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Textransformations: Interactive Art Practice as Connected Learning

July 9, 2018

We find ourselves in a cultural moment that is particularly fraught with the impulse for instant gratification as online social networks have us “plugged in” and busy narrating our lives online. So many have become wholly accustomed to certain forms of digital interactivity by seeking approval and amplification in online forums. Jaron Lanier has effectively dubbed certain social media platforms as “behavior modification empires.”  The hazards are now plain to see. Open communication platforms profit from the data generated from our human interaction, making us take pause. Free and open interactivity exacts a certain cost.  

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The Emergence of the ESU Digital Warriors

July 2, 2018

In the early weeks of the fall semester of 2017, we developed a series of events that provided students opportunities to create Esports activities that led to a universitywide showcase competition. We will be presenting these findings at the inaugural Connected Learning Summit, Aug. 2, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab. In April, students from across East Stroudsburg University (ESU) came together to hold a successful League of Legend event in the Digital Media Technologies department. This was the culmination of a year of hard work and exploratory active learning. How did we get there? Our

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media release

New Conference Promotes Progressive, Inclusive Learning

June 28, 2018

Connected Learning Summit Takes Place Aug. 1-3 at MIT June 28, 2018 Progressive and inclusive learning will be the main topic at the inaugural Connected Learning Summit, set to take place Aug. 1-3 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, 75 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, Mass. The summit will feature

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CLS Keynote Speaker to Deliver Talk on Importance of Connected Learning

June 25, 2018

As a kid in the early 1980s, Baratunde Thurston took part in myriad enrichment activities — from sports and community gardening to boy scouts, cultural spectating and political activism. His mother encouraged him to pursue his interests through after-school and weekend programs, and with mentors and peers. “My mother was always pushing for me to have experiences,” said Thurston, a humorist, social activist and author. “She was trying to enrich me and give me a bunch of perspectives to help me figure out what I care about, what I would enjoy or love so I could

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Scientists Seek Genetic Data to Personalize Education

June 18, 2018

Researchers have begun to propose using genetic data from students to personalize education. Bringing genetics into education is highly controversial. It raises significant concerns about biological discrimination and rekindles long debates about eugenics and the genetic inheritance of intelligence. Current proposals to personalize learning by enabling “educational organisations to create tailor-made curriculum programmes based on a pupil’s DNA profile” demand very close and critical attention. The potential of “the new geneism” to reproduce “dangerous ideas about the genetic heritability of intelligence” has already raised concerns. Scientists may be seeking new technologies to personalize teaching and learning

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Connected Learning and 21st Century English Teacher Education

June 11, 2018

Much of the current rhetoric about technology and education relates to devices and software programs — what types schools should purchase, how much money districts should spend on them, how they should be integrated into classroom learning, and what return on investment they should produce. The implicit message communicated by this rhetoric is that technology transforms education through the medium of specific tools — that these tools are what structure and produce powerful teaching and learning. Give teachers and students laptops and Google Classroom accounts and magic will ensue. Over the past several years, a group

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media release

How Minecraft Update Aquatic Can Turn Kids on to Conservation for World Oceans Day

June 8, 2018

June 8, 2018 In an effort to raise awareness of marine conservation, the Ocean Institute and Connected Camps are inviting young people to take part in a Minecraft social media activation on World Oceans Day today. A video, featuring Minecraft’s new Aquatic Update and fun facts curated by the Ocean

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Raising Conservation Awareness through Minecraft Aquatic Game for World Oceans Day

June 4, 2018

In an effort to raise awareness of marine conservation, the Ocean Institute, Connected Camps and the Connected Learning Alliance are inviting young people to take part in a Minecraft social media activation on World Oceans Day June 8. A video, featuring Minecraft’s new Aquatic Update and fun facts curated by the Ocean Institute, will debut on Connected Camps’ social media channels — YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Kids will be encouraged to watch and share the video using the hashtag, #WorldOceansDay, in their own social media posts throughout the day. And, to top off the collaboration, the

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Google Report Reveals State of K-12 Computer Science Education

May 28, 2018

Computer scientists still are in high demand in the U.S., people of color still are disproportionately underrepresented in the field and whether and how computer science (CS) is taught varies wildly, according to a new report on the state of Kindergarten-through-high school CS education. Authored by Paulo Blikstein, assistant professor of education and (by courtesy) computer science at Stanford, the report — Pre-College Computer Science Education: A Survey of the Field — was commissioned by Google to shine a light on where CS education stands today and where it needs to go. “CS education has the

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Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Resources, Part 2

May 21, 2018

“Our stories that we tell are so powerful because when we are the one’s telling it, we have control over our stories and the messages that we are sending.” — Alejandra Ramirez Bermudez I am regularly in awe at the goodwill our students extend faculty, myself included, as they attempt to make sense of and successfully complete our idiosyncratic assignments. Too often, students hear faculty respond to any confusion students might have by telling them to “read the syllabus” or “read the assignment,” as if none of the faculty have ever tried to put together an

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Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Resources, Part 1

May 14, 2018

As I shared in a previous post, I’ve spent this semester working with 84 incredible freshmen and 10 writing mentors, exploring digital culture and identities in our first-year writing course. We read blogs by Audrey Watters, watched films like “The Internet’s Own Boy,” we tracked and analyzed our digital selves, and were moved by the digital activism of people like Esra’a Al Shafei, Alicia Garza of #blacklivesmatter, and Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American. We used these resources, and other models of digital civic engagement, to inform our own research. A few weeks ago, students turned

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Schedule Unveiled for Aug. 1-3 Connected Learning Summit at MIT

May 9, 2018

The eagerly anticipated schedule of the inaugural Connected Learning Summit has been unveiled. The Aug. 1-3 event, to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, features keynote and plenary sessions by leaders in academics, industry and nonprofit organizations; presentations on innovative learning projects and research; interactive workshops on technology research and design, games and other media; a lively “hall of failure,” featuring honest postmortems on projects, programs and products; smart, fast, performative “ignite” sessions; a community showcase evening event for working papers, tech demos, and ideas; and fireside chats with luminaries across fields.

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From the Streets to the Archives, Part 3

May 7, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the third part of a three-part post featuring the fourth interview in a multi-part series with participants in the Race, Memory, and the Digital Humanities Conference. The series features public intellectuals discussing digital literacy issues. Jessica Marie Johnson is one of the country’s leading scholars on black code literacy. I’ve had the privilege of teaching with her at the Digital Humanities Summer Research Institute. At the conference my campus organized, she recently gave this thought-provoking and inspiring keynote address. (See Part 1 and Part 2 of DML Central’s introduction to Professor Johnson.) Computing

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Preparing Youth for Online Civic, Political Action

April 30, 2018

The internet is where many young people get their news and express their own perspectives on civic and political issues. So, how can educators prepare them to be heard in an informed and impactful way in today’s digital age? Several new Teaching Channel videos provide some great ideas and examples of what’s possible. For example, in one video, featuring a lesson on creating digital stories, students in high school English teacher Janelle Bence’s class, share what they learn from the lesson. One of the students says: “This generation is just a techie generation, you know? Including

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Black Code Studies 101, Part 2

April 23, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a three-part post featuring the fourth interview in a multi-part series with participants in the Race, Memory, and the Digital Humanities Conference. The series features public intellectuals discussing digital literacy issues. Jessica Marie Johnson is one of the country’s leading scholars on black code literacy. I’ve had the privilege of teaching with her at the Digital Humanities Summer Research Institute. At the conference my campus organized, she recently gave this thought-provoking and inspiring keynote address. (See Part 1 of DML Central’s introduction to Professor Johnson.) With Mark Anthony

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New MIT Book Series Seeks Authors

April 16, 2018

How large-scale online environments — such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), intelligent tutoring systems, learning games, collaborative programming communities, community tutorial systems, social learning networks and numerous informal communities of learners on platforms like Reddit, YouTube or fanfiction sites — are contributing to learning is the topic of a new book series from MIT Press. And, the series editors are seeking proposals for books that investigate, critique and explain these large-scale environments. “Just as large-scale learning environments are diverse, we seek a diverse set of methodological and theoretical perspectives to inform our series, ranging from

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Rethinking Black Digital Literacy, Part 1

April 9, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the first part of a three-part post featuring the fourth interview in a multi-part series with participants in the Race, Memory, and the Digital Humanities Conference. The series features public intellectuals discussing digital literacy issues. Jessica Marie Johnson is one of the country’s leading scholars on black code literacy. I’ve had the privilege of teaching with her at the Digital Humanities Summer Research Institute. At the conference my campus organized, she recently gave a thought-provoking and inspiring keynote address. Professor Johnson’s own digital literacy story started early: “I have what feels now like

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Creativity is Fundamental for Lifelong Learning

April 2, 2018

Creativity is for everyone, according to Mitchel Resnick, the LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, where he directs the Lifelong Kindergarten research group. “It’s fundamental. It’s not just about personal expression. Having creative ways of thinking will be important in the workplace, but it’s also important in your civic life. If you really want to make a real contribution to your community, you need to be thinking creatively,” he explained in an online conversation with Mimi Ito, director of the Connected Learning Lab at the University of California,

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Reteaching Teaching: Pedagogy and Teacher Training for the Digital Age

March 26, 2018

Digital media and networks, like blackboards and post-it notes, are tools whose effectiveness depends on how they are used. Whether you call it “connected learning” or a “new culture of learning,” deploying the tools depends on changing the mindset of educators. Connected learning elements are openly networked, interest powered, production centered, peer supported, shared purpose, academically oriented. Educators and trainers of educators are leading the way by experimenting with pedagogy that engages students by connecting their academic curriculum with their personal interests, involving the networked world that students live in, encouraging collaboration and peer support, scaffolding

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Media and Civic Engagement: Growing Youth Enthusiasm

March 19, 2018

Democracy is not just about choosing your own leaders. Democracy can only take root in a population that is free enough and educated enough to discuss issues, form public opinion, and influence policy. The public sphere is one of information. As James Madison, “the father of the U.S. Constitution” at age 36 put it (in words now carved in marble at the Library of Congress): “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And

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Young People’s Nonpolitical Online Activity Supports Democratic Life

March 12, 2018

Emma González, a high school student from Parkland, now has more Twitter followers than the NRA. Indeed, numerous students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have turned the social media skills and practices they use every day into tools that enable political impact. While their traumatic experience is tragically extreme, their example sheds light on a more general process: When digital skills and social networks are joined with a motivation to effect change, they become potent political resources. Our study of youth social media practices and politics indicates that this dynamic is more common and more

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Taking Control of Digital Identity

March 5, 2018

My college freshmen, all 84, are deep into a study of digital cultures and digital literacies as we head toward Week 4 of our semester. I designed this first-year comp class so we could weave the practices of academic writing — research, citation, revision, editing, etc. — while also working toward, in a nutshell, simply being more awesome at using the web. I am deeply committed to cultivating the democratic potential of an open web, still believing in the possibility that our most marginalized students can be heard and their ideas amplified in ways that traditional distribution

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