Tag Archives: dml

Proposal Submission Deadline for DML2013 Quickly Approaching!

The deadline for proposal submissions for DML 2013 is rapidly approaching on November 6th, 2012!

The upcoming conference, themed Democratic Futures: Mobilizing Voices and Remixing Youth Participation, will be taking place in Chicago, Illinois on March 14-16, 2013. This annual event unites scholars and practitioners to engage in collaborative dialogue over theory, empirical study, policy, and practice. By submitting a proposal, you can have a hand in shaping the conversation from which great ideas will grow. Proposals for DML 2013 can be in any of three forms: panel, workshop, or short talk. Each having their own structural strengths, taking advantage of the opportunity to choose a format that best suits your idea is encouraged. Panels: bring four presentations representing a range of ideas and topics together in discussion, are scheduled for 90 minutes, & should include a mix of individuals working in areas of research, theory, and practice Workshops: provide an opportunity for hands-on exploration and/or problem solving, are scheduled for 90 minutes, & should be highly participatory Short talks: short, ten-minute talks where presenters speak for ten minutes on their work, research, or a subject relevant to the conference theme and/or subthemes In addition to selecting a format, a proposal must also fall under one of the five sub-themes for the 2013 conference:

  • “Envisioning 21st Century Civic Education”
  • “Youth Media & Youth Movements: Organizing, Innovation, Liberation”
  • “Whose Change is it Anyways? Futures, Youth, Technology & Citizen Action in the Global South”
  • “Tech for Governance: Community-Driven Innovation”
  • “Digital Media and Learning”

If you’ve got a great idea relevant to the upcoming DML 2013 conference, ready your proposal and get it in by November 6th at 5pm PST. If you’d like to learn more about proposal themes and guidelines, click here.

Digital Media & Learning Badge Development Research Competition: Call for Proposals

Calling all research proposals that support and inform the design, development, and deployment of the digital badges and badge systems! The Digital Media and Learning Badge Development Research Competition has begun with a request for theoretical and empirical research proposals that address any of the following questions:

  • How have ranking, badging, reputations and achievement systems been used in games, clubs, competitions, and other forms of interest-driven activities? What design principles and guidelines might we glean from past and existing cases that can inform the development of badges for learning?
  • What role have accreditation and certificates played inside and outside of formal degree programs, including areas such as core curriculum, work skills training, arts, crafts, and other trades? More specifically, how might badging help to address some of the challenges currently facing teacher assessment and credentialing?
  • How have learning institutions, groups, and individuals produced, utilized, and exploited various credentialing and reputation systems? How has such credentialing been changing with the shifts to a digital and networked society?
  • How do badge creators define mastery? To what degrees are the competencies represented by the badging system and individual badges clear to the learners?
  • In what ways is mastery assessed? Are learners given productive opportunities to demonstrate mastery (in their application, in producing and not solely consuming knowledge, and in their participating in learning and knowledge production)?
  • How do badging systems conceptualize and operationalize learning pathways/trajectories? Do badging systems offer opportunities for learning connections and interactions with others, as well as for feedback? For leveling up along the learning trajectory? How or to what extent are novice to expert trajectories made available?
  • How is the badging system conceiving and operationalizing validation or legitimacy of the learning taking place, and so too of the badges being issued?

Occurring in two stages, the application requires an initial submission of a Letter of Intent and, with authorization, a Final Application submitted for judging. Find more information on either stage of the application process here. Be sure to have your Letter of Intent ready by 5:00pm on August 27th, 2012 for priority consideration! Once notified of receipt, Final Applications will be due by 5:00pm on October 1st, 2012.

Pittsburgh Shines at Digital Media & Learning Conference

In early March, a delegation of Pittsburghers joined hundreds from across America and around the world at the Digital Media & Learning Conference (DML). Held in San Francisco in 2012, DML is supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the UC Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine.

DML is the premiere national event of an emerging collaborative movement working to apply recent advances in digital media and communications technology to enhance learning in our new connected world. Composed of academic scholars and social science researchers, software and technology developers, old and new media makers, educators and entrepreneurs, artists and game designers, this eclectic band of innovators is gaining prominence rapidly as some of their daring ideas are put to the test.

While the DML crowd is a widely distributed and relatively leaderless group, certain cities and regions have emerged as nodes of activity. In Chicago and New York City, for example, the MacArthur-supported HIVE learning networks are building connections between cultural institutions and out-of-school learning centers.

Locally, the Pittsburgh Kids+Creativity Network has been working since 2007 to create relevant learning opportunities through the compelling use of technology, media, and the arts. Coordinated by The Sprout Fund through its Spark program, nearly 30 people represented the Pittsburgh Kids+Creativity Network at DML including institutional leaders like The Children’s Museum’s Jane Werner, WQED’s Deb Acklin, and The Grable Foundation’s Gregg Behr, as well as field practitioners like Drew Davidson from the Entertainment Technology Center, Lisa Brahms from UPCLOSE, and Derek Lomas from Playpower.

With so many Pittsburghers in attendance, DML 2012 felt like a coming out party for our region’s creative innovators working at the intersection of technology, media, learning, and play.

Opening keynote by John Seely Brown

Almost everyone who attended DML from Pittsburgh reported on the influential experience of hearing the opening keynote speech by John Seely Brown, better known as JSB. Brown currently serves as co-chair of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation, where he examines how new information technology is affecting organizations and society.

In his remarks, JSB shared some startling ideas.

“In a culture of rapid change, the half-life of newly-learned skills is about 5 years, requiring constant augmentation, refinement, and evolution,” said Brown. “What’s needed in this environment is a new toolset” to equip people to thrive in this environment.

This toolset, in JSB’s view, involves a blended epistemology of learning that includes knowing, making and playing. It is essential to equip young learners with capacity in each of these aspects of learning.

“I felt a great deal of resonance with [JSB’s] blended epistemologies which together promote the notion of learning through “becoming” in an ever-changing world.” said Lisa Brahms, a researcher of informal learning at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE). “His championing of the shared imagination, his nuanced and deep appreciation of playful experimentation, and his characterization of the entrepreneurial learner, rang true for me–the important work we do and approach we take every day at The Children’s Museum and in MAKESHOP.”

Mozilla Science Fair

Pittsburgh was also prominently featured during the Mozilla Science Fair on Thursday evening. The Sprout Fund presented several with a few outstanding Pittsburgh projects during the happy hour science fair.

Promising Maximum Fun, the Spark exhibition included ZooBeats, a touch-screen music composing kiosk developed by WYEP and Electric Owl Studio; Digital Toys for Math Literacy, a collaboration by Propel Schools and Sima Products; Children’s Innovation Project circuitry kits by CREATE Lab resident artist Jeremy Boyle; and Hear Me audio devices for listening to children’s stories.

In addition to Spark, Pittsburghers showcasing in the Mozilla Science Fair included past DML competition winners Click! Spy School of the Girls, Math & Science Partnership, and mobile app game design project Playpower.org.

Other Pittsburgh Highlights

A big boost to Pittsburgh came when Robin Shoop and Ross Higashi from the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy were announced as winners of the fourth annual DML Competition. Their project, the Computer Science Student Network (CS2N), is an online learning environment that enables anyone to learn about Computer Science and earn badges demonstrating their mastery of new skills.

And on the closing day, Heather Mallak from the Girls, Math & Science Partnership gave an Ignite Talk entitled “Opening Things with Your Teeth,” a parable on some of the unsung aspects of creativity. Joining luminaries such as HIVE New York director Chris Lawrence and connected learning apostle Mimi Ito, Heather shared her idea for an expansive vision of creativity that embraces the unexpected uses and re-appropriation of skills and techniques to solve new problems.

By everyone’s report, DML 2012 was an inspiring and meaningful experience for all who attended. Seeing the breadth of new ideas and approaches to learning was a revelation that helped establish in everyone’s mind the unique position Pittsburgh holds in this moment. While there is a tremendous amount to learn, to adapt to, and to innovate on immediately, the people and organizations of our region are poised to get to work.

Stay tuned for even more!


YOUMedia Chicago: Digital Media Library of the Future?

Our nation’s libraries are in a crisis. Massive budget cuts and lack of support have led to libraries in several states closing their doors. Those that manage to remain open struggle to retain relevance in a society who’s main forms of information are increasingly digital in nature. So it’s no surprise that many libraries are working to implement programs that use new technology to appeal to a new generation of readers. One particularly successful program is making headlines in USA Today this week: Chicago’s YOUmedia — a Digital Library Space for Teens.

Once a storage space in Chicago’s Harold Washington Library Center, YOUmedia is packed  with all of the latest digital media–laptop computers, music keyboards, recording equipment, video cameras and gaming consoles. “When people see it they’re completely gobsmacked,” says Mary Dempsey, library commissioner. Perhaps the most surprising feature of all is the amount of students that can be found in the space. Talking, playing video games, and composing music–the students here are actively engaging and creating. Gone are the days of hushed studying in the stacks. If YOUmedia is any indication, the library of the future is loud!

Funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation, YOUmedia sprang out of research on children’s literacy and how it is affected by digital media. The research and the ongoing success of YOUmedia have proven that new forms of media are changing the definition of literacy as we know it.

“We are in one of these rare moments in time where what it means to be literate today, what it meant for us, is going to be different from what it means to be literate for our kids,” Nichole Pinkard, who first envisioned the space, told USAToday. “Just as schools have always pushed teens to read critically and pick apart authors’ arguments, she says, educators must now teach kids how to consume media critically and, ideally, to produce it.”

The center has become so popular that the library plans to replicate it city-wide. Soon, new media centers like YOUmedia could be popping up in libraries all over the country. Could such centers help to close the digital gap by providing access to media tools that might be otherwise out of reach for low income teens? Would you like to see a new media center in your neighborhood’s library? Tell us what you think!