Google+ Case Study Published in Educause Review Online

Check out the case-study I co-wrote with my colleagues at The Center for New Designs in Learning in Scholarship (CNDLS) in the latest publication of Educase Review Online, entitled, “Using Google+ to Enhance Student Learning, Engagement, and Communication.” 

The article is a summary of a two-semester study that examined whether or not Google+ could foster beneficial learning communities outside of the classroom. It is important to think critically about how these online communities affect the pace and environment of student learning in the years ahead. Read the case study to learn about new frontiers and strategies for teaching with social media platforms in higher education.

Labor of Love screening at Busboys & Poets

On March 14, 2013, Busboys & Poets hosted a screening of my film Labor of Love, a documentary film about lesbian culture in the DC area. While exploring the benefits of such spaces, the film also speculates the need for more community-based LGBTQ spaces in D.C. to serve as “an alternative to the bar, and an alternative to the closet. The screening was a huge success, the room was overcapacity (120+)!

Check out the trailer:

Labor of Love March 14 Trailer from Labor of Love Film on Vimeo.

Student Reflections on Google+ In The Classroom

At the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), I’m currently working with Professor Sigman, a Professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown, and two of my fellow colleagues in the Teaching, Learning & Technology Initiative (TLT). The initiative brings together staff members from CNDLS and Gelardin New Media Center to help faculty generate projects that use technology to advance particular learning goals and instructional interactions. Google+ is one of the many technologies (e.g. Dipity Interactive Timeline projects & Zotero for bibliographic research) Professor Sigman used during her fall undergraduate OPIM 257: Database Management course to enhance the classroom experience. Part of the goal of the TLT initiative is to assess the learning outcomes of the technology from the students perspective. In addition to an in-class written survey, our TLT team felt that creating a student reflection video about Google+ would provide a more detailed insight to the student’s perspective on the use of the technology. After all, the assessment of digital literacy is hard to quantify.

Here is the video:

I asked the students the following questions during the interview:

1. Did Google+ enhance the classroom room experience? (We want your honest opinion)
2. Did Google+ Help with community building, outside the classroom?
3. Last semester G+ was not part of the grade. Did making it part of the grade change the way you use the tool?
4. Do you have any other suggested uses for G+ in the classroom?
5. Would you like to use G+ in your future classes?
6. Do you think the new interface has helped you interact with students more in the classroom? How so?
7. This semester, are you using any of the tools that were introduced in OPIM 257?

I was impressed with the student feedback and suggestions they had for future uses of Google+. One of the students suggested that Google+ would be a great way to form a archived bibliography and share it within a research circle on Google+. Another student suggested that it would be useful to share Google Docs to people in circles as well. Special thanks to the students that participated in the video! For more information about TLT visit the TLT website:

The Technical Skills Divide

This Prezi Presentation I put together regarding the way various variables, such as gender, age, education, and Internet use, affect a person’s Internet Skills.

The presentation is based on the following articles:

van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2010). Internet skills and the digital divide. New Media & Society13(6), 893-911. doi:10.1177/1461444810386774 link vanD2010.pdf

van Deursen, A. J. A. M., van Dijk, J. A. G. M., & Peters, O. (2011). Rethinking Internet skills: The contribution of gender, age, education, Internet experience, and hours online to medium- and content-related Internet skills. Poetics39(2), 125-144. doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2011.02.001 link vandeursenvandijk2011.pdf

Hargittai, E., & Shafer, S. (2006). Differences in actual and perceived online skills: The role of gender. Social Science Quarterly87(2), 432-448. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00389.x link hargittaishafer2006.pdf



Book Review Highlighted in Chronicle of Higher Education!

This past month I wrote a review of a chapter of RACE AFTER THE INTERNET, a book published this year containing a selection of articles from scholars concerned about the future of race in relation to the deepening digital divide. And I have great news! The HASTAC crowdsourced book review of RACE AFTER THE INTERNET, was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education!

One quote I particularly enjoy from the article:

“It’s not unprecedented for scholars to outsource reviews of their work to the masses…But this review is different, because Hastac’s scholars organized the review, rather than RACE AFTER THE INTERNET editors.”

If you haven’t checked out the book, I’d encourage you to have a peak at the reviews:


Race After The Internet – Crowdsourced Book Review

I want to point your attention to a crowdsourced book review of Race After The Internet (2012) I was apart of with HASTAC(Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory). We’ve called this project a “Crowdsourced Book Review” in honor of its “collective nature.” HASTAC scholars from various universities and disciplines were called upon to review a chapter of the book and comment on one another’s reviews. I wrote a review of Chapter 11, ” New Voices on the Net? The Digital Journalism divide and the Costs of Network Exclusion.” by Ernest J. Wilson and Sasha Costanza-Chock.


These reviews are open to the public and we would love for your feedback as well! This is a very important interdisciplinary book that explores the way digital media and media industries are influencing the way we conceptualize and think about race. If you don’t have time to read the book, I’d encourage you to check out some of the reviews and even leave comments, especially if you are interested in the future debates of the Digital Divide! This is just one of the many collaborative projects that HASTAC is undertaking in the field of the digital humanities. Thanks!

STGlobal Conference – Upcoming Talk

On March 30, 2012, I will be giving a talk entitled,”Indigenous Homelands: “Closing the Gap” with Two-Way Networks,” at the 12th Annual Conference on Science & Technology in Society.


Development strategists, such as Robert Putnam and Deepa Narayan, have demonstrated how horizontal structures, civic engagements, and social capital help fuel economic growth.[1] Achieving horizontal coordination in our complex world, however, is not an easy task. At every level of coordination, formal laws replace traditions that establish stability in minority communities. For example, the Australian Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), a top-down development strategy imposed by the government in 2007 to protect indigenous women and children from reported violence, has excluded indigenous communities from the development of formal laws resulting in more violence and distrust. Pascale and Sternin’s theory of positive deviance (PD), however, states that the solution to a problem already exists in the community – it just has to be found. Utilizing PD, I discuss how Urpuntja Healthcare, an indigenous healthcare service in Utopia, NT, has reduced violence and increased social capital using a “two-way” model, a hybrid structure for health care that incorporates both indigenous and nonindigenous remedies. Drawing from Roger’s theory of technology diffusion, I show how the adoption of Urpuntja’s two-way model by the NT government can stimulate economic growth, reduce violence, and close the gap between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians.

[1] Putnam, Robert D., Robert Leonardi, and Raffaella Nanetti. 1993. Making democracy work: civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.