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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

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