Registration Opens @ Lobby
Mar 6 @ 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Registration Desk is open in the Lobby.


March 6, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

March 7, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

March 8, 2014 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM


DML2014 Opening Keynote – Louis Gomez @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 6 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

3. Louis Gomez

DML2014 Keynote – Prof. Louis Gomez

Louis M. Gomez is the MacArthur Chair in Digital Media and Learning at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Before joining the UCLA faculty he was the Helen S. Faison Professor of Urban Education and Sr. Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at The University of Pittsburgh. Professor Gomez is also currently serving as a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Palo Alto, Ca. . His scholarship focuses on understanding how to support organizational change in schools and other institutions. Along with his colleagues, Professor Gomez has been dedicated to collaborative research and development with urban communities to bring the current state-of-the-art in instruction and support for community formation to traditionally underserved schools. Most recently, Professor Gomez has turned his attention to problem solving research and development. This is R&D organized around high-leverage problems embedded in the day-to-day work of teaching and learning and the institutions in which these activities occur. Professor Gomez received a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.


Mar 6 @ 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Featured Session: Open Technologies for Learning – Putting the Learners in Charge @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizer:Philipp Schmidt
Participants: Jim Groom, Jonathan Worth, Philipp Schmidt

This session will involve discussion of how learners, teachers, parents and everyone else can work together to take ownership of their learning and the Internet, including examples from the field and ideas for the future.



Panel BYV: Equity, Diversity, and Discourses of Change in Participatory Culture @ Oval
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: Crystle Martin

Presenters: Crystle Martin, Sean Duncan, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Rachel Pfister

Discussant: Henry Jenkins

Participatory culture can create gateway opportunities for participants to engage in social change and civic action. Yet these opportunities are not made apparent or available to all participants, nor do they support all types of action. In this panel, we bring together four types of participatory culture to explore both their potentialities for social change, and their limitations in terms of equity, diversity and the envisioned models of change. These questions will be examined across a diverse set of cultures, including a professional wrestling fan group, critical gaming communities, followers of a popular YouTube vlog, and a knitting group.

*Discourses of Change in a Professional Wrestling Participatory Culture*
The diverse and international professional wrestling community of the Wrestling Boards comes together through a set of forums to share their interest in professional wrestling. Communication through text and graphics allows the players to discuss professional wrestling’s current state and issues. The participants critically assess the writing of professional wrestling and the directions of the storylines, theorizing about its future and needed changes. They use discourses of change as a way to evaluate their interest and create strategies for positive change. This case will consider how discourses of change around wrestling encourages reflection on civic action.

*Productive Debacles: The Politics of Redefining Gaming Culture*
I investigate the intersection of gaming “affinity spaces” and political participation, discussing recent reactions to perceived sexism and transphobia within games, especially the productive reactions to moments of inequity and prejudice in critical gaming communities. In particular, I look across networks of blogs and Twitter feeds used to track and organize responses to these moments. Participation in these discussions illuminate both a need to move toward conceptions of new media participation across multiple sites and channels as well as a need to capture learning as “participation in everyday life” within the participatory, political contexts of gaming culture.

*“Decreasing World Suck”: Connecting the worlds of culture and civics*
The “Nerdfighters” are an informal community of young people formed around the YouTube vlog channel of brothers John and Hank Green. Nerdfighters build on their cultural connections to collectively further the goal of “decreasing world suck”. Through this case study, this talk will consider how groups build on their cultural connections to further their civic action through the concept of “mechanisms of translation”. Nerdfighters exemplify both the strengths and the potentials of this model, as well as some of its limitations.

*Sweater Triathalons: Knitting up Social Action* is a database and social networking site for knitters and for each Olympic Games, the site hosts a craft-along that brings members of various interests together in collaborative activities, supports members’ fibercrafting interests, and provides a gateway that links fibercrafting to worldwide events and community activities. In the 2012 Olympic Games craft-along, Ravelry received a cease-and-desist letter regarding the craft-along. This talk will explore how the cease-and-desist letter created a space of discussion, reflection on identity, and social action amongst knitters.

Panel CLI: Surge Columbus – A Network Model with a “Movement is the Program” Approach @ St. James
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: Julie Scordato, Morgan Anderson, Shawn Likely

Presenters: Julie Scordato, Morgan Anderson, Shawn Likely, Dave Buker, Dionne Custer Edwards, Jean Pitman

This proposal addresses the DML 2014 Conference theme, Connecting Learning Institutions: Building Learning Ecologies and Pathways. It is an ideal platform for a collaborative of five institutions that has moved from planning to implementation—from an IMLS-MacArthur Foundation-funded planning grant for learning labs for teens to implementation of the plan as Surge Columbus, with funding from the Battelle STEM Grant Program.

Surge Columbus’ Programming Team will take the lead in reviewing the partners’ path to authentic collaboration through professional and personal relationship-building that has yielded concrete results for the Surge network. The centerpiece of the presentation is a discussion of City Key, a web platform, in early development, envisioned to integrate the essential functions that would make Surge Columbus a seamless connection of learning institutions promoting creativity and collaboration among youth. What is Surge Columbus’ vision for the City Key?

City Key will act as a one stop shop for teens to:
• See SURGE events across all 5 organizations.
• Sign into all SURGE spaces and programs/workshops as available.
• Check-out technology.
• Add finished work to a portfolio tied to their account.
• Track their accomplishments, or “acquiring keys” to unlock new learning experiences.

City Key will allow mentors to:
• Track teen progress on many levels including technical skill badging and personal development.
• Record daily journaling on specific teens and the Surge space in general.
• Administrate the calendar, badging, and statistical tracking of device usage.
• Track trends in teen responses to learning experiences (what’s in demand what’s not) and movement across the organizations.

The vision for City Key did not come in a flash. The Programming Team will review lessons learned as the group planned frontline implementation with an emphasis on consistent cross pollination of teens and adult staff members throughout the five Surge member institutions. The interaction led to the adoption of “the movement is the program” approach. The Programming Team will also summarize their work to establish a range of quantitative and qualitative evaluation.

Finally, the proposed presentation will include a review of how Surge Columbus leadership and sub-committees are structured, and how the network pursues funding, maintains collaboration, and makes group decisions.

Panel CLI: The Open Source Learning School District – Moving Beyond “What If” @ Copley
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: David Preston, John Davis

Presenters: David Preston, John Davis

We can’t call ourselves butterflies and manage like caterpillars. Open Source Learning is an emerging education practice that allows students to capitalize on the scope and power of the Internet to create and manage their own learning experiences, ultimately producing interactive material that is available online to everyone. Open Source Learners have created business plans, run microfinance operations with partners in Africa, built hovercraft, hosted dinner theaters, exponentially increased participation and success rates on AP exams, recited Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” in crowded movie houses, written essays underwater, and won over $1M in merit based scholarships. “Enthusiasm,” wrote Howard Rheingold in a DML interview with Open Source Learning founder David Preston, “blows the roof off.” In order to amplify and accelerate these efforts, The Santa Maria Joint Unified School District has taken the first steps toward becoming the nation’s first Open Source Learning school district. Improved Internet access and supportive policy empower students to effectively learn with partners everywhere as they build networks to support and critique interdisciplinary, transmedia paths of inquiry. Currently SMJUHSD students are collaborating with students at UCLA, Stanford, Royal Holloway College (University of London), and at high schools in Norway, Indiana, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Thailand, Boston, and elsewhere. Students are building tools and ways to help each other in the process of curating progressively masterful formative assessments and authentic portfolios of work. In this presentation, SMJUHSD teacher and Open Source Learning founder David Preston and SMJUHSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction John Davis will be joined via Skype by Open Source Learning students, teachers, and parents to discuss the proof of concept, the process of adoption, the learner outcomes, and the community response. Topics will include personalized learning, collaboration, culture and technology, user engagement, and organizational, legal, and financial issues. Participants will be invited to shape the agenda, actively engage in an Open Source Learning network, start their own, and learn more about emerging research, practice, and documentation through the Open Source Learning Foundation.

Panel OTL: Theories, Methods and Practices for Open Peer Teaching and Learning @ Venetian
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: Cathy Davidson, Hilary Culbertson

Presenters: Cathy Davidson, Jade E. Davis, Cristiane Damasceno, Jennifer Stratton, omar daouk, Christina Davidson

The purpose of this panel is to show how a “traditional” university course can be transformed into an exercise in open, peer teaching and learning–even without MOOCs as the structure. During the Spring of 2013, Professor Cathy Davidson and eight graduate students (from Duke, NCSU, and UNC) engaged in a bold experiment called 21st Century Literacies: Digital Knowledge, Digital Humanities (Information Science + Information Studies 890). The course explored what it means to undertake academic research and teaching (re)designed and (re)purposed for the present. Professor and students joined in the collaborative process of peer-learning and teaching, writing a collaborative, open source book, Fieldnotes for 21st Century Literacies: A Guide to New Theories, Methods and Practices for Open Peer Teaching and Learning (2013) ( available on, Github, Rap Genius, and Amazon. The book is an account of students’ experiences with new methods, and an invitation for others to consider both the promises and challenges of education in the digital age. Six of the nine Fieldnotes authors will discuss different elements of turning a class into a collective peer-learning and teaching experience.

Cathy N. Davidson, Duke University: Designing for Open Learning
What elements in a traditional university seminar structure can be repurposed for open learning, what need to be discarded? How does contract grading, collaborative writing, online learning (with visitors such as Howard Rheingold), collaborative student-led syllabus building, and writing “field notes” for the public (rather than research papers for the professor) change learning? And what does all of this have to do with MOOCs?

Jade E. Davis, UNC-Chapel Hill: Mediums, Messages, and Playful Learning
We learn, work and play in digital environments that are defined by speed, information, and scalability. By rethinking the digital through light’s materiality it teaches us about emerging ways of learning.

Cristiane Damasceno, NC State: Tools’ Affordances
Video games enable post-literate forms of learning that are usually not valued by formal education. Looking at tools’ affordances can help us overcome old classroom models by expanding our understanding of what constitutes teaching, learning, and knowledge.

Jennifer Stratton, Duke University: Open Design
How can collaborative design processes reflect pedagogical explorations and ideas surrounding open learning? Design considerations and experiments are fundamental to supporting academic projects’ and publications’ accessibility, transposability, functionality and appeal. We will discuss ways to incorporate principles of open learning into effective design for multiple platforms and media.

omar daouk, Duke University: Interactive Communication
How we represent ourselves online greatly impacts how we collaborate in digital learning processes. Join our exploration into how interactive multimedia and online personality expression collide to extinguish obsolete classroom models with innovative and personalized solutions for tomorrow.

Christina Davidson, Duke University: Digital Divide
In imagining new forms of education for the digital age, we experimented with a variety of methods. Yet, who has access to these methods? The panel will address open-learning, peer-learning/teaching as it pertains to the digital divide.

Short Talk Panel BYV: Action and Presence –Imperatives for the Future of Youth Voice @ Singleton
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Learning a Movement: Street Dance and Creative Encounters
Presenter: Lacey Schauwecker

“In a time where so much street dance is online and so many people are self-taught, there is still something to be desired.” – Lil’ C

This presentation uses street dance to examine the importance of live human encounters among increasingly segregated and technophiliac urban populations. For while youth media production has enhanced the popularity of what Yak Films calls “the global dance movement,” Lil’ C leads a Los Angeles-based effort to bring strangers of various socioeconomic backgrounds together for shared emotional expression and physical improvisation. This movement consists of stage shows and speaking engagements that promote street dance as a tool for exposing ongoing oppression, resignifying public space, and habituating youth to approach, not avoid, those who are different from them. Such circulation of bodies, in addition to videos, is considered fundamental to lasting improvement in race relations and associated injustices. According to Lil’ C and other movement leaders, most of whom specialize in krumping and identify as The Underground, this culture “saves lives” by empowering stigmatized youth to impress and inspire their more privileged counterparts, including university audiences. By including a brief clip, some images, and interview excerpts, this presentation thus shows how media do engage and educate, but do not enable the live experience of street dance as social recreation and re-creation. Such research contributes to ongoing considerations of how informal educational practices might influence schools to teach emotional and physical literacies alongside more intellectual and technological ones. Street dance is civics on two feet.

Make a Bigger Difference with a Better Message
Presenters: Debra Kerr, Demian Krentz

Over and over again, in facilitated sessions with adults, with teachers and with teens, presenter Debra Kerr has watched the same instinctual reaction play out: We humans believe, if we can just educate or explain well enough, our audience will begin to care and take action. We are wrong. The latest research shows that understanding and action are not connected. We have to turn our instinct on its head: Action leads to caring and a desire to learn.

In this 10-minute session, Deb will share the action-first, care-and-learning-second model and engage the audience in brainstorming how to make action happen first. She will highlight exciting research from The Ocean Project (TOP 2012) about the power of youth voice and the trust the public has in teens. Then we’ll transition to some best practices teens (and adult mentors) can use to build a persuasive message that will activate teen and adult audiences to engage.

All of us—teens and adults—appreciate gaining tools that help us do our job better. Approaching a friend, let alone a stranger, a room full of audience members or a computer screen to “sell” an idea, is a daunting prospect. Deb has some proven, research-based strategies that can make that scenario a lot less scary—if not actually fun. She’ll share the AREST model for talking with a stranger and the choir-congregation-non-believer strategy for reaching those who are ready to be influenced.

All strategies are adaptable to social media and digital technology, as well as face-to-face practice and interaction. She’ll even share a case study that used social media to test the reliability and staying power of messages crafted using the research results.

The presentation links to a workshop proposal submitted: “Building a better message with teen-ready technology,” in which we will elaborate on the message techniques for use in videos made with smart phones and tablets. Workshop participants will use what they’ve learned to make videos, get feedback and make improvements within that session.

Voices from Abroad: How Students Can Tell Us About ‘Transformation’ In Study Abroad

Presenter: Stephen Tippett

What is the best way to make technology relevant for students in study abroad?

Students from institutions in the United States assert that their study abroad experience is ‘transformative”. The academic field of international learning relies on psychometric instruments, but the IDI, BEVI, and others, fail to report the same degree of change that students assert occur during study abroad (Milton, 2012, & Bennett, 2012). The study abroad field holds that international learning does lead to significant changes in an individual’s academic and career trajectory.

Programs and curriculum that rely on field-work, experiential out-of-class activities, and service learning have the opportunity to take advantage of the way that youth and the millennial generation already use media (Ito, et al., 2008) in their daily lives. In other words, narrative affordances of technology and digital media dovetail with the experiential activities that are central to study abroad.

Why is the field reluctant to design formal and informal opportunities to integrate technology, pedagogy, and content (TPACK) into what study abroad students do in their new cultural setting, and how can the field move toward the goal of embedding technology competency in international learning?

This short talk asks how education technology specialists can influence academic discourse and practice and seeks to elicit discussion from experiences in technology and pedagogy integration in other academic fields. It also seeks to pose questions about what administration and instructors can do to afford students easy opportunities to tell why their study abroad experience transforms them.

Mediating Postcoloniality for Muslim Girls: Unpacking Mis/representation In School-Based Media Production
Presenter: Negin Dahya

In this doctoral research, I explore how social systems and postcolonial cultural norms impact the process and outcome of digital media production, created by girls who are ethnoracial minorities living in low-income communities. The study was conducted as a Feminist Ethnography and feminist intervention in a Toronto school over 3 years with a focus on Muslim girls in 2011-2012. In this work, I explore the experiences of Muslim girls using digital media because of the widespread, homongenizing discourse about their oppression in mass media and in some academic research. The aim of this short talk is to complicate how this community is understood, and to inquire about what kind of meaning can be derived from the media production work of Muslim girls, within the context of ongoing postcolonial social and cultural structures. I explore how the videos and photos made by Muslim girls in this research are framed within and informed by existing social norms, expectations, and by the intentions and interests of adults. Drawing on data collected from participant observations, interviews, audio-video recordings of students at-work, and student produced media, I will discuss how shared narratives of discrimination circulating in the community, and how school regulations and structures, inform student behaviour and the content of their digital media productions. I will conclude this talk with a discussion of silence, considering what was absent in the digital media work of Muslim girls, further exploring postcolonial power relations at play in this school and community.

Short Talk Panel LPA: Social and Cultural Mediators of Learning @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Natural Mentoring Relationships in the Fan Fiction Community
Presenters: Stephanie Robin, Sarah Schwartz, Jean Rhodes

Digital media provides increasing opportunities for youth to connect with peers and adults across multiple contexts and to redefine the boundaries between formal and informal learning. The fan fiction community represents a significant example of youth coming together to engage in learning that is interest driven, socially supported, and academically connected (Ito et al., 2013). Readers and writers come together to create, read, and review fiction works based on existent fandoms. Through readers’ reviews, writers may strengthen their writing skills and build relationships with other members of the community (Curwood, Magnifico, & Lammers, 2013). These communities provide contexts for fans to improve their writing and can foster mentoring relationships amongst fans in ways that both advance writing and also lead to a range of positive developmental outcomes. Mentors may positively influence not only on the mentees’ fan fiction writing but also on their general writing and school work, as well as on their emotional well-being. Drawing on qualitative interviews, the current study explores how mentoring relationships develop within the fan fiction community and how such relationships can influence young writers, both academically and personally. This short talk will present initial findings from a qualitative study of natural mentoring relationships within the fan fiction community and discuss how connected learning networks in general and fan fiction platforms in particular can foster such relationships.

The Mediatization of Education: Putting Claims of Social and Digital Change to Work in the Analysis of the Lives of a Class
Presenters: Sonia Livingstone, Peter Lunt

Mediatization refers to the processes by which social and institutional changes have been shaped by the media over time. Mediatization theory promises to draw together what is known of the history of media and of mediation across diverse fields in order to grasp the changing role and significance of the media in society, while recognizing that such an account will be far from simple, linear or self-sufficient.

Much interest concentrates on the recent development and use of such educational technologies as the tablet computer, smart board and school information management system. Pedagogic, policy and public debates have seized upon the plethora of new digital devices and contents to speculate about changes far wider than the mere import of technologies into the classroom, including transformations in the nature of learning and literacy, the relation between students and teacher, and the positioning of curricular knowledge and pedagogic practices in the wider community.

The lens of mediatization deepens the analysis of technologically-led change in recent decades by layering in two further accounts, thereby avoiding over-stated claims of a radical break. One concerns the institutionalization of formal education over recent centuries, revealing the longer origins of today’s standardization of education (via league tables, standard testing, metrics for external audits), the increasingly-endemic language of consumerism (schools as service providers, students as consumers, etc.), and the exacerbation of socio-economic inequality as competitive pressures in an individualized society reproduce social stratification. The other offers a history of learning on an even longer timescale, to reveal the culturally diverse and potentially creative forms of engagement with media and materiality that have, and could yet, become implicated in and influential upon education.

With empirical examples drawn from a recent ethnographic study of one class over an academic year, this paper argues that a mediatization analysis can clarify and illuminate the sometimes-competing or confusing claims regarding social change in the field of education and learning.

A Pedagogy for the Digital Age: Reading and Critiquing Digital Networks, Spaces, and Objects

Presenter: Dhanashree Thorat

A 21st century education must prepare students to critically engage with digital networks, spaces and objects. Such a critical engagement entails that students are reflexive about their practices and positionality with respect to new media technologies, that they are able to recognize hegemonic power relations which circumscribe access to and production of knowledge through new media technologies, and finally, are able to use new media tools as activists to effect social and systemic change.

In order to encourage this kind of critical thinking, digital networks, spaces, and objects must be an integral part of the curriculum and study. Equally importantly, however, educators must help students develop skills to ‘read’ these digital sites. In my presentation, I will outline the theoretical framework for such a critical reading, and model a reading based on that framework. How, for instance, might students critique Wikipedia as a social institution, read web design and interfaces as digitally mediated political infrastructure, or situate social media within racial and national contexts? Such a pedagogy draws from post-colonial theory and critical race studies since terms such as ‘power’, ‘marginalization’, ‘hegemony’, and ‘subaltern’ are crucial to reading these digital sites. When students situate digital spaces as rhetorically informed, and socially constructed, they may begin to examine the construction, performance, and intersection of race, class, gender, sex, and nationality in these spaces. Such a pedagogy is ultimately enabling, because it empowers non-dominant youth to critique utopian narratives of digital technology, and helps develop the vocabulary and tools needed to intervene and bring about systemic change.

Short Talk Panel PFK: Games and Urban Activism @ Commonwealth
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Building blocks and (Mine)crafting cities: Augmented planning and deliberation by youth at a public library
Presenter: Ty Hollett

This paper details the ongoing experiences of youth participation in urban planning activities within the video game Minecraft—a game which, in its simplest form, is about building with and breaking blocks. Housed at the Nashville Public Library, the program—Nashville: Building Blocks—provides high-school youth participants the opportunity to imagine and develop a built, digital version of an idealized Nashville cityscape, to claim their “right to the city” (Lefebvre, 1968). Using the Nashville Civic Design Center’s “Plan for Nashville” as guide for in-game activity and development, the program emphasizes authentic, local issues facing Nashville’s planners. In-game activity draws attention to, for instance, planning and design with “respect for the natural and built environment,” “reestablishing the streets as the principle public space of community and connectivity,” and “strengthening the unique identity of neighborhoods.” As such, the program enables youths to build, create, and play together in a world they craft over time. The urban planning activities align with participatory urban planning models (Al-Kodmany, 2000; Obermeyer, 1998) with a specific emphasis on immersive planning (Gordon et al., 2011) and augmented deliberation opportunities (Gordon and Manosevitch, 2011). These models provide venues for youth to work with professional planners and architects in both digital and physical arenas simultaneously. However, while previous participatory models enable participants, “to empathize with the needs and desires of a character” (Gordon and Schirra, 2011, p. 179), for instance, they have not provided opportunities for participants to actively construct, create, experiment and design the digital worlds—their neighborhood, their community—in which they become immersed, especially within an interest-driven environment. This paper maintains that a powerful means of connecting practice—as called for in the conference theme—is to deeply understand how learning opportunities emerge for youth as they actively engage in urban planning activities that traverse both physical and digital spaces (Hine, 2000). Using an immersive urban planning experience as its fulcrum, this paper not only argues for the importance of connected learning (Ito et al., 2013) experiences for youth but also questions, for example, how local constituents—librarians, educators, planners—can (1) come together to develop expansive learning ecologies for youth, (2) maintain authenticity to youth passions when developing within affinity spaces, and (3) encourage forms of spatial justice (Soja, 2010) that recognize the ways in which cities shape who we are and who we inevitably become.

ARGs and Activism: Participatory Design and Black and Latin@ Social Movements
Presenter: Alexandrina Agloro

This short talk in presentation form will discuss the design and execution of an ARG in-progress called The Resisters, about historical Black and Latin@ activism in Providence, RI. The Resisters is a community-based research project where young people of color in Providence, RI, ages 16-20 are collaboratively researching and designing an ARG with Alexandrina Agloro, the primary investigator and lead difficultator. The game blends historical activism, culturally relevant participatory education, and liberatory performance influenced by Theater of the Oppressed. The Resisters will be played in Fall 2014 at Brown University with incoming first year college students as an orientation and immersive civic engagement game. The college students will have the chance to play the ARG in the actual historic locations around Providence, intended to propel the students off-campus and into their surrounding communities.

In this talk, Alexandrina and the youth designers would like to discuss the collaborative design process of The Resisters—from archival research in various public and private archives, to creative writing, to the actual nuts and bolts of scripting and executing a youth-imagined game with media. Additionally, we want to share our method of critical media pedagogy as a means to build new forms of digital archives and as a way to keep often-ignored community histories alive and relevant. Last, we will share our thoughts on the advantages and deficiencies in game-based learning as well as immersive gaming’s potential for civic engagement and social justice.

Imagine! You Have Nothing to Lose: Play and Collaboration in Urban Development
Presenters: Katarzyna Balug, Marcia Lucia Vidart-Delgado,

A community-driven, collaborative approach to urban development is central to the work of Rebuild Foundation (RF). In Hyde Park, an under-resourced neighborhood in St. Louis, this group of artists has spent several years forging community ties while purchasing and intervening decrepit buildings, transforming them into creative incubators with residents. In winter 2012 Social Agency Lab (SAL), a collective of planners, anthropologists, and artists, created a play workshop with youths that regularly partake in RF activities. The goal was to collaboratively develop an entry for Pruitt-Igoe Now, an ideas competition to re-imagine the scar left by the demolition of the infamous housing project. The land was already in negotiations for private development, so the competition was a last-ditch effort to offer alternate futures for the site that accounted for its rich social and cultural history.

By sharing the interdisciplinary, intergenerational experience of RF, SAL, and local youth, we investigate the potentialities of play in forging a common language and developing trust among diverse actors. We propose that play enables an agonistic model of civic experience that privileges dissent and instability over consensus. We argue that play enables groups to imagine and perform different possibilities of urban living beyond neat authoritative urban visions, without necessarily resulting in measurable outcomes. We suggest how the suspended moment of “non-productive” play may inform the transition from a participatory to a collaborative model in planning – and why this is a necessary evolution to address pressing environmental, economic and political issues.

Hexacago: An “Augmented” Multi-Use Game Board to Study Chicago Disparities
Presenters: Ashlyn Sparrow, Melissa Gilliam, Patrick Jagoda

This talk addresses the theme of games and their efforts to make a difference in the world by highlighting a project of Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab (GCC Design Lab) at the University of Chicago. The GCC Design Lab consists of faculty, staff, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students who create games to advance reproductive rights and health and the healthy development of youth through game design and gameplay. This talk uses or project, Hexacago, as a case study for addressing sexual and reproductive rights and health through games.

In summer 2013, the Lab developed “Hexacago” as a universal game board for a suite of games about urban problems. Hexacago is a grid of hexagons partitioned to represent different regions of the city of Chicago with major landmarks orienting players. Hexacago games demonstrate relationships between geography, limited resources, and systemic inequities. For example, Infection City considers sexually transmitted infections as a network affected by the physical location of health centers and patterns of disease spread. Board games are an important game genre allowing face-to-face play, strategy, collaboration, competition, replay, display of spatial relationships, and extended play. But can they create personal and/or social change?

We will describe our efforts to deepen the effect of board games. First, by “augmenting the reality” of Hexacago, adding digital media to bring to life the voices, images, and statistics driving inequities in this deeply segregated city. Second, by creating a re-mixable game for youth to explore compelling issues.

Workshop CLI: Play and Hack! Creating Connected Learning Ecologies Through Game Jams @ State Suite
Mar 6 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: Juan Rubio, Kevin Miklasz

Presenters: Kevin Miklasz, Juan Rubio, Dixie Ching, Judy Perry

In this workshop, members of the Hive NYC Learning Network, a community of 56 non-profit organizations including museums, libraries and afterschool learning spaces, and the STEP Lab at M.I.T., present a model for connecting organizations and supporting youth’s interest-driven learning pathways, called the Hive Movable Game Jam.

The HMGJ is a concept that arose after a successful one-day game jam held at Iridescent Learning in the Bronx during the summer of 2013, modeled after similar events run by other Hive organizations. Over 43 kids attended the 3.5 hour event and created or modded 24 digital or physical games at table stations in 45 minute intervals and then presented their creations in a ‘science fair’ style format. The event was so successful that it led to the ideation of a roving game jam to be held monthly at different Hive groups with stations run by different Hive groups.

The HMGJ model has been intentionally designed to create stronger ties within the network vis a vis monthly opportunities through coordinated activities and collaborations within the Hive. These events also help spread learning innovations, such as game design platforms and pedagogical principles, like those aligned with the Connected Learning framework, through the network. On the youth side, we have found that bringing a few different organizations together in a setting that has extended contact with program educators from different organizations helps build awareness among youth about other opportunities to further their interest in game design, art and technology. Since youth often tend to identify with one ‘home institution,’ having the game jam roam from place to place also ensures that more youth will have access.

Using our experience running game design programs for youth in urban settings, this hands-on workshop will engage participants in an abbreviated version of the HMGJ as well as invite feedback on the current model. In this workshop, we will provide the participants with a Game Jam Tool Kit to use in their home institutions, discuss best practices for implementing a Game Jam, run a mini hands-on Game Jam with the participants, and share data indicating ways in which this model provides opportunities for young people to connect with each other and other institutions in an informal learning environment. The group of panelists to lead this workshop includes program managers, researchers and curriculum designers: they will focus on their experiences creating meaningful curriculum and programs that engage and empower youth throughout the planned activities.

Game design platforms at each station will include Twine [], a simple-to-use tool to create Choose Your Own Adventure games; The Gravity Ether [], a physics simulation game with a user-friendly level editor; Taleblazer [] a mobile app and web-based game editor to create Augmented Reality location-based games. A Taleblazer code will be provided to those attending the workshop for creating their games before the official release of the editor.

Lunch Break
Mar 6 @ 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Featured Session: Playing for Keeps – Gameful Design for Real-World Action and Social Change @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizer: Eric Gordon
Participants: Scot Osterweil, Eric Gordon, Pablo Suarez
Discussant: Gene Koo

The world’s problems are too serious not to play. And games provide an ideal framework through which to shape that play. There is considerable evidence that games can enhance learning outcomes and increase efficacy in group decisions. When young people play games, they retain more (and differently) through solving challenges, exploring, competing and imagining. Increasingly, games are being designed and deployed outside of school settings where young players can become activists, public advocates, leaders, and mentors. This panel explores how games, digital and analog, are impacting civic life and engaging young people in humanitarian and development efforts in the United States and abroad.

Pablo Suarez is associate director for research and innovation at the Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre. He has consulted for more than twenty humanitarian and development organizations, working in over 60 countries helping to link scientific knowledge with real-world decisions – often through participatory games.

Scot Osterweil is the Creative Director of the Education Arcade and a research director in the MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing Program. He is a designer of award-winning educational games, working in both academic and commercial environments, and his work has focused on what is authentically playful in challenging academic subjects.

Eric Gordon is the director of the Engagement Lab ( and an associate professor in the department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College where he focuses on the design and research of games and social software that foster local civic engagement. He is also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Gene Koo is Principal of the Good Games Group, which helps organizations make strategic, practical, and sustainable use of new media to achieve their mission. Gene has a particular passion for pro-social video games.



Panel CLI: Connecting Practices – The Building Blocks for Connection @ Venetian
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizer/Discussant: Anna Roberts

Presenters: Anna Roberts, Connie Yowell, Scott Traylor, Eric Klopfer, Michelle King

Connecting practices is vital in making meaningful, innovative change in educational practice. It helps create shared understanding, breaks down barriers and creates common goals for the work that we’re doing in this field. But reaching across the boundaries that separate disciplines can be challenging, even scary. It requires changing the ways you communicate ideas and being willing to step into uncomfortable spaces where you’re not an “expert”.

We’ve brought together a unique multidisciplinary panel of people who are passionate about building bridges between fields, disciplines and roles in education practice. The first step to making these connections is believing that they’re worth the effort. To that end, the panel will talk about:
– why they think connecting practices is so important
– their experiences connecting across disciplines
– some of the challenges we face in making these connections
– why it’s important to face those challenges head on

The growth of open technologies offers many opportunities to make connections and create unique professional learning opportunities for ourselves. So, our panel will also discuss:
– technologies that they think facilitate meaningful connection in our work
– the best ways they’ve seen those technologies utilized
– how we have to shift our thinking to make the most of these experiences

Our goal is not only to help people see the benefits of connecting practices, but also to explore the things that help (or hinder) connection in ways that attendees can apply in their own work.


Connie Yowell is the Director of Education for U.S. Programs at the MacArthur Foundation. She oversees an $85 million program on Digital Media and Learning, one of the first philanthropic efforts in the country to explore the impact of digital media on young people and its implications for the future of learning.

Scott Traylor leads the digital development and consulting firm 360KID. Scott’s company specializes in product ideation, testing and development; working with businesses interested in engaging kids through different media platforms. He is actively involved in research, writing, and speaking about child engagement through technology.

Eric Klopfer is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. Eric’s research focuses on computer games and simulations that build understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. He is also the co-founder and President of the non-profit Learning Games Network.

Michelle King is a learner first and foremost. A teacher. An instigator. She currently teaches at The Environmental Charter School in Pittsburgh, PA and partners with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, HearMe 101 and Kids and Creativity Network to create learning opportunities for students.

Anna Roberts is the Director of Her background in marketing, strategy and communications was gained over a decade working in design industries. At Working Examples, she has focused her passion for design process and collaboration on rethinking the way people innovate in education.

Panel LPA: Making Waves – Including Students from Non-Dominant Communities in the Maker Movement @ Copley
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Ugochi Acholonu, Aaminah Norris, Junaid Khan

Presenters: Ugochi Acholonu, Aaminah Norris, Junaid Khan, Lisa Schwartz

“Makerspaces” are proliferating throughout the United States as calls increase for developing new literacies within and beyond formal learning environments. Makerspaces, which include classrooms, afterschool programs, and digital fabrication laboratories, are sites where individuals conceptualize and build designs that are community and/or personally relevant. Making relies heavily on the methods and heuristics promoted and used in the product design community. A significant issue for educators is how to instantiate makerspaces within formal contexts in ways that encourage participation and acknowledge community histories. This panel examines several makerspaces that are engaging this challenge through variations of a popular school-based version of making known as Design Thinking.

According to Carrol et al. (2010), “Design thinking is an approach to learning that focuses on developing students’ creative confidence. Students engage in hands on projects that focus on building empathy, promoting a bias toward action, encouraging ideation, and fostering active problem solving.” A key tenet and vehicle for student voice within design thinking is the construction of “prototypes”—physical and interactive drafts of solutions to complex problems posed by teachers in schools. Through prototypes, students externalize and communicate their problem-solving skills and empathetic mindsets. By definition, prototypes are meant to be publicly shared, which links design thinking to demo culture (Di Salvo, 2012). Demo culture is a community value that emphasizes public demonstration of artifacts to draw visceral responses from audiences (Norris, 2014). Demo culture presents tensions in schools as traditionally marginalized students are instructed to present authentic designs that they may prefer to keep private. We posit that students’ hesitancy to engage in demo culture can be attributed to historical violations of trust within schools. As students make and resist making representations of their lived experiences, they evidence an instantiation of their self-perceptions. Refusal to participate may suggest a need for mutually constitutive design processes in schools, where greater attention is paid to how participants jointly negotiate the objective of designs.

This panel brings together design researchers and a practitioner to examine the relationships between Design Thinking, identity processes and the advancement of “demo culture” with youth and educators in urban cities in Northern California and Chicago, and a small town in Colorado. We examine key aspects of Design Thinking practices and question issues of identity and agency within making as a learning approach for students from non-dominant communities. We will also question and examine the implementation of design thinking and other instantiations of makerspaces in formal schooling contexts by exploring ways that the Maker Movement supports and impedes student voice. The goal of this panel is to generate a series of practical solutions in the hopes of fostering new directions for making within urban schools.

Panel OTL: Play With Your MOOC – One Open Tool, 3 Different Flavors of Learning @ St. James
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizer: Vanessa Gennarelli

Presenters: Steve Carson, Natalie Rusk, S. Alex Ruthmann, Vanessa Gennarelli

Platforms in the MOOC landscape are often modeled after traditional pedagogy and “closed” missing an opportunity to invite innovators to build upon them. In response, Peer 2 Peer University created the “Mechanical MOOC”–an open tool that enables smaller cohorts to engage around openly-licensed educational materials.

This series of panelists will walk through the learning design behind 3 courses that have used the Mechanical MOOC:

*A Gentle Introduction to Python ( A collaboration between MIT OpenCourseWare, P2PU, OpenStudy and Codecademy, this primer on programming with Python is now in its 5th cycle and has enrolled a total of 13,000 learners.

*Learning Creative Learning ( In partnership with P2PU, the MIT Media Lab offered its first open online course, experimenting with new ways to engage participants in peer collaboration and design projects—resulting in a community of more than 25,000 educators, technologists, and designers around the world.

*Play With Your Music ( The Mechanical MOOC’s latest production is a project-based, playful introduction to audio and music production in the browser, with cohorts that are formed based participants’ musical taste.

Each of these learning experiences taps elements of the conference’s sub-theme: peers in small cohorts learn from each other, use open tools on the web to build their own projects, and are empowered to navigate the web’s wealth of resources.

Each panelist will discuss how they created cohorts using the Mechanical MOOC and other tools, how these groups evolved, and what they learned to inform future open learning initiatives. The session will close with the unveiling of P2PU’s “MOOConstruction Kit” where attendees will learn how to launch participatory, scalable learning experiences on the web.

Panel PFK: Digital Comics and Bullies @ Commonwealth
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Bill Shribman

Participants: Bill Shribman, Carol Greenwald, Mary Haggerty, Gentry Menzel, Ed Bowers, Richard Lerner

This session brings together senior producers and educators from WGBH and new research from Tufts University. In this moderated panel we will present results from a project entitled “Assessing the Influence of Interactive Technology and Collaborative Learning in Promoting Character Development and Prosocial Behaviors”. Focusing on an exciting new addition to’s ARTHUR web site, we will explore the development, testing and outcomes from a project designed to bring students together to discuss choices made by bullies, the bullied and bystanders.

Panel PFK: Learning Where You Least Expect It – Games that Educate in Non-traditional Settings @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizer: Jesse Sell

Participants: Chelsea Barabas, Desi Gonzalez, Jesse Sell, Erik Stayton

Increasingly, educators are recognizing the pedagogical value of games as a means to connect classroom material to the real world. Games harness the motivations of students to engage with new material in an active, critical way, developing learning competencies that maintain relevance long after they leave school. Museums and community planning workshops are non-traditional educational spaces embracing games which often serve as the bridge connecting new experiences to prior interests, thus facilitating effective transfer of knowledge across different spheres of a learner’s life.

However, educators often come across challenges when attempting to integrate play into their organizational goals and programs. Much of the value-added from game-based learning cannot be captured using standard metrics of learning achievement. Given these measurement challenges, it is difficult to justify the use of games to those who consider them a less efficient means of engaging a captive audience of learners.

In this panel, we bring together educators, researchers, and game designers to discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing games in informal educational settings:

Desi Gonzalez will discuss her experience developing the Museum of Modern Art’s new in-gallery game, Everyone’s a Critic. In this game, players take on the role of “artists,” choosing works that they believe best fit under a particular theme. In order to win the game, museum visitors must justify their art selections the designated “critic,” or judge. She will discuss how the game encourages visitors to critically think about and construct meaningful interpretations of the material on view. Games like this transform a museum visit from a tourist experience into a meaningful learning experience.

Chelsea Barabas will share her experiences designing games to cultivate authentic dialogue and two-way learning relationships between community youth and development experts in east Africa. She will share her experiences using play as a means of facilitating reflection and constructive confrontation within groups where significant disparities in perceived power and authority exist.

Jesse Sell, a researcher at MIT’s Education Arcade, will discuss the teaching potential of commercial video games. While games made for entertainment have traditionally been seen as oppositional to “serious” educational games, they engage students with a wide array of topics and develop necessary competencies. For instance, Starcraft requires players to formulate and apply advanced strategies while managing a micro-economy. In The Sims, players develop an understanding of contemporary economic issues and time-management skills. Commercial games can illustrate concepts and promote processual learning just as well as their educational counterparts.

Erik Stayton will apply his background as an instructional designer to discuss learning assessment for informal games. Learning depends on application and reflection, so the student’s ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the experience takes precedence over factual recall. He will discuss assessment of general analytical skillsets–using tools from outcome based education, for example–taking advantage of the pedagogical freedom offered by informal situations. While evaluating skills and retrospective experience complicates assessment, it represents a more appropriate, holistic metric for experiential learning.

Short Talk Panel LPA: Youth Use of Social Media Tools @ Singleton
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Firewall Chats: Tweens and Social Networks in Restricted Settings
Presenter: Meagan Bromley

Participation in online spaces through virtual environments and social networking provides youth with opportunities to connect and share with one another while engaging in learning that is personally meaningful (Grimes & Fields, 2012). These experiences are perhaps of greater relevance to many non-dominant youth, given reports of racial disparities in social media use in the US – those from low-income families as well as Black and Hispanic ethnic backgrounds spend a greater amount of time on media, and particularly on activities on social networks (e.g., Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). However, for many individuals, institutional and cultural perceptions of social media as dangerous and inappropriate influences become a barrier towards access of informal practices within interest-driven learning.

In a case study of Latino and African American youth that make up the community of an urban after-school center, I present findings around cultural perceptions of social networks, and the ways in which youth work around rules and an institutional firewall to engage in online experiences of self expression and social interaction. Amidst observational and interview data, findings highlight learning possibilities within current uses of virtual environments and social networks in informal community settings that may discourage such platforms. The study also takes as a focus the need to design research in such a way as to examine the specific media ecologies of youth with a methodology that explores discourse in both the offline and online space. In order to realize the potential of these platforms for learning, methods of inquiry must adapt to the innovative ways in which groups are interacting across them, and consider the greater cultural context of use.

Grimes, S. & Fields, D. (2012). Kids online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums. New York. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

Kaiser Family Foundation (2010). “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds: A Kaiser Family Foundation Study,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park:CA. Retrieved October 30, 2013 from:

Designing for Multilingualism: Code-switching in an Online Affinity Apace
Presenter: Grace Kim

Most education scholars agree that school and its attendant cultural expectations subvert the maintenance of ethnic and linguistic minority students’ connections to their cultural heritages. For example, Asian immigrant youth often lose or reject their home languages as a result of schooling. In this presentation, I propose that these youth are turning to online affinity spaces to disrupt such acculturation. This short talk is part of a study that explores the online language and literacy practices of global youth who populate a discussion forum devoted to Korean dramas. The source for data collection was a free website on which people post, watch, and discuss Asian dramas. Qualitative data include the writing, visual images, and interactions created within the forum. In this talk, I focus on how the forum’s design supports code switching as a normative practice: members alternate across heritage languages, nonheritage languages, and digital languages. By theorizing language as a social process and examining how members manipulate the forum’s design to promote multilingualism, I offer an illustrative case of how affinity spaces centered on non-western cultures support diasporic youth. This talk addresses this year’s theme and more particularly, the sub-theme “Learning Identities and Pathways for All: Serving Non-Dominant Youth,” by presenting informal learning environments as vital resources for formal learning environments to look to, support, and leverage in order to support the identities and pathways of non-dominant youth who must navigate multiple linguistic and cultural worlds across their home and school settings.

Using twitter to Define Bilingual Literacy in a Networked World
Presenter: Michelle Johnson

My talk addresses the theme, LEARNING IDENTITIES AND PATHWAYS FOR ALL: Serving non-dominant youth, by investigating Spanish-English code switching on twitter as a model for bilingual literacy practices. Currently, most U.S. emergent bilingual youth are in ESL courses learning English literacy. Often these students are conversant in English and use English daily, but many never leave the academic ESL track and consequentially, never graduate high school. Researchers know that students who literate in one language develop second language literacy much faster. In this talk, I present ways to revise our concept of academic literacy to incorporate bilingualism by first developing a model for “successful bilingual literacy.”

For the first time, vernacular literacy practices have been made public, allowing for investigations into how people write in the language(s) they are most comfortable in, and how attention to audience versus addressee influences language choices. Theorizing that twitter offers a platform for a diverse set of literacy practices and message goals, I followed 50 bilingual Spanish-English twitter users over three months to investigate when, how and why they mixed languages or changed from their most frequent language. I found that identity-focused groups mixed languages more than others, both syntactically and semantically, whereas professionally-focused groups duplicated tweets rather than mixed languages. These results can have a direct impact on what is considered “successful” literacy – by focusing on audience and addressee, bilingual writing (and bilingual students) have a place and a purpose in writing on digital platforms.

Social media and formal learning spaces: Building Meaningful Connections for Refugee Youth
Presenter: Delila Omerbasic

Youth have significant opportunities to experience learning in digital environments, such as social media, games, and apps (Gee, 2012; Ito et al., 2009; Tomas & Brown, 2011). For immigrant and transnational youth, these spaces provide opportunities to make or (re)establish connections, learn or maintain languages, and engage in complex identity negotiation processes. However, learning, play, friendships, and collaborations that take place in dynamic digital spaces are frequently not acknowledged in formal educational institutions, where access to these spaces is increasingly restricted and monitored. It is important to reconsider such restrictive policies and build meaningful connections between formal and informal spaces of learning and exploration. Drawing on critical sociocultural theory, this talk will present findings from an 8-month qualitative study in a community after-school program that serves refugee youth. The paper will illustrate how nine Burmese and Karen teenage girls resettled as refugees engage with social media to negotiate complex linguistic and social contexts and participate in learning and meaning production in ways not supported in formal learning spaces. Moreover, this paper will highlight the specific skills that these young women develop in digital spaces, such as collaborative language learning, multimodal composition, and multilingual meaning making, and discuss the potential for connecting those skills to formal learning spaces in meaningful ways. This paper seeks to disrupt the dichotomies between formal and informal learning and argues for engaging with everyday digital literacies in formal educational spaces in ways that support students’ diverse cultural and linguistic experiences.

The Voices of Low SES Urban Youth: Perspectives In Online Engagement
Presenters: Martha Hoff

The exploration of mobile technology use amongst low SES urban youth is both under explored and under theorized in the literature. This presentation summarizes a study that looked at how mobile technology influenced the literacy practices of urban youth. Youth voices informed the research through the inclusion of interviews and participant observation in addition to remote monitoring software that tracked the use of and engagement in media and technologies. The experiences of these low SES, urban youth are told through their voices, in both on- and offline spaces. Data analysis led to four critical findings. (1) Smart phones were the technology of choice. (2) Youth watched but did not actively engage in spaces where the others were not previously known in a physical sense. (3) A communication hierarchy existed and the concept of connectedness was critical. In that bounded community space youth felt and experienced trust, support and a safe place in which to express themselves. (4) Trust impacted communication and engagement in both on-and offline communities. When there was a lack of trust, active (participatory) engagement was limited. Even when youth had questions and knew of online communities that could be supportive they would venture into that space only as a watcher not an active participant. Youth would tinker alone, without the support of more knowledgeable others, limiting learning potential. The inclusion of these underrepresented voices in the networked community discourse is critical if the discourse is to be informed by the diversity of voices and experiences.

Workshop BYV: Educating for Participatory Politics – Toward Youth Voice, Influence and Social Change @ Oval
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Erica Hodgin, Joe Kahne, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl

Presenters: Erica Hodgin, Joe Kahne, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl

In this interactive workshop, we will explore what it means to prepare youth to be effective civic actors in the digital age, and, in turn, how to address the roots of systemic injustice and inequity. Presenters Joe Kahne, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl and Erica Hodgin will begin the session building off of Ethan Zuckerman’s keynote address at the 2013 DML conference by briefly outlining key research findings from the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) that demonstrate the changing dynamics of democratic life in the digital age and highlighting the worth of educators attending to participatory politics.

We will then share a working framework—informed by connected learning and traditions from civic education—connecting YPP research to the practice of educating youth for participatory politics. The framework includes a map of the transformations of core civic and political practices, opportunities and potential risks that accompany the digital age, and participatory design principles that foster powerful civic learning. The Educating for Participatory Politics (EPP) project, a subgroup of the YPP Network, has been developing this framework alongside the exploratory work of four teams in three different cities (Chicago, Oakland, and Los Angeles).

For the remainder of the workshop, we will ask participants to choose a portion of the framework and work in a small group to grapple with the following key questions in relation to one of the practices (e.g. circulation) or principles (e.g. networked). What does it mean for practitioners to prepare powerful civic actors to have voice and influence in this new ecology? How can the framework for educating for participatory politics guide practitioners in and out of schools to innovate their practice to promote youth voice and influence? How can we move from theory to practice in a way that places this work at the center of change efforts in schools and community based learning? How can we seize the opportunities available in this changing world to guide youth toward meaningful civic and political engagement and address the root causes of systemic injustice and inequity?

Workshop PFK: Place + Play = Game Design for Media(ting) Improvisation @ State Suite
Mar 6 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Presenters: Jeremiah (Remi) Holden, James Mathews, Wade Berger

Many of us may recall hearing – or perhaps saying – some version of the following: “You can go outside and play after you’ve finished your math homework.” But what if math homework was taken more seriously – so that it included both outside play and play with(in) digital media environments? If students are to experience the possibilities (and playfulness) of mathematical inquiry situated across multiple formal and informal contexts (White, Booker, Ching, & Martin, 2011), in what ways can schools of education prepare future teachers to facilitate such game- and place-based learning? This workshop draws upon My Madison Math, a curriculum located at the intersection of game design, mobile media learning, and teacher education (Holden, 2013). To instantiate “gameful learning” (Holden et al., forthcoming), this workshop stretches improvisational play across physical and virtual settings, digital and analog tools, and interdisciplinary relationships, thereby generating a “cohabited space for embodied collective learning” (Stanyek, 2004).

My Madison Math is an iteration of The Placework Project’s Everyday Art; both are scavenger hunt games designed to alter how players experience academic content, places, and digital media using mobile devices in situ. By leveraging social practices as playful means of collaboration and problem solving, games like My Madison Math and Everyday Art make a difference in how students and teachers experience and understand disciplinary content, the local, media design, and relations among these elements (Mathews & Holden, 2012). This workshop posits a related design challenge: “How can a game be designed so both the social practices and digital artifacts generated during play span contexts, tools, and disciplines?” Following a brief description of design-based research within the teacher education program of a public research university, participants will form teams of three and begin play. Game play within the workshop will include three phases:

Phase 1: Place-based mobile media production. Role-playing ethnographers, geographers, and photojournalists, participants will traverse the built environment to generate mobile media and crowdsource evidence of the ways in which everyday experience connects to disciplinary concepts.

Phase 2: Mapping conceptual relationships across settings. After returning to the shared workshop space, teams will use digital and analog tools (online applications, paper, markers) to map interdisciplinary information flows within and across multiple contexts.

Phase 3: “Modding” the game as design template. While game play will illustrate unique disciplinary and professional perspectives (e.g. mathematics, teacher education), the final phase will support (re)design efforts applicable to a range of topics and settings. Alternative modifications will be authored within a shared wikispace, providing participants access to a collaborative archive accessible after the workshop concludes.

The mechanics of many games are now routinely used as templates for complementary design processes. Participants will leave this workshop capable of distinguishing the relevance of My Madison Math as a design template in three ways: explicating “latitudes of co-production” (Facer, 2011) to connect formal and informal learning; attending to context as both activity and setting of play; and synthesizing how tools and pedagogies situate improvisational playfulness across multiple contexts.

Ignite Talks! @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 6 @ 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM


1. Sam Dyson, Hive Chicago, Mozilla Foundation, @samueledyson

What Can a Learning Network Do?

Inviting people to learn deeply is hard and important. For those of us working to extend that invitation to more youth, especially those who might otherwise be disengaged, we encounter a complex mix of problems and mysteries. This talk is about the promise of communities like Hive Learning Networks ( to turn mysteries into problems and problems into innovative solutions.

2. Matt Rafalow, University of California-Irvine, @mrafalow

“Code-Switching”: ‘Digital Natives’ and ‘Digital Immigrants’ at School

The use of the terms “digital native” and “digital immigrant” have spread rapidly in society. Typically these categories refer to youths’ seemingly natural gifts with technology, while older generations have difficulty keeping up. Educators, technologists, and social scientists know these categories are complicated for a number of reasons. However, I find that teachers regularly use these terms to make meaning out of the relationships with their students. Through comparative research in middle schools that vary by race and class, I find that many teachers see students’ peer-centered tech skills as frivolous and even threatening to classroom lessons. One school, however, frames students’ skills and teachers’ roles differently: they teach students how to “code-switch,” or translate their peer-oriented skills with technology in ways that are valuable to school. In this way, teachers are positioned as mentors that can link young people’s skills from hanging out with peers online to educational institutions.

3. Michael Edson, Smithsonian Institution, @mpedson

Jack the Museum is a slam poem in the guise of an Ignite talk: a 20 slide/ 5 minute rhyming, rhythmic, smackdown and call-to-action for any institution – – anyone – – thinking about global learning. I have a fancy title: I’m the director of web and new media strategy at the Smithsonian Institution. I will rock this.

4. JACKIE GONZALEZ, Program Manager, Flagship Computer Clubhouse, Boston Museum of Science, @mmm_jackiez

An obstacle for teens entering STEM careers is the lack of explicit creativity and fun. Through presenting a range of obtainable but unique careers, I will demonstrate that there are better ways to encouraging STEM-based interests other than salaries. Creativity is important in each and every career, and educators/Mentors need to see beyond the fluff and truly explore why it matters, particularly in STEM. Creativity is not just about artistic expression, it’s about taking risks, seeing things in new ways, making connections and challenging assumptions – skills we can all benefit from. I would hope to inspire others to explore and foster the role of creativity in their lives and re-imagine the successes for our young people that can come from it.

5. Ariel Waldman, Science Hack Day, @arielwaldman

The Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Don’t panic: the next big science revolution isn’t just for asteroid miners or CERN scientists. There has been a considerable movement in the last several years to make science more open between scientific disciplines and to the perceived “public”. But simply making science open – by placing datasets, research, and materials online and using open source licensing – is only half the battle. Science should be disruptively accessible – empowering people from a variety of different backgrounds to explore, participate in, and build new ways of interacting with and contributing to science. Just as science fiction has often shown the way to future inventions, the act of hacking is now generating prototypes that act as footholds for future explorations, discoveries and epiphanies in science.

6. Christine McCaleb, iEARN-USA, @intl_tina

Digital Storytelling: Building Empathy for Systemic Change

Digital Storytelling has been praised for its inter-disciplinary learning opportunities and diverse applications to promote 21st century skills and technology literacy. But it is rarely referenced for its contributions to psycho-social development or community building. I propose that educators leverage the affordances of digital storytelling to tackle bullying in schools and build more emphatic learning communities. Learning to tell the story of another can be a transformative exercise that requires empathy, team work, understanding and finding value in the “other”. Combine this with the creativity of multimedia, interpersonal communication blossoms. Reflecting on my experiences facilitating multiple digital storytelling workshops to groups of intercultural youth in Ghana, Qatar, and Turkey, I demonstrate how youth can begin to cultivate healthier learning environments, both in their own schools and their communities.

7. Jane Park, Creative Commons, School of Open, @janedaily

How “Open” is Transforming Communities

I’m going to talk about how “open” can change lives in unexpected ways. For example, who ever that that open resources could bring running water to a rural school in Kenya? (

Or science skills to remote island kids off the east coast of China? (

This is the power of “open”, which has been demonstrated time ( and time again ( These online courses, training programs, and projects are started up by passionate volunteers all around the world as part of the School of Open (, and they are changing lives. The School of Open (SOO) is a community of volunteers focused on providing free education opportunities on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and more. Anyone can join. I’ll provide incentives and quick list of ways the audience can partake, and to come talk to me after the talk or at the DML cafe session.

8. Taos Glickman, Communication PhD Student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Would The Breakfast Club be a bunch of Cyberbullies Today?: Investigating Where Screen Media Intersects in this Screen-Based Issue

This talk will answer the probing question: Would The Breakfast Club (1985) teens be a bunch of cyberbullies today? In recent years youth cyberbullying or, “the use of information and communications technology to intimidate, harass, victimize, or bully an individual or a group of individuals” (Bhat, 2008. p.54), has increasing garnered parental and public attention. However, missing from much of the discussion is the role screen media itself plays in this screen-based issue. Focusing on historical and current youth-targeted film and television, I discuss frequent representations and stereotypical depictions of “bullies” and “victims.” These often follow clique/cliché-based formulas like the ‘jerky jock,’ and the ‘loaner nerd.’ From the seminal teen angst of Rebel Without a Cause (1955), all the way to the Mean Girls (2004) for a new generation, this takes a humorous look at a serious issue.

9. Debra Kerr, YouthMuse, @YouthMuser

Build a Better Message

Teens and adults instinctually believe if we can just educate or explain well enough, our audience will take action. We are wrong. Recent research shows understanding and action are not connected. In fact, action leads to a desire to learn. Deb will awaken the audience’s intuitive response, prompting them to remember when their action led to deeper learning and share quick clips of what happens when she does the same for teen audiences.

10. Amy Storrow, Senior Advisor for Innovation, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, @AmyinWashDC #ECACollab

Improvisational Theater and Virtual Exchanges: We’ve Got Your Back!

This ignite session will look at the creation of a new office within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State, The Collaboratory. We use the principles of design thinking and “agreement” from improvisational theater as guides for programming and decision-making within the Bureau. How do these methods open up new possibilities in creating virtual exchanges? How can we all improvise together?

11. Yasmin Kafai, University of Pennsylvania, @katyaskit

Changing the Face of Computing, One Stitch at a Time

National and local competitions, such as Coding Wars, Google Science Competition, FIRST Robotics, Hackfest, Microsoft Imagine Cup—to name just a few of the ever-growing list—have become popular venues to engage and highlight hacking accomplishments. In recent years, online versions—such as the National STEM Video Game Design Challenge, Globaloria Awards, and Make-to-Learn Contest—have joined the portfolio. While these competitions, contests, and challenges are theoretically open to all, it is also clear that they are not broadening participation. Although actively engaging many youth, to date large-scale competitions have often encountered difficulties attracting and sustaining participation for students in groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. To change the face of computing requires new ways of thinking about and doing computing and connecting to issues that are important to young people’s lives. We decided to join the nation’s largest college hackathon with over 1,200 hackers and propose StitchFest, a different type of hack, around the theme of wear and care. After all, it was fashion that inspired British woman Ada Lovelace to write the first computer program—the code for a mechanical loom that wove the complex patterns for the jacquard textiles that were in vogue at the time. And yet, the historical and intimate relationship between fashion and computing has largely been forgotten and ignored, even as Lovelace’s pioneering spirit lives on today in dresses that change colors, jackets that play music, shoes that light up, and necklaces that display Twitter feeds. The old saying goes that one stitch at a time saves nine in the future. Stitching and coding your own wearables is one step (or stitch) into broadening participation in, and ultimately changing the face of computing.

12. Constance Steinkuehler, Co-Director, Games+Learning+Society Center
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction
University of Wisconsin-Madison, @constances

Building a Corporation for Public Gaming

Since David Rejeski’s first proposal for a Corporation for Public Gaming in 2006, the field of games for impact has spoken of its need in hushed tones, all too aware of how unlikely such an establishment would be in today’s political climate. The idea of public media is under fire from both sides of the political isle, and the dream of anything close to $300M yearly appropriation for interactive media like games seems unlikely. After all, we’ve a hard enough time simply convincing Americans that not all games are the same, that not all games are violent, and that videogames, just like television, can be the medium of all sorts of expression and not just another “vast wasteland.”

As platforms for games diversity and rush into mobile devices (phones and tablets), however, so too does their audience diversify. And as a broader swath of the public engages with games of myriad forms, the nation is starting to wake up to the medium’s diversity and potential. To borrow a phrase from President Johnson when he signed legislation to establish the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) back in 1967 for television, “we have only begun to grasp the great promise of the medium.”

In this rant I want to talk about the critical functions a Corporation for Public Gaming (CPG) would serve and the efforts we can make to bring that entity into existence. The building blocks are already there in different sectors: academics, industry, philanthropy, government, and – increasingly, the public market. With some partnership and field building to remove critical barriers and frictions, I argue, we can create a new form of CPG that’s distributed across multiple entities working in unison and amplify the function of one another. Perhaps we should start with grass roots organization that leverages the efforts already in play, and then argue for appropriations after the fact rather than a priori. There is an old adage in Washington DC that, every good idea needs three things: resources, permission, and people who own it. And of those three things, its people who are the most critical ingredient. I argue we now have the people and passion we need to make a Corporation for Public Gaming possible. This is my call to arms.



DML2014 Reception & Mozilla Science Fair @ Venetian & Oval
Mar 6 @ 10:15 PM – 11:45 PM


Join us for a cocktail reception and get your digital hands dirty!

Over 20 exhibitors from Hive Learning Networks, Make Things Do Stuff, and MIT Media Lab will share projects that exemplify connecting practices across disciplines. Come mingle and meet the people, projects and ideas that build bridges using open learning principles.

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Badges: Forging a Chicago STEM Pathway Across the US | Project Exploration / C-STEMM

Interact with experiences developing and implementing a STEM digital-badging ecosystem for non-formal learning environments in Chicago. We will center on a hands-on, interactive metaphorming activity to invent the I-80 for digital badging. Come and re-imagine pathways, build bridges between cities, and move youth and communities to amazing new places.

4th Floor | Chattanooga Public Library
The 4th floor of Chattanooga Public Library in Tennessee is a public laboratory and educational facility with a focus on information, design, technology, and the applied arts. The 12,000+ ft2 space hosts equipment, expertise, programs, events, and meetings that work within this scope. While traditional library spaces support the consumption of knowledge by offering access to media, 4th Floor is unique because it supports the production, connection, and sharing of knowledge by offering access to tools and instruction. This station will have demos and descriptions of the activities that take place at the library.

Arts Greenhouse | Carnegie Mellon University
Experience an impromptu music recording! Arts Greenhouse is a free hip-hop education and music technology program for teens. Come see what the kids have made. (All tracks will be compiled and made available for download.)

BadgeKit | Mozilla­­
Mark Surman (Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation) will be announcing the launch of BadgeKit at the Science Fair. This station will be a good place for people to test out the new toolstack, provide feedback and get questions answered.

Build in Progress | MIT Media Lab: Lifelong Kindergarten Group
Build in Progress is a platform to document and share your design projects as they’re being developed. We showcase and celebrate the trials and errors that naturally occur throughout the design process!

Code Club | Code Club, UK
Code Club is a volunteer lead after school coding club for children in elementary and middle school. We send volunteers into schools to teach Scratch, HTML/CSS, Python etc. Our lesson materials are tried and tested, free and open source :)

Code Your Kicks! | GigaBryte
GigaBryte was designed to help close the racial and ethnic divide in computing. We introduce low opportunity youth to programming through wearable electronics. We built a platform for “sneakerheads,” or kids who are obsessed with sneaker design, customization, and collection. We use their passion as a gateway into programming.

Codemancer | Important Little Games
A fantasy game that teaches the magic of code and the fundamentals of programming to a broad audience. This station will have a working demo with for participants to play and explore!

Curiosity Machine | Iridescent
We will showcase the Curiosity Machine, an online website that contains over 80 of Iridescent’s open-ended design challenges. Each activity inspires kids to be more creative, curious, and persistent through the act of building and creating. The website is free to use, and offers the opportunity for kids to be virtually mentored by professional engineers as they build.

Digital Learning Day | Kansas City Public Library
Come see how we’ve engaged youth through making activities! Share best-practices with us, and learn about the new Gigabit Hive efforts.

GreenTECH Specialist Badge & App | MOUSE
MOUSE will demo activities and an app from our new GreenTECH badge. GreenTECH utilizes new technologies, including Webmaker tools, to encourage making, experimenting and remixing, while learning about earth-friendly technology. The app allows students to perform energy audits and experiment with ways to reduce a school’s carbon footprint. While it was developed to accompany GreenTECH, it is open for anyone to use.

Media Lab | Sarah Heinz House [tentative]

NYC Haunts | Global Kids
Global Kids will showcase NYC Haunts: youth-created augmented-reality games about neighborhoods in New York. We will engage in a dialogue about best-practices from our experience expanding this program to new formal and informal learning settings. We will also demonstrate how to use MIT’s new software, TaleBlazer, to design and play a geo-locative game.

OpenBadges Pathways | Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation + Mozilla
Mozilla’s OpenBadges and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are creating a Discovery tool — a directory of badges connected to career pathways — with content developed in collaboration with industry partners. With a primary audience of pre-college youth, these pathways will link to specific learning experiences and career goals. At the core of the project is the idea that there are different types of pathways, and that these can be personalized to meet individual learning needs.

Pterosaurs: The Card Game | American Museum of Natural History
A new card game about pterosaurs designed via a DIY web-based card game tool that incorporat­­es elements of augmented reality. This is a collaborative effort between an afterschool youth program, the museum exhibition department, game designers, and science educators.

STEM Stars | YWCA Greater Pittsburgh + Carnegie Science Center
Check out how the STEM Stars help girls improve academic achievement! This collaborative project removes barriers, increases opportunities, and prepares young people for exciting STEM career exploration.

Remake Learning Digital Corps | Hive Pittsburgh/The Sprout Fund
Activate digital literacies for youth! The Digital Corps is a network of makers, educators, community members, and students working to demystify programming, investigate privacy issues, and pair mentors with teenagers. We will demonstrate our learning tools, training process, and Hive Pittsburgh community resources.

StoryScape: Transmedia for Everyone | MIT Media Lab: Affective Computing Group
StoryScape is a platform that allows anyone to create highly interactive illustrated digital stories that can cross into physical assets and environments.

The Things They Carried Interactive | National Veterans Art Museum
Inspired by Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, this exhibit serves as a visual companion to illustrate the narrative with fine art and photography from veterans that lived the stories in the novel. This interactive site for the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago seeks to allow anyone to access and explore The Things They Carried exhibit, and provide a deeper understanding of the experience, sacrifice and historical significance of what these soldiers carried — physically and emotionally — during the Vietnam War.

Unhangout | MIT Media Lab
Unhangout is an open source platform for running large-scale online un-conferences for community-based learning instead of top-down information transfer. Think of it as a classroom with an infinite number of breakout sessions. Each event has a landing page, which we call the lobby. When participants arrive, they can see who else is there and chat with each other. The hosts can do a video welcome and introduction that gets streamed into the lobby. Participants then break out into smaller sessions (up to 10 people per session) for in-depth conversations, peer-to-peer learning, and collaboration on projects.

Webmaker + Hive Learning Networks | Mozilla
Level up your web literacy skills with Mozilla Webmaker! See how the web works and remix any website with X-Ray Goggles and Thimble. Or learn more about Hive Learning Networks and what it takes to start a Hive in your city.

Registration Opens @ Lobby
Mar 7 @ 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Registration Desk is open in the Lobby.


March 6, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

March 7, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

March 8, 2014 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Featured Session: Connecting Learning Institutions – Building Learning Ecologies and Pathways @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

This Connected Life: The Trials and Tribulations of Building Learning Labs and Learning Networks in Three Acts

Organizer/Discussant: Elizabeth Babccock

Participants: Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Ingrid Dahl, Rik Panganiban, Cathy Cormier, Morgan Anderson, Jennifer Nichols, Robin Mencher, Emilie Robert Wong, Amelia Marsh

The focus of this session will be on real life experiences designing and operating learning labs, creating and sustaining learning networks, and involving youth in the day-to-day work.

This session will dramatically highlight the true stories of Learning Lab and Learning Network collaborators, including their youth partners, focusing on authentic challenges getting their networks activated with youth leadership. The presentation structure will mimic the “This American Life” radio show format, including a short, compelling open by the “narrator,” followed by three “acts” presented by representatives of different Learning Labs and the learning networks they are creating (which are, in some cases, HIVES). Each act will detail the role of youth in planning, decision-making, implementation, and reflection of learning lab design and learning network programming, and what it is like to build a connected learning community. The stories will be intimate, frank, and engaging, with relevant media.

The session will conclude with an opportunity for the audience to share and reflect on their own challenges with creating connected learning experiences for their young people and reflect on them together.



Individual Talk OTL: MOOCs @ Commonwealth
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Individual Talk: Surviving the MOOC Trenches: Confessions of an Extreme Learner
Presenter: Jonathan Haber

Massive Open Online Courses have been a topic of extreme interest over the last two years. And discussions (and controversy) surrounding their use and effectiveness has moved from higher education into all areas of learning (including K-12).

With major colleges and universities from around the world providing access to the best courses for free, student and teachers need a better understanding of what MOOCs do and don’t do well. Most of the conversation surrounding MOOCs has been informed by administrators anxious to see what these new resources offer their institutions, instructors who have created MOOC courses (and those who fear they are a threat to job security) and the occasional students who have taken (and maybe even completed) an online course or two.

What has been missing from this conversation is the perspective of someone who has taken enough courses on enough subjects from enough different providers and institutions to provide a well-rounded and well-grounded understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these new learning tools. And teachers and administrators would also benefit from expert opinion on how key course components (such as lectures, online discussion and assessment) have worked or not worked in massive online learning environments.

The presenter (the author of the upcoming book MOOCs: An Essential Guide from MIT Press) has developed this needed perspective through his Degree of Freedom One Year BA project (, an effort to learn the equivalent of a liberal arts BA in just twelve months using only MOOCs and other forms of free learning. In addition to taking 32 classes (which make use of every major MOOC provider from multiple institutions of higher education), the presenter has written over 150 articles on all aspects of “MOOC culture” based on his personal experience, research into trends in online learning, and professional background in assessment and curriculum design.

This session will help educators better master the vocabulary of MOOCs, understand where they came from (and where they are going) and develop the tools necessary to guide students (and themselves) through an educational landscape destined to be forever changed by the availability of free online courses from some of the world’s most prestigious colleges and universities.

CANCELLED: Panel: Challenges and Opportunities for Building an Online “Un-Course” Using Design Research Methodology

Organizers: Robbie McClintock, Tucker Harding
Presenters: Robbie McClintock, Tucker Harding, Adrienne Garber, Michael Cennemo

Panel LPA: Pathways into Connected Learning for Non-Dominant Youth – Opportunities and Challenges @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Organizer: Veena Vasudevan

Participants:Kris Gutiérrez, Lisa Schwartz, Daniela DiGiacomo, Shirin Vossoughi, Andrew Maul, William R. Penuel, Nathan Dadey, Lawrence P. Gallagher, Timothy Podkul, Adam York, Ashley Cartun, Emily Price, Whitney L. King, Deborah A. Fields, Veena Vasudevan, Yasmin B. Kafai

Format: In this workshop we will first provide an overview of Connected Learning and then participants will have a chance to interact directly with the presenters to learn about the methodological and design employed in their research.

Overview: Young people find different ways into passions, curiosities and eventually careers or jobs. Exposure to new ideas or practices often comes from formal settings like schools but increasingly, informal settings like community centers or museums, or even online spaces have become equally important in shaping learning experiences and influencing the choices young people have and make. Schools in particular are often out of step with what is appealing to youth and are frequently unable to find ways to connect to their lived realities, passions and interests, particularly in light of increasing standardization and emphasis on certain approaches to teaching and learning. Often nondominant youth experience significant disconnects between their out of school and in-school experiences. Thus, interest-driven and out of school settings are particularly valuable to many youth from nondominant communities, for whom schools can provide few opportunities to experience competence and leverage expertise from their families and communities (Calabrese Barton, Tan, & Rivet, 2008; Gutiérrez, Morales, & Martinez, 2009). Finding ways to connect or bridge youth’s identities is critical in creating links among institutions that make up young people’s learning ecologies. In this session, we share a diverse set of methodological approaches to researching and designing connected learning opportunities for non-dominant youth through which we show how different spaces and design approaches can provide opportunities for young people to connect and learn.

We will share findings from ongoing research that illustrate how putting learners’ identities and interests at the center can lead to learning, increased transparency and participation. In particular, some of the research being shared looks at how intentional design of learning opportunities with ample room for young people to express their identities illustrate valuable insights about models of connected learning that have been successful in getting them immersed in projects that employ a range of media, technology and processes, that are new to them. In doing so, these projects provide those initial opportunities that help open pathways for youth who might not traditionally have opportunities to access certain disciplines or ideas, like technology or science.

Projects range from participating in fashion collectives, to designing electronic textiles to creating video games in sites like after school programs, community centers and classrooms.

This workshop also illustrates a range of rich methodological approaches to collecting and analyzing data on connected learning in elementary, secondary and university level settings. This research illustrates how we can understand or explore connected learning across informal and formal learning spaces and how we can share this knowledge to change policy or practices in various institutions. In addition, our panel will touch on a variety of data collection strategies from interviews to ethnographic observations to survey instruments, that all help to contribute a robust picture of youth’s experiences with connected learning.

Making and Tinkering: Creativity, Imagination, and Ingenuity as a Fundamental Human Practice
Kris Gutiérrez, University of Colorado Boulder
Lisa Schwartz, University of Colorado Boulder
Daniela DiGiacomo, University of Colorado Boulder
Shirin Vossoughi, Stanford University and The Exploratorium

Emerging Validity Evidence for a Survey Measure of Connected Learning
Andrew Maul, University of Colorado Boulder
William R. Penuel, University of Colorado Boulder
Nathan Dadey, University of Colorado Boulder
Lawrence P. Gallagher, SRI International
Timothy Podkul, SRI International

The Development of Cultural and Social Capital in Connected Learning Settings
Adam York, University of Colorado Boulder
Ashley Cartun, University of Colorado Boulder
Emily Price, University of Colorado Boulder

Designing for Connected Learning in a University Course: Crafting with E-Textiles
Whitney L. King, Utah State University
Deborah A. Fields, Utah State University

Connected Game Designs: Programming Game Controllers in Game Making for Learning Activities in Schools
Veena Vasudevan, University of Pennsylvania
Yasmin B. Kafai, University of Pennsylvania

Panel OTL: The Path, The Pocket, and the Party – Learner-Centered Innovation in Open Online Learning @ Venetian
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Organizers: Justin Reich

Presenters: Justin Reich, David Cox, Nadja Oertelt, Terry Fisher, Nathaniel Levy, Ana Enriquez

The growth of MOOCs has highlighted a widespread enthusiasm for increasing access to learning. One of the challenges of this growth has been that expanding content delivery has proven relatively easy, while developing scalable learner-centered innovations has proven more difficult. This panel will feature talks and technical demonstrations from Harvard University educators developing three different, innovative approaches to empowering students as co-creators of their experience. Together, the three teams represent promising new directions for expanding online learning by scaling community and participation rather than scaling delivery and dissemination.

MCB80x: An Introduction to Neuroscience is a course offered through edX but built on an entirely new platform created by a diverse team of neuroscientists, programmers, documentarians, and animators. Through visual content maps and badge-based dynamics, students can move through the course material at their own pace and path. A key feature of MCB80x are “guided interactive” simulations where video explanations and instructor scaffolding are seamlessly woven into participant-led simulations. The guided interactives in MCB80x build on ideas developed in complex online games, where players learn simulation mechanics through instructional scaffolding built directly into the simulation, rather than as a preface. Through a partnership with Backyard Brains, makers of DIY neuroscience kits, participants conduct and design neuroscience experiments at home and then share them through social media networks that are integrated into MCB80x’s web-based platform. MCB80x offers an example of how even challenging scientific content can be taught in learning environments that empower students as learners.

CopyrightX was the first edX course to offer synchronous learning communities facilitated by teaching fellows, students at the Harvard Law School. CopyrightX is an effort to balance the ideals of legal education—including Socratic discussion with expectations of meaningful student participation—with the impetus of open learning to expand access to education. One promising innovation in CopyrightX is the development of satellite courses, pockets of learners spread around the world who both share in a common learning experience and contributing ideas, conversations, and new course content back into the network of learners. CopyrightX represents an attempt to scale community rather than to scale dissemination, and to approach the challenges of access without compromising the ideals of high quality education.

Finally, educators involved in Project Zero’s Future of Learning Institute will present their efforts to bring technologies designed for the original connectivist MOOCs to bear on a four-day synchronous festival of learning. The Future of Learning Institute convenes participants from all over the world for a short, powerful learning experience—a learning experience that can be made more powerful by ensuring that the networks built during the event can grow beyond the event. Using syndication engines designed for DS106 and other cMOOCs, the Future of Learning team designed a web platform that allow participants to connect to a central online learning hub from the communication platforms that they use everyday, such as email, Twitter, and YouTube. The result was an online space that curated the collective insights of educators while maintaining low barriers to participation.

Panel PFK: “Doing Good” Game Design @ St. James
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Organizers: Kelly Mendoza, Tanner Higgin

Presenters: Richard Tate, Jesse Schell, Jessica Berlinski, Tanner Higgin

By organizing play and modeling the world, games allow us to distill the world’s complexities and think through tough issues. Discourse around educational games often focuses on core subject content or new ways of thinking. But success in school and life also depends on how kids interact with others, understand feelings, practice healthy behavior, and make decisions in the world. Can games go beyond teaching core content and help shape attitudes and behavior, connecting kids with skills for productive and healthy living? This panel brings together designers who have developed games tackling these issues. Some key questions the panel will address include:
* How can games be “transformational” to change attitudes and behavior?
* What is the intersection between “play” within the game and the “work” of attitude and behavioral change in everyday life?
* What formative work and research should be done in game design for social good to create a meaningful and impactful game experience?
* How can games boost self-efficacy and shift attitudes, and create positive emotional experiences?
* Are games for social good a growing trend, and if so, what is fuelling them?
* How can personal growth through play extend to social and community change?

Panelists represent designers who have developed games for social change around health behaviors and emotional intelligence. The first panelist is Richard Tate, VP of Communication and Marketing at HopeLab, creators of the groundbreaking Re-Mission games for young cancer patients and the Zamzee game-based website and activity tracker to motivate physical activity. HopeLab works to harness the power and appeal of technology to motivate positive health behavior and foster resilience to improve health and well-being.

The second panelist is Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell games, and Distinguished Professor of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. Schell Games partnered with Yale University to develop the game PlayForward: Elm City Stories, aimed at preventing HIV infection among ethnic minority adolescents. Jesse was the Chairman of the International Game Developers Association, he is also the author of the award winning book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses.

The third panelist, Jessica Berlinski, is Chief Learning Officer of If You Can, a San Francisco and London based company dedicated to building social and emotional learning skills in youth in a game platform. She joins Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins in creating and leveraging the first scalable, entertaining digital tool to build Emotional Intelligence, address bullying and build core life skills in children and parents across the country. Her prior work has been in educational non-profits including Character Counts and GameDesk, promoting social change through serious games.

The moderator of the panel is Tanner Higgin, Senior Manager of Education Content at Common Sense Media. Tanner oversees the games coverage for, a review and rating site for K-12 ed tech. He has a PhD from the University of California, Riverside, researching video games and culture. Prior to joining Common Sense Media, Tanner worked as a curriculum developer and researcher at GameDesk.

Short Talk Panel BYV: Channels for Youth Voice – Pathways Under Construction @ Singleton
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Building Community Partnerships that Transform Youth Voice into Civic Agency
Presenter: Josh Schachter

Josh Schachter ( is a visual storyteller, media arts educator, and cultural organizer based in Tucson, Arizona. Over the past 15 years he has collaborated on community-based media projects with youth, schools and nonprofit organizations in places ranging from New Delhi to Nigeria to the US/Mexico border. He is currently a core team member of the Pima County Public Library Learning Lab supported by the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) and MacArthur Foundation.

Through his presentation, Josh will share his experiences and reflections concerning the sub-theme — Beyond Youth Voice: Transforming Adults, Youth, and Systems for Inclusive Social Change. In particular, his presentation will explore how youth voice, media and strategic community partnerships can play a critical role in expanding the social capital of youth and in facilitating authentic youth engagement with adult-driven systems. Josh will also briefly examine critical ethical and programmatic questions concerning how, where and when to engage youth in systems-change endeavors. As co-founder of the Finding Voice Project ( since 2006, he will draw on his experiences at Finding Voice to contextualize his presentation. Finding Voice is a Tucson-based project that supports refugee and immigrant youth at Catalina Magnet High School in developing their literacy skills by researching, photographing, writing, and speaking out about critical issues in their lives and communities. The socio-political context for this work is particularly challenging in light of Arizona’s increasingly anti-immigrant legislation and the recent ban of Mexican-American studies in Tucson Unified School District. In light of these and other factors, community partnerships have been critical in facilitating pathways that support authentic youth voice and civic engagement on local, regional and national levels. These partnerships have ranged from youth working with school administrators and the University of Arizona to redesign Catalina’s campus to collaborating with the International Refugee Committee to create a sustainable, citywide Refugee Youth Coalition. On a national scale, Finding Voice partnered with the offices of Congressman Raul Griljava and Senator John McCain to exhibit student work in the U.S Senate and to sponsor a student-led Congressional briefing on refugee and immigrant policy in the U.S. House of Representatives. Josh will also briefly share similar experiences working with partners and youth in other communities, including on the San Carlos Apache Nation and Tibetan Children’s Village in northern India.

Tools for bringing youth voice to decision makers
Presenter: Jessica Kaminsky

Students have a right to be heard and participate in making systematic change, although there are barriers that prevent students’ voices from reaching high-level decision-makers. My work this past year illustrates a method for creating partnerships and engaging students to bring youth voice to traditionally adult-dominated discussions.

Hear Me is a youth voice program from Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. In January 2013, we launched our first “campaign,” in partnership with the Education Law Center (ELC), a non-profit legal advocacy and educational organization. Hear Me would help students make media around their ideas and experiences, and the ELC would connect this media to local and state officials.

Hear Me facilitated media making with over 200 students from Southwest Pennsylvania on the topics of school discipline policies and students’ relationships with school security officers. All media was published on and shared virally by other education advocacy organizations. Audio media was disseminated through our display sponsorship program and featured in over 20 physical locations, informing the general public about these issues and students’ perspectives. Students’ stories were submitted as testimony to the State Select Committee on School Climate, directly presenting their voices to high-level officials.

Since this campaign, we launched two more campaigns and will continue to run 2-3 per year. This 10-mintue talk will include examples of student media created for this campaign and discuss the role of organizations as conduits for bringing youth voice to stakeholders.

Public Diss-course: Genre-bending and Multimodal Voicing in Youth Produced Media
Presenters: Natalia Smirnov, Eva Lam

Mainstream media chronically underrepresents youth engagement, resulting in myths of an apathetic generation and a self-perpetuating civic empowerment gap (Levinson, 2010). Research from the Digital Media and Learning community has demonstrated the potential of participatory technology and pedagogy to equip young people with tools to address societal issues (Kahne, Lee, & Feezell, 2011; Kligler-Vilenchik & Shresthova, 2012; Raynes-Goldie & Walker, 2007) , develop civic and media literacies (Jenkins, 2009), and experiment with self presentation online (boyd, 2007). However, to this day little is understood about how youth adapt and transform these tools to assert their civic agency and voice in an adult-dominated public sphere (Rheingold, 2008; Levine, 2007). In our case study of a public access youth news show, we use multi-media discourse analysis (Baldry & Thibault, 2006; Kress, 2006; Halverson, Bass, & Woods, 2012) to look at the artifacts of youth media production themselves as constructions and confrontations of public discourse. Drawing on Bakhtinian (1973; 1986) theory of socio-linguistic voicing, we analyze how through “carnivalizing” news genre conventions and “ventriloquating” journalistic discourses, youth producers position themselves in-the-middle-of and in-response-to a polyphony of public claims about their generation and community. Adapting these theories to the youth media field in particular, we propose the concepts of genre-bending and multimodal voicing as lenses to analyze and facilitate young people’s learning to address and challenge deficit-based mainstream media narratives. Youth engage in genre-bending when they intentionally and unintentionally infuse media and social conventions with their own practices and perspectives. At the same time, they take up various semiotic affordances of multimedia genres to construct their own roles and identities within and beyond the stereotypically available possibilities.

Our findings contribute a methodology and direction for how social justice oriented youth media can be taught, produced, distributed and evaluated. Specifically, we emphasize the necessity of attending to three interacting elements in the textual and contextual learning space: 1) learners’ existing repertoires of speech and social activity, 2) rhetorical affordances of specific multimodal genres, and 3) play, “drag,” and make-believe as generative processes for learning, experimenting with, and transforming public discourse to promote inclusive social change.

Building bridges or deepening rifts? On linking fan and schooled literacies in narratives of out-of-school engagement
Presenter: Ksenia Korobkova

This presentation focuses in on conversations about linking, leveraging, and respecting pop culture youth practices and contexts. Specifically, I draw on two recent case studies of female adolescent fans (players of popular virtual worlds built for children and boyband fanfiction writers) and the way they conceptualized their involvement in their respective fandoms and the synergies they suggested between their fan and schooled experiences. Analysis suggests that literate and fan identities are inextricably linked in the fans’ descriptions of their own participation; moreover, the categories of learning, expertise, and literacy change meanings for the participants depending on the discourse world they inhabit. For the fans in the study, the concept of learning in the fandom carries a different connotation than learning in the classroom, although there are places where skills can be translated and bridges between the two spaces can be built. Explorations of those practices and meanings attached to them help us to clarify young people’s out-of-school learning practices, investigate how they make sense of such practices, and complicate current debates about the import of popular culture into schooling. Findings help us think about the “openly networked” approach to literacy and learning, as we begin to consider not only how different institutions can collude for the purposes of youth learning but also how the learners themselves can assert agency in weaving learning networks in the service of their goals. Lastly, we zoom in on the methodological issue of hearing youth voices, understanding the meanings they attach to their own practices, and the importance of incorporating young people’s accounts in defining and designing literate experiences.

Making the case for diverse representation beyond borders
Presenter: Gabriela Richard

Representations of social realities in and around digital games continue to illustrate systematic bias in the way games are marketed and consumed, which affects real-world outcomes and identities. Research has continued to find that, after being exposed to negative stereotypes or representations of females, non-Whites and other non-dominant groups, Whites and males are more likely to negatively assess their abilities, and members of these groups are also, in turn, more likely to negatively assess their own abilities. Some researchers make the case that designing for diverse representation can be problematic, since once (particularly) commercial entities start to design for gender, race or sexuality, representation often suffers from stereotypes. However, this talk will argue that this is a paradoxical argument because not designing for inclusivity can cause similar efficacy issues; non-dominant groups are less likely to see the efficacy in digital media, games and emerging media and technology in learning and career pathways as a direct result of being either negatively stereotyped or marginalized from digital and online play spaces. Recent findings demonstrate that real-world role models from underrepresented groups that defy stereotypes may play a stronger role for marginalized groups than perceived support in leveling the playing field. This short talk will make the case for diversity in design and production, and posits that systematic change through increased diversity in role models at high levels of production and participation may be the best way to decrease the politics of access.

Workshop BYV: Transmedia Youth Organizing – An Emerging Framework for Authentic Participation @ State Suite
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Organizers: Meghan McDermott, Jesse Ehrensaft-Hawley, Chris Schweidler

Presenters: Adriel Grant, Tatiana Lam, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Cara Lisa Berg Powers

Aligned with the “Beyond Youth Voice” track, Global Action Project (G.A.P.) is excited to offer an interactive workshop by and for youth organizers, educators and allies, that explores the transformative potential of media practices grounded in the lived experiences of young people engaged in movements for justice. In contrast to individualized “clicktavism” as a presiding description of youth participation in social change, and utilizing findings from a national field scan of the media needs of youth organizers, G.A.P. proposes a session of youth-led, hands-on activities to: 1) examine transactional vs transformative practices; 2) identify elements necessary for media-making that fosters youth leadership (i.e., infrastructure, relationships, resources); 3) explore political education/root cause analysis as a strategy for participation; and 4) discuss ongoing barriers to the emergence of transmedia youth organizing (i.e., disinvestment in institutions and/or spaces that serve youth, active criminalization of young people, continuing divides in real access).

Findings from our research illustrate that media must be a well integrated means by which youth – in structured, purpose-driven contexts – can change discourse through artistry, political knowledge, personal/community-based experiences, and engagement in movements for justice. By responding to recommendations made in G.A.P.’s 2013 field scan report, we seek a provocative, spirited conversation about transmedia youth organizing as an emerging framework for ensuring authentic, accountable youth participation in systemic change. G.A.P.’s field scan report will be shared.

As our purpose in this session is to investigate approaches to increasing young people’s power to nurture a just, creative and collaborative world through media, the format we envision for this workshop is as follows. We will:

1) Present and share field scan headlines:
a. Media is an essential component of effective youth leadership and movement building efforts.
b. Media produced within a political education framework scales/deepens youth engagement in organizing.
c. Media is a crucial part of youth organizers’ regular practices.
d. Youth leaders play a critical role in organizational media work, but face challenges.

2) Facilitate group dialogue that helps participants move through a data gallery walk with discussion questions to take up as groups review data posted around the room. Participants are encouraged to analyze the findings and relevant data together – what they find compelling, surprising, strange or problematic.

3) Facilitate small groups in which participants debrief and then report back to the full group. This is followed by a collective, collaborative brainstorm about ways to actualize and/or challenge recommendations with regard to what an emerging transmedia youth organizing framework can be.

Participants will gain new knowledge about: a) what has changed in both the media and organizing landscape; b) an emerging framework for understanding the conditions of authentic, long-term youth engagement on structural change; and c) barriers that must be identified and addressed. Vetted data will inform multiple stakeholders invested in the power of media and making for social change that is youth-driven and defined. Participants will weigh in on how the data should be used and shared.

Workshop CLI: STEAM Studio Workshop – Create Your Own Pop-up Makerspace @ Oval
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Organizers: Maggie Waldron, Sam Dyson

Presenters: Sam Dyson, Sybil Madison-Boyd, Maggie Waldron, Mike Hawkins, Jennifer Steele, Avri Coleman

This summer, Hive Chicago, Digital Youth Network, and FUSE hosted STEAM Studio, a week-long, pop-up makerspace designed to provide local teens with opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, arts/design, and math (STEAM) at the Chicago Cultural Center. This dynamic learning environment facilitated a tiered structure of youth engagement. Since most youth attended STEAM Studio as ‘drop-in’ participants, two of the three components were designed to serve these youth. Each day during the Open House, youth attempted hands-on, interest-driven STEM challenges from FUSE. A series of “pop-up” booths in the Specialty Shop allowed these teens to try out shorter activities designed by additional partners, including After School Matters, One With Nature, the Chicago Botanic Garden, Youth Muse, and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Teens who completed fashion-focused pathways within the Chicago Summer of Learning initiative ‘leveled up’ into the most intensive experience, the Design Studio. These youth worked alongside professional mentors and retail partners from Chicago to produce fashion, jewelry design, 3D printing, photography, and video artifacts. Students showcased works at culminating trunk and fashion shows and competed for internships and product sales with retail partners.

More than 10 different youth-serving organizations and commercial partners collaborated on the Open House, Specialty Shop and Design Studio, and in doing so provided youth with valuable insight on the resources and pathways available in their city. By connecting youth with local experts, STEAM Studio provided truly authentic, connected learning experiences for Chicago youth that illustrated real-world applications of STEAM knowledge and skills.

This workshop will begin with a quick primer on the STEAM Studio experience, including the articulation of design principles and the provision of a framework for attendees to develop their own version of STEAM Studio. A significant portion of the session will be devoted to a supported brainstorming activity which will provide participants with the opportunity to design a STEAM Studio-like experience for teens in their own cities, tailored to the unique resources and goals of their educational organizations, for implementation in summer 2014. The session will mimic the original STEAM Studio; photos and video of the event will be displayed to inspire participants as they design their own themed pop-up makerspaces.

This workshop will be facilitated by:

Sam Dyson – Director, Hive Chicago

Sybil Madison-Boyd – Learning Pathways Program Director, Digital Youth Network

Maggie Waldron – Program Director, FUSE

Henry Mann — Program Coordinator, FUSE

Brother Mike Hawkins – Lead Mentor, Digital Youth Network

Jennifer Steele – Mentor, Digital Youth Network

Avri Coleman – Mentor, Digital Youth Network

Workshop LPA: Build a Better Message with Teen-Ready Technology @ Copley
Mar 7 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Organizers: Debra Kerr

Presenters: Debra Kerr, Jeff Lassahn, Andrea Hart, TBD 6-8 Boston teens

Every teen-facing organization wants to be better at getting their teens’ message out. Some even focus on teaching production skills and provide access to state-of-the-art video technology. But what about the rest of us, who don’t have video production experts and professional equipment? We—and our teens—want great visual messages, too.

This workshop offers expertise from message developers and video production experts—but translated to the technology our teens have at hand: smart phones and tablets! Our storytelling advisors will bust the myth that understanding leads to action; research now shows that action leads to caring and learning. Using the doctrine of do-first,care-later, you’ll get a crash course in storytelling on the small screen, actually working in small teams to produce quick videos for practice and feedback—then improve upon your first efforts. As you improve, you’ll discover that your interest in, and concern for, both the medium and the subject matter increase.

To add to the fun, our presentation team will include 6-8 high-performing local Boston teen talents—think rapper, singer, dancer, poet, storyteller, tagger—who will partner with the workshop mini-teams as the talent subjects. Teams will be asked to deliver a message on an issue of interest to their teen talent, such as bullying, environment, food deserts and teen violence. The audience members will develop a message or story, shoot their video with their smart phone or tablet while featuring their teen talent, share with fellow participants, get feedback, make improvements, then select “best in show.” We’ll wrap up with presenter- and audience-shared tips on attracting views on social media channels.

Participant takeaways will be:
• message development techniques to maximize influence and experience
• how to use smartphone and tablet camera tools to create a compelling product
• focus on effective calls to action
• readiness to teach your new skills to teens back home in your own programs
• strategies for social media reach

The ultimate goal of this workshop session is to build equity access—to give every program teen a voice through leveraging access to the technology at hand.

Mar 7 @ 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Plenary: Approaches to Scaling @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 7 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizer: Nichole Pinkard, De Paul University
Participants: Carina Wong, Gates Foundation; Connie Yowell, MacArthur Foundation
Discussant: Cynthia Coburn, Northwestern University

Cynthia Coburn will present an overview of a scaling framework as a lens for the audience to understand the scaling strategies of each of the participants. Each participant will speak to how they think about scale and how it plays out in their decision making regarding funding and setting an organization’s strategic vision. Cynthia Coburn will then moderate the panel in a discussion of the commonalities and differences between their approaches with a focus on the implications for the types of work they seek to support.



Lunch Break
Mar 7 @ 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Featured Session BYV: A Will to Change: Building Community Solidarity Across Multigenerational Lines @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizer: Angela Booker
Participants: Sasha Costanza-Chock, Corey DePina, Jesse Ehrensaft-Hawley, Elisabeth Soep, Jenny Shulman, Angela Booker

This panel considers trajectories for youth, adult allies, and partners in organizing and examines possible futures for community solidarity. In order to articulate a vision for collective transformation, we consider two questions: When are we in solidarity with youth? When are youth and adults united in solidarity to achieve shared community goals? The panel will take up a multigenerational and multidisciplinary inquiry that questions tensions in the realm of voice, media, and action.



Panel BYV: Reclaiming The Narrative – Seeding Empowerment Through Digital Fluency in the Majority World @ St. James
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Jonathan Worth, Maarten Koets, Stephen Mayes

Presenters: Jonathan Worth, Maarten Koets, Stephen Mayes, Eefje Ludwig

“Whenever clashes happen in Lebanon, it is the youth who take to the streets. It is them we see burning tyres, taking part in the violent clashes, etc. The Lebanese civil war is not taught in schools because it is not yet decided who started it and who was the villain and who was the victim and so the narratives that the youth receive are either from their parents, their environment or their schools… Those are usually highly politicized opinions. And it is a vicious circle” Lebanese born photographer Dalia Khamissy

Revolutions within the media ecosystem continue to re-shape our worlds and redefine power structures at an accelerating pace. Although this is happening across every country and culture, nowhere is it more visible than in the majority world and one important – not always fully appreciated – development is the significant growth in the number of highly qualified and indigenous multi-media storytellers.

Providing stories from a local perspective is hugely important for an understanding of and equally for respect of the other. These individuals however face important challenges in getting their work seen by global audiences. Very often they lack the networked opportunities to operate successfully in other markets, both in geographical and market segmentation terms. This stops their work from being seen by others. It also stops them from realizing their full potential. Missed financial opportunities lead to fewer stories being produced and thus less communication and on a personal level; opportunities for self-improvement.

A collaboration between World Press Photo (whose annual photo exhibition draws around 2,5 million visitors per yea , the website 3,5 million and publicity on 3rd party platforms (newspapers, websites, TV) is in the 100-millions.) and leading open and connected teacher Jonathan Worth has piloted rethinking the WP’s world-renowned residential workshops (for which competition is fierce) as open and connected edu-platforms available to all. This fourteen week programme will see onsite participants from Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia taking part and will seek to leverage the networked potential of possibly the largest and most prestigious annual Photography Award in the world.

The workshop program will still be running at the time of the conference and so we’re hoping to share the qualitative data available and also some of the new experiences we’re having in this process – such as of building trust networks online in [Arabic] cultures where trust is something built offline face to face, the process of adopting and adapting systems of open and connected teaching and learning from academia to “industry” and the exciting potential that such partnerships promise for the deployment of new applied-learning networks.

Our speakers will reflect the perspectives of the parties involved – Maarten Koets Deputy Managing Director of World Press Photo, Jonathan Worth author of at Coventry University and (hopefully) one or more of the workshop participants. The panel will be chaired by Stephen Mayes – ex secretary to the World Press and director of VII Photographic agency, NY.

Panel LPA: Distributed Mentorship – Increasing and Diversifying Youth Access to Learning Networks @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Jim Sandherr, Asia Roberson, Caitlin K. Martin

Participants: Jim Sandherr, Asia Roberson, Caitlin K. Martin, Ugochi Acholonu, Denise Nacu

Discussant: Kylie Peppler

Abstract: In this panel, we will share strategies, research methodologies and design insights from one implementation of the 2013 Chicago Summer of Learning (CSOL) initiative. CSOL is a networked collaboration between youth-serving organizations across Chicago with the goal of providing all students access to quality STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) learning opportunities.

Students participated in CSOL learning pathways through a combination of face-to-face summer programming and self-paced activities. CSOL relied on adult educators (including designers, teachers, and mentors) to assess the work of youth as they progressed through various STEAM learning pathways within iRemix, the online social learning platform. While some educators worked alongside youth in the face-to-face spaces, others interacted with youth solely online. This distributed mentoring model poses unique opportunities and challenges for designing learning environments.

This panel examines distributed mentorship in CSOL through the lens of the Digital Divas program. Digital Divas focused on building computer literacy and digital media production skills for middle school girls, using the computational pathway topics of programming, electronics, and gaming. Thirty six girls, 81% African American, regularly participated in the program. The hybrid learning environment, coupled with a blended support network, allowed for greater access to digital tools and to significant interactions with experts within the learning disciplines.

This model can support educational organizations in increasing youth participation in self-directed learning, especially in underrepresented groups.


Online Mentorship:
Jim Sandherr will present a summary of the role of an online mentor during the CSOL program including design implications for future pathway-based learning projects.

Mentoring in Hybrid Learning Environments:
Asia Roberson will provide insight to the design of the Digital Divas program from the perspective of a practitioner, as well as an account of her role as the lead mentor.

Approach to Research and Analysis:
Caitlin K. Martin and Ugochi Acholonu will give an overview of the multi-method framework the research team used to study the blended learning environment, including youth surveys, educator interviews, and online participation data. Caitlin will share emerging results from social network analysis of the online interactions between educators and the Digital Divas, highlighting implications when these networked resources are compared to participants’ existing STEAM learning networks at home and school. Ugochi will share behavioral data on students’ iRemix participation, highlighting the structural difference between the Divas program and other programs in CSOL.

Implications of Distributed Mentorships for Tools and Visualizations:
Denise Nacu will focus on insights about distributed mentorship from the CSOL implementation, specifically, how they are shaping the design of user interfaces and data visualizations used by mentors and youth. By presenting examples of key tasks mentors perform to promote youth progress along learning pathways emerging design principles for supporting youth in hybrid learning models will be discussed.

Kylie A. Peppler, Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program and Director of Creativity Labs at Indiana University, Bloomington, contributes to the panel by prompting further conversation from the panelists and audience about structuring mentoring and supporting students through self-paced design projects.

Panel OTL: Connected Learning in Spaces and Sites of the Connected Economy @ Venetian
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Panel: Connected Learning in Spaces and Sites of the Connected Economy

Organizers: Juliet Schor

Presenters: Juliet Schor, Luka Carfagna, Will Attwood-Charles, Connor Fitzmaurice, Timothy Cook

As members of the Connected Learning Research Network, our research team headed by Juliet Schor has combined theoretical insights from the sociology of culture, consumption, education, and economy to critically evaluate new platforms and spaces as sites for Connected Learning. We are focusing on what has been called the “sharing economy,” or “collaborative consumption.” Our case study sites include the nation’s largest volunteer time bank, open learning in an entrepreneurial setting, the country’s largest maker space, and a variety of other peer-to-peer sharing platforms and spaces, including Air BnB, Relay Rides, Task Rabbit and a local food swap site. Together, these sites comprise a “Connected Economy.” While the sites differ, most can be described as characterized by “open technologies” which “put the learners in charge.” This is particularly true of the open-learning environment, the maker space, the time bank and the food swap. All are non-hierarchical sites or spaces in which communal learning is occurring in contexts of low hierarchy, formally open access and peer-driven culture.

We have conducted in-depth ethnographic research on these cases which includes both formal interviews, participant observation, and surveys. These case studies reveal how processes of production, consumption, exchange, and skill-building act as a form of productive inquiry for many of our site-participants and interviewees. In this panel we will discuss the complexities of the open technology with particular attention to the innovative styles of learning that we are finding, the ways in which class and other inequalities are both broken down and reproduced in our settings, and the extent to which these sites are creating new pathways for economic opportunities within an emergent “connected economy.”

Panel Participants: Juliet Schor (Boston College) will be joined by three doctoral student research assistants on the panel: Will Atwood-Charles (Boston College; Topic: Maker Spaces), Connor Fitzmaurice (Boston University; Topic: Food Swaps), and Luka Carfagna (Boston College; Topics: Open Learning, Timebanking).

Timothy Cook, Saxifrage School Founder and Sprout Fund Pittsburgh Remake Learning Fellow will provide a practitioner’s perspective on how connected economy practices have informed the design of the Saxifrage school, as well as how the school intentionally uses productive inquiry and problem-posed educational pedagogy to produce students who have learned-to-be critically educated members of a vibrant and emerging new economy in a Rust-belt town.

Short Talk Panel CLI: Next Generation Pathways and Cross Sector Network – Studies in Complex Collaboration @ State Suite
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Back to the Future? Computer Clubhouse Village: An Evolving Social Network for Creation, Exploration, & Collaboration
Presenters: Danielle Martin, Christine Garrity, Aya Jennifer (AJ) Sakaguchi

Since 1998, the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network has worked with the MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten Group to build and sustain a virtual version of the Clubhouse Network – a living, breathing learning model that is fed through creating youth-driven learning spaces, innovative media and technology tools, peer-to-peer mentoring, and collaboration to sustain collaborations build on respect and trust. is an online platform where students can connect with members from all the Computer Clubhouse locations around the world. It is a safe and collaborative environment where members can play with and learn about digital media and technology.

This talk will highlight the evolution of this custom built platform, from a time of intranets to today’s social media driven landscape. It will review both the history and vision for the future of the Village as not only a creative environment for learning, but also a safe community for youth from wide ranging ages, cultures and experiences, supported by mentors and staff who “make the Village home” every day.

Creative Environment
In the Village, youth can explore different projects shared by Clubhouse members from around the world. These projects include video, audio, graphic design, web design, interactive media, robotics, and more. Members will often recreate or remix projects they find on the Village, and by doing so, embrace new technologies and technical practices. The Village also offers project-based prompts, in the form of Studio52 Challenges generated by Clubhouse staff and mentors, to spark new technology tool exploration, share youth and mentor created tutorials,

Learning Space
Clubhouse Villagers are not only encouraged to upload personal or group projects but also to document their creative and learning processes. Members can also participate in discussions with other members by sharing tutorials, following interest-driven groups, and directly asking questions on members’ personal profiles. Members across Clubhouses can also collaborate with each other by liking and commenting on each other’s projects and learning to critique each other’s projects in meaningful ways. By connecting peers with similar interests, this learning community unites members towards a shared learning purpose, digital media literacy and competency.

Safe Community
Because the Village is a private social network, local Clubhouse Coordinators register their youth members and mentors as part of the orientation process but also use it as a tool to expand their members’ world view. Any members of the Clubhouse Network family have the opportunity to share interest-driven projects with a virtual community of over 20 countries in 100 local programs. Village “community builders” encourage their peers to take ownership of their creative endeavors, and by doing so, motivates them to work on self-directed projects locally to then share online. This safe community ultimately promotes creative production and increased youth participation. In this cross-cultural learning environment, members also have the opportunity to showcase different cultures and talents from around the world.

Dialogues on Feminism and Technology: Distributed Learning across Institutions and Types of Learners
Presenter: Elizabeth Losh

FemTechNet is an activated network of scholars, artists, and students who work on, with, and at the borders of technology, science and feminism in a variety of fields including STS, Media and Visual Studies, Art, Women’s, Queer, and Ethnic Studies. Members in the network collaborate on the design and creation of projects of feminist technological innovation for the purposes of engaging the interests of colleagues and students on advanced topics in feminist science-technology studies. This project seeks to engender a set of digital practices among women and girls, to teach and encourage their participation in writing the technocultural histories of the future by becoming active participants in the creation of global digital archives. This network of feminist scholars and educators has launched a new model for online learning at 15 higher education institutions this fall with common activities that include wikistorming, blogging, video production, and craft exchanges. The DOCC, or Distributed Open Collaborative Course, is a new approach to collaborative learning and an alternative to MOOCs, the massive open online course model hat proponents claim will radicalize twenty-first century higher education. FemTechNet’s first DOCC course, “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology.” was piloted in Spring 2013 with

The DOCC model for 21st-century higher education recognizes and is built on the understanding that expertise is distributed throughout a network, among participsnts in diverse institutional contexts.

This model explicitly departs from the typical MOOC approach organized around the delivery of information from an “expert” faculty (or a pair of instructors) to the uninformed “masses.” The organization of a DOCC emphasizes learning collaboratively in a digital age by enabling the active participation of all kinds of
learners (as teachers, as students, as media- makers, as activists, as trainers, as members of various publics and/or social groups). By virtue of its reach across institutions and learning sites, the DOCC also enables the extension of classroom experience beyond the walls, physical or virtual, of a single institution.

The participating institutions range from small liberal arts colleges to major research institutions to community centers with life-long learners. See for more.

The Journey Behind Make Things Do Stuff: Promoting Digital Learning Among Young People in the United Kingdom
Presenters: Melissa Romaine

Digital making first burst onto the UK education scene in the 1980s when the BBC broadcast programs about coding for kids, and sent out over one million BBC Micro computers to homes and schools across the country. The legacy of technology in the UK continued with the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. While such instances are hailed often as the beginning of the golden age for digital learning and making, recent changes in computer science curricula have rekindled energy and support around learning through digital making in the United Kingdom.

In 2012, Nesta, Mozilla Foundation, and Nominet Trust banded together to create Make Things Do Stuff a campaign and website that focuses on mobilising the next generation of digital makers. The platform brings together over 40 organisations that provide services and products for digital making – both web-based and physical – for young people and community mentors. While each organisation individually adds great value to the making/learning community, being part of a network means the different partners have more access to larger numbers of participants. Many adhere to the Mozilla ethos of openness by sharing not only their best practices, but also their code and sources online. It’s these types of activities that make Make Things Do Stuff greater than the sum of its parts.

To date, Make Things Do Stuff has successfully partnered with very large and public entities like the Cabinet Office, Microsoft, and international communications companies like Telefonica, as well as small, local enterprises and NPOs that provide digital making services and products directly to learners. Negotiating the various stakeholder needs has been an interesting challenge, with issues surrounding branding and evaluation coming to the forefront. However, the power and motivation of this campaign and partner network has resulted in over 100,000 young people across the UK taking part in digital making activities over 3 months in Summer 2013.

Some of the challenges I’ve faced as Mozilla’s Events Manager include ensuring adequate representation by Make Things Do Stuff partners at different educational events, evaluating its effect on learning environment, and communicating the successes and challenges with others. Gathering useful data continues to be a challenge, but working with the partners means designing strategies that share an arc. By creating space for dialog, using both traditional methods like after-work drinks and more modern uses of Etherpads, the lines of communication stay open between partners.

This model has been also been successfully implemented in cities across the United States under the HIVE name, and in Japan with Mozilla Factory. While these initiatives are led primarily by Mozilla and focus their efforts around a specific city or local region, Make Things Do Stuff stands apart as a national campaign spearheaded jointly by three organisations. Still, all models focus on the teaching/learning that comes from the different events, and on growing through building partnerships rather than creating things anew.

Disrupting “Independents”: Creating a State-Wide Academic Network Among Independent Colleges and Universities
Presenters: Victoria McGillin, Robert Burke

Private colleges and universities are, by definition, independent. Despite 50 unique missions, the institutions of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio began to explore academic collaborations. Place-based, mentored learning experiences are at the very core of these institutions’ missions: How is it possible for such diverse schools to weave a series of technological and face-to-face experiments in collaboration, regardless of propinquity, that will create unique opportunities for our students? Our disrupters are not the educational innovations championed by Clayton Christensen, but the pressures of access, affordability and quality that press upon the entire field of higher education, promoting competition (not collaboration) for students. These disrupters disproportionately challenge the model of non-profit independent higher education, the foundation of the American university system.

This presentation will review the presidential leadership and gubernatorial and Regents-level conversations that launched this initiative. We will: document the mapping of existing academic collaborations that benefit independent higher education in the state of Ohio; share a taxonomy of national models of academic collaborations; describe emerging collaborations with both public higher and secondary education; and, illustrate the building of a collaborative culture that launched a series of task forces which will explore both sub-regional and state-wide opportunities for synchronous video-courses, online curriculum delivery, collaborative degree programs, joint professional and faculty development initiatives, and yes, even MOOCs. Finally, we will examine this network within the conceptual framework of competing forces of need, trust, identity and opportunity.

Lighting a FUSE: Partnering with Industry to Spark Engagement in STEAM
Presenters: Maggie Waldron

FUSE ( is a new kind of interest-driven learning experience that engages teens in science, technology, engineering, arts/design, and math (STEAM) topics while fostering the development of important 21st-century skills including adaptive problem solving, creativity, self-directed learning, and persistence. FUSE specifically seeks to engage youth who have not yet have developed an identified interest in STEAM fields.

Over 1,000 youth at 18 different locations in greater Chicago have joined FUSE Studios, “hanging out, messing around, and geeking out” with the FUSE set of challenges. Each challenge sequence uses a leveling up model from gaming and is carefully designed to leverage teens’ existing interests to engage them in different STEAM topics and skills sets.

FUSE is collaborating with both local businesses and larger companies to design challenges that showcase real-world applications of STEAM knowledge and skills sets. Once teens have leveled up through a FUSE challenge sequence, tools on the FUSE web platform connect them to local and online opportunities for further learning based on the challenges with which they are engaging. These opportunities may include teen programming offered by other educational organizations in Chicago, courses available at school, or online communities of practice. In this way, FUSE provides an ‘on-ramp’ to deeper engagement in STEAM. This short talk will describe how FUSE works with partners to create these learning pathways and will provide case studies of successful collaborations.

Short Talk Panel PFK: Playful Learning and Political Engagement @ Commonwealth
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Civic Seed: The Collaborative Challenge of Creating a Video Game for Civic Engagement
Presenter: Mindy Nierenberg

Civic Seed is video game created jointly by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University and the Engagement Game Lab at Emerson College in order to prepare students prior to community-based experiences; including volunteerism, internships, and service learning. The game’s development has been one of both creative tension as well as significant advancement. Tisch and EGL each approach Civic Seed with different goals and institutional cultures. Tisch College originally approached EGL for assistance with developing Civic Seed as a traditional set of online learning modules. When EGL suggested the creation of a video game, Tisch College was intrigued yet skeptical, envisioning a gap between the seriousness of content and the inherent playfulness of games. However, the challenge was undertaken and the process has been one of constant feedback loops in both directions. What does it take to create a video game that engages students, addresses serious social and political issues, enhances learning outcomes, and avoids discord between the game and the content? This paper will explore the process of collaboration between Tisch and EGL in the creation of Civic Seed.

Civic Seed holds promise to increase the impact of community-engaged service and increase student civic learning through technology. The series of constructive conflicts have led to a product that is greater than either Tisch College or EGL could have accomplished independently.

MTV’s “Fantasy Election” & the Pro’s and Con’s of Turning Political Engagement into a Game
Presenters: Michelle Forelle, Maxwell Foxman

For the 2012 elections, MTV revamped their popular “Choose or Lose” voter engagement campaign into “The Power of 12,” meant to reinvigorate interest in the elections among young voters. Included in this revamp was a game, “Fantasy Election”. Based on the structure of fantasy sports games, Fantasy Election invited players to draft candidates in the congressional and presidential elections to their team. Points were awarded or deducted for actions those candidates took, as well as actions those players took to be better informed and active during the campaign – reading political blogs, watching the news, attending rallies. In the end, over 10,000 active players participated in the game, and in an exit survey, 47% of respondents said they had become more active or involved in a political issue or campaign as a result of Fantasy Election.

This presentation seeks to dive deeper into the design and reported effect (using data from MTV’s exit survey) to explore whether and how games can be used to encourage voter engagement. By considering the self-reported motivations of players, as well as a broader discussion of the role of games, competition and reward in fostering political and civic participation, we hope to open up a conversation about when these strategies are productive or counter-productive in developing a more informed and cooperative civil society.

Michelle C Forelle is a PhD student in communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at University of Southern California.

Maxwell Foxman is a PhD student in communication at Columbia University.

The Game Designers’ Guild: Empowering Gamers to Meet Gameful Needs of Local Community Organizations

Presenter: Scott Nicholson

Over the last year, the Game Designers’ Guild of Syracuse has developed games and play-based experiences for libraries, museums, and other community groups. Dr. Scott Nicholson, director of the Because Play Matters game lab of the School of Information Studies as Syracuse University started this group as a way to encourage local gamers to learn about game design through projects that are making a difference in the local community.

Dr. Nicholson is now developing the Game Designers’ Guild into an organization that will support Guild chapters around the world. Individuals can partner with an organization such as a school or library to serve as a home base for this way of enabling those wanting to make games to find the support outside of a formal degree program.

Attendees of this presentation will understand how the Game Designers’ Guild is structured, learn about the projects that were carried out in the Upstate New York area, and will leave with the ability to start a Game Designers’ Guild chapter in their own community.

Upriver, Online and Offline: The Tension Between Analog and Digital Games in Developing Communities
Presenters: Stephen Walter, Wade Kimbrough
Discussant: Eric Gordon

In this talk, we will discuss the pros and cons of digital vs. analog games in communities with sporadic access to technology, and the affordances of a multi-modal approach, as told through a design action research project that took place in communities along the Zambezi River in Zambia. This project, called Upriver, is a game co-designed by the Engagement Game Lab, the International Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre, and stakeholders living in flood plains along the river. The project has evolved through playtesting to encompass both an analog and digital component, allowing for different points of entry and differing levels of commitment. We will explore the development, implementation, and initial outcomes of this tension.

Workshop LPA: Think Critically, Act Creatively @ Copley
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Sangita Shresthova

Presenters: Gabriel Peters-Lazaro, Sangita Shresthova, Susu Attar, Ilse Escobar

Facilitated by USC researchers, media makers, and community leaders, the “Think Critically, Act Creatively” workshop is a future-focused experience highlighting the power of stories as tools for fostering civic imagination and inspiring real world change. The workshop reflects ongoing efforts by USC’s Media, Activism & Participatory Politics (MAPP) Project to integrate peer-based learning, popular culture, and media production into civic learning pathways. Over past four years, MAPP conducted five case studies of diverse youth-driven communities which translate mechanisms of participatory culture into civic engagement and political participation. Our findings stress the interplay between individual growth, organizations, networks, communities, and platforms. As MAPP researchers learned, these groups often succeed by tapping practices of cultural appropriation, storytelling and remixing, working across organizational contexts, and drawing on sustained engagement with interest-driven and friendship-based networks. Over time, youth involved in these communities mapped innovative and imaginative trajectories that scaffolded existing skills and interests towards a sustained ability to achieve social change.

Building on these findings, MAPP researchers partnered with the Media Arts + Practice Division at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to create a workshop that encourages participants to think critically about previous examples of civic media and act creatively as they draw on their own experiences and aspirations to translate these insights into their own media practice. Over past summer, the team piloted these workshops at a CDF Freedom School working with youth focused on the issues confronting undocumented immigrants and at The Islamic Center of Southern California, working with participants of the Muslim Youth Group Leadership Academy. Educators and learners from these pilot experiences have become key collaborators in the development of the workshop that the MAPP team brings to DML 2014.

Highlighting the importance of civic imagination, the workshop leads participants through an exercise of building a future world in which both real and fantastical solutions to social inequality are possible. Working backwards, the participants then break into smaller groups to share insights and build on these to brainstorm character-based narratives of social change. After storyboarding these narratives, participants plan how these narratives could be created, produced and shared in service of concrete civic goals. Collaborating with MAPP community partners, this workshop offers a hands-on opportunity for participants to experience how these groups inspire a civic imagination, amplify voice, encourage youth development, circulate alternative narratives, and scaffold long-term participation.

The workshop also employs an online media library being developed by MAPP as a resource for educators in high school civics classes, after-school programs, college classes, and activist organizations. The library combines original media produced by activist groups, critical reflections from participants, and curricular resources and activities. Workshop participants will use the library to engage critically with existing examples of civic media as a launching pad for their own creative explorations. Workshop participants will model ways the online tool can be used to help students master core skills necessary for effectively harnessing digital media and participatory politics practices towards changing the their own games for real world action. The session will end with a brief presentation of the various games and a discussion of the affordances and challenges involved in engaging citizens in real world problems through games.

Workshop OTL: Harnessing the Open Web to Create Inclusive Learning Environments @ Singleton
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Workshop: Harnessing the Open Web to Create Inclusive Learning Environments

Presenters: Colin Clark, Jess Mitchell, Michelle D’Souza

Everyone learns differently, yet the prevailing models of education still promote a standardized approach that leaves many students marginalized. Teachers are often stretched too thin to accommodate the diverse needs and learning styles of their students, leaving learners to adapt to inflexible materials that don’t fit them. Special education programs and the accompanying binary notion of disability fail to accommodate learners who don’t fit the traditional categories of disability but who would benefit from alternative approaches to learning. As the use of digital educational resources and online course delivery increases, both the critical importance and the potential of personalized learning become clear. Here, disability can be reframed as a mismatch between the needs of the learner and the capabilities of the learning environment. Accessibility is measured by our ability to deliver a learning experience that meets the individual learner’s needs. The Open Educational Resource (OER) movement provides an unprecedented opportunity for enabling personalized, accessible learning. Since resources are open for reuse and remixing, OERs can be adapted, matched, and delivered in ways that reflect diverse learners, contexts, and cultures.

The Floe Project, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is dedicated to providing the tools, advice, and community to enable personalized learning in the Open Educational Resources community. Floe helps learners to identify their specific learning needs, OER producers to create and label transformable content, and OER delivery systems to match learning needs with suitable content. Floe does this by providing a collection of embeddable components and services that can adapt content to suit a learner’s needs, which can be embedded into web-based learning environments. Recognizing that teachers and content authors often don’t have the knowledge, time, and resources to address accessibility on their own, Floe is creating tools such as the Inclusive Learning Design Handbook ( and demand services that recruit online communities and service providers to help create resource alternatives that meet unmet learner needs. This approach has the potential to substantially lower the cost and complexity of delivering personalized resources, as well as to help foster an open market of innovative assistive technologies and content transformation services.

Jess Mitchell, Michelle D’Souza, and Colin Clark, all members of the Floe community, will lead workshop participants through the principles and practices of inclusive learning design. Participants will have the opportunity to share stories and discuss the challenges of delivering personalized learning. Using Floe’s design approach, we will collaboratively brainstorm and sketch new tools and techniques for creating inclusive educational resources, including ways to:
* support novel transformations and personalized content delivery strategies
* tag, annotate, and transform learning materials for diverse needs
* solicit feedback and ratings from learners to support ongoing refinement and adaptation of content
* connect teachers and content producers with those who can help deliver alternatives

Participants will leave this workshop with a greater knowledge of the inclusive design process, as well as with a collection of tools and strategies for better accommodating diverse learner needs in an open education environment.

Workshop OTL: Lifelong Kindergarten – Reaching Across Boundaries @ Oval
Mar 7 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Mitchel Resnick, Natalie Rusk

Presenters: Mitchel Resnick, Natalie Rusk, Amos Blanton, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Champika Fernando, Chris Garrity, Chris Graves, Abdulrahman Idlbi, Jennifer Jacobs, David Mellis, Alisha Panjwani, Ricarose Roque, Eric Rosenbaum, Srishti Sethi, Tiffany Tseng.

In our Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab, we are inspired by the way children learn in kindergarten. Whether building towers with blocks or painting pictures with finger paint, kindergarten children spend much of their time playfully creating things in collaboration with one another. We believe that this kindergarten learning approach is ideally suited to the needs of the 21st century, helping children learn to think creatively, design iteratively, work collaboratively, and learn continuously — essential skills for life in today’s society. Our goal is to extend this kindergarten approach to learners of all ages, so that people can continue to learn through creative, collaborative experiences throughout their lives.

To accomplish this, our Lifelong Kindergarten group “reaches across the boundaries that separate our disciplines, fields, institutions, and sectors” (as stated in the DML call for proposals). Over the past two decades, we have developed a variety of technologies and activities that cut across:
* contexts: linking homes, museums, community centers, and schools
* disciplines: integrating arts and design with science and engineering
* media: blending physical and digital for new types of design experiences
* ages: creating communities where learners of all ages share and collaborate

For example, we have developed ideas and technologies underlying LEGO robotics, Scratch, and MaKey MaKey — engaging millions of young people around the world in creative design activities, both in and out of school. We also initiated the Computer Clubhouse network of after-school learning centers for youth from low-income communities, and the Learning Creative Learning online course for educators and technologists interested in experimenting with new approaches to learning.

All of our Lifelong Kindergarten technologies and activities are designed for “putting the learners in charge” (as highlighted in the “Open Technologies for Learning” conference theme). In particular, we place a high priority on interest-driven learning, recognizing that interest-driven learners are likely to work harder, persist in the face of challenges, and learn more in the process.

For the DML conference, we propose to present the Lifelong Kindergarten learning approach in an interactive workshop format. We will start with a brief introduction of the ideas and principles underlying the Lifelong Kindergarten approach. Next, for the core portion of the workshop, people will have an opportunity to experiment with Lifelong Kindergarten projects and activities (and talk with Lifelong Kindergarten group members) at demo stations set up around the room, in the spirit of an interactive poster session. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of how Lifelong Kindergarten principles might be applied to other projects and initiatives.

The workshop will feature a variety of Lifelong Kindergarten projects, including: Scratch, MaKey MaKey, DressCode, MelodyMorph, Build-in-Progress, DIY Cellphone, Family Creative Learning, Unhangouts, Computer Clubhouses, Learning Creative Learning.

Combined Workshops and Individual Talk OTL: Open Hardware @ Venetian
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Workshop OTL: Unleashing Your Inner Inventor with Arduino and ProtoSnap
Presenter: Ben Leduc-Mills

This workshop will cover a basic introduction to the Arduino programming environment using the ProtoSnap Pro Mini. The ProtoSnap makes an excellent introductory platform for teaching Arduino because it eliminates the need to breadboard circuits by hand, as the board includes an Arduino that is pre-connected to several digital and analog sensors. This allows a workshop to cover the basics of Arduino development in two hours without spending time correcting improperly constructed circuits. SparkFun Electronics, Inc. will supply a class of up to 20 educators with a ProtoSnap and USB cable with which to connect to a computer. SparkFun will supply laptops. The class itself will lead participants through the basics of Arduino programming while using the various components on the ProtoSnap to illustrate digital input (push button), digital output (LED), analog input (light sensor), analog output / pulse width modulation (RGB LED and piezo buzzer), and serial communication and debugging through the serial monitor.

The class will culminate with the participants building their own “annoy-a-tron” by combining the input from the light sensor to the output of the buzzer and using the ‘Tone()’ command in Arduino. Participants will be encouraged to then customize their instruments by incorporating the RGB LED and the push button into their programs.

Participants will be able to keep their ProtoSnaps and cables to bring home.

By introducing educators to a widely-used platform in Arduino, helping them over the initial hurdles with face-to-face support, and allowing them to keep the hardware and continue to experiment, we hope to remove the reluctance or trepidation some educators may be experiencing and replace it with confidence and enthusiasm. With a huge amount of online resources and projects as well as the increasing availability of Arduino-based curriculum and the appearance of fab labs in schools, teachers with a basic command of Arduino can expose and support their students in a huge variety of hands-on projects. The workshop is not just about the Arduino ProtoSnap – it’s an opportunity to introduce educators into a world of hands-on learning, self-efficacy, and exploration. We spend part of the workshop presenting some of the best resources for beginners to grow their skills and search for new inspiration, websites with tutorials, curriculum, and projects that can fit into a variety of classroom or extracurricular activities. The combination of discussing resources for hands-on projects as well as doing one is a great way to get participants thinking deeply about how to integrate the technology into their own classrooms, fab labs, workshops, hackerspaces, etc.

Ben Leduc-Mills is an educator / “Swiss Army Knife” for SparkFun Electronics, an open-source hardware company based in Boulder, Colorado. Ben is also currently a doctoral candidate in computer science at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he works in the Craft Technology Lab under Michael Eisenberg.

Workshop: Making.Connections – A Youth-Led, Learner-Driven Electronics Workshop
Presenters: Christina Jenkins, Isiah Baskins, Tianni Stancil, Nasyria Taylor, Chloe Nunez

We are students from the NYC iSchool located in downtown Manhattan. Our school specializes in creating a 21st century learning environment. The group conducting this workshop consists of four current iSchool students, Isiah Baskins, Tianni Stancil, Chloe Nunez, and Nasyria Taylor. We were originally brought together by a class that our school introduced this year called Physical Computing. Many of us were very new to programming aside from the occasional tumblr theme modification. Our teacher, Ms. Jenkins, took more of a hands off approach when it came to student’s dilemmas. She would ask us to share these issues with the community around us and try to crowdsource a solution. This not only helped us grow as a group, but it also helped us communicate our ideas with people that could and also help us improve upon these ideas.

Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how a simple circuit works and how a Lilypad is being programed to do different things. They will be exposed to the possibilities that technology like this can bring to educational environments. This youth-led workshop will also show how adult educators can be learners in a classroom setting. A student and teacher may face the same frustration and misunderstanding when learning something new. This will put us, the workshop’s presenters, in the position of the teacher explain or to help “students” solve problems themselves.

Individual Talk: Open-Source Hardware as a Medium for Learning
Presenter: David Mellis

In this talk, I discuss the ways in which digital fabrication transforms the design of physical objects into a digital medium, enabling new forms of online and in-person making and learning. I draw on my experiences designing and fabricating open-source electronic devices, including radios, speakers, computer mice, and cellphones — and in working with others to modify the designs and make the devices for themselves. These devices combine laser-cut or 3d printed enclosures with custom electronic circuit (whose production is another form of digital fabrication). I’ve freely shared their design files online, a practice known as open-source hardware. Through workshops, I’ve directly engaged with others in the production of these devices. Others have created them independently based on my design files and instructions.

These open-source hardware practices support various forms of engagement and learning. For some, the device provides motivation for learning the skills needed (e.g. soldering or laser-cutting) to produce it. For others, the designs serve as a scaffold for their own design and making, a way of focusing on the areas of most creative interest. Open-source hardware fosters distributed collaboration, allowing remote individuals to collaborate on a design. Fabrication combines digital practices and skills with physical ones, providing opportunities for personal engagement with online content.

In short, digital fabrication and open-source hardware blend open, online ecosystems with physical activities, skills, and values. This offers new opportunities for open and distributed learning.

Featured Session LPA: Students Speak: Examining the Impact of Longitudinal Program Participation on Learning Outcomes @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Students Speak: Examining the Impact of Longitudinal Program Participation on Learning Outcomes

Organizer: Nichole Pinkard
Participants: Nichole Pinkard, Shani Edmond, and Caitlin Martin, Digital Youth Network; Natalie Rusk, Scratch; Jaleesa Trapp, Computer Clubhouse; Sarah Otts, Scratch
Discussant: Mimi Ito, Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, UC Irvine

This session will highlight the relationship between learning pathway participation and post-secondary outcomes through the experiences of those who were long-term participants in two well-documented programs.

Session Structure: 20-minute presentations by each program that provides a program structure overview and a portrait of participating youths’ learning pathways. Next, Mimi Ito will lead a 30-minute discussion with Shani Edmond, Sarah Otts, and Jaleesa Trapp that explores the relationship between interest, academics, and peer culture and learning outcomes. Finally, a 20-minute audience question answer session will close out the featured panel.



Panel BYV: Complexities and Contradictions – Examining Girls’ Participation in Digital Media Programs @ Singleton
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Organizer: Catherine Ashcraft

Presenters: Catherine Ashcraft, Rebecca Reynolds, Laura Minnigerode, Elizabeth Eger, Dee Morgenthaler

Discussant: Daysha Edgerton

This panel aims to connect practices across two related areas of research: 1) critical youth media studies and 2) gender, intersectionality, and technology studies. The panelists will highlight some of the positive outcomes and pressing dilemmas in increasing girls’ participation in digital media, technology, and social change. While girls are avid users of digital media and have increased participation in activities such as gaming (e.g., Kafai et al., 2008; Pew Research, 2012), they remain significantly underrepresented when it comes to the creation of media and new technologies (e.g., programming, designing games) (College Board, 2012; National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). This underrepresentation is a problem for inclusive social change efforts in two ways. First, increasing girls’ participation is itself an important change effort because lack of access to this burgeoning field perpetuates and exacerbates existing disparities for a diverse range of women. Second, increasing girls’ participation is vital for realizing the full potential of digital media in effecting broader social change. This potential is currently hindered by the lack of perspectives more girls diverse in race and class might bring to myriad social change efforts.

While a number of programs aimed at increasing girls’ participation have emerged, we know little about their effectiveness or how they shape girls’ emerging identities as change agents and as producers of digital media. Likewise, we know little about how these programs affect girls diverse in race, class, and other intersections of difference. This panel will draw from lessons learned in two digital media programs, highlighting powerful possibilities and potential pitfalls across practices.

The first program is embedded during the regular school curriculum and targets both girls and boys in underserved areas; the second program occurs after school and targets underserved girls. Juxtaposing lessons learned in both programs offers important insights. For example, because one program is co-educational while the other program targets girls, we were able to examine different dynamics operating in these environments. We were also able to explore complex intersections of race, gender, and class, and consider novel connections that might be made across informal and formal education programs. We contend that understanding these nuances is important in order to avoid unintended consequences and to increase the possibilities for social transformation.

Panel LPA: *This* is Learning – How Perceptions of Learning Relevance Matter for Student Success @ Copley
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Organizers: Luka Carfagna, Matt Rafalow

Presenters: Luka Carfagna, Matt Rafalow, Ksenia Korobkova, Andres Lombana Bermudez, Adam York

Discussant: Kylie Peppler

Connected Learning experiences align interest-driven activities with strong peer supports. Recent studies of these environments yield diverse frames of what is considered relevant as learning, both internally from youth voices and externally from adults and educators. These frames reveal how the process of negotiating learning is coupled with identity, community, social futures, economic opportunity, and academic success. As the principles of the connected learning framework become important in the design of learning spaces, it becomes even more imperative to understand what is (and is not) considered learning to youth, adults, and educators. This panel draws on data collected for the Connected Learning Research Network, a MacArthur Foundation funded interdisciplinary research network that is dedicated to understanding the opportunities and risks for learning afforded by today’s changing media ecology. The panel includes five diverse, in-depth cases: (1) a pop music fan community, (2) a design-oriented video game, (3) open learning, (4) a digital video afterschool program serving minority/low income youth, as well as examples from (5) a multi-site participatory study of youth connected learning environments. These projects interrogate a key question centered on youth voice in the design of new media-supported connected learning: what kinds of activities are considered learning? These cases reveal mechanisms that we believe must be understood, theorized, and critiqued if connected learning’s momentum is to be part of inclusive social change. With expertise on learning and youth communities, Kylie Peppler, Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences at Indiana University, will serve as discussant.

Framing Learning Experiences in Fandoms
Ksenia Korobkova focuses on learning and identity-related practices of fangirls of a popular British boyband called One Direction. This presentation highlights when young people narrated their engagement was indeed “writing” and relevant to school and moments when it was not.

How LittleBigPlanet 2 Players View their Design Work
Matt Rafalow explores how players of LittleBigPlanet 2, a craft-oriented Playstation 3 game, view their designs as not educational despite the fact that they are learning academically-relevant skills like computer science, logic, and physics.

Learning to Learn and Belong among Open Learners
Luka Carfagna follows 18-34 year old open learners who negotiate “learning to learn” in de-institutionalized learning environments while simultaneously “learning to belong” in entrepreneurial career paths.

Latino/Hispanic Youth, Digital Video Practices and Learning Identities
Andres Lobmana Bermudez presents a case study of three Mexican origin high school teens from working-class households that articulate learning identities as they participate in a digital video after school program. The teens articulate their learning identities as motivated by the practices they develop in an after school digital video program where they exercise their creative agency.

Learning through Narrating Possible Futures
Adam York’s team of adult and youth researchers conducted a multi-site ethnography of six youth connected learning environments (CLE). This analysis highlights the role of narration in the learning process, specifically in how participants learned to describe themselves, their projected pathways, and interest development.

Panel PFK: Creating Youth Builders – Promoting a New Game Design Ecosystem to Engage Hard-to-Reach Youth in Learning @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Organizer: Anna Ly

Participants: Anna Ly, Kimberly Bryant, Jen Groff, Brianna Igbinosun, Ricarose Roque, Leshell Hatley

Game-based learning has emerged as a promising area of innovation in making STEM content, critical skills, and systems thinking more engaging for America’s youth (e.g., Klopfer et al, 2009). Furthermore, a growing body of research suggests that creating video games can be a highly engaging way for youth to learn STEM skills (e.g., Robertson & Howells, 2008). Though the research shows that game design can be used to learn, the process of engaging non-dominant youth in game design is a challenging one. To begin to understand these issues, this session will assemble some of the promising and scalable practices that have already engage thousands of youth globally and in the US. The panel will feature representatives from non-profits, educational media, researchers, and participants of game design.

Kimberly Bryant is the Founder at Black Girls CODE, a nonprofit organization that strives to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn skills in technology and programming. She will discuss how the organization has trained more than 1,500 girls to work in technology fields such as game design and computer programming. Jen Groff is the VP of Learning and Program Development for Learning Games Network, a non-profit learning game studio committed to the development and distribution of games informed by research. Ricarose Roque, a PhD student with the Scratch Team at the MIT Media Lab, will elaborate on her collaborative work with community centers to design creative learning and technology workshops for families who have limited access to resources and social support with computing. Leshell Hatley is the founder and Executive Director of Uplift, Inc., which guides K-12 students, especially students of color, through innovative educational experiences in STEAM+CS, teaching them to solve everyday problems. Our panel would also not be complete without a student perspective, offered by Brianna Igbinosun, a high school student who won the Best Scratch High School Game in the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge. Each panelist will have 8-10 minutes to address these questions:

* What is the main educational or youth development goal that your initiative advances?
* What are the special attributes of your program and how are they related to key research, design, or practice issues?
* How do these game design programs engage students in learning experiences?
* What are the top challenges and lessons you face in engaging youth through the work of game design? Are you developing a system to “scale” the work? What are the challenges to doing so?
* If you could describe the ideal environment for other DML participants to adapt your efforts, how would they get started?

For the remainder of the session, moderator Anna Ly (Industry Fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center) will further engage the panelists with the audience members in a conversation about how we can refine and learn from existing models to work towards creating game design software and environments that engage and propel underserved youth on new pathways for learning.

Panel PFK: Game Based Civic Experiences & Global Development @ Commonwealth
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Organizer: Carolina Torres

Presenters: Maryanne Yerkes, Shahera Youssef Younes, Rama Halaseh, Carolina Torres

The rapidly expanding global population between the ages of 15 and 24 is a phenomenon which is affecting many countries around the world. In regions such as the Middle East, more than 65% of the population is under the age of 30. Amidst challenging circumstances, this youth “bulge” around the world, have harnessed and demonstrated the power of social media to connect with each other and express themselves bringing about dramatic social, political and economic changes.

Can social games help empower youth to develop the skills, passion and knowledge to build vibrant 21st. century societies and be active citizens in their communities? More than 100 million people are playing games on Facebook, this youth bulge offers unique opportunities for positive social change through the use of gaming and other participatory media.

Please join this panel of experts to discuss the Innovations for Youth Capacity and Engagement (IYCE ) gaming project “Our City”, which will be piloted in Jordan in early 2014. A one of a kind innovative international development partnership between USAID, NetHope and E-Line Media. OurCity is a city-building Facebook game focused on exploring, in particular how serious social games, can engage and empower youth to understand how they can participate in building healthy societies and become active, productive members of their community. The game offers players the opportunity to accelerate their advancement in the game through on-line and real-world engagement – in partnership with carefully vetted local youth-focused NGOs. Players will learn to make decisions around an integrated on and offline engaging game experience, developing a civic-minded perspective to make a difference in their digital and real-world communities.

Workshop BYV: Youth Remix History for Change @ State Suite
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Organizer: Steve Goodman

Presenters: Christine Mendoza, Raelene Holmes-Andrews

Discussant: James Diamond

Educational Video Center (EVC), an award-winning youth media organization that nurtures the idealism of young people through artistic, critical literacy, and career development, is proud to propose “Youth Remix History for Change.” This youth-led presentation will engage DML 2014 participants in a hands-on exploration of EVC’s pilot workshop using digital editing and design tools to foster critical reflections on current social conditions using a select remix of its deep youth produced video archives.

Since 1984, NYC public school youth (ages 15-20) have been producing powerful social issue documentaries through EVC’s thoughtful, guided practice, uniquely resulting in decades worth of youth perspectives on persistent systemic inequalities, from aging out of foster care to educational injustice, from the impact of patriarchy on young women to immigrant struggles. In this proposed session, two EVC youth leaders and an educator ally will share their behind the scenes process from EVC’s new 15-week after-school digital workshop excavating EVC’s video archives to remix relevant content into current cultural and political commentary. So for example, youth might choose to revisit the 1991 EVC documentary on the Black/Jewish riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, using Mozilla Popcorn to comment on the content, Adobe Photoshop to redesign images of the community then and now, or Aniboom Shapeshifter to create basic animation. Youth will share their “digging deep” process, and with educator support, engage small groups in a remix of their own using EVC source material to explore the following questions:

How have youth representations of persistent social issues changed over time?

What about expectations for youth engagement in change as leaders? Can we see a difference in the narrative purpose through the remix (i.e., naming an issue vs. mobilizing for change)?

What was most challenging/engaging about the responsibility that comes with remixing a peer perspective?

How can digital tools help youth make sense of their community history, and inform their understanding of their own place within contemporary social conditions?

To recap, youth will present the workshop, share their remixes-in-progress, engage small groups in a remix of their own, and then participate in a facilitated discussion addressing the questions above. This session aligns well with the Beyond Youth Voice track in that its process of exploring history to change the nature of our understandings of injustice is mirrored in the workshop’s design and dialogue to move beyond “voice” to new frameworks. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of:

What a concrete youth-driven digital media making process looks like.

How remix functions as both artistic and critical tool for youth learning and activism.

How inter-generational youth/ adult dialogue can inspire a re-framing of community history, place-based learning, and contemporary change.

Workshop CLI: Promoting Connected Learning Opportunities for Adults in the Workplace @ St. James
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Organizers: Tene Gray, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl

Presenters: Tene Gray, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl

The re-imagining of the workplace involves changing traditionally hierarchical institutions into one that supports a community of learners. These institutions for millions of adults are actually workplaces where designing and facilitating learning experiences are a part of the everyday role of the adult in these learning spaces, which leads to the question, how can communities of practice help frame connected learning in the workplace for adult learners?

Connected Learning is a model for youth where learning is interest powered, peer supported, and academically oriented. There is an exact analogy to adult learning within the context of Connected Learning. These principles are parallel to adult learning, with a slight revision. For adults, the learning principles might involve inquiry based learning, colleague support, and improvement-oriented learning. This approach produces very strong learning for adults and can very well enact the Connected Learning approach. It’s unrealistic to expect for youth to become powerful learners if they’re not surrounded by adults who are powerful learners and also express an interest to learn. Young people will partake in learning experiences in institutions and schools for much of their lives and if they see those places and people as disengaged and disempowered learners that could be problematic.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together a group of adult practitioners and facilitators to engage in a protocol that might be used in the workplace environment. This approach, protocol-based learning, is a way to enact Connected Learning through improvement-oriented feedback. The participants will partake in a consultancy protocol, which is a structured process for helping an individual think more expansively about a particular, concrete dilemma.

Lead presenters will serve as facilitators for the consultancy and eight practitioners from the DML community will serve as presenters by sharing a dilemma related to their practice in small groups. Each presenter will be coached well in advance of the workshop as a way to support the careful construction of a dilemma and focus question that will garner the type of improvement-oriented feedback desired from the consultancy group. The consultancy involves each presenter sharing a dilemma with their consultancy group. Each will provide an overview of the dilemma with which s/he is struggling and frame a question for the group to consider. Following the sharing of the dilemma, the group will then ask clarifying questions and then probing questions of the presenter. After the presenter responds to clarifying and probing questions, the group will discuss the dilemma presented and suggest actions the presenter might consider taking. During this time, the presenter does not participate in the discussion, but instead listens and takes notes on what s/he hears from the consultancy group. Then, the presenter reflects on what s/he is now thinking, sharing with the group anything that resonated for him or her during any part of the consultancy. Finally, the facilitator at each table will lead a brief conversation about the group’s observations of the consultancy protocol, which will then lead to a whole group share out.

Workshop LPA: It’s Not (just) About the Badges – Creating Pathways for Learning Ecosystems Using Digital Badges @ Oval
Mar 7 @ 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Organizers: Daniel Hickey, Rebecca Itow

Presenters: Daniel Hickey, Rebecca Itow, Katerina Schenke, Cathy Tran, Nate Otto, Christine Chow

Digital badges are web-enabled tokens of accomplishment. They contain specific claims and detailed evidence about learning. Because they contain this information and can be readily accumulated and shared, they can work quite differently than traditional grades, certificates, and transcripts. Digital badges are becoming widely used to recognize learning in a variety of formal and informal educational settings. When the Badges for Lifelong Learning competition was launched in 2012, the Design Principles Documentation (DPD) Project was established to follow the 30 badge project awardees, and document the evolution of their practices as the projects progressed from proposal to implementation. As the projects progressed, common practices – later labeled appropriate practices that are context dependent – emerged and were categorized into sets of principles that fall within four categories of badging practices: recognizing learning, assessing learning, motivating learning, and studying learning. As the principles were formed and refined, it became clear that the focus of successful projects was not on the badges, but on the learning ecosystem in which the badges exist, and the learning pathways created around badges.

This workshop will be an interactive session in which participants work in broad affinity groups to consider how desired elements of a learning ecosystem and learning outcomes might shape the way they design a digital badge system. Participants will then select which principles – which will be tangibly available in a card deck – in each category of practice might elicit the kind of learning and engagement they outlined in their learning ecosystem. Participants will then design one specific learning pathway that encompasses appropriate practices contained in the chosen principles, and discuss why a badge should be earned at the end of that pathway. These small groups will then share their experiences and their findings with all of the participants, and the DPD team will facilitate a discussion around selecting appropriate practices for designing learning pathways that lead to a digital badge, and how those pathways interact within the broader learning ecosystem.

A major lesson the DPD team has learned in the last year-and-a-half is that it really is not just about the badges; it is about learning ecosystems. And the more badging projects consider the elements that make up their learning ecosystem and the learning pathways within it, the more they can leverage digital badges to highlight nuanced learning and understanding that traditional grading systems do not. As the 30 awardees move into their final phase of implementation and their funding from the competition ends, the DPD project will track which badge systems sustain. It is not the charge of the DPD team to evaluate the projects or advise them; rather, the team aims to capture the knowledge that emerges as projects shift and adjust their practices as their project moves forward, and document that knowledge in a coherent and organized way such that other badge and learning ecosystem developers can learn from the projects’ experiences.

Documentary Screening BYV: Beyond the Fifth Dimension: University-Community Partnerships in Learning (2013) @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 7 @ 10:45 PM – Mar 8 @ 12:00 AM

Organizers: Angela Booker, D. Andy Rice
Participants: D. Andy Rice, filmmaker & ASPIRE Fellow in Socially Engaged Media, UCLA; Deborah Downing-Wilson, UCSD – Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition (LCHC); Michael Cole, UCSD – Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition (LCHC) (via video); Veverly Anderson, Town and Country Learning Center (TCLC) (via video)

This film explores a model for after school learning programs called the Fifth Dimension, theorized by cultural psychologist Michael Cole as a way to emphasize technology and diversity in research about human development and learning, while addressing the educational needs of underserved local communities. The Fifth Dimension is a university practicum course that brings undergraduates majoring in human development, education, and communication together with K-12 children in after school settings. They collaborate on fun, educational enrichment activities like gardening, arts and crafts, theatrical performances, video production, and educational computer games. Undergraduates write research papers about learning based on their quarter-long weekly or bi-weekly interactions with a child at their specific site.

The film profiles three of these sites that operated simultaneously in 2011 through UC San Diego’s Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition: a charter school grounded in project-based learning; a public elementary school that bused in 1/3 low income, predominantly Spanish language students; and a community center after school program in an historically African-American neighborhood of San Diego. Featuring interviews with participants including undergraduates, K-12 students, teachers, parents, graduate students, professors, and researchers on collaborative learning, the film offers a nuanced look at the possibilities and pitfalls of play and project-centered education, and makes a case for the value of non-standardized, community-based, hands-on forms of learning. It also touches on the dynamics of race, class, and linguistic differences that these interactions between university students and children from low-income communities tend to bring to the surface.

Documentary Screening: This Is Media (2014) @ Venetian
Mar 7 @ 10:45 PM – Mar 8 @ 12:00 AM

Organizers: Michelle Lipkin, Erin Reilly, Henry Jenkins
Participants: Henry Jenkins, Paul Mihailidis, Rafi Santo, Juliet Schor

This Is Media is a short documentary that explores new and emerging issues in the ways that we produce, use, and share media. The film outlines shifts in the way that media is created and consumed that changes our relationship to media, credibility, and privacy.

The film is part of the Eyes Wide Open digital and media literacy campaign by Pivot. Screenings and educational materials have been produced in collaboration with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).

Pivot (, which launched nationally August 1, is a television network from Participant Media serving passionate Millennials (18-34) with a diverse slate of talent and a mix of original series, acquired programming, films and documentaries. Pivot focuses on entertainment that sparks conversation, inspires change and illuminates issues through engaging content and, through its website, connects audiences to a wealth of content and customizable actions. Pivot is available via traditional Pay TV subscription and integrating a Live and on demand streaming option via its interactive, downloadable Pivot APP. In both content and delivery, Pivot is TV for The New Greatest Generation. Follow Pivot on Twitter at @pivot_tv and on Facebook at

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) is a professional association for educators, academics, activists, and students with a passion for understanding how the media we use and create affect our lives and the lives of others in our communities and in the world. The NAMLE vision is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today’s world. The NAMLE mission is “to expand and improve the practice of media literacy education in the United States.”

Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication Journalism and Cinematic Arts at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Henry Jenkins joined USC from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was Peter de Florez Professor in the Humanities. He directed MIT’s Comparative Media Studies graduate degree program from 1993-2009, setting an innovative research agenda during a time of fundamental change in communication, journalism and entertainment.As one of the first media scholars to chart the changing role of the audience in an environment of increasingly pervasive digital content, Jenkins has been at the forefront of understanding the effects of participatory media on society, politics and culture. His research gives key insights to the success of social-networking web sites, networked computer games, online fan communities and other advocacy organizations, and emerging news media outlets.Jenkins has also played a central role in demonstrating the importance of new media technologies in educational settings. He has worked closely with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to shape a media literacy program designed to explore the effects of participatory media on young people, and reveal potential new pathways for education through emerging digital media. He is Principal Investigator on the Media Activism Participatory Politics project. His most recent books include Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the Literature Classroom (with Wyn Kelley, Katie Clinton, Jenna McWilliams, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley and Erin Reilly) and Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Society (with Sam Ford and Joshua Green).

Paul Mihailidis is an assistant professor in the school of communication at Emerson College in Boston, MA, where he teaches media literacy and interactive media. His research focuses on the nexus of media, education, and civic voices. His forthcoming books, Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen (2014, Peter Lang) and Media Literacy Education in Action (2014, Routledge), outline effective practices for participatory citizenship and engagement in digital culture. Mihailidis, who directs the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, and sits on the board of directors for the National Association of Media Literacy Education, was recently named associate director of the newly formed Engagement Labs at Emerson College.

Rafi Santo is a doctoral candidate in the Learning Sciences at Indiana University and a project lead at Hive Research Lab, an applied research partner of Mozilla Hive NYC. His interests focus on the intersection of new media, educational design, and interest driven learning. Santo’s work on Hacker Literacies has appeared in journals including International Journal of Learning and Media and Digital Culture & Education, and he is co-author of an upcoming four volume collection from MIT Press called Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Design, which offers curricular approaches to teaching systems thinking through game design, DIY electronics and digital storytelling. His dissertation work investigates the relationship between innovation practices and organizational networks within the field of digital media and learning.

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. She is also a member of the MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning Research Network. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years, in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women’s Studies. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Schor received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts. Schor is a former Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2011 Herman Daly Award from the US Society for Ecological Economics, the 2006 Leontief Prize from Tufts University, and the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language from the National Council of Teachers of English. Her most recent book is True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy (2011 by The Penguin Press, previously published as Plenitude.) Previous books include the national best-seller The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (Basic Books, 1992), The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (Basic Books, 1998), and Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (Scribner 2004).

Alexandrina Agloro is a scholar/activist who believes in the possibilities of the decolonial imaginary using digital media as an emancipatory tool. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, and is currently collaboratively designing and building an alternate reality game based on Black and Latin@ activism with local young people in Providence, RI. She teaches agency and resistance at university and high school levels, and specializes in digital media skill building with young people of color. She is currently a visiting scholar at Brown University’s Third World Center, and an artist mentor at New Urban Arts. Alexandrina uses critical pedagogy and community-based research as platforms to work with institutions, community organizations, researchers, and artists.

Registration Opens @ Lobby
Mar 8 @ 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Registration Desk is open in the Lobby.


March 6, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

March 7, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

March 8, 2014 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Plenary: Towards Common Research Methods – Perspectives on Researching Youths’ Longitudinal Program Participation @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 8 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Organizer: Nichole Pinkard, DePaul University
Participants: Brigid Barron, Digital Youth Network; Vera Michalchik, SRI International and Stanford University; Kiley Larson, New York University
Discussant: William Penuel, University of Colorado Boulder

A critical challenge for the DML community is documenting and researching learning pathways. This panel brings together researchers who have lead large-scale research efforts to discuss the methodological challenges and lessons learned. The researchers will each put forward 1-2 methodological tools or protocols they believe can be part of DML research toolkit.



Mar 8 @ 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Combined Workshop & Individual Talk OTL: Open Teacher Professional Development @ State Suite
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Workshop: Making Learning Connected MOOC: An Iterative Design Experiment
Organizers: Christina Cantrill
Presenters: Kevin Hodgson, Joe Dillon, Mia Zamora, Anna Smith

When we began designing the Making Learning Connected MOOC, we supposed that it would begin with making and that it would surface connections between the participants? learning and Connected Learning principles. We estimated it would run over the course of two months during the summer, be open to a general group of self-identified educators, and would be organized by a group of facilitators whom we knew to be experienced teacher leaders with a range of online experiences. The rest of the format and structure and content of the MOOC – and the design for participant interaction and leadership – was the result of an iterative and constructivist process of conversation among these facilitators and real-time response, or lack thereof, to the organic unfolding of the MOOC.

Ultimately, the organizers of CLMOOC as it came to be called, built upon the foundation of connectivist MOOC pedagogy and the work of its original conceivers such as Dave Cormier, as well as recent forebearers like ds106 and Learning Creative Learning. What we saw emerge was the infusion of an interest-driven maker ethos that led a number of educator participants describe the MOOC as the best professional development they?d ever encountered.

Now, months after the ?official? close of CLMOOC, the organizers are both working to develop resources that would allow others to create their own Making Learning Connected online experience and also to analyze and better understand what unfolded (and in some cases, continues to unfold) during the 8 weeks of making and learning. What exactly did educators take away from the experience? Did we ensure adequate access to all via the tools, texts, platforms and design we implemented? How might we better provide scaffolds and entry points to those for whom the idea of a MOOC is off-putting or scary? How can we best engender broad-based, emergent leadership among participants? Is it possible, and even preferable, to create an online learning experience that essentially has no formalized curriculum but instead establishes a framework for curriculum to develop among participants? And what, ultimately, does it mean to consider all learners in an online experience as nodes in a knowledge network?

We propose engaging participants in making activities, like toy-hacking, much like we did online during the summer, followed by opportunities to engage in conversation related to the questions above engendered by our MOOC experience. We will make visible the design structure of CLMOOC while engaging in collaborative discussion addressing the conference theme of connecting practices across ever-widening circles and networks of formal and informal educators.

Short Talk: Online Communities of Practice As Tools for Transforming Teacher Learning
Presenter: Torrey Trust

In the past decade, online communities of practice (i.e., Edmodo, Twitter, Classroom 2.0) have become popular tools for teacher learning. About one quarter of all K-12 educators in the United States are members of an online community of practice and that number continues to grow.

For my dissertation, I explored how K-12 teachers? participation in the Edmodo Math Subject Community, an online community of practice with more than 190,000 members, shaped the way they learned and transformed their teaching. I also explored the sociocultural factors that influenced how they found, adapted, implemented, and evaluated shared knowledge from the online community.

In this short talk, I will share my findings from my dissertation research and answer the following questions:
1) How do teachers navigate between their local school activity systems and the Math Subject Community global activity system to acquire new knowledge?
2) What are the sociocultural factors that influence how teachers learn in an online community of practice?
3) What are the ensuing effects of participating in the process of finding, selecting, and implementing the shared knowledge from the Math Subject Community?

I will also present my newly developed model for teacher learning and describe how teacher learning in an online community is transforming the traditional notions of professional development. I will share how knowledge acquisition using open technologies for learning occurs through discovery, play, and exploration rather than through the passive transmission of knowledge from an outside expert.

DML Cafe Session I @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM


DML Café Session I

1. Boise State University
Organizer: Hans Aagard
Participants: Hans Aagard

The Effects of Humor in Instructional Videos on Learning and Motivation

Half of the top ten YouTube channels are comedy. With the popularity of humor in videos, should humor be used in instructional videos? Instructors use humor to improve the teaching environment, and appear more approachable, but its use in instructional video is not well known and little data exists on its effects.

This cafe session will discuss this with some preliminary results from a study measuring the effects of humor in instructional videos on learning and motivation. Is it distracting? Is it helpful? Do students who grow up watching YouTube need to be entertained while they learn, or do they separate out entertainment and learning? Bring your thoughts and experiences to discuss the use of (intentional) humor in instructional video and its effects.

2. Fairfield University
Organizer: Belinha De Abreu
Participants: Belinha De Abreu, Paul Mihailidis

Media Literacy Research Symposium

Where are the scholars and researchers in the field of media literacy education? How can we grow the field and shorten the present gap within the field? This table will offer an opportunity to discuss the field and open the conversation to those vested in opening and moving the field forward. We will look at different strands of focus within the field: Media Literacy: Past, Present, and Future; Digital Media and Learning; Global Perspectives; Education: Training, Policy, and Digital Citizenship; Public Spaces & Civic Activism. At the same time, we will share information regarding a future symposium focusing in this area.

3. Outer Voices Podcast
Organizers: Sam Naujokas, Adrienne Sarasy, Alia Ticknell, Stephanie Guyer-Stevens
Participants: Sam Naujokas, Adrienne Sarasy, Alia Ticknell, Stephanie Guyer-Stevens

The Outer Voices Podcast is a digital gateway to introduce and connect high school students to global issues. We are a group of high school students who curate and deliver audio podcasts with a youth focus created by professional journalists working internationally. We’ve also designed and developed a blog site that holds the podcast.
The Outer Voices Podcast is created to deliver news content to students both inside and outside the classroom, creating a unique online student community of engaged and global thinkers.
While the audio podcasts themselves are produced by professional journalists, the content is curated by a student based editorial board.
In short, the Outer Voices Podcast is truly produced for teens, by teens.
We’ve covered topics that range from rhinoplasty in Saudi Arabia to political dissidents in Burma to popular street food in Vietnam.
At the DML Café we propose to set up a podcast listening room with comfy chairs and headphones available to sit back and listen to some of our podcasts. And similar to how the podcasts are used in classrooms in our high school, we’ll ask listeners to share their thoughts on the piece and create genuine dialogue about the ideas that the podcasts spark.
We’ll also have a monitor available to be able to explore our blog and see how we’ve designed it to be able to expand a curious listener’s experience by providing additional background information, interviews with the journalists, photographs form the journalist’s work in the field, maps, and other resources.

4. National Geographic Society
Organizer: Sean O’Connor
Participants: Sean O’Connor

National Geographic FieldScope: Citizen Science Mapping and Visualization

Citizen science has come into its own in recent years as a way to engage students and other non-scientist volunteers in real-world science. Crowdsourcing many types of scientific observations through mobilization of citizen scientists is also making significant contributions to scientific research. National Geographic has developed an interactive mapping platform called FieldScope to facilitate citizen scientists contributing data and asking and exploring questions through visualizing maps and graphs.

We invite cafe participants to come learn more about FieldScope and how it connects people and communities through shared maps and data. Interactions with interactive mapping tool, or GIS, also have the power to help students and others develop geospatial thinking skills, and make interdisciplinary connections.

With FieldScope, citizen scientists can engage in activities such as:

Exploring maps and data to ask and answer questions about places
Conducting field work and sharing observations and stories
Participating in social and scientific networks to document and improve communities

In this cafe session, the facilitator will provide a demo of the technology and introduce citizen science projects across the United States that are using FieldScope, and lead a discussion and feedback session on using technology in the classroom, geospatial thinking, and facilitating communities of practice in citizen science.

5. National Veterans Art Museum
Organizer: Christine Bespalec-Davis
Participants: Christine Bespalec-Davis

More than “just listening”: Engaging with teens and promoting connected learning through conversations with Veterans

Every Tuesday, groups of teens make their way to the YOUmedia center in the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago after school. They spend time on the computers located in the space and socialize with friends. A teaching artist from the National Veterans Art Museum might invite them to look at art, give feedback on an interactive websites designed by the museum or listen to an audio recording of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien to which the museum has dedicated a permanent exhibition inspired by the novel. In the following weeks, youth travel to the museum and meet with veterans of Vietnam as well as contemporary wars. We have learned that many of the youth the museum works with can identify with the complications and repercussions of both physical and emotional conflicts as experienced and expressed through art by veterans in our collection. Bit by bit, week by week, a group of engaged youth is formed and transition from “just listening” to engaged, connected learning supported by digital media tools, the sharing of personal narratives, and art making.

These conversations begin with getting to know the youth we work with and continues as we develop a relationship with who they are in connection to the museum, its mission and the veterans that work collaboratively with us to create more meaningful experiences and a deeper understanding of war, history, civics and contemporary issues.

Join me to discuss the role of digital media in the transformation from “just listening” to connected learning at the National Veterans Art Museum.

6. Openbox
Organizer: Garance Choko
Participants: Garance Choko

Bringing Youth into Public Space Design

The Lowline is transforming an abandoned subway terminal into a public park in the Lower East Side, a historically diverse and low income neighborhood in NYC. Design firm Openbox has crafted programming and curriculum to position the Lowline as a pioneer in participatory design. The goal has been to provide students and other community members with a meaningful role in the development of their new public space.

Participatory design offers various opportunities for social and economic impact: repositioning beneficiaries as active participants in the design process; integrating diverse identities and voices; and developing an authentic sense of ownership to the final product or service.

Playing with cross-cultural, cross-generational and cross-functional dynamics, Openbox has been unlocking opportunities for meaningful co-design practices, especially involving non-dominant youth. Although it is starting to gain momentum within the mainstream, participatory design is still a nebulous concept for many organizations that are reluctant to incorporate it to their culture and programming.

Using the Lowline as a case study, Openbox invites you to discuss the unique opportunities of participatory design to provide youth with the necessary foundations and skills needed for adequate development, and how to educate organizations or design partners on incorporating participatory design to their practices.

7. Project Exploration /C-STEMM
Organizer: Krystal Meisel
Participants: Krystal Meisel

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Badges: Forging a Chicago STEM Pathway Across the US

This interactive presentation will share our experience developing and implementing a shared STEM digital-badging ecosystem for non-formal learning environments in Chicago. It will center on process the of gathering consensus around the adoption of Project Exploration’s Youth Science Matrix © as a foundation for standard implementation and assessment among six diverse STEM programming institutions (Adler Planetarium, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, After School Matters, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and Chicago Botanic Gardens) and two badging platforms (ForAll Badges and Youtopia). We will share student reflections and ideas for overcoming the technology gap.

Join Krystal Meisel, program manager at Project Exploration, Art of Science Learning Innovation Fellow and C-STEMM member, in a hands-on, interactive metaphorming* activity to invent the I-80 for digital badging. Come prepared to reimagine pathways, connect organizations, build bridges between cities, and get our youth and communities to amazing new places. After building a physical manifestation of our ideas we will take time to discuss our thinking and explore possible ways to get all students, parents, and communities (including those who may not have reliable access to technology) to travel on our newly imagined super highway.

* “Metaphorming: A much deeper and more effective way of brainstorming. Participants collaborate in making multi-dimensional, freeform, symbolic models. These models contain a wealth of ideas, insights, knowledge, and creative solutions.” Dr. Todd Siler

8. Trans*H4CK
Organizer: Harlan Kellaway
Participants: Harlan Kellaway, TBD

Trans*H4CK Reboot: A Workshop on Trans People & Tech Inspired by the First Hackathon for Trans Empowerment

Are you interested in tech or social media that benefits trans* people? Then you’d be interested in Trans*H4CK, a hackathon and speaker series brought to life by Dr. Kortney Ziegler ( in September 2013. The Trans*H4CK series aims is to radically shift the ways trans* people live by creating empowering technology that addresses social problems, including but not limited to: access to services, safety, and community sustainability.

This workshop is a condensed version of the brainstorming portion of the 2-day hackathon, covering: trans*-oriented projects and people that are already working in/on tech, small group designing of your own Trans*H4CK project(s), plus ideas and discussion about platforms to use to bring your project to life.

Learn more about Trans*H4CK and its 2014 series at:

Main objectives (time-allowing):
1) Learn about the state of tech & trans people
2) Take the first steps toward being involved in your own tech project(s) that can benefit trans* people
3) Learn about platforms that could help bring your ideas to life

9. Tufts University
Organizer: Elizabeth Kazakoff
Participants: Elizabeth Kazakoff

What Happens When Kindergartners Learn to Code?

Curious about real children in real classrooms learning to code with ScratchJr, a developmentally appropriate programing language designed for children 5 to 7 years old? Wondering how components of self-regulation (such as attention, working memory, and inhibitory control) may be a factor in learning to code? Pondering if learning to code could possibly improve self-regulation skills in young children? Want to know how to capture and analyze screen, audio, and video data from 38 kindergartners (Hint: Five-year-olds are not always on task…)?

In this café session, you can expect to view video footage highlighting different types of kindergarten coders as they program their own animated stories, interactive collages, and programming challenges. We will examine how differences in self-regulation at the start of the programming curriculum influenced the young coders’ approaches to their various lessons. Copies of the curriculum modules will be on hand for a discussion of how what was learned in the classrooms influenced the iterative design of both the software and the curriculum for future versions of ScratchJr.

ScratchJr is a collaborative effort between Tufts DevTech Research Group, MIT Lifelong Kindergarten, and PICO. The case studies and analyses presented in this session are a qualitative component of the forthcoming dissertation, “What role does self-regulation play when young children learn to code?“ based on the presenter’s work in classrooms that piloted-tested ScratchJr. This dissertation explores a possible bidirectional relationship between self-regulation and learning to code with 38 kindergarten students.

If any, or all, of these ideas capture your interest then please stop by.

10. The Student Union
Organizers: Emilio Vides-Curnen, Shane Kelly, Nicolas Jofre
Participants: Emilio Vides-Curnen, Shane Kelly, Nicolas Jofre

Building a Student Union: Disrupting Student Organizing in the Boston Public Schools

The Student Union is a youth mobilization and think tank led and run exclusively by millennials in Boston. Founded in 2013, the Union leverages the experiences of 2000 high school students to inform both school and city-wide decision making, while also making education reform accessible to every millennial in the city.

This discussion focuses on the strategies that our team of high school, college, and recent college grads has utilized to disrupt the complex youth organizing ecosystem in Boston. We’ll discuss how this movement began at Boston’s most insular and oldest high school, our approach for connecting grassroots and grass tops leaders, and other best practices for those seeking to make meaningful youth-led change within and acrossschools.

11. Public Lab
Organizer: Liz Barry
Participants: Liz Barry, Don Blair, Catherine D’Ignazio

A public lab — online and offline learning about environmental research

Visit Public Lab’s table and get your hands on our MacGyver-style hardware and browser-based software for creating visually compelling environmental datasets. Our mission is to make environmental science something everyone can do, especially communities facing environmental injustice. Along the way we’ve created a 5,000 person collaborative community that exhibits some interesting (and evolving) online-offline learning interactions. Discuss with us how a combo of self-organization and design has resulting in Public Lab’s novel peer-to-peer learning and collaboration infrastructure.

12. Ann Arbor Skyline High School
Organizer: Sara Duvall
Participants: Sara Duvall, Peter Pasque

Life Support! – Badging & Digital Organization with the Learning Network Model

Methodology for organizing ones digital life, research, writing and more with our model Learning Network. We freely share our web-based tools, tutorials, manuals, handouts, and help forum, as well as vibrant examples of how Learning Network strategies have permeated the lives of students and transformed their use of technology tools. Printed brochures with the basics and web links, cards, pictures and CD’s will be available as we demonstrate these methods of teaching and learning. There will be a discussion/demonstration of our pilot program for badging career and college readiness skills at the high school level, which has grown out of our Learning Network model.

13. Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Organizer: Urs Gasser
Participants: Urs Gasser, Sandra Cortesi, Paulina Haduong, Rogelio Lopez

Student Privacy

How do new technologies like cloud computing, tablet and mobile Internet access, and digital innovations affect privacy and learning? Join the Berkman Center team at our round table discussion for the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences about student, parent, and teacher privacy expectations and attitudes.

Our Student Privacy Initiative, led by Berkman Executive Director Urs Gasser, explores the opportunities and challenges that may arise as educational institutions consider adopting cloud computing technologies. In its work across three overlapping clusters – Privacy Expectations & Attitudes, School Practices & Policies, and Law & Policy – this initiative aims to engage diverse stakeholders. Together, we aim to develop shared good practices that promote positive educational outcomes, harness technological and pedagogical innovations, and protect critical values. To learn more about our work, please visit:

A vital part of our translational work across the Initiative involves empirical research to assess student privacy attitudes. To date, the Berkman’s Youth and Media team conducted focus groups with over 200 students across the country, culminating in the report Youth Perspectives on Tech in Schools: From Mobile Devices to Restrictions and Monitoring. (For additional recent outputs on youth, digital media, and privacy, see: Against this backdrop, we plan to expand this work with a series of interviews with students and teachers to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences with and perspectives on cloud technology and privacy.

As we pursue these next steps in our work, the DML network offers an invaluable window into practitioners’ perspectives and needs. What may our research have overlooked thus far? What specific questions may we wish to ask of teachers in our focus groups? And what bigger picture questions should we take into account that we may not (yet) have considered?

14. KQED Public Media
Organizer: Matthew Williams
Participants: Matthew Williams, Paul Oh, Matt Ganucheau

KQED Do Now: A National Debate on Current Events Using Social Media

Public life, increasingly, is happening online. Accordingly, in-school and out-of-school educators need ways to engage youth using digital tools for civic purposes. KQED Do Now is one way where young people can discuss social and political issues using social media. Currently, the project is in over 150 schools across the nation where students participate in a weekly debate. With Do Now, you will see how social media and media making can add value to learning as it happens anytime and anywhere. Learn how students participate in a national conversation and how you can get involved in the Do Now discussion! KQED Do Now is produced in collaboration with National Writing Project, California Academy of Sciences, PBS NewsHour Extra, and Twitter.

15. Chicago Public Library YOUmedia
Organizer: Adrienne Strock
Participants: Adrienne Strock, Adrienne Strock, Mike Hawkins, Jen Steele, Erin Bradley, Kiley Larson

You Say HOMAGO; I Say GOMAHO: A YOUmedia Chicago Retrospective of Lessons Learned and Best Practices:

In rapid succession, researchers and YOUmedia Chicago staff and veterans will reflect on best practices and action-oriented solutions for success in what’s sure to be 90 minutes of roundtable power sessions with time for some Q&A.

Participants can drop in and out of our three 30 minute sessions were panelists will have 5 minutes to discuss the topic with time for audience Q&A. A timer and buzzer may be making an appearance and we plan to have fun while actively engaging audience questions.

Panelists will discuss the challenges and successes of implementing a program that provides meaningful and engaging learning experiences for youth given differences in institutional and organizational infrastructures, philosophies on learning, and theories around youth engagement, and institutional shifts over the years. We will share lessons learned and best practices around various aspects of planning, implementation and program success.

30 minutes: The Give and Take in Partnerships: DYN/CPL partnership challenges, organizational strengths and triumphs.

30 minutes: Programming evolution: A look back at early lessons learned about programming and tips for making YOUmedia programs and workshops the success they are today.

30 minutes: Where are we as organizations now? CPL, DYN, and the NYU research team will discuss their plans for the year(s) ahead.

About the YOUmedia Chicago Partnership:
In July of 2009, the first YOUmedia Chicago opened its doors as a collaboration between the Chicago Public Library and Digital Youth Network. As the first site to test out a new and evolving learning model now being replicated nationwide, two institutions experienced growing pains of rapid implementation with an unwavering commitment to the success of the program.

16. Common Sense Media
Organizer: Emily Weinstein
Participants: Emily Weinstein

Scaffolding Technology Integration with App Flows

Armed with a variety of digital learning tools, teachers are looking for ways to integrate technology more purposefully throughout lessons that meet their teaching objectives. Rather than reinvent the wheel, is the need to plan where, why, and how the technology could flow through a lesson to enrich learning, while keeping students engaged in practice.

Join us to learn about a new framework called “App Flow,” a customizable planning tool that redefines the traditional lesson plan or unit by integrating digital learning tools with pedagogical intent. The App Flow framework is part of Graphite, a free service by Common Sense Media that helps teachers discover, share, and innovate with great tools rated for learning potential.

Teachers can use the App Flow framework to scaffold technology integration and to think with purpose about how they’re aligning digital tools to specific tasks. App Flows are being piloted in seven states from February-May 2014. Participants will hear results and insights from the pilot sites, including case studies and examples of how App Flows are shifting teachers’ planning and implementation using apps, websites, and games to enhance student learning. Participants will learn how they can publish their App Flows, or remix existing App Flows, and add to repository of tech-rich lesson ideas.

17. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Organizer: David Rios
Participants: David Rios, Halima Johnson

Digital Badges: Get Real

What’s the next step for digital badges for Youth? Teens, 14 years and older are developing skills in and out of the classroom, but where are they sharing this information, and who will listen? As digital badges continue to gain traction in cultural institutions and youth programs, the next step is building a real world environment where those badges are recognized. Join the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for an informal discussion on the work they are doing to create that environment. Learn how youth participating in their DesignPrep program—a series of free designer led workshops, studio visits, and college tours—will be able to take their badges to the college level. Also, discuss different ways to look at funding digital badges. Let’s get real about Digital Badges.

18. Creative Commons, School of Open
Organizer: Jane Park
Participants: Jane Park; TBD, P2PU staff

School of Open: Opportunities & Impact

The School of Open ( is a community of volunteers from all around the world passionate about openness and the opportunities it enables. We work together and apart to provide free education programs, courses, and workshops on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research. Come learn about our after school program in Kenya that brought running water to a rural high school; our OER summer camp in a remote island off of China that taught science experiments through open courseware; our free, online courses on Copyright 4 Educators and Introduction to Open Science for citizen scientists; and more! You can participate in a local program, online course, or start your very own School of Open project. We’ll introduce you to our community philosophy and guidelines and equip you with a few tools to get you started.

We’ve also begun investigating the impact of our online courses and badges through a collaboration with the OER Research Hub at the Open University. We can share some of our initial findings from the fall of 2013, and provide some anonymized data for you to play with and visualize – if you’re into that sort of thing!

We have so much more in store for 2014; we’re positive you’ll find something of interest. If open education, open licenses, open tools, open governance, open science, open anything! interests you, drop on by to learn more and get involved!

19. Digital Youth Network
Organizer: Jennifer Steele
Participants: Jennifer Steele, Sybil Madison-Boyd

Pathway 2 Passion!: A Learning Pathways Program Test Drive

The Learning Pathways Program needs you! Yes, you holding this conference program. Come and test drive the youth-centered framework and tools of the Learning Pathways Program by mapping and discussing your “Pathway 2 Passion”!

You probably have a story to tell about how you ended up doing the work that you do. As adults, when we reflect on our pathways, our narratives are usually built around a collection of experiences that emerged in coherent ways that played a critical role, not only in our choices of vocation, but also in building our sense of self, passion, purpose, and community.

This process of understanding what one is interested in, what one might be good at, and what one feels passionate about and wants to pursue deeply is critical to the healthy development of our young people and to their attachment to and pursuit of positive futures.

In this session, we invite you to a) stress test our tools by using them to map your own learning pathways and b) stretch our thinking by sharing reactions to our conceptual framework for creating learning pathways for youth. The truly daring can participate in our Youth Advisory Board’s “Pathway 2 Passion Speakers Series” by videotaping your story of your journey toward your passion and career.

About Us: The Learning Pathways Program is an inquiry-, action-, and design-based research project of the Digital Youth Network at DePaul University. We look at youth learning experiences through the lens of identity and seek to understand and inform how learning experiences can be designed and linked in ways that facilitate young people’s journeys towards understanding who they are, who they want to be, and who they could become.

20. Harvard Graduate School of Education
Organizer: Lucas Duclos
Participants: Lucas Duclos, Justin DuClos

Modern Curatorial Methods for Learning Through Storytelling

All learners are the central figures in their learning stories. Master teachers guide the process, but it is the experience of the learner that governs outcomes. The value of documenting that experience cannot be overstated. After years of pedagogical practice in nearly every kind of traditional and innovative academic setting, we have selected and vetted an ecosystem of modern tools and daisy chained them together to greatly enhance the relevance and connectedness of learning artifacts and content. When learners are guided through these curatorial methods and instructed in the use of the tools, documentation of their learning experience becomes a streamlined creative, engaging, fun, and powerful workflow endeavor. The result is not only illuminating, it is the elimination of waste from the learning experience.

In this café session we’ll share these methods and tools, explore their use, and discuss the implications for both teachers and learners.

21. Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, Museum of Science Boston
Organizer: Danielle Martin
Participants: Danielle Martin, Vera Michalchik, Anne McGrath, Alisha Panjwani

Start Making! – Supporting Deeper Making in Informal Learning Programs

Building on Intel’s deep commitment to science, technology, education, and math (STEM) education as well as the Computer Clubhouse Network and learning model, we’re thrilled to present the new Intel Making! @ Clubhouses initiative. In 2014 & 2015, this Network-wide education and outreach program, sponsored by Intel in partnership with the MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten Group, will provide financial and professional development support to Clubhouses to foster more engineering and “do-it-yourself” activities. This work will provide support through (1) continued development of a making-focused curriculum in alignment with the Clubhouse learning model (including activities, facilitation materials, new technologies, and evaluation tools), (2) Start Making! mini-grants to “kickstart” making pursuits within Computer Clubhouses, and (3) Keep Making! Fellowships in 2014 for selected Clubhouse staff to collaboratively develop deeper making activities guides using more complex tools and to lead facilitation discussions and knowledge management using the

The mini-grants will enable Clubhouses to implement the core Start Making! Program, which consists of five sessions that introduce youth to the basics of circuitry, coding, crafting, and engineering through progressive introductory spark activities, combined with facilitated individual and small group “open make” self-designed projects. The program was successfully piloted with girls ages 10-14 in 5 Clubhouses in the summer and fall of 2013. We will share more about these pilots by distributing the evaluation report summary with success stories created with the support of SRI International.

22. Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE), UC San Diego
Organizer: Mica Pollock
Participants: Mica Pollock, Hilary Gay, Kim Douillard

Equity and Digital Media Use in Regular Ol’ Schools

Lots of folks privilege “more” digital media use as an equity lever for high-need young people. We celebrate the least traditionally “schoolish” digital media (e.g., games). We also get most excited about moments when youth teach themselves using computers, seemingly making a teacher or even, physical schools seem unnecessary.

But what uses of digital media pursue “equity” in regular ol’ schools?

At our roundtable, we invite a serious conversation about this question. We don’t have “right answers”; we’ll bring lots of questions and a deep equity commitment. Join us to engage tough questions related to our recent work and your own. From our end, we’ll share:

– The results of a summer 2013 study, conducted in partnership with teachers, low-income students, and our university’s Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), in which we examined the in-person human role in supporting credit-bearing online college prep courses created by the University of California. While informal online learning experiences are great, California youth need access to credit-bearing online coursework if they’re to become college-eligible. But while credit toward college eligibility is key to equity, students can’t just “click through” online courses: they need deep understanding of content if they are to succeed in college later. And debate on these issues often skirts a key equity question in education: what should human instructors still be paid to do, particularly with students who have been underserved or unsuccessful in schools? Come join us to engage these questions.

– While DML often likes to focus on fully game-based schools or students’ out-of-school use of media, equity also demands a focus on basic and simple digital media uses inside schools that aren’t glitzy but make the difference in young people’s lives. Who here is focusing on making databases work, debating text messaging’s pros or cons for personalized support in schools, or embedding basic tools to shift teachers’ conversations with young people or multilingual parents? We’ll explain the beginning of a Schooltalking project, based on supporting teachers to design and install new communication infrastructure in their own schools.

Come ready to talk about the deepest equity issues you’re facing in your own school-based work.

Organizer: Amanda Lyons
Participants: Amanda Lyons, David Preston, John Davis, Josh Ostini

Visualizing Open Source Learning

Close your eyes and imagine what Open Source Learning (OSL) actually looks like – what do you see? Let’s build upon our understanding of OSL by taking it to an experiential level. We’ll go beyond defining OSL, sharing real life examples, providing strategies and learning together as a group.

Facilitators will share their ongoing collaborations as Open Source Learning use cases. They will present instructional strategies that accommodate every learning style, empowering learners to seek out and meet experts themselves. In this way, learners curate their own paths of inquiry so as to create immediate value in the community and the marketplace. They will also share influential elements of organizational structure and culture, and collaborative success stories from around the world.

We’ll jump in to an activity allowing participants and facilitators alike to truly experience OSL culture, where everyone drives their own learning. There will be a loose structure. As a group we can talk about how to create a space that gives learners (in this case ourselves) the structure to gain a deep understanding of what Open Source Learning is and can be by actually doing it. For each individual it will be different. There may be drawing, building, researching, talking, walking… all kinds of exploring. Participants will strive to find paths that resonate with them. The best way to gain true knowledge is to make a concept personally meaningful. In the spirit of OSL, who knows where our learning curiosities may lead us. We make no promises. The possibilities will be in the air. Grab them if you wish.

All participants will receive materials on Open Source Learning as well as online visual notes from the conversation & activity. They will also be invited to join a growing community of collaborators inside and outside the classroom.

24. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Organizer: Jennifer Beradino
Participants: Jennifer Beradino, Natalie Svacina

Teens Hacking the Museum: Fostering a Community of Making

Inspired by the growing maker movement, hang@MFAH ( The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) youth are working on a series of projects and programs that explore the world of physical computing, art, and digital media in relation to the MFAH permanent collections. As the museum grows in the face of many changes (social, technological, etc.), it must create new ways to engage with and educate young people. The MFAH seeks to build on our successful existing programs that curate information and learning opportunities by merging them with new approaches through the framework of connected learning. Hang@MFAH is a group of motivated teens who are interested in everything from video-game hacking to talking about art. Hang@MFAH is weekly studio time directed by a mentor artist that offers youth the opportunity to explore art with technology as the medium.

What is the role of an encyclopedic art museum as a community based organization in the maker movement? This discussion will pose questions on how the tinkering and making that takes place in makerspaces parallels the material study and art creation that takes place in art museums. Making is what fills the galleries of art museums. By removing time limitations, providing access to innovative technology, and a mentor based in a fine art studio practice, teens deeply engage in the process of creating. The role of the art museum is to cultivate the continuum of creativity; the result of this exploration is a studio practice that responds to the 21st century learner.
To continue the progress and success of the maker movement we need to connect both organizations and teens to build a richer network of opportunities for youth in our communities. Let’s discuss how communities can connect through likeminded makerspaces and art museums.

25. Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Organizer: Carrie James
Participants: Carrie James, Liz Dawes Duraisingh

Out of Eden Learn: Where “Slow Learning” Meets Social Media

In the frenzied pace of school life, young people and adults rarely have time to consider big questions about themselves and humanity as a whole. How are we connected to other human beings? How do we as individuals fit into a bigger story of human history? Where as a species are we collectively headed? In this cafe conversation, two Harvard Project Zero researchers will engage participants in a discussion about the Out of Eden Learn project – Project Zero’s collaboration with Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek, whose seven-year Out of Eden Walk involves retracing the migratory pathways of our ancient human ancestors and generating “slow journalism”.
Out of Eden Learn engages youth from around the world with Salopek’s epic journey and with each other. Participants engage in a learning journey that invites them to explore their own neighborhoods, investigate global connections, and reflect on how their own lives fit into a bigger human story. They share perspectives and interact with young people from different backgrounds and cultures on a custom-built online platform that mirrors social media sites. Individual learners are grouped into international communities of approximately 150 young people – or “walking parties” – in which they read and comment on one another’s writings, drawings, photographs, and other media created in response to weekly prompts.
In this cafe conversation, we will invite participants to explore our platform and give them a taste of one of our Out of Eden Learn activities. We will also share samples of young people’s work and invite conversation around the question of how to encourage deeper and more contemplative exchanges within our online community.

26. Shedd Aquarium
Organizer: Wade Berger
Participants: Wade Berger

Shedd Teen Lab: Iterating with Teen Voice

In September 2013, the Shedd Aquarium launched, in partnership with Chicago-area teens, a technology-rich learning space devoted to any teen driven to Shedd by passions in marine life and aquatic science. The pilot space, known as the Teen Learning Lab, is free to all high school teens, and seeks to put teens in charge of key decisions related to how they learn. As stakeholders in the development of this space, teens are encouraged to take leadership in developing the path from which they experience learning in the lab.

To date, teens have influenced (and necessitated) decisions about many facets of the lab including furniture, layout, technology, programming and even the public open hours for the space. In partnership with mentors from a variety of aquarium roles, teens are currently developing projects connected to the fields of animal health, animal behavior, water quality, conservation, sustainability, public relations and many other topics.

As educators in the space, the Teen Learning Lab team seeks to grow this pilot and to properly scale major decisions to adapt to teen voice. This includes providing iterative programming, budgeting for scalable media and hardware purchases, and leveraging online affinity spaces.

With this DML Café, we hope to share stories from the early stages of the Teen Learning Lab. We hope to spark a conversation about planning for growth in a crowd-sourced project, where the crowd of teens are exploring their interests, investigating shared challenges, and developing real solutions simultaneously. This is especially important as we continue to prototype programming and projects which also deliver interest-powered, peer-supported, and academically oriented outcomes based in the overall mission of Shedd Aquarium

27. The Saxifrage School
Organizer: Timothy Cook
Participants: Timothy Cook

The Askr Knowledge Tree Project

In the new Star Trek we see a young Spock sitting in a learning pod digesting all the knowledge of the universe. What does the actual future of learning content look like? Today’s technology allows us to curate and archive both static knowledge and dynamic educational content. Imagine geo-tagged learning resources so that we can Learn Places; imagine a pathway that seamlessly integrates digital and embodied learning opportunities and allows a visualization of your lifelong learning path.

Stop by and learn about the Askr Knowledge Tree Project, debate the role of libraries, create your own knowledge map, and share your vision for the future of learning content! We worked on this concept all last year at the Saxifrage School education laboratory in Pittsburgh and are excited to have you hack on it and help us refine the concept before we begin prototyping it this Spring.

28. The Sprout Fund
Organizer: Ani Martinez
Participants: Ani Martinez, TBD, Digital Corps host site

Building the Remake Learning Digital Corps

What would it look like if a city’s tweens and teens could improve their digital literacy skills by working with a travelling cohort of unique makers and educators, gathered together to create access to digital literacy and technology? What if every neighborhood had a clubhouse to tinker, design, build projects, and ask questions about media they interact with often 8 hours of every day?

The Remake Learning Digital Corps is activating digital literacies for youth in out-of-school programs by recruiting a network of makers, educators, community members, and students working to demystify robots, code websites, investigate privacy issues, and pair mentors with teenagers. This session will explore the process of building the Remake Learning Digital Corps, reflect upon the pitfalls and pleasant surprises of the process, including some unassuming spaces creating remarkable experiences for kids in their communities.

Please visit this chat to brainstorm projects, share tales about creating with incredible teens, and dig into a grassroots effort to change the face of digital media production.

Those interested in creating increased access to digital resources in their community are encouraged to participate in this “booth-side chat.” This panel will showcase some of the resources used by the Digital Corps and foster dialogue with fellow educators, makers, and program providers in attendance. Participants will leave the session equipped with ideas and strategies to utilize in their own practice. Participants are encouraged to bring their own device to explore the Digital Corps’ resource pages, community hub, and partner programs.

29. USC Annenberg Innovation Lab
Organizer: Christopher Perez
Participants: Christopher Perez

Connecting the Community: Lessons in Designing a Mobile App to Bridge the College Access Gap

Did you know that the student to counselor ratio in school districts such as LAUSD is 1:600? Through an incubator sponsored by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, our team, College Knowledge LA, is currently developing a mobile app to bridge the gap between college and financial aid resources in low income urban communities to students who have limited access to these resources in their schools. Through this unique opportunity, we are crossing several disciplinary boundaries (education, business, technology and communication) to create a product that we hope will have measurable social impact.

The idea for our mobile application was conceived through participatory dialogue between college students in education and engineering and high school students at low-income schools. Through focus groups, we are learning from students about how to create a digital tool that is responsive to their needs, appropriate for their digital literacy skills and that provides an avenue toward college access. We are educators who are seeking to collaborate with interdisciplinary scholars and to share our experiences in learning from students. Through our collaboration, we hope to create an educational technology product that is pedagogically sound. Additionally, our project has a social good aspect, in that we are aiming to provide the digital infrastructure that urban cities need to reach underrepresented students in underserved communities.

Organizer: Amanda Lyons
Participants: Amanda Lyons, David Preston, John Davis, Josh Ostini

Visualizing Open Source Learning

Close your eyes and imagine what Open Source Learning (OSL) actually looks like – what do you see? Let’s build upon our understanding of OSL by taking it to an experiential level. We’ll go beyond defining OSL, sharing real life examples, providing strategies and learning together as a group.

Facilitators will share their ongoing collaborations as Open Source Learning use cases. They will present instructional strategies that accommodate every learning style, empowering learners to seek out and meet experts themselves. In this way, learners curate their own paths of inquiry so as to create immediate value in the community and the marketplace. They will also share influential elements of organizational structure and culture, and collaborative success stories from around the world.

We’ll jump in to an activity allowing participants and facilitators alike to truly experience OSL culture, where everyone drives their own learning. There will be a loose structure. As a group we can talk about how to create a space that gives learners (in this case ourselves) the structure to gain a deep understanding of what Open Source Learning is and can be by actually doing it. For each individual it will be different. There may be drawing, building, researching, talking, walking… all kinds of exploring. Participants will strive to find paths that resonate with them. The best way to gain true knowledge is to make a concept personally meaningful. In the spirit of OSL, who knows where our learning curiosities may lead us. We make no promises. The possibilities will be in the air. Grab them if you wish.

All participants will receive materials on Open Source Learning as well as online visual notes from the conversation & activity. They will also be invited to join a growing community of collaborators inside and outside the classroom.

30. Mikva Challenge
Organizer: Karla Castilla
Participants: Karla Castilla

Student created videos to address student issues.

One of Mikva’s middle school policy councils created videos on conflict resolution to share at their youth-led Peace Day Assembly. The videos sparked conversations amongst their peers about coping with anger and positive communication that would not have come up if the videos had been made by adults. The videos felt genuine and honest because the youth decided what examples felt real to them and spoke about conflict in a way that would be relatable to their peers. This process and experience empowered our youth to talk about issues they care about not only to their peers, but also to adults in this day and age were we are exposed to media on a day-to-day basis. I would like to talk about the impact that youth-created media has on other youth. Are youth more receptive to messages created and/or delivered by other youth through more youth friendly and accessible mediums like, Vine, Instagram, and YouTube? If so, how can we better utilize these mediums to influence youth to improve issues that affect them.

Panel BYV: A Quantum Leap: Scaling Up the Potential for Impactful Youth Voice @ Venetian
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: Paul Oh, Ellen Middaugh
Presenters: Lisa Rothbard, Ellen Middaugh, Johanna Paraiso, Barbara Rojas-Baez
Discussant: Jeremy Stoddard

Public life, increasingly, is happening online. Accordingly, in-school and out-of-school educators need models of civic education and engagement that build on youth enthusiasm for digital tools and networks that support their use of these tools as creators and for civic purposes. On one hand, youth have unprecedented access to information and audience, tools that enable them to maintain social ties with ease across time and geography, and tools that facilitate creative expression in new and exciting ways. On the other hand, digital tools bring with them new challenges such as assessing the credibility of information, maintaining civility, knowing how to craft messages, creating polished and effective media, and reaching the right audience to achieve civic goals. These kinds of digital media literacy skills require more than comfort with technology and they are critical to effective civic participation.

Large changes in practice, though, like a move towards digital civic engagement, often require a series of small, scaffolded and interrelated steps. A teacher or adult mentor may want youth to engage in a Twitter advocacy campaign, for instance, but if she herself has never implemented technology use by youth, she would need first to understand the affordances of the tool, the intersections between those affordances and her pedagogical stance, and overcome any logistical barriers. All this on top of time, curricular and/or hardware and software constraints.

What does it take, then, to make the leap towards digital learning environments with youth civic engagement in mind? What are the skills and dispositions that adult mentors and educators need in order to then work with youth towards the goal of informed engagement? How do adult mentors and educators make their own quantum leap if they haven’t yet implemented digital tools for teaching and learning? How might this all look and scale in an under-resourced urban public school district or through an online youth publishing space committed to broadcasting youth voices? And how do youth themselves view these kinds of learning situations and assess the possibilities, or lack thereof, of greater impact?

Join a panel conversation with educators and youth involved in a collaborative effort between Mills College’s Civic Engagement Research Group, the Oakland Unified Public School District, and the National Writing Project. The initiative, titled “Educating for Democracy in a Digital Age,” supports a cohort of Oakland high school teachers as they learn digital literacy skills, sometimes alongside their students, with the ultimate goal of supporting graduating seniors in taking effective and informed action. Teachers from this Oakland initiative are working with the co-founder of a youth publishing and social networking space called Youth Voices. Paul Allison, of Youth Voices, will describe the ways in which the site, through support from a range of partners, provides opportunities for educators and youth to co-construct an online platform for the societal issues that matter most to them.

Panel CLI: Cross-Institutional Partnerships for City-Scale Learning Ecologies @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: Rob DiRenzo

Presenters: Rob DiRenzo, Alex Molina, Sybil Madison-Boyd, Rafi Santo, Clare Bertrand

Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) are reshaping when, where, and how student learning occurs. A well-designed and well-implemented ELO program can complement and enrich in-school learning and support academic growth by combining various ways for students to engage in learning. How do organizations, including schools, districts, and partners, build “expanded learning ecologies” for youth that that support connected learning?

The goal of this panel discussion is to inform participants about building expanded learning ecologies to scale and across boundaries showcasing successes and challenges by presenting recent examples from Chicago, New York, and Providence, RI. To address the topic of scale, we will share examples of efforts that aim to reach many youth across many programs, beyond a single intervention or setting. To illustrate crossed boundaries, we will explain efforts to connect various nodes in a youths’ learning ecology (e.g., in-school, out-of-school, individual passion, etc.).

Chicago: The first Chicago Summer of Learning (CSOL) was a citywide mayoral initiative designed to expand learning opportunities for youth during the summer of 2013. More than 100 organizations took part in this effort to recognize learning in out-of-school spaces through digital badges. More than 200,000 youth participated in CSOL programs, and more than 100,000 badges were earned by youth of all ages.

Chicago took a first, critical step in enacting core principles of connected learning and laying the foundation for a vibrant ecosystem of learning opportunities. As ELOs begin to signify experiences that link to content- and career-specific pathways, we expect to see even greater potential to transform youths’ lives.

New York: The NYC Department of Education’s new Digital Ready program is designed to help participating NYC public high schools use technology and student-centered learning to improve their students’ readiness for college and careers. With Digital Ready’s explicit focus on student-centered learning, expanded learning opportunities play an important role in preparing students to explore, engage, and practice their interests. The Digital Ready and Hive Learning Network teams have worked to coordinate a collaborative effort between 10 innovative high schools and 13 groundbreaking Hive NYC organizations to provide students with a range of opportunities that blend in-school and out-of-school learning with experiences that are production-centered and creativity-focused.

Providence: Since its creation in 2004, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) has built two citywide expanded learning models in collaboration with the City of Providence, the Providence Public Schools (PPSD) and the local community: the AfterZone for middle school, and The Hub for high school. These models offer Providence youth a coordinated schedule of in-school, after-school and summer learning programs for high school credit. Programs incorporate 21st century technology, and students create online portfolios of their work on . Through hard work, relationship building and years of trial and error, PASA has established itself as a critical component of the educational reform landscape of Providence by enabling students to drive their own learning experience.

Panel CLI: STEAM Studio Model for Innovation: Building Robust Learning Ecologies and Pathways @ Oval
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizers: Aileen Owens

Presenters: Aileen Owens,Josh Sheldon, Ben Kenawell, Radhir Kothuri, Sarah Hertzler

Focusing on expanding opportunities for Digital Media Learning, and the DIY maker culture, Kids+Creativity was formed to inspire creativity and collaboration in Pittsburgh. Since 2010, The South Fayette Township School District, a member of Kids+Creativity network, has been systematically incorporating engineering and design problem-solving, or computational thinking, into K-12 education and developing a STEAM Studio model for innovation. Supported by The Sprout Fund and The Grable Foundation, the district has been given the task of completing their model, while providing outreach and support to two underserved schools to test sustainability in divergent educational settings. The intent of this initiative is to create a scaffolding of learning for computational thinking that moves from block-based code in elementary school (Scratch, WeDo Robotics, e-Textile Design), transitioning to App Inventor and an 18-day unit on Python in middle school, to an array of programming courses and after school experiences in high school.

This is one of the first district-wide efforts to adopt a K-12 STEAM Studio model, which is also being picked up in neighboring school districts serving diverse populations of under-represented, minority and rural youth. Through the journey that has transpired over the last several years South Fayette School District has made unexpected discoveries. The model, intended to create a scaffolding of learning, has also created a pathway for non-dominant students interested in engineering, design and computer science. The initiatives that have taken place in middle school have inspired an increase in the amount of students enrolled in curriculum and after-school engineering and design initiatives. In addition the number of young women enrolled is gradually increasing. As such, the setting provides an excellent context to answer key research questions about building robust learning ecologies and STEAM pathways through K-12.

The panelists represent unique perspectives on building pathways for students in engineering and computer science. Panelists include representatives and youth from the South Fayette School District, including Aileen Owens, Director of Technology and Innovation. Additionally, several academic partnerships were fostered to help translate current research to practice as well as to evaluate and research the STEAM Studio model. Representatives include panelists Kylie Peppler, from Indiana University’s Creativity Labs and the insights gleaned from her work in e-textiles and Scratch, and Josh Sheldon, from MIT’s App Inventor Team.

The panel discussion will focus on the following questions that will be of interest as DML partners seek to adopt similar models within schools and after-school programs, including:
• What are significant aspects of the tools and instructional strategies that build pathways in engineering and computer science in non-dominant young men and women?
• What does the early research say about creating robust STEAM Studio pathways?
• How might we conceive of learning trajectories well supported with the new digital technologies available to today’s youth?
• In what ways do these technologies prepare youth for future learning, engage them in computational thinking, and prepare them to use new media for digital expression?

Panel PFK: Developing STEM Literacy Through Gameplay and Game Design @ Copley
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Organizer: Barry Joseph

Presenters: Rik Paganiban, Kevin Miklasz, Gary Goldberger, Scot Osterweil, Anna Ly, Edge Quintanilla

Both game literacy and STEM literacy have been identified as crucial 21st Century Learning Skills. Come learn how the two are supporting one another in museums, universities, and after school programs, and through commercial products. Explore examples of games made by youth and for youth. Examine the value of engaging youth in game design itself, and how game design can scaffold scientific reasoning and design skills.

Panelists will challenge each other with questions exploring the broader issue of teaching stem content and practices through games-based learning. After the provocative (and possibly endearing) discussion and debate, panelists will officially open the STEM Arcade; participants will break up into smaller groups for hands-on demos and discussion with individual panelists. Featured games will include:
The Radix Endeavor, a multiplayer online game for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning in high school (MIT Education Arcade)
Vanished: an ARG that engaged 6,000 players in serious scientific exploration in the context of a science fiction narrative in which they all played a role.
Pterosaurs, a Collectible Card Game developed by high school youth in conjunction with a new museum exhibit and Minecraft at the Museum, a Minecraft-based server designed with high school youth to teach science (AMNH)
The Fluid Ether and The Gravity Ether, two physics simulation games with level-editors that embrace open-ended, inquiry based learning (Iridescent)
Virtual Expeditions, a game experience for museum visitors combining both digital and analog assets such as specimens, video footage and live acting (Cal Academy)
Elemental a video game for children ages 7-11 that improves “number sense,” or a person’s innate ability for number estimation (The Joan Ganz Cooney Center / E-Line Media)

Barry Joseph, Associate Director for Digital Learning, American Museum of Natural History
Kevin Miklasz, Director of Digital Learning, Iridescent
Gary Goldberger, President, FableVision
Scot Osterweil, Creative Director, Learning Games Network & MIT Education Arcade
Rik Panganiban, Senior Manager of Digital Learning, California Academy of Sciences
Anna Ly, Joan Ganz Cooney Center Industry Fellow
Edge Quintanilla, Digital Learning Specialist, The Field Museum

Short Talk Panel CLI: Research and Strategies for Building Pathways – Reflections on Motivation, Activation, and Data @ Singleton
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Capturing Provider Perspectives of Activation in Out-of-School Programs to Inform the Design of Learner Pathways
Presenters: Stacy Kehoe, Jason Imbrogno, Julio Guerra

This presentation will discuss a study being conducted to capture the program provider’s perspective of activation in out-of-school programs. The Activation Lab, a collaborative research initiative between the University of Pittsburgh and University of California at Berkeley, proposes that the impact of early learning experiences can be conceptualized as “activation”. Activation is defined as a state composed of dispositions, skills, and knowledge that enables success in future learning experiences. Activation builds upon and integrates extensive prior work in the learning sciences and draws from literature in education, positive youth development, motivation theory, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and cognitive science.

The goal in developing the Activation framework is to integrate prior research into a practical theory that can be used by educators to guide the design of learning experiences in formal and informal environments. The Pittsburgh Activation Lab has been conducting work in collaboration with local practitioners to use a validated instrument to measure student activation in different learning environments and apply these findings to the design of learning contexts and pathways across contexts. This study consisted of interviewing and surveying educators that implement out-of-school arts, science, and robotics programming to capture their perception of activation in their participants and the perception of what activation dimensions (fascination, values, perceived autonomy, and competency beliefs) their program impacts in learners through participation. The goal of this work is to assess the utility of activation in conceptualizing the organization of learning opportunities for youth in a regional learning ecology. This short presentation will give an overview of our initial findings and our ideas on how provider perspectives of activation can inform the design of an infrastructure to support learner movement across a regional learning ecology.

Connecting Learning with Digital Badges: Exploring the Formal and Informal Learning Experiences of Youth from Non-Dominant Backgrounds
Presenters: Katie Davis, Sean Fullerton, Christina Lee, Amanda Menking

This short talk presentation explores the connected learning experiences of high school youth from non-dominant backgrounds as they move between formal and informal learning institutions. In summer 2013, our research team embarked on a year long, in-depth case study of a pioneering digital badge system awarding high school students credit for participating in afterschool programs. The badge system and associated programming represent a unique and innovative collaboration between the public school district and a network of afterschool programs in the Northeast United States.

We report findings from the first phase of our case study, involving over 20 hours of participant observation, interviews and focus groups with 25 students, analyses of students’ participation and production practices on the afterschool website, and interviews with 12 teachers and afterschool staff. Using Ito et al.’s (2013) connected learning framework as our theoretical lens, we explore the extent to which youth’s experiences in school and afterschool programs exhibit qualities of connected learning. We focus on the role of digital badges in promoting connected learning experiences, with specific attention to both the intended and unexpected outcomes emerging from the institutional collaborations involved in the badge system.

The findings from our research provide important new insight into how collaborations between formal and informal learning institutions can leverage new media technologies and associated practices to support connections across learning contexts and build rich learning ecologies for youth from non-dominant backgrounds who have been historically under-represented in digital practices and related learning pathways.

Connecting Badges and Online Expertise
Presenters: Sean Duncan, Chu-Jen Huang, Chris Georgen

Recently, much emphasis has been put toward the task of developing effective badging systems to support lifelong learning, through a focus on badges? potential for incentivizing, inspiring, capturing, and credentialing learning in informal contexts (e.g., Rehak & Hickey, 2013). As part of an ongoing Digital Media and Learning Research Competition funded project, the Connecting Badges Project ( aims to address an understudied element of badges in online contexts — the means by which a wide variety of “recognition systems,” including digital badges, are utilized and negotiated by participants in very informal, interest-driven online contexts. If we care about improving learning through the effective use of badging, how do we make sense of informal learning networks which are already replete with badges and other recognition systems? How do badges, recognition systems, and participants? perceptions of them impact learning in non-instructional, online spaces, within which the goals of participation are often quite varied? How do recognition systems in affinity spaces make ?learning visible? across formal and informal learning contexts?

We present the results of our ongoing study into expertise in so-called “affinity spaces” (Gee, 2004; Duncan & Hayes, 2012), or ad hoc fan and discussion communities, including results of analyses aimed at characterizing interactions and learning within existing, informal contexts for discussion, interaction, and interest-driven learning. Our approach has focused on textual interactions within online affinity spaces, in order to identify collaborative learning practices that may be correlated with use of digital recognition systems. These practices include identifying: (1) information sharing and concept exploration, (2) the negotiation and co-construction of knowledge, (3) social interaction, and (4) the tacit epistemologies entertained by participants in interest-driven spaces. Drawing from Gunawardena, et al (2007), de Laat (2006), and Steinkuehler & Duncan (2008), we have developed coding methodologies to assist in characterizing learning in a wide range of discussion contexts. We illustrate results from a wide range of badging and other recognition systems from the ?trophy case? and ?karma? associated with the loose discussions in Reddit’s /r/politics subreddit to the skill-oriented badges within the task-oriented programming assistance site

The primary goal of this work is toward better connecting practices in informal, interest-driven contexts with the design goals of badges for lifelong learning designers and implementers. Through content analyses of these textual interactions (Chi, 1997; Mayring, 2000) and supplementary interviews with participants drawn from these online affinity spaces, we present a picture of ?informal badging? that augments current digital badges initiatives, and provides a better understanding of the pre-existing learning ecologies that support interest-driven learning online. In particular, we suggest that a consideration of social participation in online affinity spaces may help the design of future badging systems. We argue that badge designers need to fully consider the forms of knowledge construction and negotiation within the informal learning contexts of online affinity spaces. We encourage deep engagement with the differences between learning in interest-driven contexts and learning in the instructional environments that have been to date the dominant locus of digital badge design.

Connecting Institutions: Tracking a (Connected) Learning Ecology from Theory to Practice
Presenter: Danielle Herro

This short talk discusses melding youth participation in formal and informal learning spaces to encourage gaming and digital media production in schools. United by a common interest to use games and digital media as ?Connected Learning? experiences for adolescents, the presentation centers on the institutional partnerships formed between a K-12 school district, local museum, and School of Education.

Using a ?working example? model (Barb, Dodge, & Gee, 2009), an assistant professor of Digital Media and Learning illustrates the trajectory from educational research on games for learning, and youth participatory practices (Jenkins et al., 2006), to co-creating high school game and app design courses with teachers. The novel courses resulted the formation of gaming clubs and a partnership with a local museum where students created mobile games. Community engagement in these efforts modeled ?what might be done? to move games and digital media into schooling, and ultimately garnered support for two digital media and gaming spaces in the School of Education to expand work on interest-based learning. The early instances grew into broader institutional partnerships now spanning numerous K-12 and higher education campuses, as well as national organizations promoting games for learning.

The account culminates by illustrating the impact upon two students, subsequently choosing career pathways based on their informal and formal learning experiences with games, to demonstrate the power of institutional partnerships.

Presentation and ensuing discussion offers scholars and educators a forum to discuss trajectories for digital media and learning through institutional collaboration and partnerships.

Connecting the Data Points: Considerations for Collecting, Sharing, and Collaborating with Student Data
Presenters: Matthew Lucas, Meagan Bromley, Jan Plass

Educational institutions are uniquely positioned to collect and share the large volume of student data necessary for the development of adaptive, personalized learning environments. To date, however, few have realized this potential. These data provide a means for researchers to study how digital tools affect learning and identify design patterns that can inform entrepreneurs developing educational tools to better serve youth. Applied uses of data can also empower school leaders to make data-driven decisions when adopting new tools. New initiatives from the federal Department of Education have supported the creation of “innovation clusters,” or networks that encourage collaboration and increase visibility between the work of these three groups of stakeholders. Without frameworks to guide the collection and communication of these data, however, existing institutional barriers have resulted in siloed approaches that prevent the free flow of data necessary to support advances in personalized learning.

We conducted interviews with school leaders, educational software developers, and policymakers at the national level to better understand the use of data in collaborative partnerships. Based on their responses, we argue for the development of a framework that facilitates coordination between institutions as they plan to collect and share data. Such a framework would encourage the development of refined user metrics, which are key for the development of meaningful mathematical models and visualizations of student learning. The use of student data dictates respect for student privacy, adequate data security, and agreements outlining data ownership and access. Coordinating these practices increases trust amongst collaborators and has the potential to both streamline bureaucratic processes and reduce institutional barriers cited by participants. These issues have implications not only for educational institutions, but any collaborative groups collecting and sharing participant data across organizations. In our presentation, we expand upon the elements described above and share relevant examples from our research.

Short Talk Panel LPA: Examining the Role of Affinity Spaces in Supporting Learning Pathways @ Commonwealth
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Kids Teaching Kids: Web Design and Peer Learning at a Public Library
Presenter: Jacqueline Vickery

This talk is based on a case study at a public library outside of Dallas, Texas that primarily serves a low-income Hispanic population. I spent the summer observing a coding workshop for kids ages 8-15. The course was created and taught by a 17 year-old high school girl named “Wendy”. Wendy taught herself HTML and CSS; she found it empowering and wanted to teach other kids how to code as well. The library fully supported her workshop and they were able to offer it for free. The workshop was an example of peer and interest-driven learning; it was successful from the perspectives of Wendy, the kids, the library, and the parents.

The majority of the families did not have access to high speed internet or up-to-date computers at home, so the experience was significant because it introduced them to new aspects of the internet. In the exit surveys more than 75% of the participants reported a new found interest in technology and some even suggested they would consider a career in technology as a result of the workshop.

This talk is relevant to the conference theme because it demonstrates the value of kids teaching other kids within and alongside appropriate institutional support. The talk will focus on Wendy’s pedagogical approaches to teaching code. She focused on students’ hobbies and interests outside of technology, alongside the ability to express oneself via web design. As such, the approach was successful because it a) was interest and peer driven, b) opened up new avenues for kids to express identity, c) provided kids the opportunity to develop digital media literacies, and d) expanded their understanding of and participation in digital spaces (from which many of them were otherwise excluded). The experience was rewarding for Wendy as a teacher and the kids as learners and was made possible because of adult and institutional support from the library.

Community-Embedded Design: Connected Messages at the Free Library of Philadelphia
Presenters: K-Fai Steele, Richard Davis, Yasmin Kafai

Since June 2013, The Free Library of Philadelphia has offered maker workshops in over six library locations in underserved communities throughout the city, centered primarily in North Philadelphia. The goal of the initiative is to establish low-cost, on-the-library-floor daily afterschool maker programming, where youth are given materials (in the form of “possibility boxes”) and are encouraged to build their own interest pathways through introductions to creative technology with near-peer mentors. Connected Messages, developed by the Free Library and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, is an interactive physical and web-based mural project that is located at each site. It is a low-cost, low-barrier project where youth craft, learn basic circuitry, and engage in a collaborative communal project that addresses asset-based community thinking and development. Connected Messages, and the maker programming, enables youth in Philadelphia access to creative computing through the lens of play in their neighborhood library.

In this talk, we describe how Connected Messages was implemented and supported in library branches, how youth steered the design and theme of the initiative, how the project shaped and supported their maker experience and enabled communication between youth in disparate neighborhoods in inner-city Philadelphia. Connected Messages, and the daily maker programs in North Philadelphia are redefining library spaces, traditional librarianship and library staffing models, and challenging the scope and reach of traditional STEM-driven maker curricula.

Can Female Gamers be Supportive and Exclusive at the Same Time?: A Case for Inclusive Design Across Sociocultural Experiences
Presenters: Gabriela Richard

This short talk will illustrate the ways that the largest female-supportive, multi-platform gaming community in North America can be simultaneously inclusive and exclusionary to different groups of marginalized players. Digital and online spaces that include gaming environments and related activities are unique places for learning and developing emerging, necessary and interest-driven literacies and competencies. Supportive affinity spaces have formed to address equity needs, particularly across gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, in gaming spaces. Females and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in digital games and in STEM pathways, which have long been seen as interconnected. Non-dominant players are subjected to harassment and bias in gaming spaces that negatively affects their play and participation, which further affects their related identification and learning pathways.

However, some supportive affinity spaces may not prove to be a catchall outlet for all marginalized groups. Using the case of the female-supportive community, I will illustrate how players of different socio-cultural experiences and identities have come to experience it, and how understanding players across gender, ethnicity and sexuality gives us a meaningful and complex understanding of designing for inclusivity. For example, while the community has been constructed around female play, it is co-ed and sought out by diverse players. However, while there are intersecting needs by community members around marginalizing practices, there are also diverging experiences and understandings that put the community at odds. Using ethnographic, interview and survey data, I will focus on implications and design principles that encourage broader inclusivity.

The Geek Instinct: How Learning Ecologies Shape Adolescents’ Digital Adaptability

Presenter: Cassidy Puckett

In this session I will report on a 5-year mixed-method study of adolescents’ propensity to learn new technologies, what I call “digital adaptability.” Economic research indicates the U.S. educational system fails to meet the technological demands of the labor market which has contributed to increased income inequality since the 1980s (Goldin and Katz 2008). Digital adaptability is a key form of job market readiness, however a limited understanding of digital adaptability has hindered intervention.

The goals of the larger study are to define, measure, and explain differences in digital adaptability. For this presentation I focus on explanation of difference among lower-income teens using a learning ecology framework to examine the effects of learning experiences and frames used to define technological competence in different social spheres. In the larger study I look across the learning ecology, but for the purposes of this presentation I will describe the effects of home and school as well as interactions between these two spheres. To do so, I present survey data from an economically-stratified random sample of ~1,000 Chicago Public School 8th grade students enrolled regular neighborhood schools during the 2012-2013 school year together with data from qualitative case studies of students in higher and lower income schools.

What might be the effect of technology learning experiences and frames for learning at home and at school, including how identity is leveraged in these frames? Past research suggests there exists a non-cohesive approach to technology education in school with home and other spheres providing intervention in equally non-cohesive ways (Gray et al. 2010; Hayward and Benson 1993; Puckett 2013). In schools, technology education has been historically separated as “vocational-technical” and thought of as lower status than “academic” tracks. Some integration of technology use in academic tracks occurred with the passage of the Perkins Acts and introduction of various standards such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), but this has not been a uniform movement. Additionally, a No Child Left Behind emphasis on reading and mathematics, as well as the popular assumption that teens are “digital natives” who do not need technology instruction because they “naturally” understand it means that technology learning is commonly left to individual teachers, families, and/or external learning organizations.

What should these people know about ways of increasing adolescents’ digital adaptability? Preliminary findings from qualitative and quantitative data suggest that framing technology learning for upward mobility is important to disadvantaged teens and the explicit teaching of learning strategies is key to digital adaptability development. Students who are taught technology through primarily step-by-step instruction or those primarily given opportunities to explore (i.e., “interest-driven”) with little explicit instruction appear to have significantly lower levels of digital adaptability than students who are explicitly taught strategies for learning new technologies. I will discuss these and other findings from the study, as well as comment on implications for learning institutions and pathways for technology learning.

Short Talk Panel LPA: Families, Health @ St. James
Mar 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Designing Creative Learning Experiences for Families
Presenter: Ricarose Roque

As youth engage in technology-driven interests, especially interests that may not be a part of their cultural and familial history, they must often learn to negotiate multiple identities as they try to reconcile their interests within the different settings and people in their lives. And as youth grow up engaging in digital media, parents and other adult caretakers without technological backgrounds or experiences may not know how to appreciate and support youth’s deepening interests.

In this talk, I will present the design of Family Creative Learning, a series of workshops that engage parents and children in design-based activities using digital and physical tools like Scratch and MaKey MaKey. These workshops are collaboratively designed with community centers that serve families with limited access to resources and social support with computing. I will describe the family dynamics that emerged as they collaboratively engaged in design-based activities with technology, particularly how family members’ perceptions of learning with technology transformed across these four dimensions: how they saw themselves, how they saw each other, how they saw the computing tools, and how they saw the environment. We will also describe what we attended to as facilitators and how we supported families in leveraging and strengthening their existing learning dynamics in the context of creative computing.

This talk will be presented by Ricarose Roque, a PhD student in the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. She leads the design and study of Family Creative Learning.

The Importance of Relationships with Family, Caring Adults, Neighborhood, and School in Supporting the Development of Interest-Driven Pursuits in Youth
Presenters: Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Jean Rhodes

Caring relationships with adults and peers can be pivotal in shaping youth interests and work-related aspirations. Relationships that provide opportunities that would otherwise not be available are especially critical for youth development. This short talk presents an empirical paper that examined how caring relationships support the development of deep interests or ?sparks,? and whether having a spark is associated with positive developmental outcomes.

Using the Search Institute dataset, 1,860 15-year-olds were surveyed online about relationships with adults and peers in their family, neighborhood, and school. Profile-centered analyses suggested that sparks are characterized by the intensity of positive feelings, immersion, and utility. The strongest sparks were associated with pursuits requiring more interpersonal engagement, such as sports, drama and dance, participating in politics, and serving others. Spark intensity was related to better social, academic, and affective outcomes such as leadership, civic engagement, effort in learning, grades, and positive and hopeful attitudes. Importantly, youth with stronger sparks reported more encouragement, financial support, and transportation to spark activities from parents, mentors, extended-family, neighbors, school-based adults, and peers. Benefits of adolescents? engagement in interest-driven activities and the role of caring relationships in supporting such interests for a variety of outcomes will be discussed. We contend that, similar to parents and family members, non-familial adults such as mentors have a substantial role in contributing to positive youth development.

Expanding the Potential for Connected Learning Through Attending to Latino Parents’ Discourses of Health and Family Time
Presenters: Lisa Schwartz, Daniela DiGiacomo

Families today are bombarded by doctors, teachers and media discourses emphasizing parents roles in safekeeping the health and well-being of their young children, which increasingly includes making sure they do not have too much “screen time” or play games that are too violent. In this short talk we draw from our research with Latino children and families on their digital media practices to focus on the intersection of mothers roles as the health keepers of their families physical and emotional well-being with the uses of digital technology in the household. We argue that to engage the affordances of children’s interests and digital media practices in order to connect and expand learning across multiple academic, informal and home-based contexts, we need to attend to parents discourses and ideologies about health and family time. We discuss the different trajectories of digital media use for children in four households, including examples where health issues cause Mothers to both promote and limit children’s digital media participation. Additionally, we present emerging research on engaging in joint activity with digital media and making and tinkering projects related to solar energy in families homes in order to renegotiate parents relationships to children’s digital practices and engage in what Takeuchi and Stevens (2011) call joint media activity with their sons and daughters.

Designing a quantified-self model of fitness gaming for and with underserved youth
Presenters: Cynthia Ching, Sara Schaefer

United States childhood obesity rates have doubled for children from 7% to 18%, and tripled for adolescents from 5% to 18%, since 1980 (Ogden, et al, 2012). Demographic studies also find that these national rates are disproportionally higher in low-income and minority communities, particularly of Latino origin (Calzada & Anderson-Worts, 2009). Changing physical activity behavior in sedentary individuals is a critical piece of a comprehensive approach to health improvement; however, studies employing simple pedometers among populations at-risk for poor health typically find short-term but not long-term effects (Gardener & Campagna, 2011). A potential omission of these pedometer studies is that they typically do not provide participants with additional tools to visualize or reflect on their aggregate or longer-term data. Activity monitors, on the other hand, are a popular part of a growing health movement known as “The Quantified Self,” wherein myriad wearable devices track a host of health metrics to provide the user with a wealth of data that can be used to drive daily decisions and track long-term progress toward health goals (Swan, 2012). The commercial marketplace of quantified-self devices is typically geared, however, toward middle-to-upper income adults who already have the level of computing power and infrastructure required to sync all the data feeds from these various devices, as well as the data literacy to process and make sense of representations of their integrated information. “Exergames” are another model for motivating increased exercise that can be popular with youth (Oh, 2010), but their goal is to make exercise more fun and more frequent without necessarily encouraging reflection in the user.

Our overall inquiry, funded by a Cyberlearning grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to develop multiple ways for youth to engage with personal physical activity data, including commercially-available activity monitors and a narrative-driven online game that converts activity data into energy points and action events. Within this context, we examine (a) the meanings youth construct around their health data and representations thereof, (b) their reflections on the ways these representations relate to the physical activity contexts of their everyday lives, and (c) the effects of this combination of meanings and representations on their physical activity behavior. For the past year, we have been working with an after-school program at an urban middle-school in Northern California. Of the youth in our project, approximately 85% are on free and reduced lunch at school, 95% are non-white, and 67% speak a language other than English at home. Our presentation at the DML conference will share insights on two levels: First, insights that our participating youth are gaining about the constraints and opportunities for physical activity in the sociocultural contexts of their families, school, and surrounding community. And second, insights that we as researchers and designers have come to about the levels of social and economic capital necessary to resource and support a quantified-self approach to fitness gaming for low-income, minority youth.

“Nobody Will Have to Suffer What I Suffer”: Weaving Personal Relevance into Interest-Driven Learning Pathways
Presenters: Mega Subramaniam, Beth St. Jean, Natalie Greene Taylor, Dana Casciotti, Rebecca Follman, Faith Ambrosini & Christie Kodama

In order to address the underrepresentation of minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), it is important to understand identity development in non-dominant youth; more specifically, how do these individuals come to desire to become someone? (Ahn et al., 2014).  Recent efforts in this regard include leveraging young people’s new media participation and interest-driven practices (Ito et al., 2010; Pinkard & Austin, 2010; Subramaniam, et al, in press). However, engaging non-dominant youth in sustained interest-driven learning experiences that motivate them to pursue STEM learning pathways continues to be a challenge.

Building on these efforts, we introduce personal-relevance practices interwoven within interest-driven activities to a set of socioeconomically disadvantaged tweens (ages 11-13), through HackHealth. HackHealth is an after-school program funded by the National Library of Medicine that aims to increase tweens’ interest in health and the sciences, their health literacy, their health-related self-efficacy and their awareness of the important connection between their everyday health behaviors and their ability to maintain their health and prevent disease.

We present the learning pathways of focal tweens who engaged in health explorations that were personally relevant to them: managing Type 1 diabetes, helping a friend who is engaging in self-harm, and assisting a parent who is suffering from an illness. The tweens utilized technology to investigate their topics, created and shared media artifacts, and engaged in or encouraged health behavior change. Utilizing qualitative methods, we highlight how such explorations assisted these tweens in seeing themselves as health ambassadors for their family and their communities, and map the relationship of personal-relevance practices to sustained interest in STEM learning pathways.  


Ahn, J., Subramaniam, M., Bonsignore, B., Pellicone, A., Waugh, A. & Yip, J. (2014). “I want to be a Game Designer or Scientist”: Understanding the Developing Identities of Urban, African-American Youth. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences.

Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittanti, M., boyd, danah, Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B., … Tripp, L. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

Pinkard, N., & Austin, K. (2010). Digital Youth Network: Creating New Media Citizens through the Affinity Learning Model. International Journal of Learning and Media, 2(4). doi:10.1162/ijlm_a_00055

Subramaniam, M., Ahn, J., Waugh, A., Taylor, N. G., Druin, A., Fleischmann, K. R., & Walsh, G. (in press). The role of school librarians in enhancing science learning. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.

Lunch Break
Mar 8 @ 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
DML Cafe Session II @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM


DML Café Session II

1. Boise State University
Organizer: Hans Aagard
Participants: Hans Aagard

The Effects of Humor in Instructional Videos on Learning and Motivation

Half of the top ten YouTube channels are comedy. With the popularity of humor in videos, should humor be used in instructional videos? Instructors use humor to improve the teaching environment, and appear more approachable, but its use in instructional video is not well known and little data exists on its effects.

This cafe session will discuss this with some preliminary results from a study measuring the effects of humor in instructional videos on learning and motivation. Is it distracting? Is it helpful? Do students who grow up watching YouTube need to be entertained while they learn, or do they separate out entertainment and learning? Bring your thoughts and experiences to discuss the use of (intentional) humor in instructional video and its effects.

2. Fairfield University
Organizer: Belinha De Abreu
Participants: Belinha De Abreu, Paul Mihailidis

Media Literacy Research Symposium

Where are the scholars and researchers in the field of media literacy education? How can we grow the field and shorten the present gap within the field? This table will offer an opportunity to discuss the field and open the conversation to those vested in opening and moving the field forward. We will look at different strands of focus within the field: Media Literacy: Past, Present, and Future; Digital Media and Learning; Global Perspectives; Education: Training, Policy, and Digital Citizenship; Public Spaces & Civic Activism. At the same time, we will share information regarding a future symposium focusing in this area.

3. Outer Voices Podcast
Organizers: Sam Naujokas, Adrienne Sarasy, Alia Ticknell, Stephanie Guyer-Stevens
Participants: Sam Naujokas, Adrienne Sarasy, Alia Ticknell, Stephanie Guyer-Stevens

The Outer Voices Podcast is a digital gateway to introduce and connect high school students to global issues. We are a group of high school students who curate and deliver audio podcasts with a youth focus created by professional journalists working internationally. We’ve also designed and developed a blog site that holds the podcast.
The Outer Voices Podcast is created to deliver news content to students both inside and outside the classroom, creating a unique online student community of engaged and global thinkers.
While the audio podcasts themselves are produced by professional journalists, the content is curated by a student based editorial board.
In short, the Outer Voices Podcast is truly produced for teens, by teens.
We’ve covered topics that range from rhinoplasty in Saudi Arabia to political dissidents in Burma to popular street food in Vietnam.
At the DML Café we propose to set up a podcast listening room with comfy chairs and headphones available to sit back and listen to some of our podcasts. And similar to how the podcasts are used in classrooms in our high school, we’ll ask listeners to share their thoughts on the piece and create genuine dialogue about the ideas that the podcasts spark.
We’ll also have a monitor available to be able to explore our blog and see how we’ve designed it to be able to expand a curious listener’s experience by providing additional background information, interviews with the journalists, photographs form the journalist’s work in the field, maps, and other resources.

4. National Geographic Society
Organizer: Sean O’Connor
Participants: Sean O’Connor

National Geographic FieldScope: Citizen Science Mapping and Visualization

Citizen science has come into its own in recent years as a way to engage students and other non-scientist volunteers in real-world science. Crowdsourcing many types of scientific observations through mobilization of citizen scientists is also making significant contributions to scientific research. National Geographic has developed an interactive mapping platform called FieldScope to facilitate citizen scientists contributing data and asking and exploring questions through visualizing maps and graphs.

We invite cafe participants to come learn more about FieldScope and how it connects people and communities through shared maps and data. Interactions with interactive mapping tool, or GIS, also have the power to help students and others develop geospatial thinking skills, and make interdisciplinary connections.

With FieldScope, citizen scientists can engage in activities such as:

Exploring maps and data to ask and answer questions about places
Conducting field work and sharing observations and stories
Participating in social and scientific networks to document and improve communities

In this cafe session, the facilitator will provide a demo of the technology and introduce citizen science projects across the United States that are using FieldScope, and lead a discussion and feedback session on using technology in the classroom, geospatial thinking, and facilitating communities of practice in citizen science.

5. National Veterans Art Museum
Organizer: Christine Bespalec-Davis
Participants: Christine Bespalec-Davis

More than “just listening”: Engaging with teens and promoting connected learning through conversations with Veterans

Every Tuesday, groups of teens make their way to the YOUmedia center in the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago after school. They spend time on the computers located in the space and socialize with friends. A teaching artist from the National Veterans Art Museum might invite them to look at art, give feedback on an interactive websites designed by the museum or listen to an audio recording of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien to which the museum has dedicated a permanent exhibition inspired by the novel. In the following weeks, youth travel to the museum and meet with veterans of Vietnam as well as contemporary wars. We have learned that many of the youth the museum works with can identify with the complications and repercussions of both physical and emotional conflicts as experienced and expressed through art by veterans in our collection. Bit by bit, week by week, a group of engaged youth is formed and transition from “just listening” to engaged, connected learning supported by digital media tools, the sharing of personal narratives, and art making.

These conversations begin with getting to know the youth we work with and continues as we develop a relationship with who they are in connection to the museum, its mission and the veterans that work collaboratively with us to create more meaningful experiences and a deeper understanding of war, history, civics and contemporary issues.

Join me to discuss the role of digital media in the transformation from “just listening” to connected learning at the National Veterans Art Museum.

6. Thicket: A Laboratory for Creative Problem Solvers
Organizer: Deepthi Welaratna
Participants: Deepthi Welaratna

Designing New Pathways for Learning

This participatory workshop is designed to investigate key cognitive frames for education and learning that shape current educational policies. We’ll talk about power, learning, language, systems, and more. We’ll also talk about learning platforms today, and what we think sustainable learning looks like. This will be a highly interactive session, so we hope you’ll come prepared to brainstorm in big and broad ways.

Discussion Topics:
– How does language facilitate shared understanding? How does it get in the way?
– What does quantitative research do well? What doesn’t quantitative research do well?
– How does public debate change the nature of debate and discourse for the better? For the worse?
– How does technology facilitate group communication and collaboration? How does it get in the way?

7. Project Exploration /C-STEMM
Organizer: Krystal Meisel
Participants: Krystal Meisel

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Badges: Forging a Chicago STEM Pathway Across the US

This interactive presentation will share our experience developing and implementing a shared STEM digital-badging ecosystem for non-formal learning environments in Chicago. It will center on process the of gathering consensus around the adoption of Project Exploration’s Youth Science Matrix © as a foundation for standard implementation and assessment among six diverse STEM programming institutions (Adler Planetarium, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, After School Matters, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and Chicago Botanic Gardens) and two badging platforms (ForAll Badges and Youtopia). We will share student reflections and ideas for overcoming the technology gap.

Join Krystal Meisel, program manager at Project Exploration, Art of Science Learning Innovation Fellow and C-STEMM member, in a hands-on, interactive metaphorming* activity to invent the I-80 for digital badging. Come prepared to reimagine pathways, connect organizations, build bridges between cities, and get our youth and communities to amazing new places. After building a physical manifestation of our ideas we will take time to discuss our thinking and explore possible ways to get all students, parents, and communities (including those who may not have reliable access to technology) to travel on our newly imagined super highway.

* “Metaphorming: A much deeper and more effective way of brainstorming. Participants collaborate in making multi-dimensional, freeform, symbolic models. These models contain a wealth of ideas, insights, knowledge, and creative solutions.” Dr. Todd Siler

8. Trans*H4CK
Organizer: Harlan Kellaway
Participants: Harlan Kellaway

Trans*H4CK Reboot: A Workshop on Trans People & Tech Inspired by the First Hackathon for Trans Empowerment

Are you interested in tech or social media that benefits trans* people? Then you’d be interested in Trans*H4CK, a hackathon and speaker series brought to life by Dr. Kortney Ziegler ( in September 2013. The Trans*H4CK series aims is to radically shift the ways trans* people live by creating empowering technology that addresses social problems, including but not limited to: access to services, safety, and community sustainability.

This workshop is a condensed version of the brainstorming portion of the 2-day hackathon, covering: trans*-oriented projects and people that are already working in/on tech, small group designing of your own Trans*H4CK project(s), plus ideas and discussion about platforms to use to bring your project to life.

Learn more about Trans*H4CK and its 2014 series at:

Main objectives (time-allowing):
1) Learn about the state of tech & trans people
2) Take the first steps toward being involved in your own tech project(s) that can benefit trans* people
3) Learn about platforms that could help bring your ideas to life

9. Tufts University
Organizer: Elizabeth Kazakoff
Participants: Elizabeth Kazakoff

What Happens When Kindergartners Learn to Code?

Curious about real children in real classrooms learning to code with ScratchJr, a developmentally appropriate programing language designed for children 5 to 7 years old? Wondering how components of self-regulation (such as attention, working memory, and inhibitory control) may be a factor in learning to code? Pondering if learning to code could possibly improve self-regulation skills in young children? Want to know how to capture and analyze screen, audio, and video data from 38 kindergartners (Hint: Five-year-olds are not always on task…)?

In this café session, you can expect to view video footage highlighting different types of kindergarten coders as they program their own animated stories, interactive collages, and programming challenges. We will examine how differences in self-regulation at the start of the programming curriculum influenced the young coders’ approaches to their various lessons. Copies of the curriculum modules will be on hand for a discussion of how what was learned in the classrooms influenced the iterative design of both the software and the curriculum for future versions of ScratchJr.

ScratchJr is a collaborative effort between Tufts DevTech Research Group, MIT Lifelong Kindergarten, and PICO. The case studies and analyses presented in this session are a qualitative component of the forthcoming dissertation, “What role does self-regulation play when young children learn to code?“ based on the presenter’s work in classrooms that piloted-tested ScratchJr. This dissertation explores a possible bidirectional relationship between self-regulation and learning to code with 38 kindergarten students.

If any, or all, of these ideas capture your interest then please stop by.

10. The Student Union
Organizers: Eric Edwards, Hannah Givertz, Jordan Archer
Participants: Eric Edwards, Hannah Givertz, Jordan Archer

Building a Student Union: Disrupting Student Organizing in the Boston Public Schools

The Student Union is a youth mobilization and think tank led and run exclusively by millennials in Boston. Founded in 2013, the Union leverages the experiences of 2000 high school students to inform both school and city-wide decision making, while also making education reform accessible to every millennial in the city.

This discussion focuses on the strategies that our team of high school, college, and recent college grads has utilized to disrupt the complex youth organizing ecosystem in Boston. We’ll discuss how this movement began at Boston’s most insular and oldest high school, our approach for connecting grassroots and grass tops leaders, and other best practices for those seeking to make meaningful youth-led change within and across schools.

11. Dep. of Science and Mathematics – Columbia College Chicago
Organizer: Marcelo Caplan
Participants: Marcelo Caplan, Evelyn Oropeza

STEM and Music = STEAM

This workshop introduces how the NSF-ISE Scientists for Tomorrow integrates STEM curriculum in the after school programs at community centers in the City of Chicago. During the Cafe Talk the participants will be engaged in the same activities that the teens are implementing at the community centers. Participants will explore the module Physics of Sound and Mathematics of Music by sampling some activities such as making a human Pan flute, exploring the relations between the size of the instruments and the sound it produces, and other fun activities that relate STEM and music.

Scientists for Tomorrow is a project offered by the faculty and staff of the Department of Science and Mathematics, Columbia College Chicago (CCC), in partnership with community centers, CCC Department of Education and Selected Chicago Informal Science Education (ISE) providers, such as the Museum of Science and Industry, The Field Museum and the Garfield Park Conservatory. ISE provides STEM oriented academic enrichment education in under served and underrepresented community centers who have after school programs in the City of Chicago.

12. Eastern Michigan University
Organizer: Angela Elkordy
Participants: Angela Elkordy

Digital Badges for STEM Learning in Secondary Contexts

Does the use of digital badge learning trajectories aligned with (but not bound by) appropriate educational standards impact mastery learning, student learning behaviors or characteristics such as motivation and self-efficacy? How might effects, if any, differ across learning contexts? This presentation of dissertation research will share preliminary findings with secondary age participants as well as solicit your questions and ideas.

For a variety of reasons, essential skills required in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields such as critical thinking, modeling, and scientific reasoning are neither adequately taught nor assessed in formal learning contexts. The use of digital badges for scaffolding, recognizing, assessing and communicating learning in connected learning contexts is one possible solution for digital age STEM learning and assessment.

The purpose of this research is to study how the use of digital badge learning trajectories to support, assess and recognize learning may impact student motivation, self-efficacy, affect (regarding STEM learning) and learning strategies as well as (statistically significant) factors of the learning environment.

The digital badges for the study have been designed to promote skills acquisition in specific STEM knowledge and practices (e.g. analyzing and interpreting data, design thinking) which require higher order thinking skills. The badges are aligned with educational standards as appropriate (NGSS, CCSS, NETS-S, P21). The study participants are secondary students, many of whom are considered “at risk.”

This study contributes to the emergent body of knowledge of innovative assessments by providing empirical evidence to inform theory and practice for educators in K-12 and higher education contexts.

13. Emerson College
Organizer: Paul Mihailidis
Participants: Paul Mihailidis, Jad Melki

How to Create Robust Digital Media Education Learning Environments: A global tour

At this roundtable we will present three global digital literacy programs that bring together teachers and students from diverse populations to explore the role of media and learning in digital culture. The programs, while distinct in their makeup and participant bases, offer a unique ecosystem of approaches to collaborative learning environments that work to bring communities together across borders, across disciplines and across divides. The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change is an annual multidisciplinary summer program that brings together faculty and students from around the world to examine media’s role in identifying, framing and solving local and global problems. The Digital and Media Literacy Academy of Beirut (MDLAB) at the American University of Beirut, launched in summer 2013 through a collaboration of six Arab countries, aims to advance media literacy education in the Arab world by developing robust learning models that are relevant to a fast-changing region. The Jordan Media Institute (JMI), launched in 2009, organizes connected learning activities that couple Arab students with international peers through structured study abroad programs across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and globally, and through connective technologies bringing diverse voices into the program. At this table, we hope to engage in discussion of how these programs are built and sustained, and what further insights we can discuss in terms of facilitating new pathways to learning in global digital culture.

14. KQED Public Media
Organizer: Matthew Williams
Participants: Matthew Williams, Paul Oh, Matt Ganucheau

KQED Do Now: A National Debate on Current Events Using Social Media

Public life, increasingly, is happening online. Accordingly, in-school and out-of-school educators need ways to engage youth using digital tools for civic purposes. KQED Do Now is one way where young people can discuss social and political issues using social media. Currently, the project is in over 150 schools across the nation where students participate in a weekly debate. With Do Now, you will see how social media and media making can add value to learning as it happens anytime and anywhere. Learn how students participate in a national conversation and how you can get involved in the Do Now discussion! KQED Do Now is produced in collaboration with National Writing Project, California Academy of Sciences, PBS NewsHour Extra, and Twitter.

15. National Writing Project
Organizer: Christina Cantrill
Participants: Christina Cantrill, Peter Kittle

Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom

With connected learning research ushering in new modes of learning and engagement, the opportunities for crafting ever more personalized and meaningful learning experiences for students grow daily. _Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom_ is the title of a new ebook published by the MacArthur Foundation and edited by National Writing Project (NWP) educators. Drawing from work colleagues have shared at the NWP Digital Is website (, the editors have brought together examples of practice and curated them into a larger collection looking at principles of Connected Learning woven throughout.

This book is unique in its focus on in-school examples of connected learning and instead of focusing on the idea of “best practices,” highlights the emerging nature of this work and invites inquiry, exploration and storytelling into the ways that teachers are working and why. At our DML Cafe table therefore we want to invite you to engage with some highlights from the new ebook and the related Digital Is website (in a game-like way!) while sharing your connected learning stories. We’d love for us all to walk away with some ideas for how these resources could be useful in a variety of contexts as well as think with you about how to further expand on our inquiries and explorations.

16. New Directions Secondary School, New York City Writing Project
Organizer: Paul Allison
Participants: Paul Allison, Christina Cantrill, Paul Oh

Connected Learning with Youth Voices

Now in it’s tenth year, Youth Voices is an openly-networked discussion platform where students participate in online multimedia discussions and learn new strategies to produce self-directed multi-modal projects that honor their own voices, passions, and unique ways of working. Students develop self-efficacy, civic engagement, persistence, and motivation for academic success. Youth Voices is also a space for teachers to develop their understanding and apply connected learning theory to curriculum development and classroom practice. Teachers gain comfort with a range of technology applications and with participating in open educational resources as part of their work.

17. Press Pass TV
Organizer: Cara Berg Powers
Participants: Cara Berg Powers

Youth Media Participatory Action Research for Social Change and Positive Youth Development

Join Dr. Cara Berg Powers, EdD to learn more about her exciting research, and get some tangible tools for incorporating Youth Participatory Action Research into your work with youth, and developing a sound evaluation strategy for sharing your outcomes. Some more about the research being presented:
Youth researchers at the Worcester Youth Center investigated the lack of youth jobs in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts, using short documentary as a data collection and presentation tool. The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of this video research project on the youth participants’ self-confidence, leadership skills, community engagement, and commitment to education. Using focus groups, surveys, interviews, and observation, the outcomes of the study show great promise for using video research as a means to positively impact urban working-class youth.

18. Prince Georges County Public Schools
Organizer: Sarah Thomas
Participants: Sarah Thomas

How We Are Flipping the Script

“Flipping” seems like the new educational technology buzzword of 2014, but what exactly does it mean? In this session, discover why a middle school ELA/Technology Integration teacher has fallen head over heels. Topics covered will include videotaped lessons, useful resources, and best practices to begin. Learn how to use your iPad to create your own flipped lessons, and make the most out of 1:1 environments.

In this session, educators of all grade levels will learn about the concepts of flipped instruction and blended learning, and will have the knowledge necessary to begin implementing the techniques in their classroom. The session will be designed as a BYOD interactive presentation, where participants will be encouraged to download and test apps that can help them with the practice. Attendees at the novice and intermediate levels would best benefit from this session, as it will be geared towards the absolute beginner; however, more advanced tips and tricks will also be shared. Furthermore, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences with the practice.

19. Teachers College, Columbia University
Organizer: Jacqueline Simmons
Participants: Jacqueline Simmons

Rethinking Pedagogy in Participatory Cultures

This qualitative study engaged one adult and four youth co-researchers in a collaborative project to investigate the media lives of urban teenagers. The methods for this study included individual and focus group interviews, regular meetings with the research team members, observations, and field notes maintained through journals and online communication. The research team also created and distributed a survey to 98 New York City teenagers about their interests, how they spend their time, and their relationships with friends and family.

The findings, not new to the media education field, suggest that teens’ lives integrate a variety of specific media tools, activities, and processes that help them make sense of the world, explore identity, socialize, and move towards independence. However, our aesthetic approach also encouraged interrogation of the most basic taken-for-granted aspects of teaching and learning – who we are to each other, what we say and do, how we say it, and where we choose to engage. Analysis of our collaborative research led us to rethink the characteristics of participatory cultures, including our assumptions about adults and teenagers, as well as the language, behavior, learning spaces, and curricula that define and sometimes limit adult and teen relationships. This knowledge may provide educators and researchers who support youth media education with strategies to build curriculum grounded in collaborative understanding of the relations between adult and teenaged individuals, in search of new possibilities and approaches in media education and in public life.

20. University of Texas at Austin
Organizer: S. Craig Watkins
Participants: S. Craig Watkins, Alex Cho, Andres Lombana Bermudez

The Last Mile

The DML initiative has invested considerable energy researching the role of digital media in formal and informal learning spaces. It’s now time to ask: What comes after? How do we make sure that youth, especially those from non-dominant backgrounds, are able to port these skills into a social and economic world that is increasingly precarious? For high school students, what are the next steps in ensuring opportunity: A two-year college degree? A four-year college degree? Trade school? Something else? As we continue to iterate the vision of “connected learning” how do we begin to reimagine the last mile challenge? That is, the challenge of connecting students to real world opportunities in education, civic life, and employment. As the future of work continues to evolve and social and economic inequality continues to widen how might we reimagine and reconstruct the kinds of pathways that connect student interests, out-of-school practices, and media literacies to opportunity? What does the Last Mile look like? Additionally, are economics the most important component to the “Last Mile,” or are other factors such as happiness, civic engagement, or altruism just as important? How do structural barriers impede learners’ opportunities, even if they have explored and developed skills in digital media environments? Using data from the Connected Learning Research Network’s Austin “Digital Edge” project as a starter, this DML Café table invites participants to join a crucial conversation as DML evolves, asking: How can we envision a set of guidelines to activate the rich opportunity afforded by digital media learning and apply it toward a vision of a sustainable future for our young people?

21. Urban Arts Partnership
Organizer: Armando Somoza
Participants: Armando Somoza; TBD, Urban Arts Partnership

“More Than A Quota”: How Youth Fused the Creative Arts, Social Media, and Advocacy to Engage the Stop&Frisk Policy

New Yorkers were stopped by the NYPD over half a million times in 2012 and 5 million stops have been made throughout the Bloomberg administration as a part of the controversial Stop&Frisk policy. 90% of those stopped were Black and Latino between the ages of 14-24 and 89% of those stopped were completely innocent, neither arrested nor issued a summons. In 2012, students from The Academy at Urban Arts Partnership and LatinoJustice PRLDEF created a 15 minute documentary, original soundtrack and social media campaign called “More Than a Quota” examining the impact of Stop-and-Frisk on NYC youth. In December 2013, students presented “More Than A Quota: Our Experience, Our Story,” a multimedia digital pop up exhibit at SOHO ARTHOUSE, 138 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012, to showcase creative responses to the experience of being stopped and frisked as a NYC youth. This digital showcase provides a venue for NYC youth to create original media and share multimedia projects giving students a voice in the discourse around community policing. Youth have become producers of original media and have designed a social media campaign to capture and tell their stories.

Based on trainings from the New Organizing Institute, we developed a new media leadership curriculum. Through a collective and creative vision, students became 21st century agents of change. Students fused the power of advocacy, creativity, youth media and online activism on platforms they already use and master on an everyday basis. Come learn our creative approach to leading students to develop creative, engaging and innovative advocacy campaigns. Youth learn through interaction with each other in connected, participatory ways, often involving not only the production but also the consumption of knowledge, ideas, and designs.

22. VIF International Education
Organizer: Julie Keane
Participants: Julie Keane, Leslie Libscomb, Nitya Mallikarjun

A Social Learning Platform for Global Educators

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education formally recognized the interdependence between an educated, globally competent citizenry and national political and economic development and security. Aligned with this policy challenge, VIF International Education, the leading U.S. Department of State-designated J-1 teacher exchange sponsor, developed an online learning platform featuring inquiry-based professional development (PD) integrated with a globally themed resource library and community of educators.

The VIF learning center hosts Global Gateway, a PD system that draws upon the cross-cultural pedagogical skills of VIF’s K-12 international educators and extends them to a broader community of teachers around the world. This learning model is designed to ensure that PD experiences are directly translated into classroom practices with immediate impact on students. The blended PD shares specific features of research-based models that have been proven to have significant influence on both teacher practice and student learning.

These are:
The use of a dynamic online platform that supports a robust social community, innovative blended learning opportunities and collaboration across schools, districts and states.
Focus on content knowledge.
Active or inquiry-oriented learning approaches in the PD experience.
Multiple cycles of presentation and integration of, and reflection on knowledge.
Support of the development of “Investigative Cultures.”

During this session, presenters will provide an overview of the VIF learning center and a badging system for Global-Ready Teachers aligned with Mozilla’s OBI. They will demonstrate how the Global Gateway system supports teachers’ development of a critical, cultural framework for engaging students with an inquiry-based approach to language arts, dual language immersion, social studies, science, technology, engineering, math and cross-disciplinary investigations. The system offers multiple pathways in dual language immersion, ESL and integrating global content to enrich standard classroom instruction, providing teachers with comprehensive knowledge of the world to engage students for deeper understanding.

Organizer: Amanda Lyons
Participants: Amanda Lyons, David Preston, John Davis, Josh Ostini

Visualizing Open Source Learning

Close your eyes and imagine what Open Source Learning (OSL) actually looks like – what do you see? Let’s build upon our understanding of OSL by taking it to an experiential level. We’ll go beyond defining OSL, sharing real life examples, providing strategies and learning together as a group.

Facilitators will share their ongoing collaborations as Open Source Learning use cases. They will present instructional strategies that accommodate every learning style, empowering learners to seek out and meet experts themselves. In this way, learners curate their own paths of inquiry so as to create immediate value in the community and the marketplace. They will also share influential elements of organizational structure and culture, and collaborative success stories from around the world.

We’ll jump in to an activity allowing participants and facilitators alike to truly experience OSL culture, where everyone drives their own learning. There will be a loose structure. As a group we can talk about how to create a space that gives learners (in this case ourselves) the structure to gain a deep understanding of what Open Source Learning is and can be by actually doing it. For each individual it will be different. There may be drawing, building, researching, talking, walking… all kinds of exploring. Participants will strive to find paths that resonate with them. The best way to gain true knowledge is to make a concept personally meaningful. In the spirit of OSL, who knows where our learning curiosities may lead us. We make no promises. The possibilities will be in the air. Grab them if you wish.

All participants will receive materials on Open Source Learning as well as online visual notes from the conversation & activity. They will also be invited to join a growing community of collaborators inside and outside the classroom.

Panel BYV: Balancing Deep and Wide Impacts in the Design of Civic Tech @ St. James
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizer: Chelsea Barabas

Presenters: Chelsea Barabas, Erhardt Graeff, Heather Craig, Alexis Hope

As new media platforms become increasingly accessible, ordinary citizens are using them to create unconventional channels of influence on institutions of power and authority. Citizens, particularly the young and tech-savvy, are able to communicate and coordinate their actions with unprecedented flexibility and freedom. Around the world, we have witnessed youth challenge authoritarian regimes and demand change from their governments. Many herald the rise of digital communication technologies such as mobile phones and Facebook as the great democratizing force behind these developments.

As the rules of the game are being renegotiated, governments and grassroots organizations are eager to harness the potential of the new media landscape to enhance their standing with their constituents. However, much focus has been placed on the hottest new participatory tool, rather than on the underlying processes of engagement that catalyze change. Ironically, communication platforms like Twitter and Facebook were not designed specifically with the purpose of community engagement in mind. Instead, civic organizers appropriated them to support their cause as they recognized their potential for grassroots mobilization. Other tools have been designed particularly for the purpose of increased civic participation. For instance, MySociety’s FixMyStreet app has been celebrated as a successful connector between citizens and local government officials in the UK. However, the organization has encountered serious challenges when attempting to scale the tool to other countries. In order to be effective, digitally mediated civic engagement must be conceived as a contextualized process, rather than a novel technology.

Building a strong civil society involves more than putting shiny new tools in the hands of activists. It requires the development of an opportunity structure that enables everyday citizens and youth to envision, deliberate, and act on their plans for a better tomorrow. This requires broader processes of empowerment that cannot be distilled into one concrete piece of technology, or scripted into a neat step-by-step plan.

At the heart of these issues is the question of scale. We have seen the potential of new technologies to facilitate citizen and youth empowerment. But how does such progress spread? How do we scale meaningful processes instead of tools or procedures that become obsolete in ever-changing circumstances?

This panel is comprised of developers, designers, and community activists who are currently grappling with these questions as they design civic tools and digitally mediated processes for community and youth engagement. During this discussion, each panelist will give a brief overview of their current work and explain their approach for designing contextualized, process-driven tools for civic engagement. The panel will then host a moderated conversation in which they will reflect on the broader trends they observe on the frontier of youth involvement in mediated civic engagement. In addition to the questions mentioned above, the panel will address the following:
– How can we facilitate and incorporate the inclusion of youth innovators in the design process?
– How do we design tools that foster inclusion rather than perpetuating the “digital divide” between users?
– How do we build capacity within communities and organizations to appropriately adopt and deploy civic technologies?

Panel BYV: Re-imagining Program Evaluation: Participatory Action Researchers and Community Media Teachers in Dialogue @ Singleton
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Lauren Berliner, Lauren Lichty

Presenters: Lauren Berliner, Lauren Lichty, Katherine Cloutier, Mariah Kornbluh, Jennifer Mortensen

Youth participatory media production has afforded many positive opportunities for engaging amplifying youth voice, though assessing, documenting, and reporting these complex outcomes remains a challenge for both program staff and evaluators. Furthermore, youth participation is often too easily assumed to be equivalent with youth empowerment. This misperception runs the risk of not providing youth with meaningful participation, and conducting evaluations devoid of clear tools or definitions for documenting empowerment as an ongoing process. To make such claims, we need to employ responsive evaluation models that examine the products and process of our work. In this session, a group of five scholar-practitioners with backgrounds in participatory media production, evaluation, community psychology, and community-based work with youth will present case studies to illustrate the importance of evaluation, provide a basic overview of evaluation, and create space for participants to critically examine the ways in which we all incorporate evaluation into our work. We ask, how can a multitude of stakeholders collaborate to ensure that youth participation is meaningful and emerges from youth interests and desired modes of participation rather than adult prompts? Through case studies, we argue for a need to shift the emphasis in evaluation from “outputs” to more attentive models that capture how projects are identified, framed, funded, designed, and implemented.

This workshop will provide participants with strategies for conducting evaluations that: (a) reflect more formative evaluation approaches, (b) highlight the use of digital media in evaluation, and (c) incorporate youth participation into the evaluation process. Some questions we will explore include: In what ways can evaluation take a formative approach? What assumptions underlie the creation of our projects? How can we examine whether the work upholds the emancipatory, participatory values we espouse? What evaluation methods can we develop to adhere to these participatory values?

Participants will be invited to discuss evaluation challenges in their own work and reflect on the incorporation of more comprehensive, developmental approaches to evaluation.

Panel BYV: Southside Stories in Chicago – The Power of Digital Stories Wherever You Are @ Copley
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Angela Heimburger, Melissa Gilliam

Presenters: Seed Lynn, Melissa Gilliam

The Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) and its affiliate Game Changer Chicago (GCC) at the University of Chicago sponsor initiatives in which youth collaborate with faculty and university students to create digital stories and games in order to explore health and social issues. One of the lynchpins of our work is digital narratives which relate critical life experiences through short multimedia videos document and preserve communal stories through perspectives of marginalized groups like urban youth of color. A centerpiece project is Southside Stories, a two-year collaboration among Ci3, Global Girls, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Youth Development Program, and the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus with funding from the Ford Foundation. Southside Stories seeks to use a community-building framework to create an innovative body of social science research on adolescent sexuality and health based on personal youth narratives to reframe research, policy, and public discourse on the sexuality and health of African American youth 15 to 24 living in Chicago, one of the most segregated communities in the United States.

The themes that emerge from this body of digital stories elucidate how structural factors such as segregation, discrimination, stigma and violence constrain the freedom, sexuality and health of young people. At the same time the authors’ grit, resilience and courage in communicating their stories can result in therapeutic release and post-traumatic growth for themselves and their communities. This project will strategically communicate digital stories and research findings with local and national community partners to advance research and engender personal and public dialogue on gender, sexuality and health among African American youth and the communities where they live. Our results will reframe research training and communications, build capacity for local partner organizations, and create new opportunities for individual growth, safety and health for marginalized youth and adults.

We propose an interactive workshop on digital narratives where participants will view several Southside stories that have been created by Chicagoland youth and community members, understand the process of storytelling for social justice, and participate in story circle methodology to create story topics of their own. Our resident digital storytelling expert and narrative therapist, Seed Lynn, will suggest prompts for participants to brainstorm about relevant terms around sexual and reproductive health and social justice. Once the terms have been saturated, Seed Lynn will provide a prompt and discuss how each participant can come up with an idea and narrow down a topic for an original story that will be shared with the group. In our own workshops, these storylines then become the basis for a script narrated in the author’s voice for the digital storytelling video. Mr. Lynn will then use the topics generated in this story circle to generate discussion about the broader discourse of change, expanding and clarifying notions of social justice and how participants might build on these stories toward more systemic change.

Panel CLI: Exchange 2.0 – The Role of Virtual Exchange in Connected Learning @ Ballroom Foyer
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Lisa Jobson, Lucas Welch, Chris Plutte

Presenters: Jennifer Russell, Chris Plutte, Waidehi Gokhale

The next generation will have to address major global challenges, virtually all of which require multi-lateral and cross-cultural cooperation, while trying to secure jobs in an increasingly diverse and globalized workforce.

Education exchanges and study abroad programs are among the best means to prepare young people for such a world— increasing their inclination and capacity to deal effectively with difference and to communicate and collaborate across cultures.

But fewer than 1% of young people participate in international exchange programs. By employing a wide variety of technologies and educational pedagogy, virtual exchanges make it possible for every young person to access high-quality international cross-cultural education.

In 2009, Global Nomads Group, Soliya, and iEARN joined together to form the Exchange 2.0 Coalition, unified by the principle that every U.S. student should receive a global education.

This session will include representatives of each of the Exchange 2.0 Coalition partners reflecting on the challenges they confront and the lessons they have learned from integrating virtual exchanges in educational institutions at all levels—from kindergarten through university— and in both formal and informal settings. They will also highlight the ways in which their use of new media platforms makes deep, interactive, social learning accessible to greater numbers and greater diversity of youth.

Since 1998, Global Nomads Group’s (GNG) has used the power of technology and media to enable youth around the world to engage in real-time dialogue to discuss, debate and understand the world in which we live. GNG has conducted programming in more than 45 countries and on every continent, reaching more than one million young people worldwide. GNG will discuss the “Connecting Cultures, Exploring Science” programs, GNG’s science programs in partnership with Qatar Foundation International (QFI), which allows students to explore the science and politics behind climate change through an international lens.

Launched in 1988, iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) has grown into a global learning network of over 50,000 K-12 educators and 2 million youth across 140 countries. iEARN-USA will share a case study of the Chris Stevens Youth Network, a U.S. Department of State funded virtual exchange program dedicated to the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Through specialized trainings in digital dialogue and online media sharing, discussions on global issues, and an emphasis on community building, the program connects over 300 high school level classrooms and youth organizations across 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and the U.S.

Soliya’s flagship program, the Connect program, has been integrated into the curricula at more than 100 universities, in 27 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Europe and North America. Participants meet online in multicultural dialogue groups of 8-10 students, under the guidance of 2 Soliya-trained facilitators. The curriculum is designed for students to develop intercultural-awareness and the ability to think critically about global issues, in addition to building essential 21st century skills, including: critical thinking, cross-cultural communication and teamwork, collaborative problem solving, and media literacy.

Panel LPA: Design Agency for Indigenous, Immigrant, and Invisible Youth in Identity Building with Digital Media @ Venetian
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Cristobal Martinez, Yasmin Kafai, Bryan Brayboy

Presenters: Cristobal Martinez, Kristin Searle, Kimberly Scott, Jason Lewis, Sinem Siyahhan

Discussant: Robbin Chapman

Digital media in education throughout the United States fails to address a fundamental issue central to indigenous, immigrant and underrepresented groups: the issue of assimilation. For Native American communities, this has included the forced removal of children to attend boarding schools as part of the U.S. Federal Government’s plan to “civilize” indigenous populations. For Immigrant Youth from Mexico and other countries, this has been the English immersion classroom with students in some states being punished for speaking their first language. Girls from these backgrounds face issues of colonization and gender inequality, as well as how schools and culture at large have rendered them invisible regarding access to and participation in technology.

What makes these conditions problematic for learning is that minoritized youth grapple with tensions between identities they co-construct with members of their communities and those they construct in school. While those out-of-school identities do not necessarily have to be at odds with in-school identities, the often contradictory methods and content do not facilitate continuous transitions between formal and informal learning. How is it possible for these youth to articulate and engage their identities when traversing powers of assimilation and their desires to survive as members of their communities? While schools have a long history of destabilizing the identity construction of youth from minoritized backgrounds, new initiatives in Digital Media Learning (DML) potentially offer students supportive opportunities for identity formation on terms that they and their communities help determine for themselves.

The goal of this symposium is to better understand how digital media learning can provide students of minoritized populations design agency to uncover, rationalize, and shape the complexities of their identities in the classroom and when learning with members of their families and communities. To provide examples, we bring together initiatives, which illustrate different approaches to culturally relevant DML that incorporate local community knowledge and ways of learning. These initiatives include e-textiles for digital media and indigenous knowledge learning in Native American Studies and Arts learning environments, programs that use Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and a Social Justice Youth Development Framework to foster IT/STEM related outcomes for adolescent girls from high needs schools, digital media workshops for Aboriginal youth beginning with traditional storytelling and proceeding to teach participants how to tell a story through video games and virtual environments, and research to understand Mexican American family interactions, practices, and routines around digital media in the physical context of their home and in the social and cultural context of family life. Each group will present (i) the design of their curriculum, (ii) implementation of activities, and (iii) evaluation of participation and learning. Our discussant Robbin Chapman, will review the findings in light of their contributions to culturally relevant DML.

Panel OTL: Connecting the Silos of Citizen Science @ Commonwealth
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Darlene Cavalier, Liz Barry, Francois Grey

Presenters: Darlene Cavalier, Liz Barry, Francois Grey, Yasser Ansari, Cosmo Fujiyama

Millions of citizens around the world now participate actively in cutting-edge scientific research via the Web, smart phones and other digital technologies. This emerging low-cost, participatory trend in science spans a wide range of research, from fundamental physics and astronomy to practical monitoring of noise and air pollution in cities. While many projects are initiated by researchers in academia, there are also dedicated amateurs who start their own online research projects, sometimes producing high-impact scientific results. Such citizen science is a key component of a broad movement promoting greater online collaboration and openness in science.

In the realm of digital learning communities, citizen scientists are among the most vibrant. Participating individuals are as diverse as the projects they undertake, representing a vast array of expertise, ages, research areas, methodologies and outcomes. However, the grassroots nature that is the source of the vibrancy of these communities also leads to a disconnected landscape of citizen science projects that are often separated in narrow silos of interest.

This panel will explore a unique MOOC created collaboratively by five citizen science communities seeking to connect their practices and make open research more accessible to newcomers. The course was designed to introduce both online and real world experiences, touching upon the various open technologies for learning employed in each community. We will share our process of creating this course, results from the first round, and the questions we explored on learning design, community organizing, locality and more.

The “Science in the City” course is dedicated towards newcomers who are interested in learning more about citizen science and who may desire to implement citizen science projects and methodologies into their classrooms.

The outcomes of this course include: new and innovative online/offline collaborative learning techniques;better understanding of how to participate in and organize civic science research; clearer idea of how to co-create and implement these techniques in formal and informal learning settings.

Workshop OTL: Illuminate Your Thinking: Hacking the Notebook @ State Suite
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizers: Jennifer Dick, David Cole, Paul Oh

Presenters: David Cole, Jennifer Dick, Jie Qi, Paul Oh, Natalie Freed

The notebook is a tool used across creative disciplines. Engineers, artists, scientists, musicians, and writers use journals, sketchbooks, and logs to keep track of information, progress, questions, and new ideas. New technologies allow us to re-imagine the notebook, providing opportunities for creative expression powered not just by our imagination but also by circuitry and open networking technologies. In this workshop, we’ll explore how innovative practices and digital media interface in new ways, inspiring learners to transcend the fixed physical and intellectual boundaries of the traditional, analog notebook.

Join us to illuminate your thinking by using easily accessible and inexpensive materials to create circuits in your notebook that literally highlight your “lightbulb moments” with paper circuits and LEDs. We’ll look at how teacher-leaders across the country can use these STEAM-powered techniques with their students to engage in complex design tasks that marry science, art and writing and participate in online learning community discussions about in-school applications.

We’ll explore how the practice of notebooking helps youth, in school and out, develop essential cross-disciplinary skills for today’s world and transforms the notebook from “a thing I have to do for my teacher” to “a tool I use for myself to solve problems and create things.” Because collaboration and sharing are essential elements to developing ideas, we’re experimenting with a prototype notebook and notification system that uses Bluetooth, LEDs and Wi-Fi networks to make real-time connections using between online, digital content and analog, personal content in a journal or sketchbook. Preview this and other prototypes under development by artist-engineers from the MIT Media Lab and NEXMAP who will activate your thinking with sound and light.

Workshop PFK: Empowering Student and Teacher Making through Game Explosion: Institute of Play in Quest Schools @ Oval
Mar 8 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Organizer: Daniel O’Keefe

Presenters: Daniel O’Keefe, Shula Ponet, Eliza Spang

Although games potentially offer liberating and empowering spaces for learners, too often they are used to simply reinforce sage-centric, unconnected teaching practices, rote learning, and inauthentic assessment.

At Quest to Learn public school in NYC and Chicago Quest Charter School in Chicago, Institute of Play has been working with teachers to leverage the power of play for deep and connected learning. Working in collaborative teams, teachers, game designers, and learning designers have developed game-like spaces that provoke engagement with authentic, collaborative tasks. Teachers are growing designer identities in themselves and in students. Teachers are being empowered to empower students– to re-imagine and invert their role.

One leverage point in this process is the technique we call “Exploding the Game”. At its simplest, it’s the answer to the question “How am I using this game?”. But the answer puts making and sharing at the heart of the learning and the teaching. This has important implications for the development of games on the different sides of the analog/ digital/ online/ offline splits, because it has to do with the roles that teachers and students can play in the development, modification, and surrounding of games, as well as the associated conversation space.

The essence of this technique is the ability to never see the game as just one thing. It’s the ability to take it apart, mod, remix, use it as a lens. It’s the ability to expand the parts of the game away from each other, recombining them into a larger curricular framework. Exploding the Game generates spaces for broader inquiry-driven practices influenced by play and design thinking. It creates spaces for authentic learning and assessment based on teacher and student making.

We’ve seen many successful examples of this. We want to share our experience by facilitating a hands-on workshop that generates moments similar to the ones experienced by Quest students. Participants will play one or two of our games and make things together based on that play, sharing what they’ve made with their peers, reflecting on their own learning and process.

Participants will come away with a fundamental understanding of how game explosion can empower and liberate learners, take away some analog and digital tools useful to both teachers and game developers, and be pushed to face hard questions about the relative merits of analog and digital development processes, and the effect of this on the designer and maker identities of teachers and learners.

During the workshop, we’ll also briefly share some findings from our current research project, the main question of which is “How does exploding the game provide opportunities for teacher practices that empower students?”. We’re currently engaged in a pilot study with two of our teachers, and will be expanding to a full study in the spring, using pilot data to inspire the rest of our teachers to conduct action research about their own learner-centered teaching practices.

Ignite Talks! & Closing Remarks @ Grand Ballroom
Mar 8 @ 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM


1. Amy Stornaiuolo, University of Pennsylvania, @amystorn

This Ignite talk will consider what it means to create opportunities for young people to be global innovators, defining innovation as making social change and expanding opportunities and access. I argue that this work is radically and quintessentially local, scaling up through interconnection and relationships and facilitated by new technologies. In a profoundly interdependent world, it is more important that ever to create opportunities for deep, connected learning with others globally, and to do so for all young people, not just the elite few who have access to global education. While many people are beginning to think broadly about how to accomplish this goal, a number of these efforts use frameworks that are ultimately limiting, particularly when our goals are oriented to social justice, youth voice and production, and inclusion/access rather than profit and consumption. In a particular example, I will illustrate how the metaphor of ‘exchange’ remains problematic, especially in locating agency and change within individuals rather than within systems or communities. To illustrate how a local, contextual model can move beyond exchange to consider the collaborative and connected dimensions of dialogue, I consider the work of the Global Youth Media Collaborative, a new partnership that seeks to theorize youth cross-cultural communication from a dialogic, participatory, and connected framework as it connects youth producers situated within local communities of practice to one another.

2. Armando B. Somoza, Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy, Urban Arts Partnership

How do you engage young people to become active participants and changemakers in their community utilizing digital media and the arts? You allow them to become stakeholders in the issues that impact them the most. New Yorkers were stopped by the NYPD over half a million times in 2012 and 5 million stops have been made throughout the Bloomberg administration as a part of the controversial Stop&Frisk policy. 90% of those stopped were Black and Latino between the ages of 14-24 and 89% of those stopped were completely innocent, neither arrested nor issued a summons. In 2012, students from The Youth Leadership Network of LatinoJustice and the Academy at Urban Arts Partnership created a 15 minute documentary, original soundtrack and social media campaign called “More Than a Quota” examining the impact of Stop-and-Frisk on NYC youth. In December 2013, students presented “More Than A Quota: Our Experience, Our Story,” a multimedia digital pop up exhibit at SOHO ARTHOUSE, 138 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012, to showcase creative responses to the experience of being stopped and frisked as a NYC youth. I want to share their story and tell you how we rocked police politics in NYC!

3. Scott Nicholson, Syracuse University School of Information Studies, @snicholson

Beyond Badges: A RECIPE for Meaningful Gamification

Gamification doesn’t have to be about rewards. Games are enjoyable without their point systems, and so gamification can also be created that doesn’t rely upon BLAP (Badges, Levels, Leaderboards, Achievements, and Points).

I’ll talk about my RECIPE for Meaningful Gamification, where I talk about using Reflection, Engagement, Choice, Information, Play, and Exposition as gamification tools to create a gameful or playful layer that helps participants find personal connections to another context for long-term change.

4. Anna Smith, NYU, @writerswriting

In these short five minutes, I’ll take the audience on a trip down the learning pathway a young man forged as he crossed multiple educational contexts both in and outside of school. The learning and growth this young man experienced is itself inspirational…and the lessons we can learn from it about planning for and expecting the “emergent possible” in our work to create alternative pathways to learning are promising. I’ll leave off with some critical questions about who we trust to have learning goals, what it means to pay more attention to the journey than the destination, and what we value and count as “learning” (even in our expanded, alternative definitions).

5. Nate Hill / Lindsey Frost Cleary, Chattanooga Public Library / Mozilla, @natenatenate

Chattanooga, TN has the first and fastest — and now one of the least expensive — high-speed Internet services in the United States. Our incredibly fast internet speeds have attracted start-ups and entreprenuers to our community and helped Chattanooga to reimagine how business can be done. Now in 2014, these entrepreneurs and businesses are joining with schools and nonprofit organizations to begin a city-wide effort to reexamine when, where, and how learning happens in the so-called Gig City. The Chattanooga Public Library is at the center of this reexamination – serving as a launching point and key partner for a new Mozilla Gigabit Hive, a Knight Foundation Community Information Grant, and dozens of other efforts focused on exploring how an Internet connection without boundaries can begin to break down longstanding boundaries between classrooms and community, between businesses and service organizations, and between formal and informal learning. A year ago, the 4th Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library was a forgotten 14,000 square foot storage facility in the middle of the “Gig City’s” otherwise thriving, vibrant downtown. Today, the 4th Floor is a central hub of community activity, featuring access to unrivaled connectivity, 3D printers, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, design stations, and more. The 4th Floor is a glimpse of the community library of the future, now.

6. Krystal Meisel, Project Exploration/ C-STEMM, @euhedral

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Badges: Forging a Chicago STEM Pathway Across the US

This engaging presentation will share our experience developing and implementing a shared STEM digital-badging ecosystem for non-formal learning environments in Chicago. It will center on the process of gathering consensus around the adoption of Project Exploration’s Youth Science Matrix © as a foundation for standard implementation and assessment among six diverse STEM programming institutions (Adler Planetarium, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, After School Matters, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and Chicago Botanic Gardens) and two badging platforms (ForAll Badges and Youtopia). We will share student reflections and ideas for overcoming the technology gap.

Krystal Meisel, program manager at Project Exploration, Art of Science Learning Innovation Fellow and C-STEMM member, will igniting interest in the invention of an I-80 for digital badging. Come prepared to reimagine pathways, connect organizations, build bridges between cities and get our youth and communities to amazing new places. Listeners will be inspired to explore possible ways to get all students, parents and communities (including those who may not have reliable access to technology) to travel on our newly imagined super highway.

7. Jess Klein, Mozilla/ Rockaway Help, @iamjessklein

Badges During Times Of Crisis:

During times of crisis, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, relief work can be really complicated – even if people are really well intentioned. One of the hugest problems that I encountered with Rockaway Help (an org I started to provide aid in the aftermath of the hurricane) was a lack of a feedback loop between us (the grassroots organizers), the individuals in need and the volunteers. This is crucial for many reasons but to name a few : efficiency with task management, ability to acknowledge volunteer skillsets, the ability to match volunteers with appropriate tasks, and the ability to identify mentorship opportunities.
By connecting volunteers directly to members of affected population through Open Badges, we empower people who need help to engage in the relief effort, and maintain involvement before and after they have received aid. There are any reasons why this is valuable, including:

acknowledgement, verification of a task in a moment of crisis for the relief organization

acknowledgement that you have helped someone

the potential ability to self assign tasks based on skills

the ability to ask for mentorship based on expertise validated through badges

the ability to see your impact on a community in need

I am working to develop a platform independent and open-source SMS badging solution that can be built directly into other successful tools that already exist out in the world.



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