DML Cafe - Session II

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 II!

Saturday, March 16 at 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Sheraton 4-5

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

1. JJ Pionke and Kristin Fontichiaro, University of Michigan
A Climate Survey of Digital Badging

Digital Badging is the "in" thing right now, but what does that mean?  We did a survey to find out what digital badging teams were doing and how they felt about the digital badging movement.  Come share your thoughts with us and we'll talk about what we found out!  Results will soon be out in an ebook on the topic!

2. Jolene Zywica, Anna Roberts, Eric Keylor, Drew Davidson, Working Examples – Carnegie Mellon University; and James Gee, Arizona State University
Re)Introducing…Working Examples: A different kind of online community

Working Examples (WEx, is an online community where people working at the intersection of technology and education collaborate to solve problems, share their progress (and missteps) and make exciting things happen. Working Examples are demonstrations of ideas or what the author believes is good work (Barab, Dodge, & Gee, 2009). Gee (2010) argues that such examples can be used to collaboratively define and develop the field of Digital Media and Learning. Through posting examples and interacting on the site, we hope to collectively impact our world and shape the future of education and learning.

In the Tech Café, we’ll introduce the completely revamped WEx site and help new and returning members get familiar with the new site. During the last year of design and development we thought a lot about the needs of community members, using their feedback to create a site that looks different, feels different, and even works differently. We’ll introduce its major improvements, highlighting changes we’ve made to increase interactions among community members. We’ll provide tips to help attendees get the most from the community and their experiences on the site, including creating a high-quality example, setting up a group, and setting up a profile to get recommendations from the site. We’re also interested in hearing about how DML participants might want to use the site and its new features and how our team can support community members.

Moving forward, we believe that Working Examples can be an important platform in advancing all areas of learning. There are many examples of good research and design in DML that are never fully developed or implemented. Working Examples provides a way for those ideas to be heard and a platform to develop and build on them through interactions with others working in the field of DML.

3. Cancelled

4. Nicoletta Di Blas and Paolo Paolini, HOC-LAB, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Interactive Digital Storytelling at School

Many (if not most of) young people today create, edit and share multimedia “stories” over the internet, as a form of self-expression and participation to their peers’ community. Transferring this spontaneous interest into classrooms, for educational experiences, is more difficult than it may look at first sight. How should storytelling be organized? As a class activity ? as an individual activity? Which benefits can be expected?

PoliCultura is a digital storytelling initiative that started in 2006 and has involved so far more than 23,000 students, aged between 4 and 18. In PoliCultura, whole classes (not individual students) create a multimedia “story” using 1001stories (a web based authoring environment developed by HOC-LAB at Politecnico di Milano). Classes work under the guidance of the teacher, developing the plot, the visual communication (pictures and drawings), the texts and the audio. The final story can be delivered via Web, YouTube, smart phone, Tablet and even paper. All the stories are hosted in an international portal (

Organizers would like to attract school districts, individual schools and individual teachers to engage in similar activities, creating a world-wide portal of multimedia stories, created with 1001stories.

The meeting will be organized as follows: presenters will introduce PoliCultura, the evaluation data, example stories by students and eventually the 1001stories tool. Then, a discussion about the usefulness of digital storytelling at school, and the best way to conduct it will be started.
Participants will gain an insight on a well-assessed program of digital storytelling into schools, at all school levels. Moreover, cooperation possibilities will be discussed, in view of the creation of a worldwide community.

5. Vanessa Sanchez, Hive Chicago; Lindsay Muscato, Now Is The Time; Hallie Gordon, Steppenwolf Theater; and Taylor Bayless, Chicago Public Library
NOW IS THE TIME - citywide initiative in Chicago inspiring young people to make positive change in their communities and stop youth violence and intolerance

Youth violence has become a key issue among youth advocates in Chicago. With 319 young people lost due to gun violence last school year, youth organizers and cultural institutions found an urgent need to offer more programming geared toward this subject matter. Programs were needed that engage youth around the entire spectrum of violence and intolerance: the issues students face in school and their community.  Bullying, gangs, equal access to city resources and related issues around violence and intolerance formed the heart of a campaign created two years ago by the Chicago Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and local Chicago theater companies.  The campaign has grown into a city wide initiative called Now Is The Time (NITT)  inspiring young people to make positive change in their communities and stop youth violence and intolerance.

With the support of Hive Chicago, Now Is The Time allows youth at more than 20 institutions to collaborate digitally, fostering youth expression around issues that directly affect them.  Using  ""explore, create, share"" throughout all of the program design, students explore NITT themes, create work based upon what they've learned and then share work with each other using the NITT interactive website.  

Programmatic efforts in the 2012-2103 season of NITT include hosting: events across the city, media-making for youth, an interactive exhibit, theater performances and classes for teens, literary events, visual arts activities, and workshops for educators.  NITT also utilizes an interactive website designed for youth and educators to learn more about the events and programs happening around the city, as well as a space to explore/create/share artwork and media created by youth around youth violence and intolerance. Panel participants will discuss their organizations’ roles in the NITT initiative and the impact they foresee as a part of a collaborative effort to inspire Chicago youth. 

Description of participant projects in NITT -
Lindsay Muscato, Now Is The Time, will discuss how NITT tapped into existing networks, partnerships and programs to raise the volume on youth voices; how many different organizations who serve different parts of the city collaborated effectively; and how NITT linked creative digital and offline experiences for youth engagement around civic action.

Hallie Gordon, Steppenwolf Theater, will discuss the genesis of this initiative and the urgent need for artists to create safe spaces (online and off) for youth to build their points of view, claim their voices and make themselves heard on a wide scale.

Taylor Bayless, Chicago Public Library, will discuss YOUmedia, a teen learning space housed in Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. YOUmedia has been teaching and mentoring youth around Now Is The Time themes and creating graphic art, soundscapes and blog posts about their responses.

Vanessa Sanchez, Yollocalli Arts Reach, will discuss the creation of 5 new public art works created by youth as a part of NITT.  Art works are designed by youth and are initiated with a
workshop  by leaders of LuchArte, a community based art project that aims to provide a positive identity and and an alternative to neighborhood violence. 

6. Jeanie Austin, Sasha Kinney, Lucas McKeever, and Karen Barton, Mix IT Up!, GSLIS UIUC
Mix IT Up!: Youth Advocacy Librarianship in the Age of Technology

Mix IT Up! aims to increase the information technology (IT) skills of youth and library school students and shift attitudes about the traditional roles of librarians and libraries by positioning library and information services at the center of mutually beneficial and dynamic student-community partnerships.

Mix IT Up! actively recruits underrepresented library students to act as youth advocates through planned coursework in community informatics and in youth librarianship and mentorship in and oversight of long-term community-student partnerships, with the goal of creating a model for increasing the presence of information professionals engaged in youth advocacy.

Mix IT Up! was launched at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2011.  Community partners include Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, TAP In Leadership Academy, and UP Center of Champaign County.

In this presentation, we will discuss efforts to engage youth with technology, to preserve community history, and to innovate information spaces at the above-named and new sites.  We will also share tips for navigating organizations and centering the information experiences and needs of youth in a variety of contexts.

7. Aaminah Norris, University of California, Berkeley
Teaching girls to value difference: 21st Century critical literacies and identity processes in an urban classroom

This chapter of my dissertation documents and analyzes ways that a history teacher guided her sixteen low-income sixth grade Latina and African American girls in developing critical literacy as expressed through the implementation of design thinking methodologies. This case study also examines the ways girls negotiated their gender and racialized identities as they were facilitated in using digital media to create projects with a focus on valuing difference within their formal schooling contexts. Design thinking is a conceptual framework that helps students develop mindsets that are important for learning that include human centeredness, empathy, and mindfulness of process. This research investigates the relationships between design thinking processes and the development of critical literacies. It also examines ways that design thinking informs the formations of racialized and gender identity processes. Data sources for this work include participant observations, formal and informal interviews with the focal teacher, informal interviews with students, and ethnographic field notes.

8. Laura Whyte, Stuart Lynne, Amit Kapadia, and David Miller, Zooniverse - Adler Planetarium
Zooniverse: Real Science Online

Hosted in the basement of the Adler Planetarium is a team of developers, educators and designers that build a collection of online citizen scientists that has drawn on the human efforts of nearly 800,000 volunteers. This team, known collectively as ‘The Zooniverse’, works with international science teams to provide them with an opportunity to put their massive data sets online, breaking the often complex analysis down into simple manageable tasks that can be completed by anyone, no expert training required.

Whether it be hunting for exo-planets (, measuring biodiversity on the seafloor (, transcribing ancient greek papyri ( or classifying distant galaxies (, none of the research projects found at could be completed without the efforts of volunteers. Yet beyond the project sites, exist communities of engaged individuals, who have progressed their research beyond the remit initially outlined by the scientists. An entirely new type of galaxy, a planet orbiting as part of a quartet of stars and a new species of sea worm are only beginning of the discoveries that would never have been made if not for the democratization of science happening online at

Real data, freely available to anyone with an internet connection and the opportunity to make a contribution to science makes the Zooniverse projects a valuable resource for educators.  Their students’ efforts are needed by the community! In addition, new projects are currently being developed by the team to support access to citizen science in a classroom setting, so that a new generation of volunteers can join the scientific revolution. Join us to find out more!

9. Giuliana Cucinelli, Concordia University & MIT, and Leslie R. Shade, University of Toronto
Our Privacy Matters! Youth, Identity and Online Sociability

“Our Privacy Matters: Youth, Identity, and Online Sociability," is a 20-minute Creative Commons video documentary that explores young people’s digital media practices and privacy policies. It brings forward the voices of youth, media educators, and academics. It is designed to serve as both an introduction to the various issues related to privacy, social media and youth and also serve as a provocation for youth to become more involved in not only shaping the social media landscape but in educating policymakers about their insights and concerns about online privacy.

Our everyday lives are increasingly dependent upon the use of social media for communication with our friends, family, schoolmates, and colleagues. Social network sites such as Facebook, real-time information services such as Twitter, micro-blogging sites such as Tumblr, video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, are used for creative, constructive, or even mundane uses.  In our ever-connected world, it is more than ever difficult to disconnect.

This presentation addresses the role of privacy policies in lives of young people and their digital media practices. This short video documentary explores these issues, and brings forward the voices of Canadian youth, media educators, and academics. It is designed to serve as both an introduction to the various issues related to privacy, social media and youth and also serve as a provocation for youth to become more involved in not only shaping the social media landscape but in educating policymakers about their insights and concerns about online privacy.

10. Daniel Schultz, MIT Media Lab, and Sasha Costanza-Chock, MIT Comparative Media Studies
NewsJack: Media Remixing for Great Justice

NewsJack uses Mozilla's Hackasaurus to make it incredibly easy to remix news websites and media content to add your own spin.  Come and explore how brand affects the way you consume information, give extra attention to the stories that haven't made it into the news cycle, change or remove language that you feel is biased or paints an unfair picture, or invoke détournement  to criticize the world around you through satire!

11. Christopher Rogers and Amy Stornaiuolo, PennGSE
Localizing the World Wide Web for Social Action

Drawing upon the research of The Kinder & Braver World Project, specifically Shock (2012)*, one must begin to recognize and uphold that young people have played a major role within every progressive social movement, engaging with many of the new media tools of their time to “create, circulate, and amplify movement stories” in concert with direct action.  With increasing literacy in using digital tools to enhance learning and exposure in educational settings, we must continue to stand in the historical legacy to unite our voices and stories with concrete strategies to actualize the transformations that drives our passion to speak. How do we begin to reconcile local action within globe-reaching digital spaces in regards to civic engagement and social justice curricula? What are effective techniques to emphasize the balance between the creation of digital media and the need for active reinforcement of ideas? What happens after the media? My research seeks to investigate the connection between critical digital literacies and actualizing the social justice aims within the local community. Christopher Rogers has a project in process for the city of Chester, Pennsylvania that will engage youth in a participatory action research project to determine and implement digital solution(s) to create a more responsive connection between community members and city services. This comes as an expansion of a pilot project where youth engage with digital music creation tools to create an album dedicated to uplifting youth perspective on critical social issues.  In the workshop, participants will be introduced to Chester, PA through behind-the-scenes footage of the “Chester Sound” digital music lab while engaging in an informal conversation about connecting the power and potential of digital media tools to drive community movements and the struggle to actualize change.

*Costanza-Chock, S. (2012). Youth and Social Movements: Key Lessons for Allies. Berkman Center Research Publication, (2013-13).

12. Sabrina Culyba, Schell Games
PlayForward: Designing a game to change risky behavior in at-risk teens ages 11 to 14

Ever hear the term “transformational games?” If not, think serious games, but fun! All kidding aside, transformational games are designed to positively change a person’s habits, attitudes or behaviors, or increase their knowledge of a certain topic, through fun, inviting game experiences. In this discussion, Sabrina Culyba, game designer at Schell Games, will explain this game genre and demonstrate PlayForward: Elm City Stories, an iPad game that exemplifies the concepts behind transformational games.

Developed in conjunction with Yale University School of Medicine, PlayForward aims to prevent HIV infection among ethnic minority adolescents. The game provides an engaging and informative experience that reinforces positive decision-making skills and instills strategies for averting risky behaviors. Players navigate though an interactive world encountering a series of life-altering choices along the way. Will their choices positively or negatively affect their character’s life? What happens if they could go back in time and change some of their choices? PlayForward uniquely focuses on changing behaviors, not just knowledge acquisition, with the hope that players will take what they have learned and apply it to their everyday lives.

Join Sabrina for an in-depth look into the design and gameplay of PlayForward and discover a whole new world of transformational games.

13. William McFarlane, Parts and Crafts

Hackerspaces and Free Schools -- Organizing for Informal Learning

The most important problems in education today aren't problems that are solved by pedagogy, they are problems that are solved through community building. Informal, and community-based learning environments create groups of teachers and learners who share common interests, social bonds, and, most importantly, trust each other enough to teach and learn effectively together.

Because problems of community-building are somewhat opaque to traditional analytical methods, don't lend themselves well to obvious lists of "best practices", and are, fundamentally slow and particular in the ways that interpersonal interactions are slow and particular, many conversations about education and learning jump to more abstractly analyzable topics.

But community, trust, and friendship are at the core of any educational endeavor -- whether or not you like and respect your teacher matters a lot more than what curriculum they use.

For the past 3 years, or so, Parts and Crafts has been running a series of programs that we alternately refer to as a "community workshop", "hackerspace for kids", "democratic school-alternative", and "homeschool resource center."

This is a project that's more like tending a garden than building a robot (though we do both!) -- we're never done, and the process tends to be very modest and incremental. We have endless conversations, meet with kids and parents about what they'd like to do/see and friends and neighbors about what they'd like to teach/share. We clean the workshop, meet with organizers and run small events, replace the soldering iron tips, clean the workshop again.

So what I want to share is not "best practices" -- there are no best practices when it comes to human interaction -- but stories and anecdotes and analogies and tips and ideas: things that we think we've learned in the last couple of years, even though most of these things don't take the form of replicable (or even disprovable) results.

14. Cecilia Suhr, Miami University
Digital Evaluation of Arts and Creativity as a New Emerging Framework: An Introduction to the Evolving Definition and Theorization of Digital Evaluations

With the rise of social media, the voices of amateur critics have risen. From news reports and blogs to video and music, anyone with access to the internet can critique, rate, and comment on the content being shared on the web. Given that the dissemination of a cultural product only takes an easy click of a mouse button, the digital environment has increasingly dramatized the overall activities of evaluations such as rating, ranking, voting and critiquing. In this context, this presentation introduces a current working group activity funded by DML Digital Media and Leaning Competition, called Digital Evaluation of Arts and Creativity.  As a principle investigator of this working group, I will introduce the overarching framework, as well as its aim and importance as it relates to in-formal learning and connected learning taking place in interest-driven environments. This presentation will mainly share the five evolving definitions and the theorization focused on by the working group: 1) the advancement of technology; 2) social networking; 3) power and politics; 4) aesthetic tastes and subjectivity; and 5) connected and peer learning.  As a whole, this presentation will briefly showcase contributing members’ ongoing research in artistic and creative fields (art, music, film, fashion blogging, TV, multi-platform theatre, and photography). In doing so, it will show how the framework of digital evaluations of arts and creativity sheds lights on the intersection between emerging evaluations in digital environments and alternative learning experience for artists, creative producers, and evaluators, thereby invoking the symbiosis of learning and evaluations. Overall, this presentation will offer an invaluable platform to engage in and receive feedback on current research initiatives.

15. Eric Pitt and Charles Perry, MentorMob
Help with Shoveling Manure

Imagine that you're shoveling manure in an effort to unearth a handful of diamonds buried somewhere underneath. That's more or less what it's like trying to learn online. High quality, free learning content is out there, but most of the time it's hidden behind mountains of junk in the ever-expanding online universe.

Content curation tools, like MentorMob, put the human element back into search by allowing educators, hobbyists, and self-taught experts to organize just about any online resource--articles, videos, blogs, info-graphics, and more--into Learning Playlists that arrange all the pertinent information on a particular topic into a sensible order.

But a crowdsourcing tool is only as powerful as the users who are doing the sourcing. So how do we put these kinds of tools in the hands of people who are doing and will be doing good work? And how does that work go on to help educate and inspire our next generation of leaders?

16. Ugochi Acholonu, Depaul University; Cassidy Puckett, Northwestern University; Caitlyn Kennedy Martin, Stanford University; Peter Wardrip, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Atul Varma, Mozilla; and Antero Garcia, Colorado State University
From Super-8 to HD:  Dynamic Approaches to conceptualizing, measuring, and, and showcasing student learning trajectories and capabilities with digital media

With the interactivity, speed, and storage capabilities of modern technology, new approaches to measurement are now possible. Even with large sample sizes, measures of learning are no longer restricted to static questions that only capture what a student can recall at a specific point in time. Instead, more dynamic measures and new ways of analyzing and understanding results can be created that highlight learning over time and across settings. Moreover, alternative paradigms that are important for the development of expertise, such as how an individual chooses to learn or the social networks an individual belongs too, are now viable through the use of digital media.

In this conversation we will present examples of new digital measures and visualizations meant to track and capture learning-relevant information, such as students' self-directed learning behaviors, pathways to expertise development, and alternative systems for highlighting students capabilities. The examples will include approaches to measuring digital competence, visualizations that highlight technical learning across multiple settings, badging systems, and new measures around literacy. These examples will be used to spark discussions about digital media's role in assessments for the purposes of:

    Addressing inequalities
    Changing what it means to be educated
    Developing tailored instruction

We invite educators, designers, researchers, and students to come and join this conversation. We look for a healthy exchange of ideas and intend to generate a series of practical solutions (e.g. technical aspects of creating and distributing such measures, encouraging buy-in from stakeholders, addressing unintended and unforeseen consequences from deviating from traditional measures) in the hopes of fostering new directions for work and potential collaborations between participants.

17. Brenda Butler, Kevin Obomanu, and Sue Laue, Columbia Links, Columbia College Chicago
Columbia Links: R_Voices

Columbia Links is a high school journalism and news literacy program at Columbia College Chicago, so why not give people a taste of what we do? Come take a brief quiz on news and current events and see if you're up to speed with today's hot topics. Then, view and hear select teen-produced videos, webcasts and podcasts. Of course, no person will leave empty-handed. Each will get a copy of our annual publication, R_Wurd, featuring stories written by teens, for teens, and our newsworthy "Don't Shoot, I Want to Grow Up" booklet of op-eds and letters addressed to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. And for our Chicago visitors, we also have delicious Frango chocolate mints!

18. Rhys Daunic, The Media Spot
Digital Accountable Talk -- Blending Participatory Culture with the Common Core

Some New York City K-12 teachers are developing online participatory environments in the classroom that require students to use Common Core-aligned, content-specific protocols for reporting, critiquing, and discussing use of varied media.  The Media Spot is currently working
with middle and elementary school teachers to experiment with online spaces that allow for students to engage in academic settings and demonstrate a blend of CCSS-based competencies, and digital and media literacy skills.  The teachers’ goal is to capture and observe students demonstrating understanding of content and concepts through thoughtfully crafted multimedia messages for peer audiences. 

Join Rhys Daunic of The Media Spot in a “blended” conversation that will incorporate Project New Media Literacies’ PLAYground, a social multimedia environment designed for facilitating multi-user conversations around user-driven themes. 

We will look at and discuss works in progress from NYC blended elementary and middle school classroom environments, critique and brainstorm around  the existing work, discuss experiences of workshop participants, and explore strategies for establishing and utilizing digital culture and production in traditional content areas.  You will be invited to interact with and contribute ideas to the PLAYground space that will be shared with NYC teachers whose work we are examining, and even remix the content contributed during the session into your own custom PLAYground inquiry.  Bring a web-enabled device!

19. Margaret Verre, Western Illinois University
Transforming Learning: Who will Lead the Educational Revolution?

Why is it that education is promoted as a life transforming step to great economic potential, yet many of today's youth are bored to tears at all levels of school and lack basic job skills in today's market? And what is worse, higher education has taken no real steps over the last forty years to transform how it develops courses that blend different fields together to better prepare students to face an ever changing digital world. What would true transforming education look like in this time of ubiquitous digital devices? Why not elect Siri by data tagging to become a symbol of the next learning revolution? What does it take to blend educational or instructional objectives of factual knowledge with basic learning skills? The possible answers might surprise you.