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Monday, February 22, 2010

Sonia Livingstone's closing keynote at DML2010

This transcription of Sonia Livingstone's closing keynote at DigitalMedia and Learning 2010 conference is from Sheryl Grant HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition Director of Social Networking.

submitted by slgrant on Feb 20, 2010, 09:21 PM

Sonia Livingstone, speaking on Youthful Participation: What have we learned, what shall we ask next?

(Here's a link to her bio:

So many great constituencies here, educators, political scientists, civics, people primarily committed to young children and youth. Technologists, designers, what can be made and done, to encourage new ways of thinking and acting? My constituency originated more on the media, less on the digital. My fascination is with the shift, increasingly a thoroughly mediated and networked world, popularized by hybridized texts and forms, and socially contrained participants and readers.

Media were nouns, but as analog were replaced by digital (adjective), it seems that everything is mediated. Superficially homogenous, yet in actuality very heterogenous. Can no longer demit or bound our task. Orginally was a social psychologist, looking at media. Once interviewed people on sofa while watching television, now interviews children in their bedroom while looking at their activities online. Digital media means following it where it goes. Need a broader view, away from the screen.

Four fundamental processes at work: globalization, individualization, commodification, and mediatization (quoting someone, missed his name). Life without digital media it would not be life like we know it. Took centuries to say that about the book. What is digital media life, what could it be? Still puzzling over it.

Empirical: what's going on. Explanatory: how shall we explain it. Ideological: how should we react to it.

Need to be asking what claims are being made about digital media and are they being sufficiently well-defined? Have we examined the contrary claims and the evidence that doesn't fit? Opens up a debate about a generation of digital natives that needs to be questioned. Seeing a lot of struggles, context matters.

If we overestimate their skills, we underestimate their support. (17 year old, quoted: "With books it's a lot easier to research. I can't really use the internet for studying.") "Every time I try to look for something, I can never find it. It keeps coming up with things that are completely irrelevant."

Teens often didn't know how to change their privacy settings, unsure about what to click to manage this task. Nervousness about unintended consequences: stranger danger, parental anxiety, viruses, crashed computers, unwanted advertising, etc.)

Ask not what can or does the digital offer participation and learning, but let's ask among all the factors shaping learning and participation, among all those factors shaping, when and why and how might the digital contribute? Can we scope all other elements that frame children's learning, also methodological: how can we include those in our research?

Given all the other things going on in youth life, many not being anything about the Internet, what can be said about participation, or detraction?

Does it matter if civic engagement, participating in the Internet and social life do not come together? Does it matter that youth does not use the Internet for civic engagement if it is happening elsewhere, offline?

Seems that children are getting older at younger ages, subject to greater competitive pressures, commercialization, more expected of them younger and younger, and at the same time they are staying younger for longer. Financial independence is delayed, in a state of tension between childhood and adulthood. Expectations on them to compete and succeed greater than ever.

Digital is mediating their identities and their wider connections. What knowledge do parents have to pass on when they understand it only partially, often with much anxiety? Look wider than useful uses of technology. Childhood is becoming the last place of enchantment. Imbuing childhood with enchantment also drives the construction of children as risky and fragile. Celebrating creative and positive values, but may unintentionally keep them under surveillance. Risks have lurked, but not always spoken aloud.

Children don't draw the line where adults do. What they call meeting up with friends, we call meeting up with strangers. They might remix forms, we worry about copyright. Fused activities. Second, many design of digital resources confuse risks and opportunities in collision. Searching for teens without safe search filter on Google is quite something. We cannot draw these neat lines in online digital world. Learning involves risk-taking, to expand experience and expertise, children have to push against adult-imposed boundaries. Fourth participatory genre: playing with fire. Explore what adults have forbidden, take calculated risks to show off to others. Trying to work out for themselves what adults consider strange and dangerous. This is not so very new.

May look like young people are creating, participating, but it may be playing with fire. Those adult goals are being attained, but let's examine closely the adult structures next to or imposed upon young people. Child: create, explore, network, subvert. Child: state, school, parents, commerce.

Repeated finding: children engaged in online participation are generally the already engaged, not the newly motivated. Backgrounds of the children shape their digital use more than the digital technology affordances itself.

(Example of site for youth from UK called ePal) Producers claimed it is "about participation in the broadest sense" because services for young people "need to engage with young people in a participatory way. Such vague expectations regarding engagement contrast with the considerable planning of project funding and design. When pressed, they could not state what kind of participation they aimed for. Teenagers, not surprisingly, resist this approach and find the site "boring." In well-meaning statements as young people "need to know about a lot more these days to make the right choices.

Questions: Should digital participation:

Invite youth to use digital media in their own right, or provide a route to change some other domain that affects their lives? Reach out to new groups who may be disaffected or alienated, or to provide opportunities for the already motivated? Enable youth to realize their present rights and responsibilities, or to help them develop skills they'll need as future citizens? Connect youth to each other as a peer to peer activity or facilitate connections between youth and adults? (missed the rest).

Example of an afterschool computer club: learning by doing seemed impeded rather than enabled by a game. Software was intolerant, one small mistake and the whole game was lost, no matter how much effort was put in or whether one had understand the math. Error message was always the same, whether for a serious mistake or, frustratingly, after 30 minutes a a very minor mistake. One child hadn't read the instruction and mnissed the importance of the compass. Receiving no feedback from the game or her teacher, she gave up and played a simpler drawing game instead. A pair of boys had a different experience, after an hour of crashing, playing around, and typing in rude words, they eventually succeeded. They were pleased, they learned about navigation, direction and distance.

What should digital learning be for? Are these new ways to learn traditional curriculum or new ways to learn new things? Is the use of digital technology best for helping more disadvantaged kids, or will the already-privileged succeed better here too? How are we going to assess the knowledge produced by more creative activities, compared with tried and tested means of assessment? How shall we go beyond the findings that evaluations show little is gained from using technology in class, while more innovative uses have been little evaluated? Do we really expect schools to radically transform their teaching styles and structures, or do many parents, employers and policy makers really just want technology to solve present problems?

Quote from 2004: "Media literacy is a a range of skills including the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and prodeuce communications in a variety of forms. Or put simply, the ability to oeprate the technology to find what you are looking for, to understand that material, to have...(missed it!)

Quote from 2007: "Media literacy refers to skills, knowledge and understanding that allow consumers to use media effectively and safely." (Sorry, didn't catch references.)

So many kinds of literacies: financial, health, scientific, on and on. Where does the responsibility fall? On people if they lack financial literacy, when they lose everything in the stock market?

Conclusions: This generation is under a huge amount of surveillance. Need a wider gaze that contextualizes the uses of digital media, but of children's life more fundamentally. Careful to avoid switch from academic tower to control tower.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

DML 2010 day 2 sessions 4/5 -- computer clubhouses and scratch programs

My last 2 presentations at DML2010 might be considered a companion pair because they included the voice/ presentations of young people who participated in media programs.

First up was a presentation on the Clubhouse network – a network that offers 10 through 18 year-old young people an out of school learning environment: a place where young people use software to create media. SRI international has done a lot of research on clubhouses, have produced data showing club houses encourage increased academic skills, life skills, and a positive impact on the community.

The learning model of clubhouses was established with the founding of the 1st one in 1991, these are:

- exploratory active learning

- helping young people build on their interests

- cultivating peers/mentors/coaches

- creating environment of trust/respect – comfort in taking risks

Clubhouse (enabled with support from Intel) is now a network of 100 in 20 countries.

Young people discussed the physical space of clubhouses – a dedicated space, designed to provide a warm inviting space, computers in pods, a central sharing table, ergonomic rolling chairs.

Most exciting part of the session was hearing from 5 young people who are either going through the program or are alumnis/now back as mentors. Participants discussed how wherever they are in the country they can go a clubhouse and find the same design/layout etc. Participants also talked about having a sense of ownership and that this is a space where there is not a division between art/tech.

In the final session that I attended the focus was on scratch programs

Chair: Yasmin Kafai (University of Pennsylvania)

Participants: Kylie Peppler (Indiana University), Mitchel Resnick (MIT), Deborah Fields

(UCLA), Alicia Diazgranados (LAUSD), James Crenshaw (Brentwood Academy, Los

Angeles, CA), Karen Brennan (MIT), Nina Parks (Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CA)

In this session, a group of educators, developers, researchers and

youth participants discussed experiences inside and outside of school with a focus on

actual Scratch designs and observations collected over the last four years in elementary

and middle school classrooms, afterschool clubs and community technology centers.

Best part of this presentation was hearing from 2 participants who had gone through a less structured scratch program in an afterschool setting, then a school setting and then in an online community and the cultural differences/difficulties and competencies in each.

DML 2010 day 2 session 3: participatory learning in school: square peg round hole

Notes from a presentation I attended on participatory learning in school: Square peg round hole

Was impressed with the work of Margaret Weigel of project zero at Harvard University. She has just finished a major piece of research with teachers who have more than 10 years of school experience to examine attitudes and roadblocks to participatory learning in school. She identified the 3 biggest roadblocks: –

1. rate of tech change

2. Ceding control to students

3. Push back from institution

Erin Reilly of USC described a pilot study strategy guide for teachers re ELA participatory curriculum that she had piloted in 7 schools

DML day 2 -session 2 - Diversifying mobiles for participatory learning

This presentation on mobile telephones and their potential as a tool for educational gaming / projects was so well attended that attendees spilled out of the door.

Wildlab spoke first on their project a

project to document 100 most populous birds in NY using cell phones to report text and photograph incidence/.

Parsons petlab (prototyping, evaluation, teaching/learning) – posed questions how do we get kids to move from hanging out to geeking out – how mobile phones can be used for social change –discussed reactivism – a location based game based on sites around NYC where activism has taken place –

has now been replicated in Minneapolis, Cand soon-Hungary- they do this by making openware tools available for others to adapt.

Settlers of Manhatton is a recent project. the premise of this game is to envision Manhattan island when Dutch ships arrived – you’re a trader trading pelts and your location in Manhattan is built into the game. Biggest learning moment offered by petlab --you need to be able to prototype right on the phones and then get out into the field. Tech issues –ATT overload in Union sq created iphone probs with GPS info.

Eric Klopfer MIT spoke about 2 cases – location matters games and games where location does not matter. Spoke specifically about Timelab 2100 – a phone based game where participants make small environmental changes in the past i.e. now, to effect change in the future 2100 . The MIT team have developed a toolkit to help people adapt the game to their own geographic area – include pull in of google maps, datasets etc, interview virtual characters – a simpler toolkit allows kids to build their own games.

Also discussed a program called Community Science Investigators in Boston and St Louis – where young people gather GPS data, build augmented reality games. Also discussed Palmagotchi -- a tamagotchi-like game but in a Darwinian world – participants have to have a diverse ecology for their pet to survive . A further game-Ubiquitous – was discussed – like card game/pokemon – but here your superhero cards and their powers are influenced by weather conditions – participants need to decide which of their characters to play given a simulated weather system. Ubiqbio is a High School game currently being developed. –

based on computers sold for $10 around the world millie project was discussed– a project to develop games to run on these low cost computers to target English language learning around world and be tied to curricula around the world. Much of the project’s focus is on girls because of historic problem with continuous attendance at school. Process was to involve young people in design process. Hoping to work with Sesame Community workshops soon.

One issue brought up by all presenters is that you have to develop for one platform and it’s constantly changing.

This has been the most interesting DML2010 presentation I have attended so far.

DML day 2 -session 1 - UC Davis Healthy Youth, Healthy Regions program

Attended first session of the day: a presentation of UC Davis’ Healthy Youth, Healthy Regions program– the presenters were showcasing what they describe as a new model – a participatory research study including youth media

The team presented 3 youth led media projects

The focus of all 3 projects was building social media capital with marginalized youth

Describes UC Davis research team – it is actually 3 teams:

1. qualitative team – collecting stories

2. quantitative team

3. Participatory action team – the team that engages young people in media projects – 3 teams within this section - W Sacramento youth voices for change, Reach youth media working in 4 communities, Youth in Focus – in 2 communities Oakland, Sacramento

1. Sacramento project: youth voices for change – young people used photographs and flip video for reflection on what aspects of their neighborhood they wanted to change then embedded their media into google maps – as an add on advocacy event they put on a community forum with Mayor/legislators – e.g. created a comic book policy brief . The team also created an action planning curriculum.

2. Reach youth media project – worked with 4 communities – Woodlawn sex ed video probably most celebrated of the projects – one of most interesting parts of the program was the follow up activities including the media pack/action cards

3. Youth in Focus an intermediary nonprofit that promotes youth led action research – worked with youth groups in 2 areas to help them define their research question, to collect data, engage in data analysis and then develop n action plan for change.

Youth REP is a book they have produced that explains their methodology

One of the most interesting things about the project was the development of a matrix including all the films created by all the young people in all of the geographic locations that participated in the program, researchers created a searchable database – used invivo software to create this – what this now means is that researchers have a serchable archive of photographs, data, written material and video.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fair use session at DML2010

Fair use session

Opened with some thoughts on the fear/anxiety around copyright issues – much of which comes from a misunderstanding of the educational use guidelines – guidelines around a certain percentage of use, 500 words etc that aren’t even in copyright law. There is also confusion around 2002 Teach act – but these only apply to distance learning.

One of the things that led media educators to fair use was teachers’ own anxiety about what could be used. 5 principles of fair use that the Center for Social Media at American University were drawn up to help educators feel confident in understanding ‘transformativeness.’ Expounded their view that ‘fair use’ is a use it or lose it right and that educators need to take on a political role in advocating for fair use rights.

Best practice: Pat Aufdeheide presented a view that fair use is not about getting away with something it is about working with communities of practitioners who themselves are copyright owners and who use material created by others. The first code of best practice that Center for Social Media put out was made with and for documentary filmmakers in 2005. Results: it collectively empowered documentary filmmakers– in 2005 Sundance – there were no films with copyrighted materials/ fair use defense – yet by 2006 3 films were entered into competition with un-cleared copyright material and a fair use defense including Hip-Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes as just one example, in Sundance 2010 countless films are now using copyrighted material empowered by having a code that liberates practice.

The latest code of best practice that the Center for Social Media has produced with Google/ MacArthur/Ford support is for online video.

This is due to be endorsed by google when they are out of their lawsuit with Viacom. Aufdeheide speaks of the benefits of a best practices model = what people do influences what people feel empowered to do.

Steve Anderson of USC talks about his critical commons project – again MacArthur funded – as a way to share media with copyright material/fair use defense without fear of takedown.

Lawyer and fair use scholar Jason Schultz at UC, Berkeley talked about the detail of copyright law. Started first with a reality check: the number of legal actions is very low – most people never hear from lawyers – digital millennium copyright law 1998 (making online posters responsible for filtering) is responsible for most of the take down on youtube. etc..

How can we fight back:

1. Pro bono lawyers

2. Post counter notice to whoever has taken your media down -10-14 days goes back up

3. Know the 512f provision of the copyright law – you can sue the hosting site for sending a malicious take down notice

e.g. Lenz v Universal a mom had used Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy accompanying her baby dancing – Prince demanded it be taken down, UC Berkeley’s fair use clinic picked up case Landmark ruling content owners must consider fair use before issuing a take down notice.

During question session international issues were raised, Pat Aufdeheide commented that only the US has fair use clause, in practice if you mount a successful fair use defense in the US then you are unlikely to encounter issues elsewhere.

3rd dml2010 session -- state of the field for youth media

Kathlenn Tyner of University of Texas at Austin, Dept of Radio, Television, Film – talked about her work in mapping the work of nonprofit orgs and the support work they do in youth media – talked about fragility of such orgs. Tyner worked with namac in 2005, 2007, 2008 on a piece of research called ‘face of the field’ and is currently about to publish her findings in Youth Media Reporter

Issues that came out of her research:

- Media organizations present little evidence of best practice/impact of their programs/poor distribution of their media/often no data collection re impact progression

- Diverse concepts of what constitutes youth media/aims/purposes – big gaps e.g. no gaming in 82% of organizations

- Low organizational capacity

- High staff turnover within organizations

- Few professional pathways

Talks about history of media making in US:

Dominant model is PEG (public access, educational, government channels) PEG offered training/professional development/community voice/narrative/community – many youth media programs are hangover of this model—hence reliance on documentary, lack of data collection re impact etc. also talks about over-reliance of such orgs on private foundational funding. If orgs could develop capacity to apply for federal funding could build in sustainability/ robustness/ better workforce development/ aggregating data and fill those gaps.

JoEllen Fisherkeller professor at NYU focused on 4 case studies from her forthcoming book mapping youth media projects from around the world.

Sophia Mansori director Learning and Teaching of Education Development Center talked about her work with Adobe Youth Voices program. Talked about the robustness of its staff development/network model. Talked about common outcomes even in a varied and diverse set of programs– commonalities:

· Youth voice

· Youth engaging in civic and social issues

Ethan Van Thilo, director of Media Arts Center, San Diego talked about the evolution of his organization and the development of the ‘teen producers program’ – unlike other orgs that allow students to explore their own interests Van Thilo talks about his own organization’s model on having students bid for contracts with other organizations to make docs / digital stories/PSAs for that organization but also talked about the pitfalls of such an approach – especially servicing the needs of a client and their expectations.

Lisa Tripp of Florida State University discussed a professional development project that she has been evaluating – a media literacy and media arts for LA middle school teachers and administrators. Teachers administrators received training and then led youth media production classes in their schools

What emerged:

- the school curriculum ended up driving the youth media content produced

- middle school students themselves didn’t show greater engagement in their larger school curriculum following on from their youth media project work

2nd session at DML2010

Went to 2nd session at DML2010

Kids As Game Designers and Programmers

Colleen Macklin (Parsons The New School for Design) moderating

Participants: Karen Michaelson, Chris Wisniewski (Museum of the Moving Image), Jill

Denner (ETR Associates), Jim Diamond (EDC Associates), Colleen Macklin (Parsons The

New School for Design), John Sharp (Savannah College of Art and Design)

Discussed digital game design as a strategy to increase and transform youth participation in

digital media. Questions: How can we construct programs that help youth transfer skills from

game design learning into other areas, such as STEM? What are the institutional structures

that exist to support or hinder these kinds of programs? Can these kinds of programs

engage young people who might not otherwise be interested in designing games? What

are the developmental challenges associated with asking kids to become

designers? Under what conditions is digital game programming used to transform media

representations and content? How do different types of programming environments limit

or enhance the games that are created? How can pedagogical approaches be

modified to engage diverse populations-- and particularly young women-- in creating

digital content?

John Sharp spoke about a game design project that he has developed- currently being soft-launched with Boys and Girls Club of America -- 4,000 clubs and a potential reach of 5 million kids.

Karen Michaelson exec director of nonprofit media arts center tincan spoke about their after school gaming for girls program funded by the National Science Foundation

Chris Wisniewski, director of education at the Museum of the Moving Image spoke about his after school gaming program for girls called Girls Future Lab

Jill Denner discussed her project Girls Creating Games “We have made the lesson plans, program guides, girls’ games, and publications available on our Web site.” Said Jill.

Sharing Strategies

Jill shared three strategies that have worked well in the Girl Game Company.

Use instructional approaches that research and program staff say appeal to girls. A project-based, design-based learning approach has worked very well with the girls in the Girl Game Company. The girls make a product (a digi- tal game) that others can play. The project activities take place in the context of a ‘company’—the girls all have specific roles in the company, whose purpose is to make games for “clients.” The games are placed in the online

community of Whyville, which is an online community for preteens.

In addition, the instructional approach of pair program- ming is used. Two girls share one computer and they work together. Jill and her staff also believe that the female-only environment helps to foster a positive learning environment for the girls, expose girls to career paths in digital game design and the technology industry.

Family involvement is crucial. The Girl Game Co. hosts a series of ‘family nights’ where information is presented on internet safety, career options, what it takes to apply to college, and more. Child care is provided, and meals are served to make it easy for families to attend. Simultaneous translation is also offered, and this has made the gatherings very successful.


Girl Game Company at ETR Associates:


Girls Creating Games:

Session on fan cultures/ Digital Youth Project

Just attended a session drawing on research from Digital Youth

Becky Herr-Stephenson (UC, Irvine) spoke on phenomenon of friendship driven media practice around girls interest in Harry Potter/Twilight fandom. Spoke of troubling nature of this media competency -- on the one hand through this fan interest girls develop skills as researchers, creators, in role playing and in the early adoption of technology e.g. twitter, yet narratives are traditional and in becoming fans girls become part of the promotional machine around an industrialized product.

Robert Torres (NYU) and Quest2Learn spoke on features of interest driven groups:
  • socially supportive
  • defined boundaries
  • distributed across a variety of spaces
  • readily accessible tech
  • oppositional to school culture
Lori Takeuchi of Joan Ganz Cooney center at Sesame workshop spoke about Club Penguin

Offered some initial thoughts on what yp get out of Club Penguin
  • social capital
  • mentoring/ expertise from established players
  • becoming a social connector -- encouraging others to join.
A really interesting presentation from researchers on fan-based interest-driven communities

Henry Jenkins opening remarks at #DML2010

Henry Jenkins name checks his mentor John Fiske, discusses web minus 10 and the 150 year old origins of 'lol'.

Day 2 MacArthur Digital Media Learning conference at UCSD

Looking forward to full day of sessions today:

Things I hope to see morning:

Chair: Lori Takeuchi (Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop)

Moderator: Ingrid Erikson (Social Science Research Council)

Participants: Christo Sims (University of California, Berkeley), Robert Torres (New York

University/Quest to Learn), Lori Takeuchi (Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame

Workshop), Becky Herr-Stephenson (University of California, Irvine)

A workshop that investigates some of the assumed values of our emergent field,

particularly as they relate to class, race, gender, and other markers of social difference.

The workshop will be structured around four

empirical presentations, spending 20 minutes on each, focusing on a single piece of

data from the field (e.g., a video clip, story from the field, memo, pages from a

transcript) as a means of eliciting conversation around these issues. The session will

conclude with a final discussion to draw key points together. Christo Sims (UC Berkeley),

Lori Takeuchi (Sesame Workshop), Robert Torres (Quest to Learn), and Becky Herr-

Stephenson (UC Irvine) will share data, and Ingrid Erickson (SSRC) will moderate. A key

outcome of the workshop is to identify a community of researchers with interests in

critical approaches and to motivate future research in this area.

Global Education and Learning

Chairs: Karen Hewitt (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Katherine Walraven


Participants: Karen Hewitt (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Katherine Walraven

(TakingITGlobal), Ed Gragert (iEARN USA), Terry Godwaldt (Edmonton Public School


How can digital media and e-learning contribute to global citizenship amongst youth?

This session answers this question by exploring four organizations specializing in

technology-driven global education: 1. TakingITGlobal (TIG), the world’s largest and most

popular online community for young leaders; 2. The International Education and

Resource Network (iEARN), a global network of teachers and youth utilizing technology

to facilitate project-based learning; 3. The Centre for Global Education (TCGE), an

initiative of the Edmonton Public School Board (Alberta, Canada), which facilitates

education programs for over 10,000 students each year from every corner of the planet;

and 4. The Centre for Global Studies, a national resource centre at the University of Illinois

that enables teachers and students to work with digital media providers, such as those

listed above, which focus on international peer-to-peer learning, facilitate the exchange

of information about global issues, and influence pedagogical approaches applied in

the classroom. Organizations such TIG, iEARN and TCGE enable teachers and students

around the world to experience international collaboration and social networking on

contemporary global problems. This session will provide demonstrations of the tools and

resources available to educators and students and discuss how to facilitate access to

these organizations.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

First night DML conference

Back from first evening of the MacArthur Digital Media Conference.

Interesting opening intro from Henry Jenkins who joined USC
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was Peter de

Florez Professor in the Humanities.

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. At MIT, he led a consortium of educators and

business leaders promoting the educational benefits of computer games, and oversaw a

research group working to help teach 21st century literacy skills to high school students

through documentary videos. He also 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.

His most recent book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, is

recognized as a hallmark of recent research on the subject of transmedia storytelling. His opening address asked conference attendees to consider John Fiske, a world of web minus 10 and the true origination of 'lol' -- 150 earlier than you'd think -- to consider how far we've come in terms of participatory media.

The keynote was offered by S. Craig Watkins who has been researching young

people's media behaviors for more than ten years.

He teaches in the departments of Radio-Television- Film and Sociology and the Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

His new book, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon 2009), is based on survey research, in-depth interviews, and fieldwork with teens, young twenty- somethings, teachers, parents, and technology advocates.

Craig participated in the MacArthur Foundation Series on Youth, Digital Media and

Learning. His work on this groundbreaking project focused on race, learning, and the

growing culture of gaming. He has been invited to be a Research Fellow at the Center

for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford).

Currently, Craig is launching a new digital media research initiative that focuses on the

use and evolution of social media platforms. For updates on these and other projects visit His keynote asked participants to consider 5 issues re Black and Latino youth and the so-called digital divide:

1. Modifying practice as a means to build cultural capital

2. Black/Latino groups and soft skills/code switching

3. Digital media as offering a space for young people to grapple with place and race

4. Social media as offering memorialization space

5. Re mobile technology --For the fist time in history black/latino youth are both early adopters and resilient adopters

MacArthur Digital Media and Learning conference

Arrived at UC San Diego for The Digital Media and Learning Conference, an annual event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Hub at University of California, Irvine. The conference is an inclusive, international and annual gathering of scholars and practitioners in the field, focused on fostering interdisciplinary and participatory dialog and linking theory, empirical study, policy, and practice. 
For this inaugural year, the theme will be "Diversifying Participation".Henry Jenkins is the Conference Chair.