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September 4, 2008 |

In honor of back to school week, I am posting a much belated update on various transitions that I’ve been navigating over the past few months. Over the summer, we wrapped up our writing for the summative book on the digital youth project, and we plan to release our white paper on the findings, and a draft of the book online on October 2. It’s been tremendously satisfying to finally be able to step back and analyze all the material we collectively gathered over this three-year project, which involved 28 researchers including myself. I’m finding that the knowledge we gained is providing to be a great springboard for the new work that I have kicked off this summer.

As part of the transition to new projects, I’ve moved my primary affiliation from USC to UC Irvine. At UCI, I’ll be working with both the UC Humanities Research Institute and the Informatics Department at the School of Information and Computer Science. I will still continue to have an affiliation at USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy, and will be organizing, with Holly Willis, a talk series on multimedia literacy, as part of the Annenberg Research Park Colloquium Series. Our first colloquium will be on September 9, with Liz Losh.

My move to UCI was motivated by my desire to work with David Goldberg and the Humanities Institute, and to build new bridges to colleagues in informatics, CALIT2 and anthropology at UCI. I feel that I am getting the best of both worlds by being able to stay in LA and keep in touch with things at USC, while also developing new relationships and conversations further down the 405. And the commute hasn’t been half bad, thanks to my carpooling with my colleagues.

I am starting up a new effort at UCHRI to build plans for a networked studio to facilitate interdisciplinary research collaborations in the area of new media and learning. The project is giving me an excuse to do a good amount of reading in the area, and to visit with people and projects in the field, both in the U.S. and abroad. After being deeply immersed in fieldwork and writing, it’s been a refreshing change of pace to pop my head up for a bit and try to take a broader survey of the field and catch up on the work of all my colleagues. I’m super-excited about the next steps that we are taking in our work with the MacArthur Foundation and the potential to build synergies between research, design, youth culture, and educational practice that can really have an influence on the shape of public education.