Check Out These Sessions at DML 2014

February 28, 2014
Tanner Higgin Director, Education Editorial Strategy
Common Sense Education

CATEGORIES Professional Development

Digital Media and Learning (DML) -- coming up March 6-8 in Boston --  is a unique conference focused on the educational possibilities of things like computer-based tools, media making, games, social media, and hands-on creation. It leans academic, but maintains a commitment to social change, classroom impact, and risky speculation about the future of learning and education. I'd love to see more K-12 educators and administrators check it out.

There's always an interesting mix of sessions covering everything from research reports to tech demos to overviews of youth programs and educational initiatives to practical skills-building. Best of all, it gives me session anxiety -- that awful and wonderful feeling that there's just too much good stuff to see. I find myself juggling three or four options right up until it's time to commit to a room, checking Twitter for recaps and backchannels of what I missed.

If you can't make it to DML, you won't be totally in the dark. Some of the sessions are being live streamed, and, of course, you can follow along on Twitter.

If you are going, I'm here to help. Below I've handpicked a list of session standouts -- two sessions for each time slot -- but it still wasn't easy to narrow things down. I couldn't help the shameless plug of my own session on Friday at 9 a.m., “Doing ‘Good’ Game Design.” If you make it to DML stop by and say hi. 

Please take a look at the list below and let me know what you're looking forward to in the comments!

Thursday, 3/6 - 11:00 a.m.
The Open Source Learning School District — Moving Beyond “What If”Hear how "open source learning" has impacted the Santa Maria Joint Unified School District from both administrators and students.
Play and Hack! Creating Connected Learning Ecologies Through Game JamsAn exploration of how game jams -- or making game prototypes rapidly -- can be used to boost learning.

2:00 p.m. 
Making Waves – Including Students from Non-Dominant Communities in the Maker MovementHow can we make sure the maker movement is composed of and represents the interests of non-dominant people.
Youth Use of Social Media ToolsA series of speakers present their research into how youth actually use social media.

Friday, 3/7  - 9:00 a.m. 
Doing “Good” Game DesignLeading designers of educational games discuss how games can cultivate empathy.
STEAM Studio Workshop -- Create Your Own Pop-up MakerspaceCreators of a community-based "pop-up makerspace" show how they did it and how you can too.

2:00 p.m. 
Lifelong Kindergarten -- Reaching Across BoundariesIf you haven't heard about the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at MIT -- one of the most influential labs in educational research -- this session is a perfect opportunity to find out about their approach.
A Will to Change: Building Community Solidarity Across Multigenerational LinesHow do we facilitate cross-generational social change by connecting younger generations to older generations?

4:00 p.m.
Youth Remix History for ChangeA hands-on demo of the Educational Video Center's workshop that gets youth remixing historical films.
*This* is Learning -- How Perceptions of Learning Relevance Matter for Student SuccessPresenters will explore how students' perceptions of learning impact outcomes and efficacy. What's particularly fascinating about this panel is how it engages with students not recognizing or understanding the value of certain kinds of non-traditional learning.

Saturday, 3/8 - 11:00 a.m.
A Quantum Leap: Scaling Up the Potential for Impactful Youth VoiceHear from a group of researchers, non-profit activists, and teachers in Oakland, Calif., piloting a program that helps teachers and students gain digital literacy skills, and use those skills for civic action.
STEAM Studio Model for Innovation: Building Robust Learning Ecologies and PathwaysRepresentatives from Pittsburgh's Kids+Creativity network and South Fayette School District discuss their efforts to weaver STEAM learning into K-12 curriculum.

2:00 p.m.
Design Agency for Indigenous, Immigrant, and Invisible Youth in Identity Building and Digital MediaHow can digital media offer minoritized youth opportunities to navigate the complexities of identity formation in a more productive way?
Empowering Student and Teacher Making through Game Explosion: Institute of Play in Quest SchoolsThis workshop explores the Quest to Learn and Chicago Quest Charter School teaching technique of "game explosion" that gets teachers and students using games -- in their most fundamental form -- as flexible and adaptable tools for learning.

See the complete conference schedule here.