Monday, March 7, 2011

Ignited by DML

This week I was lucky to attend the Digital Media and Learning conference in Long Beach, California, only a thirty minute drive from where I live. According to the website,

The Digital Media and Learning Conference is an annual event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at University of California, Irvine. The conference is meant to be 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.
The smallish conference attracted people interested in sharing current research and innovation connected to online experiences and learning. There were four tracks (Digital Media and Learning, Emerging Platforms and Policies, New Collectives, and Youth, Digital Media and Empowerment), and people floated between tracks quite easily. Browse the almost 100 page conference program to get a sense of the discourse and the amazing presenters.

I was excited to learn about digital learning from a perspective other than the librarian perspective, I was interested to learn about trends we could see in librarianship in the coming years, and I wanted some help with a new part of my school life (next year I am probably gong to co-teach a class with one of our educational technology specialists about using social media for social justice. Several workshops and sessions focused on aspects of this theme, which made me realize we were on the right track by proposing the class.).

Inspired by the workshops, sessions, ignite talks, and exhibits, I took more notes at this conference than most others I have attended. Here are some recurring themes related to school librarianship :

Now that we have our 2.0 skills down, get ready for another change. Many people spoke of the importance of teaching a deeper understanding of the technology in regard to trouble shooting, and understanding that you are in control of your digital experience - if you don't like something you can change it. Our next skill set? Hacking. Remember thinking we didn't really need to know too much html because so many tools do it for you? Well, maybe we do need to know the code.
Look at hackasaurus and find out about their Hack Jams.

People like incentives. Make your social justice campaign or even your portfolio, a game with badges, and people will respond. Yes, badges - online versions of those earned by Boy and Girl Scouts across America. Maybe we should make badges for reading clubs, or badges for new research expertise? Proud you learned how to make a QR code? Now try making a badge - people didn't talk about QR codes at all at the sessions I attended.
Look at the P2PU wiki about their badge program.

Finding time to play and innovate is particularly hard at institutions like schools - but can it be done? How can we make the down time when the students appear to be wasting time on Facebook a more playful and productive time?
Look at YOU Media and think about how we can bring some of this innovation to our libraries.

Participatory media is growing up - but in what ways? How can it be used effectively for civic engagement? What prompts people to participate in online social action? Will games make youth want to use digital media for social justice? Can the games be designed with the values of the community inherent in the design? Why do people get involved in writing entries for Wikipedia? Is that civic engagement?
Look at Nuf Said. Are you inspired?

Next year DML will be in San Francisco.  Want to join me?

1 comment:

  1. [This is good!] This sounds like a great conference! I really need to make an effort to get to more non-librarian-ee conferences. I think I've developed a metaphorical bun atop my head ...