Introduction: Learning Through Digital Media

by R. Trebor Scholz

The simple yet far-reaching ambition of this collection is to discover how to use digital media for learning on campus and off. It offers a rich selection of methodologies, social practices, and hands-on assignments by leading educators who acknowledge the opportunities created by the confluence of mobile technologies, the World Wide Web, film, video games, TV, comics, and software while also acknowledging recurring challenges. Read More »

Delicious: Renovating the Mnemonic Architectures of Bookmarking

Shannon Mattern

Krissy Venosdale, "Tag It!" January 13, 2011, via Flickr, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License:

In the days before its death knell had been rung Read More »

Follow, Heart, Reblog, Crush: Teaching Writing with Tumblr

Adriana Valdez Young

By taking a quick glance at my member profile, you might guess that Tumblr is an online dating site, but although Tumblr frames site activity in the language of admiration and courtship, it is, in fact, a fantastically simple microblogging platform that is extremely adaptable for a spectrum of personal and professional uses. Tumblr members create an account and then can host one or several short-form blogs known as Tumblelogs, each one with a unique URL. Read More »

Blogging Course Texts: Enhancing Our Traditional Use of Textual Materials

Alex Halavais

Gall’s Law dictates we should create complex systems by beginning with simple ones. Read More »

Socializing Blogs, a Guide for Beginners

Tiffany Holmes

I have been teaching with digital media since 1994. Computers, software and, more recently, social media have enhanced my ability to provide hands-on, memorable instruction for studio, seminar and art history lecture classes.

From my perspective, digital media has two major failings: its obvious transience and archival challenges. Next semester, if I teach the same courses, I will need to completely overhaul my syllabus, readings, handouts and how-to guides. Read More »

When Teaching Becomes an Interaction Design Task: Networking the classroom with collaborative blogs

Mushon Zer-Aviv


Pedagogical Practice Read More »

Children of the Screen: Teaching Spanish with Commentpress

Sol B. Gaitán

The advances of technology in the digital age have permeated every area of society, from interpersonal communication to the way information is disseminated. Today’s children are able to manipulate sophisticated software, search the Internet, play games, and download information without being aware of the cognitive process involved. For instance, most children download and listen to music on the Internet, and in the very near future, they will not have a notion of what a CD is. Read More »

Facebook as a Functional Tool & Critical Resource

Mark Lipton

Students are not friends. Teaching is not a popularity contest. No matter what philosophy of teaching or approach to schooling, there is little disagreement about a necessary distance between instructors and their students. We are not equal. Read More »

Beyond Friending: BuddyPress and the Social, Networked, Open-Source Classroom

Matthew K. Gold

In the spring of 2007, I asked students in the “Introduction to English Studies” course that I was teaching at Temple University to use blogs to discuss the novels we were reading for class. During a unit on Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, one of my students wrote a post titled “Chaos and Imagination”[1] that speculated upon the autobiographical roots of Ellison’s text (Cummings). Soon after the post was published, a comment appeared from an unexpected contributor: a producer from Radio Open Source Read More »

An Argument for the Web in the Equally Messy Realities of Life, Democracy, and Teaching

Vanalyne Green

Let’s begin with some background about teaching and privilege and then move on to two online forays: Project Implicit, and, most importantly, the blog.

Informed by the thinking of Jacques Rancière,[1] I stage teaching as an entry point rather than a delivery system for my knowledge. I wish to open up possibilities for how we receive images and the terms we apply to ourselves. Read More »

Copy Your Homework: Free Culture and Fair Use with Wikimedia Commons

Michael Mandiberg

In my web and digital-imaging production classes, students are encouraged to actively appropriate images from the vast visual archive the world has already created. Read More »

How I Used Wikis to Get My Students to Do Their Readings

Ulises A. Mejias

We have heard the complaint or issued it ourselves one too many times: “They don’t read!” Read More »

Google Wave: Pedagogical Success, Technological Failure?

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

My “Introduction to Digital Media Studies[1] course combines a critical, historically-oriented approach to understanding the developing relationship between computing and communication Read More »

Mobile Learning Tools: A Teachable Moment in the Age of the App

David Carroll

Watching my two-year old figure out my iPhone demonstrates how young people can learn a well-developed sense of computer literacy well before mastering language skills. Read More »

Learning on Mobile Platforms

Jessica Irish

My experience of teaching in the mid-1990s coincided with the early years of the World Wide Web, a new technology that was, by turns, a cause for praise, scorn and worry. What would it become and what would be the cultural ramifications of its pervasive use? Were we indeed headed for the vision of Marshall McLuhan’s global campfire, or was the web merely a littered cyberspace of pornography and bad design (Levinson)? Read More »

Teaching and Learning with Omeka: Discomfort, Play, and Creating Public, Online, Digital Collections

Jeffrey W. McClurken


Pedagogical Practice and Digital Media

A student walked into my office a couple of years ago and said to me, “Dr. McClurken, I’m really struggling with all this online stuff,” referring to the digital history projects I had assigned to the students in my “History of American Technology and Culture” course (McClurken et al., A History of American Technology). Read More »

Teaching with Google Docs, or, How to Teach in a Digital Media Lab without Losing Students’ Attention

Abigail De Kosnik

Google Docs is an example of “software as a service,” a document-sharing, cloud computing[1] service. Unlike most document-sharing services, Google Docs does not require any user fees. Google Docs allows people in different locations to collaborate on documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and forms.

Read More »

Using Twitter—But Not in the Classroom: Twitter as a Tool to Expand Classroom Conversation

David Parry

At least on the surface, it seems utterly ridiculous that a communication technology that limits conversational utterances to 140 characters might be of use in a classroom setting. Read More »

Voice, Performance and Transience: Learning Through Seesmic

Holly Willis

Midterm assignments in my classes had become hapless rituals of recapitulation dutifully endured by students and myself alike. As familiar as bad coffee, they needed rejuvenation, especially in the context of an upper division undergraduate seminar on methodologies in new modes of research and authoring. Indeed, it seemed impossible to deliver a midterm in its traditional form, as a set of written questions requiring written responses, in a course dedicated to rethinking scholarly practice. Hence, the video midterm assignment was born. Read More »

Teaching and Learning with Video Annotations

Jonah Bossewitch and Michael D. Preston

Educators are becoming all too accustomed to the “glazing over” effect: students thinking they understand the material presented in videos shown in class or assigned for home viewing, but subsequent discussions often revealing minimal or superficial comprehension. This chapter is concerned with the development of tools and activities to help students attend to video-based materials with increased focus and heightened awareness of their own intellectual project. Read More »

YouTube Pedagogy: Finding Communities of Practice in a Distributed Learning World

Elizabeth Losh

The Social Web and Critical Pedagogy

YouTube poses certain basic challenges to teaching effectively and ethically. It relies on a cataloguing system driven by shallow popularity metrics, and its library of videos is maintained largely by the labor of fan communities rather than by the deliberative practices of archivists and instructors engaged with evaluating the credibility of sources or the coherence of the curricula. Read More »

Community Media in the Digital Age

Colin Rhinesmith

Photo by Cambridge Community Television available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

Media literacy is one of the founding tenets of public access cable television. George Stoney, the father of public access television, understood that in order for the access project to be fully realized education would have to play a central role. Read More »

The Virtual Cutting Room

Martin Lucas

When I show students a picture of the first film editing tool I used, they laugh, and I expect them to. Read More »

Learning with Handbrake: A Ripping Story

Kevin Hamilton

Star Wars famously begins in medias res. From the start, we read and hear references to characters and conflicts about which we know nothing, and no narrator comes to our aid. Read More »

Mind-Mapping Inside and Outside of the Classroom

D.E. Wittkower

Students who take my courses have neither the desire nor expectation that they will learn anything about digital media. Read More »

Crowdmapping the Classroom with Ushahidi

Kenneth Rogers

Imagine for a moment the limited utility of a map in an airport terminal, a shopping plaza, or a university campus. When following the internal legend—the rules and cues each map sets for itself—it becomes rather easy to find one’s way around. Read More »

Book Sprints and Booki: Re-Imagining How Textbooks are Produced

Adam Hyde

My role as an educator revolves around group processes. Essentially, I facilitate groups of people working together intensely in one room over a short period of time to produce a book. The book is made, from start to finish, in five days (or less). This process is known as a Book Sprint. Read More »

Productivity in the Age of Social Media: Freedom and Anti-Social

Fred Stutzman

The story I like to tell about Freedom involves a coffee shop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This coffee shop, in my estimation, had two great qualities. First, the beans were world-class, and second, the place lacked a Wi-Fi connection. Read More »

Would You Like to Teach My Avatar? Learning in Second Life

Patrick Lichty

In the video Do You Want to Date My Avatar, the cast of the online sitcom The Guild[1] playfully show the differences between physical and virtual lives by highlighting fantastic/idealized virtual lives. This bifurcation between the everyday real and fantastic virtual is intrinsic to teaching in virtual worlds. Read More »

Media Production with Arduino

Jonah Brucker-Cohen



I think of digital media as an artifact itself rather than merely a tool to “teach” to a student who then would use it to make an artifact. Read More »

A Path towards Global Reach: The Pool

Craig Dietrich with Jon Ippolito

In 2007, University of Maine undergraduate Ryan Schaller blogged answers to an in-class assignment that asked him to agree or disagree with Henry Jenkins’ “Eight Traits of the New Media Landscape.” Read More »

Ethnographic Research and Digital Media

Laura Forlano

In the context of teaching about digital media—in graduate and undergraduate courses such as New Media and Global Affairs, Technology and the City, Innovation and Design and Everyday Experience[1] at The New School—I have also been able to teach through digital media, employing listservs and blogs, requiring digital photos, videos and presentations and encouraging students to use online tools for data analysis. Read More »

Sharing Research and Building Knowledge through Zotero

Mark Sample

The Question of Expert Learners

One of the great mistakes we make when we think about teaching with technology is our failure to consider what we mean by teaching, period. Read More »

The Wicked Problem of Pedagogy, An Afterword

Elizabeth Ellsworth

In the end, education isn’t a question of appropriate, acceptable, or productive formats. Even after all is said and done in a classroom or in a collection of essays about “learning through digital media,” the question of pedagogy continues. Pedagogy is what needs to be worked out again and again (Schmitz 147). Read More »