to explore environmental issues surrounding their water supply and local stream, then posts their findings online to raise community awareness. High school culinary arts students investigate their city’s homelessness problem, then develop a food and nutrition education program for the homeless community. These are just some examples of 21st century learning projects supported through the Model Classroom Program.

    Since 2010, the Pearson Foundation's New Learning Institute has sponsored the Model Classroom Program: a program that works directly with CCSSO State Teacher of the Year alumni to implement projects with youth. Participating teachers are challenged to design projects and practices that are challenge-based, collaborative, and utilize real world learning. Most importantly, these teachers are advocates of 21st century approaches to leaning, and by developing successful strategies they help other educators adapt their work to their own schools and communities.

    This short talk will feature an interactive presentation of exemplary projects, followed by a discussion about the impact this program has on teachers, students and communities. Strategies used in developing these programs and for confronting the technological and philosophical challenges existing within schools will be highlighted and addressed.

    Title: KQED Do Now: Engaging Students with Current Events and Twitter

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Matthew Williams

    Participant: Matthew Williams


    This lecture will discuss the affordances and challenges of using social media and mobile devices for adding value to content area learning objectives and advancing civic engagement and digital citizenship. In the past year, the power and relevance of mobile devices and social media has erupted globally. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become dominant forms of communication and idea sharing, contributing to the organization, messaging, and mobility of social movements in the United States and abroad. Yet, there is a disconnect between the role social media plays with our youth and the role it could have in our learning institutions. Students use Twitter and Facebook to chat with friends, provide personal updates, and maybe link to a funny video on YouTube.

    This lack of connection to learning has contributed to a growing number of school districts that have banned the use of mobile devices and social media platforms in schools. Facebook is blocked in the San Francisco Unified School District. Many schools have implemented a no cell phone use policy in the classroom. But strong tools and resources do exist to make the strong connection between these new technologies and learning. Specifically, KQED public media in the Bay Area has developed Do Now, a project in which middle and high school students participate, through the use of social media tools, in weekly topical discussions pertaining to the arts, science, civics, and government policy. KQED Education aims to introduce 21st Century skills and add value to learning through the integration of relevant local content and new media tools and technologies. Social media, in particular, provides a prime for students to actively engage in discussions and share ideas. Careful implementation of academic ways to embrace these technologies is vital. KQED recognizes the power of these devices to support learning in a networked culture as well as to promote knowledge in a core content area and encourage civic engagement and digital citizenship. 

    Do Now ties technology and new media tools to timely stories related to core content areas. Students are introduced to local and global issues, from the plastic pollutants in the San Francisco Bay to the implications of the California Dream Act. The platform then allows them to join a conversation that expands beyond classroom walls. Do Now is flexible and can be easily integrated into a classroom context and catered to the needs of individual educators. The intention is for educators to jump off from this introductory question into a more expansive lesson, perhaps incorporating the voices from other students from other schools or launch an inquiry-based investigation into topical areas.

    This session will focus on the success and challenges of Do Now in the Bay Area, particularly regarding its ability to advance learning and shift school policy on mobile devices and social media. We will also look at several case studies from middle and high schools from San Francisco Unified School District.

    Title: The Digital Divide in Classroom Technology Use: A Comparison of Three Schools

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Matthew Rafalow

    Participants: Meg Cramer, Matthew Rafalow


    Do all schools use the same educational technologies similarly?  While concerns about the “digital divide,” or access to technology, are still relevant for many schools, analysts are increasingly concerned about how often-expensive technologies for instructive use are employed across school contexts. Researchers have termed the “participation gap” to describe differences in opportunities young people have that shape how they learn to multitask, network, and create appropriate content with technology and online media.  This shift in attention from simple matters of access to more nuanced differences in digital participation reflects a growing unease about how inequalities may persist even when technology is more widely available.  Three schools that vary by student socioeconomic status and race-ethnicity and employ SMARTboard technology in classrooms were selected for study in Southern California. Ethnographic- and interview-based data show that school culture significantly shapes the use of the same technology across schools.  Teachers draw on cultural codes transmitted to them by principals, other teachers, parents, and mass media in ways that affect the authority structure in the classroom, which in turn constrains or enables the capacity for the teacher to take advantage of the innovative educational capacity of new technology.  In predominately white, middle- and upper-class schools, the use of SMARTboards encouraged participatory learning, while in the low-income, predominantly Latino school, SMARTboards were used like traditional blackboards and students were rarely permitted to engage with the technology.  Innovations for public education must consider how culture can shape the use of technologies, particularly when serving marginalized student populations.

    Title: What makes a college social network site sustainable? A successful case study

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Donghee Yvette Wohn

    Participant: Donghee Yvette Wohn


    Due to high college drop-out rates, institutions are trying to build internal social network sites (SNSs) or online communities as a way of helping student adjustment and persistence. Such efforts are taking place not only among brick-and-mortar schools, but also virtual schools. There has been very little evidence, however, of the success of these systems. One of the biggest problems with these sites is the difficulty in attracting enough users, and then sustaining those users. This is somewhat ironic, since the goal of having the online community is to keep students in college.

    In this talk, I will present a case study of Ewhaian.com, a student-driven 10-year old SNS for one of the top universities in South Korea. Ewhaian was launched at the same as a very similar SNS created by the university, but the latter failed within a few years. By highlighting the major differences between the two sites, I will describe the factors that were unique to the successful SNS. These factors were extremely consistent with the three main facets of self-determination theory—competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

    This case study will be useful to both designers and administrators, as there are few, if any, instances of college-specific SNSs in the U.S. that have maintained a high proportion of student engagement for such a long time. Implications for sustainability in terms of site governance and user engagement will be offered.

    Title: A Critical Analysis of the Role of Digital Media and Multimodality in Deaf Education

    Session Type: individual-paper

    Organizer: Mark Gobble

    Participant: Mark Gobble

    The potential role of digital media in the deaf education setting is examined and supported, drawing on research from deaf education, technology, cognition, and multimodal practices. As deaf education continues to confront challenges in instruction and learning, the role of digital media becomes a critical area of analysis and study.

    Deaf students lag behind their hearing peers as much as or more than six grade levels behind the norm in reading with 50% of 18-year-olds in the United States reading at the fourth-grade level or lower (Traxler, 2000). Deaf education shows a well-documented lack of progress especially in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.

    Deaf students, by nature, are bimodal-bilingual learners and users.  Deaf students use two distinct modalities, and this is a very unique phenomena. If deaf students already often utilize a visual-spatial language in sign language, it wouldn’t be a big leap to consider the potential benefits of incorporating more visual-spatial modes of literacy in the classroom that may benefit the deaf student through digital media which can readily play visual-spatial modes of literacy such as animations and videos.

    Access to digital media also allows for greater interaction between deaf and hearing students who may not otherwise be able to communicate effortlessly, smoothly, or even at all. Lang and Steely (2003) showed that deaf students experienced difficulties in interacting with hearing peers and instruction and in equitable classroom activities.  A mobile device can be preloaded with an augmentative and alternative communication app that helps deaf students construct sentences with a natural-sounding voice. While deaf students may struggle with interacting with hearing peers and instruction, McKee and Scherer (1992) reported that deaf students experienced high satisfaction with sharing of ideas with hearing peers when there is a use of media.

    There are some promising results, thereby the strong push for using digital media in deaf education. Barman and Stockton (2002) reported that deaf students marked an improvement in using independent academic skills as well as their technology literacy and motivation when they accessed instructional units on the Internet.  Low-reading-ability deaf students were also shown to perform equally as well as high-reading-ability deaf students through computerized instruction (Dowaliby & Lang, 1999).  Additionally, an interactive multimedia and web based curriculum “yielded significantly greater knowledge gains for deaf students as compared to traditional classroom experience” (Lang & Steely, 2003)

    Introducing digital media into deaf education will be a multi-faceted opportunity involving not only the reinvention of learning but also the transformation of deaf students’ identities as literate beings.  Digital media will allow for the development of a multimodal representation system so much more effectively than the traditional means of classroom instruction design, utilizing a variety of modalities and literacies so readily available through digital media that are not available on the traditional print material or spoken language typically used in today’s schools. This may assist in creating a research paradigm shift moving away from the paradigm of disability and deficiency to one where deaf learners posit themselves as literate beings.


  • DML: Rating Quality and Learning Potential of Consumer Digital Media

    Digital media scholars, learning scientists and educators have begun converging on learning design principles and measures of quality for digital media used in traditional educational settings. Meanwhile, researchers and educators have identified a group of “deeper learning” and “21st century skills” that are crucial to kids’ participation and success in today’s global, digital world. These are skills that cut across home and school, across formal and informal learning environments. However, less attention has been paid to making these assessments and criteria available to families and parents who contend with daily decisions about their children’s media use. Consumers are hungry for information and guidance on the learning potential of the media their kids want and use (Common Sense Media, 2011). Informed consumers will not only make informed decisions, but also potentially stimulate smart demand for higher quality digital media learning products for kids and teens.

    This panel brings together stakeholders in developing assessments or ratings of quality and learning potential of kids’ digital media for parents, educators and consumers. Panelists will provide an overview of consumer-oriented services that curate educationally-oriented digital media (e.g., mobile app curators), share their research and development processes, provide ideas and insights on the challenge of evaluating products in a rigorous yet consumer-friendly manner, raise questions about balancing parental concerns with optimism about the potential of media, and provoke discussion about the importance of translating cutting-edge academic thinking on pedagogy and learning technologies for wider adoption by all those who inhabit the learning ecology in kids’ lives.

    Kelly Mendoza
    Seeta Pai
    Seeta Pai
    Rita Catalano
    Sherry Hsi
    Alan Gershenfeld
    Katie Salen
  • RML: Lifecycle of a PBS KIDS App: From Research to Reality

    Research promisingly shows that educational media, coupled with technologies children already embrace, is an effective way to engage struggling students and augment learning outside of the classroom. For an audience of forward-thinking educators and innovators, we propose a panel that will explore how PBS KIDS is using new technology as an opportunity for learning. Specifically, this panel will delve into the strengths of the mobile platform as an important learning tool and share the development process of PBS KIDS’ mobile apps for children.
    Bringing together a panel of researchers and developers, we will discuss the evolution of an educational mobile app and show how the integration of new technologies can result in educational games as compelling as the best commercial games. We will dissect some of the stickiest commercial game models and show how many design elements can be effectively applied to educational games to engage children most in need.
    We will focus on newly released mobile apps for the iPad and iPhone and introduce participants to Jeremy Roberts, from PBS KIDS, who will explain how PBS KIDS identified mobile platforms as an opportunity for an educational tool.  The developers from Smashing Ideas will share their vision and the progression from game concept to a dynamic, interactive, learner-centered gaming experience with an emphasis on how the educational goals were addressed. Researcher Alison Bryant, from research firm PlayScience, will discuss the role of research in the development of educational games and will share the findings of usability testing on mobile apps for children.

    Participants in this panel can expect to learn:
    •    Why mobile platforms are ideal for creating anywhere/anytime learning and augmenting the skills learned in the classroom
    •    How game developers are incorporating the stickiest factors of commercial games into educational games
    •    How significantly mobile apps have contributed to learning gains among users

    Jeremy Roberts
    Jeremy Roberts
    Allyson Bryant
    Evan Clarrissimeaux
    Matt Murphy
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM:  IGNITE TALKS