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Jenni Higgs at DML

BCNM awarded Jenni Higgs (Education) a conference travel grant to help support her in sharing her amazing research with the world. Here’s a report of her recent presentation for this year’s DML conference!

I am so appreciative of BCNM’s conference travel grant, which allowed me to present at this year’s Digital Media and Learning (DML) conference held October 5-7 at UC Irvine. I participated in a session entitled “Ingenuity and the Shaping of New Participation Trajectories: Examining Connected Learning through Joint Mediated Practices in the Home” with fellow members of Professor Kris Gutiérrez’s research team. We presented findings from a MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning Research Network (CLRN) multi-year ethnography that examines how youth and families develop and leverage their repertoires of practice (Gutiérrez & Rogoff, 2003) across the home and within an informal learning context. Research objectives include understanding: 1) how to design ecologies that include learning practices that are organized around both everyday and school-based forms of expertise; 2) how children and families engage in joint activity with digital media; 3) how the social organization of activity in multiple contexts shapes and mobilizes media use, interests, and practices; and 4) how home media, language, and literacy ecologies affect connected learning.

Our session drew researchers and practitioners who study digital media programs for youth and/or work closely with youth in school and non-school contexts. It was encouraging to hear that these educators found our approach to ingenuity as an everyday phenomenon distributed across people, environments, and materials useful both theoretically and practically. The discussion at our session (led by Professor Ben Kirshner of University of Colorado Boulder) has pushed our team to think about wider research dissemination in order to reach more educators and help them organize their work with communities and young people in socially transformative ways.

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