DML Cafe - Session I


The DML Cafe is an informal place for you to share your ideas. Ready to Hack? How about some report findings? Do we know about your program or school? Just published a book? Something you think is a must at  DML2013?

Would you like to sign up? Check out the CFP here!


Look who is participating in Session I!

Saturday, March 16 at 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Sheraton 4-5

*Participants are listed by table number. List is subject to changes/additions.

1. Jeremiah Holden, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Placework Project: Civic Engagement and Place-based Learning

The Placework Project is an educational design and participatory research project devoted to exploring the intersection of place- and design-based learning. The Placework Project brings together youth, educators, schools, museums, and community groups interested in promoting place-based design, a pedagogical approach that combines key elements of place-based learning, design-based learning, and democratic education (Mathews & Holden, 2012). The Placework Project has implemented a range of community-based projects emphasizing civic participation, including: community mapping, cultural ethnography, citizen science, and storytelling. Using a design-based learning approach that includes iterative and interconnected cycles of inquiry and design, each project has emphasized original research and design work that emerged from a combination of students’ own interests and the unique needs of the local community. The types of media students created as a result of their inquiries included mobile-based games and stories, community tours, public events and museum exhibits.

The Placework Project has designed, implemented, and researched learning environments and participatory experiences across a range of learning contexts, including school-based design studios, summer camps, and museums. Learn how high school students conducted “citizen ethnography” investigations about everyday artists in their community, and then curated an exhibition featuring digital media at a local museum. In another project, middle school students identified community assets and challenges, ranging from water quality to the safety of local parks, and used web-based and mobile media to present findings from their fieldwork to school and community leaders.

This Tech Café presentation will share lessons learned and address the following questions: How might place-based learning complement the theories and practices associated with design-based learning, and vice versa? Also, how might the affordances of digital and mobile media support youth and educators as they collaboratively engage and co-create opportunities for place-based civic engagement?

2. Belinha De Abreu, Fairfield University and Paul Mihailidis, Emerson College

Media Literacy in Action: The State of the Field

"This “state of the field” presentation is envisioned as an interactive roundtable where key stakeholders in various disciplines, backgrounds, and positions get together to talk about where media literacy is in today’s transmedia landscape. As mobile technologies, social platforms, and digital competencies are engrained further into the daily lives of youth and young adults today, the media literacy field continues to be dragged in many different directions, all at the same time. It seems unrealistic for educational institutions to keep up with the fast paced change in technology, and an ever-savvy core user base. Now 13 years into the 21st Century, this roundtable hopes to elicit a few deep breaths, a pause, and a discussion on where media literacy is, what it’s core foundation means, and where we want to go as a cohesive unit in a ubiquitous media age.

The participants in this roundtable are co-editors and authors of the upcoming book “Media Literacy in Action” (Routledge 2013). This book features over 30 leading media literacy thinkers across fields, across disciplines, and across the world. The aim of the book is to explore the divergent ways in which media literacy is connected to educational communities and academic areas, in both local and global contexts.

This roundtable will use the impetus of this book to have concurrent discussion, interaction and dialog around key areas for media literacy going forward, explore some of the different ways the field is evolving, and explore key contested areas for the future of media literacy.

3. Penny Bender Sebring, University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research and Eric Brown, Northwestern University
YOUmedia Chicago: What Happened in the First Three Years?

YOUmedia Chicago: What Happened in the First 3 Years?
YOUmedia Chicago is the first of the digital-media infused learning laboratories installed in libraries and museums across the country. So what happened in the first three years? How many teens show up at YOUmedia, and who are they? Do they attend consistently? What do they do at YOUmedia? What do teens say they get from participating in YOUmedia? How do the mentors get kids excited about books, poetry, music, and performance? What are the key takeaways from this grand experiment to put a digital media learning center in the Chicago Public Library?

We will answer these questions and engage conferees in a discussion of what the findings mean for attracting teens and planning and operating learning laboratories in the digital age.
YOUmedia Chicago launched in 2009 and is located at the Harold Washington Library Center (HWLC) in downtown Chicago. It serves high school-age youth. YOUmedia encompasses a physical space as well as a virtual place—a website—dedicated to YOUmedia users. Both are designed to draw youth into progressive levels of participation in digital and print media. Between 350-500 teens come to YOUmedia each week to hang out with their friends and explore their interests. With the guidance of mentors, they can discover and pursue their interests through both collaborative and solitary activities such as music, spoken word, electronic gaming, and writing and design. Special events open the door for youth to collaborate with and learn from established artists, authors, and experts. The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) has just completed a three-year study to document the program and whether and how it has fulfilled the designers’ aspirations.

4. Jonathan Marino, MapStory,
Elizabeth Lyon, US Army Corps of Engineers (tentative) and Dr. Christopher Tucker, Founder of MapStory (tentative)

Empowering youth civic leadership through MapStorytelling

Maps are tools for reflection - especially when they also include time-encoded data and rich multimedia features so that they tell stories about change in place over time. At MapStory, were building an open source, nonprofit, global data commons where anyone (students, teachers, practitioners, researchers) can crowdsource and peer review openly licensed spatial-temporal data. What's more, users can then draw upon these underlying datasets (StoryLayers), combine them, and add their own voice through multimedia add-ons to tell rich MapStories about their world.

5. Canceled

6. Vanessa Sanchez, Hive Chicago;
Christian Greer, Hive Chicago; Sandy Almeyda, YMCA Chicago; Melissa Bryan, Free Spirit Media; Hillary Cook, Art Institute of Chicago; Leah Gilliam, Hive NYC; and Joliz Cedeño, Global Kids

Honoring Youth Voice in Program Planning, Iteration, and Innovation - Mobilizing the HIVE Youth Councils

Can youth councils become a step for youth to lead advocacy projects within their communities? How can youth take on more active roles in the programmatic decisions within organizations that support them? How can we continue to build the next leaders in youth centered organizations and advocacy organizations? Although many organizations and groups have a mission of providing youth centered programming, the voice of the youth is often left out of the planning and decision making. The creation of HIVE Youth Ambassadors and HIVE Organizations’ individual youth councils has allowed us to explore new models for offering youth participants the agency to create their own projects, provide insight on programming, and be active ambassadors for the organizations in which they participate. Panel members will discuss the missions, visions, and roles the youth councils play in their organizations and in HIVE and how youth development is achieved throughout each one. Members of youth councils will also speak first hand on how their roles in youth councils are shaping them as young leaders, community activists, and innovators in youth programming.

7. Kristin Fontichiaro,
Terence O'Neill, Shauna Masura, and Victoria Lungu, Michigan Makers, University of Michigan
Michigan Makers: A Middle School Makerspace

When a group of ambitious middle schoolers, an energetic librarian, an enthusiastic professor, and geeky graduate student mentors collaborated, they infused an existing programming club with makerspace culture. The resulting Michigan Makers after-school program runs on four basic principles:

1. A workshop model to balance skill acquisition with time for exploration.
2. Low-cost tools to democratize access.
3. Mentoring to develop positive relationships.
4. Focus on teaming to promote the development of social skills.

We’ll share our service learning model, discuss what we have learned about a “just-right” balance of structure and choice, and share how our middle schoolers define themselves and their makerspace. In the mood to tinker? We’ll bring along some of the low-cost computing options (like Raspberry Pi and Arduino) that we use to cultivate teamwork, creative thinking, and a sense of agency.

8. Jacqueline Vickery, University of North Texas
#FAIL: What can we learn from unsuccessful after-school digital media club experiences?

How can schools create more equitable opportunities and futures for students struggling to succeed? How might digital media provide new pathways for success for otherwise disengaged teens? What are the keys to participation and motivation within informal learning environments?

These are just a few of the questions addressed in my dissertation titled, ""Worth the Risks: The role of norms and regulations in shaping teens’ digital media practices"". Published August 2012, it is the first in-depth publication based on findings from “The Digital Edge” project (an ongoing research project within the Connected Learning Research Network, led by S. Craig Watkins). The ethnographic research focuses on a series of case studies built around the lives of 18 diverse teens within an economically challenged school in Texas. Data largely draws from interviews and observations from two after-school digital media and film clubs.

After-school clubs are often hailed as successful interventions for otherwise disengaged learners; however, this certainly is not the case for all teens. Drawing from data published in my dissertation, this discussion will focus on social, structural, and technical variables that hinder some teens from becoming motivated and engaged participants within informal learning environments. For example, I found that resiliency was a necessary skill that some participants lacked, thus they were unable to cope with failure and criticism. Even though they reported excitement about media production, negative social and technical experiences precluded their engagement in and motivation for after-school media clubs, thus they dropped out.

Based on findings presented from the study, the discussion will share why some teens become motivated while others do not. While success stories related to after-school media clubs are essential in shaping our understanding of learning ecologies, it is important to also study examples of failure. This round table will provide a space to identify barriers that hinder students’ participation and motivation within informal learning environments in order to contemplate possible solutions.

9. Nikki Navta,; Norton Gusky, Educational Consultant; and Bev Vaillancourt, Educational Consultant
Engage with Games

Explore how a dynamic, project-based curriculum using games designed and played from ancient times to the present, can expand your students' core content knowledge while building 21st century skills in a blended learning environment. Motivation. Collaboration. Connected Learning. All come naturally for students engaged with games. Capture student curiosity by using games in either after school or during school activities. Come join us for this energized round table conversation.

10. Geoffrey Gevalt and John Canning, Young Writers Project
Whoa! What we have learned from kids in digital spaces

Young Writers Project is a tiny nonprofit in Vermont that works with thousands of kids and hundreds of teachers in civil digital environments (out of school and in school). Facing a mighty headwind, YWP uses its digital platforms – and coaching models – to deepen youth engagement and connection and creativity, peer-to-peer learning, teacher writing, cross-curricula collaboration and authentic audience.

We want to talk with you about the power and promise of digital expression in kids' lives. We'll show a few things and get lost in new ideas, suggestions and feedback. Give us ideas! And feel free to steal ours! Some cool things youth have done with us: civil discussion of contentious issues; powerful podcasts; revisions from peer advice; community actions; creative collaborations (example: 2,500 six-word stories, +1 composer + 1 eager 15-year-old music student and one 75-piece orchestra = unique concert!).

Conversation will be guided by Geoffrey Gevalt, YWP founder, former award-winning journalist and innovator. With him will be John Canning, programmer, entrepreneur, YWP director and extraordinary facilitator of cool digital ideas involving kids.

11. Jennifer Masengarb, Manny Juarez and Christian Greer, Chicago Architecture Foundation – Design challenges connecting teens, teachers, and architects

Many high schools across the country struggle to implement rigorous and relevant learning strategies where teens investigate their world through project-based learning. Yet to those in the architectural community, these methods of learning look very familiar – they are synonymous with the design thinking they use each day in their studios. To address this gap, the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) created a unique digital learning tool that connects teens, teachers, and architects across the country for 21st-century project-based learning.

Using, students investigate award-winning green school buildings through slideshows, animations, and video interviews with architects whose projects are featured. Then in a highly participatory and youth-led learning process, teens choose a real-world design problem and are challenged to create a sustainable solution for their own school. Social networking features give students the opportunity to post images, videos, text, and digital models of their built solutions and receive direct feedback from their teacher, their peers across the country, and architects who have volunteered to serve as online mentors.

Architects provide not only encouragement for the students, they also play a critical role in teaching design thinking and architectural problem solving. Aided by the structure of the website, these designers help guide the teens through the iterative design process steps.

In formal learning environments, is used in subjects ranging from Career and Technical Education fields to art, science, and cross-disciplinary project-based courses. Because is free and available 24/7, in school and out of school learning is connected as teens interact with peers and mentors via friendship-driven, interest-driven, and adult-driven environments. As a member of the Hive Learning Network Chicago, CAF is currently developing a new badging system for to foster this connected learning, giving teens more ‘hooks and triggers’ for engagement. Please join us for an interactive demo and hands-on design process activity.

12. Karen Jeffrey and Toby Kavukattu, Forall Systems; and Angela Elkordy, Eastern Michigan University
Digital Badges for K-12 Students

The goal of this presentation is to generate discussion at the DML Cafe as well as build a community for continued discussions around research and implementation of digital badges to design innovative, engaging and productive learning experiences for K-12 students in both formal and informal environments. This presentation will include hands on demonstrations of example badge system implementations.

Opportunities badges present: The use of digital badges to scaffold, assess and communicate learning in order to

* connect informal and formal learning environments,
* recognize skills that are not traditionally recognized,
* develop higher order thinking skills,
* foster independent learning upon individualized pathways,
* support reflection and planning in student learning,
* support communication between students, teachers and parents,
* leverage both interpersonal and intrapersonal intrinsic motivators such as challenge, curiosity, competition and recognition in order to stimulate deeper learning,
* incorporate best practices in assessment and pedagogy to design engaging and effective learning contexts,
* incorporate national and local academic benchmarks or standards to facilitate discussion and deeper understanding of pedagogies and strategies across learning environments and
* describe skill sets, competencies and proficiencies in a granular manner to ""unpack"" individuals' knowledge (and potential growth areas).

Challenges badges present: Considerations for implementing digital badges include how to

* integrate effectively into classroom learning environments,
* support teachers without creating an additional workload,
* work within technology limitations both at school and at home,
* avoid the pitfalls of external motivation,
* comply with COPPA and FERPA regulations,
* avoid the ""gold star"" effect whereby assessments do not assess true growth in learning,
* provide equitable technology access for students and
* make available appropriate professional development to teachers.

Join us at the DML Cafe and share your thoughts about how to take advantage of the opportunities and handle the challenges that badges create in learning environments for K-12 students.

13. Ricarose Roque, MIT Media Lab
A Family That Creates Together: Designing Creative Technology Workshops for Families

Design-based activities with computing, such as making interactive games and animations, can engage young people in creative learning experiences. As they create their own technologies, they learn computational concepts and practices and gain new perspectives into the dynamics and processes behind the technologies they use. However, opportunities to participate in these activities are unequally distributed and access to technology is not enough. Instead, young people must have access to resources within a supportive learning network. Parents and other family members can play important roles in this network, from acting as gatekeepers to serving as collaborative learning partners with young people.

In this session, we will introduce the design of Family Scratch Nights, a series of workshops to engage parents and their children to design and invent together with Scratch, a programming language where people can create their own interactive animations, games, and stories. These workshops aim to support design-based computing activities, foster creative collaboration, and build community. We especially target families with limited access to resources and social support around computing.

We invite participants to learn about the design of these workshops. We will share the co-creation activities we designed as well as our stories and challenges in implementing these workshops in urban communities within Boston, MA and Santa Fe, NM. Finally, we also seek feedback and suggestions from members of the DML community in engaging families to become co-creators and co-participants in today’s digital society.

14. Deren Guler, Carnegie Mellon University, and Nina Barbuto, Assemble

The theme of our table will be based upon a project that I have been developing for the past year called Invent-abling. The heart of the project is to develop a young inventor's construction kit, filled of smart materials and electronics that can be used to make interactive craft project. Inventive learning and making are becoming increasingly popular, especially through the maker movement there is no educational kit that comprehensively explores different material. The concept behind Invent-abling is to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary kits and the effect they can have on STEAM education. We also explore different gender responses and try to formulate activities. Our hope is to spark an interest in STEAM at an early age through interesting hands-on methods.

At the DML Cafe we will have participants play with several of the materials in the kit (which we will provide) and brainstorm activities of their own. Sample materials include, LEDs, hypercolor fabric, magnets, and shape memory plastics. We will also think and talk more deeply about the concepts behind Invent-abling and what is needed to design projects that promote learning and ""imagineering"". All of the projects are designed in hope that the participants will add their own twist and find an interesting way to personalize the result or take it to another level. We find that many similar initiatives are either focused on only one aspect of STEM (for example only mechanics), or that they do are too regimented and are accessible to beginners.

Presenting the project in this format would be ideal, as we would have the opportunity to brainstorm and playtest in an intimate setting. You can find more information about the kits and workshops on our website at

15. Paul Oh, Christina Cantrill, and Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, National Writing Project
Digital Is: Building the Argument for New Literacy and Connected Learning Practices

In an emerging field, how do we build a knowledge base of - and an argument for - the kinds of digital literacy and connected learning practices we know are taking place in a range of learning contexts? The National Writing Project established Digital Is to help do just that through contributions from a a growing and diverse community of formal and informal educators. Come see how you might participate in the co-construction of Digital Is - as a content creator, remixer, designer or developer.

16. Daniel Hickey, Rebcca Itow, Andi Rehak, and Katerina Schenke, Indiana University
Digital Badges Design Principles Documentation Project

The Design Principles Documentation Project is gathering the insights emerging from DML’s Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative. We are tracking the evolution of badge design practices as thirty DML awardees incorporate digital badges into diverse programs Our analysis of badging practices across these projects resulted in 20 general principles for recognizing, assessing, motivating, and evaluating learning. Our database and our presentation are organized these general badge design principles. Each of the twenty principles is linked back to specific practices and features from individual projects. For each principle, we are also creating a database of relevant research to help these projects and other innovators work more knowledgeably and eventually contribute to that knowledge.

Our poster will provide a quick overview of the twenty general badges design principles. Visitors will be able to peruse our growing database of principles, practices, and resources on our laptop computers. Visitors will also be able to speak with the project member responsible for documenting the principles, practices, and resources in each of the four areas. Because all of the DML badges projects will also be presenting at the Tech Cafés, visitors will be able speak with the innovators who are responsible for particular practices that they are interested in.

This event will initiate the second phase our project where we begin to make the principles, practices, and resources in our database available to the public, and invite others from outside of the DML competition to contribute to it.

Our poster will provide a quick overview of the twenty general badges design principles. Visitors will be able to peruse our database of principles, practices, and resources on our laptop computers. Visitors will also be able to speak with the project member responsible for documenting the principles, practices, and resources in each of the four areas. Because all of the DML badges projects will also be presenting at the Tech Café, visitors will be able speak with the innovators who are responsible for particular practices that they are interested in. This event will initiate the second phase our project where we begin to make the principles, practices, and resources in our database available to the public, and invite others from outside of the DML competition to contribute to it.

17. Paul Allison and Erick Gordon, New York City Writing Project; Jennifer Woollven, Westlake High School, Central Texas Writing Project; and Christina Cantrill, National Writing Project
Youth Voices: A school-based social network with badges

At our roundtable, we’ll discuss our work as teachers from local sites of the National Writing Project to turn a school-based social network, Youth Voices, into an ARG-like game, offering badges for to secondary school students for accomplishing tasks that are detailed on P2PU.

The object of “Play Youth Voices” is to become a social media power user through commenting on other players’ posts, responding to literary and informational texts, doing long-term research projects, composing, revising, and publishing with text and media, and becoming a self-directed learner.

Youth Voices is a site for conversations. We invite youth of all ages to voice their thoughts about their passions, to explain things they understand well, to wonder about things they have just begun to understand, and to share discussion posts with other young people using as many different genres and media as they can imagine!

Along with other National Writing Project teachers, we started Youth Voices in 2003 by merging several earlier blogging projects. We bring students together on this one site that lives beyond any particular class, because it’s easier for individual students to read and write about their own passions, to connect with other students, comment on each others work, and create multimedia posts for each other. Further, it's been exciting for us to pool our knowledge about curriculum and digital literacies.

Students publish multi-media, well-crafted products on Youth Voices, and we nurture, guide, and allow time for them to write comments and to develop conversations about each others discussion posts. Our mission is to be a place online where students from across the nation (and globally, when possible) can engage other young people in conversations about real issues that they see happening in the world. We want our students to be immersed in lively, voiced give-and-take with their peers.

18. Christina Timmins, Hive Chicago, and Annie Conway, Museum of Science and Industry
Strategic Gameplay: Using game design for strategic impact within the Hive Chicago Learning Network

Gamers often work hard to create a winning strategy to beat a game. However, in the Hive Chicago Learning Network, the game is the strategy. As our network slowly evolves into a platform for fostering connected learning, we are faced with the need modify the existing program design paradigms. With the increasing popularity of game design strategies being applied to learning activities in the world at large, there are a plethora of models to choose from. However, for Hive Chicago, it is the perfect opportunity to create new game-focused program models that engage youth in networked learning environments within urban settings.

Over the past year, Hive Chicago members have been exploring strategies that infuse game design in program innovation and network building projects.

The Museum of Science and Industry, as hosts of the 2012 Games Summit Series, built a common understanding about the importance and the potential benefits of incorporating game design in program strategy. The Games Summit was part large format panel and part intensive hands-on workshop that resulted in a shared network strategy for learning and engagement. Annie Conway and Christina Timmins will talk about the success of the event, how it has affected other Hive members, and the outcomes from MSI's 2013 Games Summit Series.

19. Sue Thotz, Common Sense Media
Consuming and Creating Gender: Teaching Kids about Gender Stereotypes in a Digital Age

Gender stereotypes are rampant in today’s media, overwhelming kids with messages about what it means to be a boy or a girl. Kids today are learning what’s “acceptable” and what isn’t through the lens of media, such as TV shows, movies, games, apps and virtual worlds. The problem is that the media often encourages narrow and rigid definitions of gender roles, giving kids little room to reflect on where these stereotypes come from, how we learn them, and how they can shape the media that we consume and create.

Previous media education programs focused on gender taught kids to critically analyze media messages about gender. But today, media education needs to teach kids to reflect on how they are agents in creating gender through every post, comment, and creation.

To address these challenges, Common Sense Media developed “Boys, Girls, and Media: A Gender and Digital Life Toolkit for Educators”, which includes lessons and tips on how to teach media literacy skills and discuss gender in the classroom, including reflection on media kids consume and create. When kids actively engage in discussions about gender stereotypes, and unpack “gender codes” early on, they may be less likely to re-create stereotypes and understand a larger, more ambiguous definition of gender.

20. Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine; Craig Watkins, University of Texas, Austin; Kris Gutierrez and William Penuel, University of Colorado, Boulder
Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design

Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design is a recently released report authored by the Connected Learning Research Network ( The report synthesizing existing research about today's problems in educational equity, and puts forward an approach to learning that leverages today's new media to broaden entry points and pathways to meaningful learning and opportunity. Researchers from the network will offer copies of the report,and would like to engage in discussion about the report and the connected learning approach.

21. Philipp Schmidt, P2PU/MIT Media Lab, and Vanessa Gennarelli, P2PU
Ceci n'est pas un MOOC - How to build awesome, open, dirt-cheap online courses

We'll talk about the work we have done on large online courses, including and - There is a lot of interest in (and criticism of) MOOCs these days, and we share most of the concerns. In this session we will talk about an alternative approach to supporting large online courses: using open source software and free services, using the web as the platform instead of building a new portal, and supporting group work and community engagement rather than delivering content to the maximum number of people. And doing it all on a next-to-nothing budget.

22. Emily Bonilla and David Cooper Moore, National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)
The Future of Privacy: A NAMLE Initiative

When young people talk about their privacy online, they often have lots of different definitions in different circumstances. Is a Facebook chat really “public”? Is a locked Tumblr really “private”? Sometimes it’s a challenge for adults--whether they are teachers, researchers, or youth media practitioners--to keep up. How can we explore communication among young people in a way that acknowledges the power of social media to facilitate learning while also respecting and valuing students’ sense of boundaries between public and private life?

This year, the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) is considering the role of privacy in media literacy education initiatives. Understanding what challenges and opportunities new forms of online interaction offer media literacy education and the empowerment of youth voices as digital citizens will draw on a variety of perspectives, and we want to hear from you!

Join members of NAMLE in a discussion about the implication of shifting definitions and realities of privacy online affects media literacy instruction. How can educators and students negotiate students’ rights to privacy with the empowering potential of sharing through digital tools and technologies?

Share your thoughts about unique challenges and opportunities to media literacy education as students, teachers, and practitioners grapple with the complex issues of social media and mobile technology integration in classrooms. Learn more about a year-long NAMLE initiative to raise the visibility of a balanced, empowering approach to online privacy with students that will bring together stakeholders in policy, K-12 education, higher education, and after- and out-of-school enrichment environments.

23. Cancelled

24. Cliff Manning, Makewaves; Tim Riches and Lucy Neale, DigitalMe
90 minutes to connect the world - Design an Open Badge for International Collaboration

Learning is now global and opportunities arise everywhere. Mozilla Open Badges enable learners to evidence and share their learning anytime anywhere.
Help us design a badge that supports and encourages youth to connect and collaborate internationally.

This hands on session is a chance to design an open badge, see examples of current projects from the UK and make connections with organisations and youth around the world.
We have 90 minutes to connect the world - help us to do it!

25. David Preston, Erin Tucker, Ian May, and Trevor Hudgins, Open Source Learning
Open Source Learning: Get On Our Level

Forget what you think you know about school and education policy: the unevenly distributed future is here. Open Source Learning enables learners to direct and document their experiences as members of a network. Learners are using open source values, organizing principles and tools to construct experiences and networks that inspire, support achievement and innovation, and create previously unimagined opportunities.

This session presents the model, a case study, and a call to action based on success you can see for yourself. Learn how 100 California high school students used Open Source Learning to transform a traditional English course into a hackspace, a microfinance operation, a digital research collaborative, a venture incubator, and a growing, soon-to-be-global personal learning network.

During this presentation you’ll hear from David Preston, who created the model and the first Open Source Learning community, and Eric Tucker, Ian May, and Trevor Hudgins, who created the first formal learner-driven venture: Get On Our Level.

26. Devorah Heitner, Raising Digital Natives
Collaborating with Parents in Connected Learning Environments

As a parent educator and school consultant, I help schools foster an atmosphere of digital citizenship that emphasizes the positive aspects of digital culture. As schools increasingly share student work online, use technology to enhance learning and curriculum, parents sometimes have concerns---sometimes expressed, but frequently un-articulated, or manifesting as a generalized anxiety!

I will lead a thoughtful and experience rich conversation at CMLabout how to bring parents in, recognize their crucial contribution to stewarding their children's digital, academic, and social learning.

I'll share ways to anchor parent communities with a confidence in social wisdom and lived experience they possess (even if their kids have more tech-savvy, parents' greater life experience is a crucial resource for kids.)

I'll share ways to empower faculty to work with parents when parents question the need or efficacy of connected learning. At the same time, I share methods for accommodating and including parents with highly divergent amounts of digital savvy and comfort.

I'll also share with educators the research I've done in my work with parents--connectivity places real burdens on family life that educators need to understand and acknowledge! Stories from real parents that I've worked with will help educators and administrators at day schools plan for 1-1 or bring your own device policies.

Parents need more than a list of dos and don'ts, and a financial waiver! They need to understand issues such as digital footprint and information literacy from a thoughtful and empathic perspective. It is helpful to go beyond the notion of ""screen time"" to share the research with parents about how to choose quality apps, and how to support their children as creators and not just consumers of media...Parents are sometimes curious about blocks, filters and ""safety"" which can cause them to underestimate their own role as mentors in nurturing informed digital citizens.

Devorah Heitner, PhD is an experienced speaker, workshop leader and consultant and an expert on the research on kids + media. Devorah has a PhD in Media/Technology and Society from Northwestern University and has published and spoken in the field of media studies for the past ten years. She has taught at DePaul University, Street Level Youth Media and Northwestern University.

27. Alexander Cho and Andres Lombana-Bermudez, University of Texas at Austin / CLRN "The Digital Edge;" and Adam York, University of Colorado, Boulder/CLRN "Longitudinal Study of Connected Learning"
Mapping Tech and Learning: Visualizing Young Peoples' Learning Ecologies

""Connected learning"" (Ito et al. 2013) posits that learning is never relegated to one space or context, that young people gain knowledge and skills through a complex ecology that spans nodes across school, after-school, home life, and peer interaction, all while utilizing multiple forms of technology and media. This presentation draws from two different projects from the Connected learning Research Network that aim to map and understand the relationship between learning and digital media. On the ""Digital Edge"" project, Lombana-Bermudez and Cho have spent a year in a majority economically disadvantaged high school in the “urban fringe” of Austin, ethnographically documenting young peoples’ diverse learning ecologies. For the ""Longitudinal Study of Connected Learning"", York has coordinated youth researchers working around the country to investigate sites for learning with media and technology, and map access to those kinds of spaces. Across these projects we have realized that relying on traditional text-based methods to describe and interpret these complex ecologies may leave out important details that can contribute to the richness of our research and representation of connected learning. Accordingly, following the research of Barron (2006), and Salen et al. (2011), this roundtable asks: How can we visualize the interrelationship between time, contexts, nodes of learning, and technology? What are the different approaches to mapping learning environments? What do we gain from visualizations of this sort that are missing from verbal or written accounts? How can we synthesize innovative methods to map the complex learning behavior that we see in the lives of young people today? What are the strengths and differences between qualitative and quantitative visualizations? Using several case studies from our own research, this roundtable will invite participants to engage in hands-on interactive drawing, mapping, and visualizing in order to experiment with a variety of research methods and begin a critical conversation on the potential rewards and drawbacks of visual mapping in research on learning ecologies.

Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecologies perspective. Human Development, 49, 193-224.

Ito, M. et al. (2013). Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub.

Salen, K et al. (2011). Quest to Learn: Developing the School for Digital Kids. Cambridge: MIT Press.

28. Jessica Kaminsky, Jessica Pachuta, and Ryan Hoffman, Hear Me, CREATE Lab, Carnegie Mellon University
Viral Voices

Hear Me, a project of the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, amplifies kids’ voices using media and technology to create a world where they are heard, acknowledged and understood. Through informal discussion and hands-on examples, we will share best-practices for engaging students of all ages in creating media, using their media to connect with their schools and communities around issues important to the students, and allowing their voices to stimulate change.

Students bring an important perspective and unique ideas for improving and solving today’s problems. By helping them recognize the power of their voice, we are activating our next generation of leaders to ignite discussion and spark change. Join Hear Me to learn about ways students are using their voices to contribute to topical discussions at the local, state, and national levels, experience our student-produced media, and explore Hear Me’s tools for sharing youth voice including, our audio playback tin-can telephones (CanEx). Participants will react to student media and contribute to student-initiated conversations. Participants can learn about Hear Me’s new campaign initiative and how young people in their community can contribute to the student-led discussion on school climate.

Hear Me harnesses the power of storytelling to activate youth, then create unified narratives (in the literal voices of children) about crucial issues they face in education, well-being, and communities. Participants can listen to specific examples from previous projects, including listening to children of incarcerated parents discuss the struggles they faced growing up or watching a student-produced short documentary about a district’s contentious neighborhoods and the socio-economic disparity that prompted the students to explore whether demography affects your chances of success. Inspired by examples of youth-led change, participants will brainstorm with the Hear Me team ways to network communities of kids and to connect youth voice nationally around critical issues.

29. Adar Ben-Eliyahu, University of Massachusetts, Boston; Emilie Dubois and Luka Carfagna, Boston College
Connected Learning Research Network: How does digital media influence learning through self-regulation within the current socioeconomic climate?

A focus of the Connected Learning Research Network (CLRN), a MacArthur Foundation initiative, is to examine how learning occurs within the current social and economic climate and to broaden opportunities for connected learning (Ito et al., 2013). In the proposed cafe, foregrounding the constraints and opportunities shaped by the historical moment and particular sociocultural contexts, we present emerging findings from different research projects that are shaping the CLRN discussion. We will share examples of how digital tools intersect with the social organization of the household, and discuss the impact on youths' learning trajectories and possible implications for practice in academic contexts. By investigating the sociocultural and economic context we aim to unpack how social orientation and class simultaneously facilitate and constrain learning for different individuals, and how one sets the mode and tone of digitally enabled learning (Dubois & Carfagna). Moving to digital spaces, Dubois will discuss how learners draw on the practical experiences and the experiential knowledge of others as they learn new skills. Applying a psychological lens, Ben-Eliyahu focuses on the mechanisms through which digitized and face-to-face interactions support learning, with a particular focus on self-regulation of emotions, behaviors, and cognitions (Ben-Eliyahu, Bernacki, & Linnenbrink-Garcia, in prep; Ben-Eliyahu & Linnenbrink-Garcia, 2012). In applying a self-regulated learning framework, we will consider how co-regulation occurs through social interactions using technology (e.g., peers playing playstation or wii together) and digitized interactions (e.g., time trading or online forums). We invite a prolific discussion on how these three strands are connected.

30. Jeff Ritter, La Roche College
Creating digital education algorithms

With multiple online platforms for secondary, post-secondary and professional training in existence, it's time that these experiences and our digital footprints talked to each other. The creation of an online cognitive profile could be a part of the education model of the 21st century, leading to a better match between people and industry.

31. Chris Leeder, University of Michigan School of Information
InCredibility: An Online Learning Tool for Effective Information Literacy Skills

New pedagogical models are needed to teach the effective critical evaluation of online information sources. Research consistently shows that while today’s undergraduate students rely on the Internet as the first source for information when conducting research for class assignments, they rarely evaluate the quality of the information that they find online. Most students tend to prefer using popular open Web sources due to their perceived convenience and ease of use, even when they realize that the quality of online information may be inferior to scholarly resources. Ideally, all students would receive basic information Literacy (IL) training, however, K-12 programs are inconsistent in providing IL classes, and only a small percentage of higher education institutions with first-year experience programs include a required IL component. In light of these challenges, there is a need for new forms of IL training that are customized to the online information environment and relevant to the research habits of today’s students.

“InCredibility” is a prototype collaborative learning tool that situates IL instruction in the online environment where students actually do their research. It guides them through the process of evaluating online information in an interactive, learner-centered format. Using InCredibility, students learn key criteria of information credibility evaluation (authority, purpose, reliability, currency and relevance) and how to make these evaluations online, reinforced through repeated practice and reflection on their own work and that of their peers. InCredibility is intended to enable classroom-integrated IL training that is relevant to students, delivered at the point of need and in the real-life research environment that students use daily. This prototype learning tool explores a new pedagogical approach to teaching effective evaluation of online information, a critical 21st century skill.

32. Isaiah Saxon and Meghan Leppla, – Become a Maker is a community where young people become Makers. They discover new Skills, make projects in the real world, and share their work online to inspire and learn from each other. The big idea is that anyone can become anything just by trying – we all learn by doing. Our company and our community strive to make it easier for Makers to build confidence in their own creativity.

At the table, you can put yourself in the shoes of a young maker – explore, build, capture, and share your first challenge on your online portfolio. If you're really dedicated, you can earn a Skill patch by doing 3 challenges in one creative discipline. We'll have several iOS devices on hand running the DIY app, and enough cardboard, inner tubes, and duct tape to build something dangerous.

33. Tony Raden, Ounce of Prevention Fund; Rita Catallano, Fred Rogers Center For Early Learning & Children's Media at St. Vincent's College; Rob Lipincott, PBS; Patti Miller, Sesame Workshop; Chip Donohue, TEC Center at Erickson Institute; Ann Hanson, Ounce of Prevention Fund

21st Century Preschoolers @ Play! Digital Learning in the Early Years

While digital media and technology have transformed the way many K-12 educational settings approach learning, the early childhood field has yet to fully leverage the great promise of digital media to improve outcomes for young children from birth to age 8 – at home and at school. This DML Café will bring together five organizations currently working to promote digital innovation and quality media in early learning: the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at St. Vincent College, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the Public Broadcasting Service, and Sesame Workshop, and the TEC Center at Erikson Institute.

These five organizations joined together at the Clinton Global Initiative America summit in 2012 to plan a national alliance catalyzing innovation in early learning by connecting research, media creation, family engagement, and professional development. Attendees at this cafe will have the opportunity to play with high-quality digital media focused on the littlest learners, discuss how to spark innovation in the early learning space, and interact with leaders working to drive collective national impact to enhance the school readiness and 21st Century skills of our nation’s young children.

For those interested in background reading, please peruse the joint position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at St. Vincent College: “Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8.”

34. Janet Atkins and Ceci Lewis, The Bread Loaf Teacher Network
The Bread Loaf Teacher Network

The Bread Loaf Teacher Network has empowered young people in schools for the past twenty years by increasing literacy in both reading and writing through digital means and other venues. Both teachers and students are members of the Network. We strive to create community that is aided by technology, and is made up of teachers connected to their students and other teachers and students around the globe. We have found that online exchanges help students deepen their awareness of both local and global needs whether it’s the treatment of homeless people in their communities or the acquisition of literacy in the wider community. These practices provide authentic learning. We will share several projects that we have been engaged in that have caused students to take a new look at what it means to be a literate, global citizen working side by side with teachers who are learning with these same students.


35. Dawn Thomas, Jasmyn Castro, and Cody Coltharp, ArtLab- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Tricks of the HOMAGO Trade

Mentors and Cyber Navigators from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden's ArtLab will be available to discuss challenges and best practices that they have encountered as they redesigned programming to take the ArtLab from a hangout spot to an artists studio. Tips on how to encourage the social aspect of creating while constructing an environment where teens can "geek out" will be highlighted. Facilitators will also be able to field any questions participants may have concerning how the ArtLab uses the HOMAGO model everyday and where we see that model taking us in the future.

36. Amie Williams, Tobie Loomis, Alexis Smith, Laquita Watkins, Tammisha Cross, Tanisha Cross, and Jammeka Davis, GlobalGirl Media

GlobalGirl Media

GlobalGirl Media (GGM) develops the voice and media literacy of young women in under-served communities by teaching them to create and share digital journalism designed to ignite community activism and social change. Through mentoring, training and access to a worldwide network of distribution partners, GlobalGirl Media harnesses the power of new digital media to empower young women to bring their often-overlooked perspectives onto the global media stage.

GGM empowers girls to make media that matters, improves news literacy, and encourages the promotion of healthier media messages about girls and women the world over. Our model is unique in that it pairs U.S. communities with international cities, creating a peer-to-peer global network of girls communicating via social media and co-producing content that informs, engages and challenges its audience to action. GGM presently has active projects in South Africa, Morocco, Chicago and Los Angeles, where it is headquartered. GGM firmly believes that working with young women around the world to find and share their authentic voice is an investment in our global future.

37. Meryl Alper and Henry Jenkins (tentative), USC Annenberg Innovation Lab

T is for Transmedia: Learning Through Transmedia Play


Come learn about Transmedia Play! We'll be sharing the findings of a brand new report co-produced by the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

Join the conversation about the strengths (and challenges) of transmedia play for learning and its uses in formal and informal educational spaces. Find out more about the three transmedia play experiences highlighted in the report: 1) Caine's Arcase, 2) The Story Pirates and 3) the Flotsam Transmedia Experience.

T is for Transmedia covers the basics of transmedia play, focusing on transmedia for children ages 5 to 11. Visit our table to find out more about the key characteristics of transmedia play and its relationship to transmedia storytelling.

Media makers be sure to stop by to review our design recommendations and discuss ideas for creating transmedia projects for children.

38. Nishant Shah, Hivos Scholars Table


39. Greg Merriman, Innovation Refinery LLC

From Content to Context

Emergent next-gen contextual computing paradigms need to be re-presented to the user via a mental metaphor as simple and evocative as the physical-desktop metaphor that 'puts you in the chair at the desk.' What will this 'mental metaphor' look like? What should we call it? Innovation Refinery is an Ann Arbor, MI based emergent technology design and development company currently working on a contextual cloud operating system.


40. Sophia Bender, Rafi Santo, Verily Tan, and Kylie Peppler, Indiana University Creativity Lab

Make-to-Learn Youth Contest


Supported by MacArthur and the DML Hub, Make-to-Learn is a thematic initiative that leverages DIY culture, digital practices, and educational research to advocate for placing making, creating, and designing at the core of educational practice. One of the first steps in this effort is the Make-to-Learn Youth Contest ( sponsored by, which is soliciting entries from young makers about what they made, how they made it, where they made it, and what they learned. Entrants will have the opportunity to star in a documentary about youth making, as well as win other prizes. The Make-to-Learn committee views this as a grassroots way to investigate learning within Maker culture. Come see some of the entries, and learn for yourself about the exciting creations that youth are making to learn!