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data-privacy

The Boundaries of Data Collection

January 28, 2016

I want to take a moment to examine how data collection has changed for us who teach and assess students. In the digitally augmented classroom, there should be concern for both corporate privacy and interpersonal privacy. While we have limited control over the corporate tracking and data-collection that takes place, it is possible to allow varying levels of interpersonal privacy in the digital classroom. To make participation highly visible, down to seeing who contributed what line in a paper or slide in a slideshow, brings in echos of the dreaded panopticon. Often, when I speak to

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Turning Digital Learning Into Intellectual Property

January 25, 2016

The world’s largest publisher of educational textbooks and resources, Pearson, recently extended its work into digital media and learning. As well as producing innovative new digital learning resources and platforms, Pearson is also positioning itself as a major center for the analysis of educational big data. This has implications for how learning is going to be conceptualized in the near future, and begs big questions about how the private ownership of educational data might impact emerging understandings and explanatory theories of the learning process itself. The Big Data Gatekeeper Originally established in 1844, by 2014 Pearson

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Listening to the Field: Lessons on Multimedia and Technology in English Classrooms

January 21, 2016

While I know my DML Central blogging colleagues and I try to stay abreast of the educational, social, and economic implications of digital media on the lives of young people today, sometimes actually asking teachers what they use, learn with, and feel inspired by illuminates most brightly the role of technology in schools. As such, I was pleased when on Sunday, I was able to co-host a Twitter chat with many of my dearest friends from across the country: members of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). As a bit of background, I recently helped

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#SlaveryWithASmile: How Twitter Can Raise Social Consciousness

January 18, 2016

I love Twitter. I love Twitter because it makes silly questions about dog pants go so viral that the President feels the need to weigh in with his opinion. I love Twitter because it allows me to follow the thoughts of all of the actors in my current theatrical obsession: the “Hamilton” musical. But most of all, I love Twitter because of its ability to bring stories to light from around the country (and around the world) that spark social and political dialogue. While some consider tweeting about social causes to be a form of “slacktivism” because

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What Failure? Supporting a Succeeding UC Online Course

January 14, 2016

I’m certainly no starry-eyed uncritical worshipper of online learning. In fact, I have something of a reputation as a very frank critic, which was solidified with my book The War on Learning. This status as a skeptic is likely to be further reinforced with my new edited collection about “the MOOCs moment” that is slated to appear soon from the University of Chicago Press. So, it’s not surprising that I regularly get sent news items about bone-headed failures from people chortling about the obvious shortcomings of instructional technology in higher education. What has been disconcerting is

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How Unplanned Learning Led to Online Book Group

January 11, 2016

Learning by stumbling upon things — and cultivating the ability to recognize when you’ve stumbled onto something valuable — can be amplified manyfold if you regularly look where people in your personal learning network are pointing. Focused, systematic, pre-planned learning is still a powerful tool in the learning toolbox but, sometimes, you need to put yourself into the position of stumbling upon and dipping into learning that you had not planned. Autumm Caines, for example, participated in focused, systematic learning as a master’s student (now graduate) at Ohio State University and associate director of academic technology

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Museum’s MediaLab Explores Digital Innovation

January 7, 2016

I recently took a walk across the park from American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), where I work, to our sibling museum founded on the other side of Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the first time, I got to go behind the scenes and visit their MediaLab, run by Marco Castro Cosio. After the tour, I met with both Marco and Neal Stimler, digital asset specialist in Collection Information. Both work together in the museum’s centralized Digital Department. I spoke with them about the Met MediaLab and what roles it plays spreading digital

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Free Online Course to Explore Evaluating Connected Learning

January 4, 2016

A new open online course, “Program Evaluations for Connected Learning,” is being offered by the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Research Hub. The free course, running from Jan. 11 through May 1, will be taught by William Penuel, professor of educational psychology and learning sciences at the University of Colorado

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The Spread and Evolution of Learning Labs

January 4, 2016

For much of its duration, the Digital Media and Learning (DML) initiative has made a serious investment in not only reimagining learning but also remaking the kinds of institutions and places that support learning. This effort has come in many forms including the design of new kinds of spaces for children and teens to learn and cultivate the skills that are relevant in a knowledge-driven economy. One of the enduring outcomes of the initiative, for example, has been the design of learning labs across a number of cities. What are Learning Labs? The report, Learning Labs in

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A Triptych on Changing Language, Changing Minds

December 31, 2015

Reading the Comments “Go home you stupid illegal.” I heard it a lot in 2014. As part of a larger effort protesting the racist name of a local eatery, I was struck by how angry the responses were. Voicing concern for both myself and for society about what language does meant that commenters often assumed I was concerned about the racist name of a restaurant because of my own legal status in the country. (And to lay any readers’ thoughts to rest: I grew up multiracial in southern California, I’m half white, and the closest thing

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books

The Book Test

December 28, 2015

Launa Hall’s recent essay in the Washington Post describes her misgivings and concerns about her third-grade students using ipads in the classroom. Hall describes a handful of arresting moments when her students’ ipad use caused them to tune out both her and each other in favor of their devices, setting the contemporary technology aesthetic of “sleek devices” and “shining screens” against the “give-and-take” of “human interaction.” Hall’s essay is one of a modern genre that despairs over the growing ubiquity of mobile technologies and their impact on human values like conversation and connectedness, but it is

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The Learning Village of Our Hybrid Reality

December 24, 2015

If you are reading this, you have a hybrid life. There are things that you encounter and find meaning in or meaningful both offline and digitally. The device you are reading this from is part of your offline world even as the words you are reading are a digital artifact. Think about the way you found this post, the device you are reading from, and the physical location in which you presently exist. Many, if not all of these things will be different for each individual who accesses this post, just as if, where, and how

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Cities of Learning: Overview

December 23, 2015

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What the Connected Learning Research Community Can Learn from YPAR

December 21, 2015

Last month, the two of us (along with our mentor, Dr. Ernest Morrell) celebrated the release of our book, Doing Youth Participatory Action Research: Transforming Inquiry with Researchers, Educators, and Youth. The book tells the story of the UCLA Council of Youth Research (YPAR), a long-running youth participatory action research program that mentors young people from South and East Los Angeles to develop research questions about the educational and social challenges they recognize in their communities and then conduct rigorous inquiry into those questions for the purposes of fostering empowerment and action for social justice. We

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Making-Learning in Different Settings

December 17, 2015

What are differences, advantages of different institutional settings for maker learning?

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Getting Started with Making-Learning – and Where to Go from There

December 17, 2015

What do you do with making-learning? How do you get started, and where do you go from there?

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Design, Making, and Learning: Why & How

December 17, 2015

How are design, making, and learning connected?

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Selfie Pedagogy IV: Diversity, Netprov and Service Learning

December 17, 2015

We profiled Mark Marino of the Humanities and Critical Code Studies (HaCCS) Lab at USC on this blog five years ago in a post about innovative approaches to service learning. In 2015, we wanted to return to his digital pedagogy in the college writing classroom as part of a four-part series on teaching with selfies. National and international news organizations have been reporting on his recent work at the University of Southern California, but unfortunately this coverage has sometimes reinforced generalizations about the supposed superficiality, narcissism, and anti-intellectualism of young people, stereotypes that he had hoped to dispel. In

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cosmos

Seeking Meaning Through Connected Learning

December 14, 2015

As we close out 2015, I would like to engage the notion of “connection” for a moment. What does this word mean to all of us in the Connected Learning community? Exactly why do we pair the word “connected” with learning? What essential role does “connecting” play in expanding what is possible in learning, and how does connecting open the gateway for all of us to envision a better world? This blog post is dedicated to the transformative aspiration of connecting that buttresses the Connected Learning movement. And that aspiration is indeed spiritual at its core.

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networks

Creating Cyber Connections

December 10, 2015

We have been reflecting lately on the significance of our network in helping us learn and grow as scholars, as teachers, and as co-learners. Often, people associate the term network with the infrastructure of computer systems. But, what has this important term come to mean for learning in the context of digital pedagogy and the social web? Who do we connect with and how do we share on the web? How do networks facilitate and expand the scope of our own learning? We have met and worked with many new colleagues from around the globe, thanks

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terms

Learning The Terms of Digital Literacy

December 7, 2015

Often when we talk about digital literacy, we are speaking about giving students the tools they need to be successful in a digitally-augmented world. In learning digital literacy, students also learn the social protocols, expectations, and risks that come along with engagement in digital devices, something I’ve written about many times before. Recently, I’ve been working closely with faculty members and asking them a simple question: “Have you read the ‘Terms of Service’ of any of the digital tools and platforms you are using?” More often than not, the answer has been, “no.” This is not

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