Digital Media and Learning Conference 2011

| September 15, 2010


The Digital Media and Learning Conference 2011
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

The second conference will be held between March 3-5, 2011 at the Hilton
Long Beach Conference and Meeting Center in Long Beach, California. The
theme will be “Designing Learning Futures?. The Conference Chair will be
Katie Salen. The conference committee includes Kimberly Austin, danah
boyd, Sheryl Grant, Mark Surman, Trebor Scholz and S. Craig Watkins.
Keynote presentations will be given by Alice Taylor and Muki
Hansteen-Izora. We are also planning a book exhibit and technology

To stay up-to-date on the conference, please check our website, follow #DML2011 on twitter and/or
join the Digital Media and Learning mailing list See
also Katie Salen?s announcement on DMLcentral

call for proposals: designing learning futures

In the twenty-first century a profound shift is underway. Digital media
are central in almost every aspect of daily life, most notably in how we
learn, communicate, reflect, (co-) produce, consume, create identities,
share knowledge, and understand political issues. Corresponding with
this increasing accessibility of digital and networked tools, we see new
forms of public and private collectives which serve as seedbeds for
user-driven innovation, the prevalence of many-to-many distribution
models and the large-scale online aggregation of information and
culture. This increased access to information, knowledge, and platforms
has prompted new learning ecologies that possess the potential to
support the kinds of situated, learner-driven, socially inflected,
participatory learning opportunities we know are possible today.

Alongside transforming how we create, access, and use knowledge, these
changes raise a series of socio-technical concerns regarding the tools,
technologies, and policies that underpin digital media practices and
their related learning opportunities. These issues operate on both macro
and micro levels. They range from processes and protocols shaping the
flow and tracking of data in social network sites like Facebook or
MySpace to reward and reputation systems in multiplayer online games,
collaborative DIY communities like or deviantART, as
well as to emergent problematic practices like sexting and
cyberbullying. These are, in short, concerns that give shape to both
formal and informal learning ecologies and learning experiences.
Developing an understanding of the impact of digital media experiences
on learning, civic engagement, and professional and ethical development
requires that we consider the implications of the design frameworks,
institutional configurations, social practices, and research
methodologies at play in our connected world.

As Bruno Latour notes, ?New innovation will be absolutely necessary if
we are to adequately represent the conflicting natures of all the things
that are to be designed.? Understanding the role of innovation in light
of past and present digital media practices is thus central to imagining
and designing learning futures. To this end, the conference will focus
upon themes of understanding the types of processes, methods,
collaborations, and institutional models required for innovation. We are
also concerned with gaining insight into the roles contradicting
stakeholders (disciplines, institutions, economies, etc.) may play. This
includes designers of social network sites, games, or mobile
applications and learning environments such as afterschool programs,
schools and other sites of learning. It also includes social scientists
studying youth engagement in interest or friendship-driven communities,
those involved in developing profiles of participants in
intergenerational learning environments, practitioners looking to help
integrate technology into learning environments, researchers studying
the intersection of learning and socio-technical practices, and policy
makers seeking to shape the future of connected learning, to name but a
few possible participant profiles.
>From these diverse perspectives, we seek to address the following

1. What are the central concerns shaping learning within peer-based,
participatory, open ecologies? What are the new collectives (including
hybrid public institutional models) that are emerging in today’s open
learning ecologies? How is learning happening in user-innovation
communities? How does remix, mentorship, sharing, and exchange occur?
How do issues such as cyberbullying, problematic content, and privacy
shape participation in these ecologies? How is diversity shaping
learning constituencies? What forms of identities become possible? What
are the relationships between different stakeholders, such as
learner-centered partnerships and collaborations between teachers,
administrators, students, institutions, policy makers, researchers, and
designers? What are the design-driven pedagogies and learning models we
should explore? What is the role of embedded assessment in understanding
learning? How do we understand flow and engagement?

2. What is the knowledge base required of designers, researchers, and
practitioners working on peer-based, participatory, open learning
ecologies today? What is missing? What new forms of knowledge need to be
developed? What existing frameworks need to be rethought?

3. What core socio-technical practices are shaping (or have the
potential to shape) the future of learning? What practices may be
impeding innovation or getting in the way of learning? How can and
should knowledge about practices shape policy, design, and
implementation of innovations?

We seek to support collective inquiry into the infrastructures and
practices key to digital media and learning, whether research practices,
learning protocols, assessment schemes, game design, or the creation of
participatory undertakings. This conversation welcomes those engaged in
developing a critical understanding of the design and broader
socio-technical concerns shaping learning futures, as well as in other
well articulated issues key to comprehending the impact and
possibilities of digital media for learning. All participants are
encouraged to reflect on the implications of their work for social
practice?to consider the impact of their own practice or research
findings on how things are currently done or could be done differently.

about the workshop and panel proposals

We welcome workshops and panels along four themes: Youth, Digital Media
and Empowerment; Emerging Platforms and Policies; New Collectives and
Digital Media and Participatory Learning. The themes have been
conceptualized by key members of the conference committee. All proposed
panels and workshops will be collectively evaluated by the conference

Youth, Digital Media, and Empowerment

This strand focuses specifically on young people?s participation in the
digital media world. Youth participatory practices are influenced by a
variety of social and contextual factors including distinct youth-driven
interests and learning ecologies, adult mentoring, institutional
infrastructures, creative partnerships, and cultural diversity. We are
especially interested in panels, papers, and workshops that explore how
new media technologies are well-being, youth media production, and dynamic expressions of civic
engagement. Moreover, what kinds of institutional infrastructures lead
to programs and interventions that empower young voices, fortify social
and knowledge networks, and develop the digital media skills and
competencies that invigorate young critical citizens? Also, how are
creative partnerships, programmatic initiatives, and the widespread
diffusion of social and mobile media platforms challenging the
?participation gap?? How are socially stigmatized and marginal youth
populations embracing social media to build networks for personal
enrichment, communal empowerment, and social change? Finally, workshops
and panels that discuss the art and science of interdisciplinary
collaboration, design innovation, and programming offer the opportunity
for vibrant discussion, planning and intervention.

Emerging Platforms and Policies

The rise of Web2.0 has introduced numerous platforms into everyday life,
from social network sites like MySpace and Facebook to media-sharing
services like YouTube and uStream to blogging and microblogging tools
like Tumblr and Twitter. These platforms have been leveraged by people
of all ages to build community, share ideas, collaborate, and hang out.
While many of these platforms were designed to enable ?user-generated
content,? there are often conflicts between what designers intend and
what participants actually do on each site. In short, these platforms
were not designed for the kinds of learning that often transpires on
these sites. The goal of this track is to explore the tensions between
the design of emerging platforms and the practices that unfold on them,
with specific attention given to the policy challenges that emerge. How
does the technology respond practice and how do users repurpose
technology? Who gets to set the community norms and how are these norms
negotiated? How are values? like privacy, safety, and
transparency?embedded in the technology and how does this shape
socio-technical practices? What happens when conflicts emerge between
the users and the creators? How does the tension between technical
design and personal practices configure these spaces?

New Collectives

The last 10 years have seen the rise of organizations and institutions
that mash-up mission, market and mass participation. Organizations like
Wikipedia, Mozilla and Creative Commons have shown that this hybrid
model can shift whole industries?increasing how knowledge is shared and
spread, promoting the wide adoption of web standards, making
legally-backed knowledge sharing easy and widespread. Many have
proclaimed that these new collectives can also transform education and
learning for the better. The track will explore the ways that innovators
in the learning world might tap into the power of these hybrid
organizational models. We?ll ask questions like: What makes new
collectives tick? Where are they getting traction in the world of
learning? Where are they getting stuck? Can they challenge traditional
approaches to accreditation, assessment and content creation in
education? Or even shift the terrain of learning and education as a

Digital Media and Learning

We welcome submissions that address ongoing or innovative directions in
research and practice relating to digital media and learning.

Workshop and Panel Formats

This year we will be accepting proposals in three formats: panels,
workshops and ignite talks. Panels bring together in discussion four
participants representing a range of ideas and projects. Panels are
scheduled for 90 minutes and should include a mix of individuals working
in areas of research, theory, and practice. Workshops provide an
opportunity for hands-on exploration and/or problem solving. They can be
organized around a core challenge that participants come together to
work on or around a tool, platform, or concept. Workshops are scheduled
for 120 minutes and should be highly participatory. Finally, we welcome
Ignite Talks. In an ignite talk the speaker gets 5 minutes to speak on a
subject that community. The format is specific: talks are given using 20 slides where
each slide must automatically progress after 15 seconds.

The DML2011 Conference proposal system will open on October 15, 2010 and
full proposals will be due on November 1, 2010. Panel Abstracts should
cover the theme, format (e.g. discussion, interactive, presentations),
how the session addresses the theme of the conference and/or subtheme in
up to 400 words. List of participants, affiliations, emails and titles
of talks/presentations (if applicable) should also be included.