Best Research Paper 2006 Finalists

This white paper was written as part of a larger grant provided by the John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation in support of what we are calling Project NML (or New Media Literacies). Over the next few years, we will be developing and publicizing a series of projects designed to promote the teaching of media through school based, after school, and informal learning communities. These include: an exemplar library of short digital films focused on creative artists working in a range of different media and the creative, economic, and ethical choices they face in purusuing their work; an ethics casebook faced on the challenges youth face as media makers and participants in online communities; and a series of curricular guides for teaching media through traditionl school content. The white paper emerged from both the ideas found in Henry Jenkins’s new book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and a systematic review of existing educational literature on youth and new media. It was released alongside the MacArthur Foundation’s announcement of a 50 million dollar five year comittment to work on youth and digital learning.

Authors: Henry Jenkins is the founder and co-director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies program and the principle investigator on Project nml. Ravi Purushotma, a 2006 graduate of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, examines using popular culture/digital media/video games for learning foreign languages. He currently works at The Education Arcade at MIT. Katherine Clinton received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Games, Learning, and Society in 2006 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently is the educational consultant for the New Media Literacies project at MIT. Margaret Weigel is the Research Manager for the New Media Literacies project in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT. She earned her advanced degree in Comparative Media Studies in 2002, and writes on new media and visual culture. Alice J. Robison is a postdoctoral fellow in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, where she specializes in new media literacies and in the ethnographic and rhetorical study of the production of digital media, especially videogames.

I was invited to write this paper by Jo Murray, the editor of the Knowledge Tree. She was a very encouraging and useful thinking partner and editor. The other “partner” in the paper was my network of friends and colleagues who helped me think at a gathering of eMint in London in July and later, responded to a posting in my blog earlier this year. So the paper is a network product. Blogs and online interaction were the grounding for not only the content, but the thinking behind it.

Where am I in the education sector:? Lost in space? Behind the shelf of chocolate? I am part of the learning sector! 🙂 I’m a solist, an indy, a consultant (hopefully that is not a dirty word) working in the area of online interaction, mostly for non profits and organizations. I work mostly with adult learners, but I float all over the map. My organization, if you can call it that (my desk certainly is not organized) is Full Circle Associates. I call Seattle, Washington USA home of family and hearth, but because of the net, my other home stretches across many of those electronic traces that envelope the earth.

Ulises A. Mejias is a Learning Systems consultant living in Ithaca, New York. He is also an Ed.D. candidate in Communication, Computing and Technology in Education at Teachers College (Columbia University), where he has taught a graduate course on Social Software Affordances. He is currently working on his dissertation, “Networked Proximity: ICT’s and the Mediation of Nearness,” which deals with how social relevancy is being redefined by new media, and explores the limits of the network as metaphor and model for organizing social realities. This is his second EduBlog nomination. He blogs at

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2 responses to “Best Research Paper 2006 Finalists”

  1. Hi Alan – I’ve tested it and it seems fine this end – could you try excercising yr vote from a different computer and let me know if you still have the same issue?