[iDC] The Digital Media and Learning Conference 2011

Trebor Scholz scholzt at newschool.edu
Tue Sep 14 19:11:12 UTC 2010

On this beautiful late summer day, I'm sending you an announcement. As
many of you know, the IDC doesn't accept publicity of this kind but once
or twice a year we do post information about an event that we are
involved in. This is one of those times. 

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 <http://dmlcentral.net/about/what-all-about>  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
http://dmlcentral.net/conference2011, follow #DML2011 on twitter and/or
join the Digital Media and Learning mailing list http://dmlhub.net/. See
also Katie Salen’s announcement on DMLcentral http://dmlcentral.net/.

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 Instructable.com 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.

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