Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Postdoc Opportunity on Parenting and Childhood in the Digital Era, at the LSE!!

For those of you researching children & media/digital culture, and nearing the end of (or have recently completed) a PhD, this postdoc opportunity working with the amazing and prolific Sonia Livingstone sounds like a dream come true. I spent an all-too-brief semester working with Sonia at the LSE during my doctoral training, and can't endorse it or her enough -- it's a fantastic, vibrant place, filled with brilliant and collegial people, and Sonia's research is of a caliber we should all aspire to. 

Deadline for applications is August 4th, 2014. Full original job posting cut&paste here:
Postdoctoral Research Officer, Department of Media and Communications
Full-time for two years
£33,450 to £36,520 per annum

The Department of Media and Communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science is advertising for a postdoctoral researcher to work on a timely and original research project into parenting and childhood in the digital era. Applications are invited from outstanding candidates with a PhD in the fields of media and  communications, education, childhood studies or allied social sciences.

The appointee will play a key role in conducting original ethnographic and case study research, project management and research dissemination, under the direction of Professor Sonia Livingstone. The project, ‘Preparing for a Digital Future’ is part of the 'Connected Learning Research Network' (CLRN) led by the University of California, Irvine, together with partner projects across the US, and part of the Digital Media Learning initiative funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The main fieldwork will comprise a series of qualitative case studies which variously examine how parents approach the task of bringing up their children in the digital age. Going beyond the question of how they manage digital media technologies at home, it will ask more broadly how parents conceive of the changes in society since their own childhoods, how they manage them, and what vision of a digital future they have for their children? The project will also identify relevant international projects in order to compare and contrast parenting strategies and practices in the digital era. The appointee will also play a key role in constructing a lively public face for the research in terms of blog posts and social media to engage a wider public of policy-makers, parenting groups and youth/learning practitioners. 
Candidates should have a developing record of excellent quality publications in refereed journals, an ability to write for and communicate with a range of audiences and experience of research management and administration, including workshop/seminar organisation. The other criteria that will be used when shortlisting for this post can be found on the person specification which is attached to this vacancy on the LSE’s online recruitment system. In addition to a good salary the benefits that come with this job include a defined benefits pension scheme, generous annual leave and excellent training and development opportunities. 
To apply for this post please go to ‘www.lse.ac.uk/Jobs at LSE’ and select “Vacancies”. The direct link ishttp://bit.ly/1ogaDaT  Applications must be received by 4 August 2014 (midnight UK time). Regrettably, we cannot accept any applications received after this date. Interviews are likely to take place in late August. Informal queries may be addressed to Sonia Livingstone, s.livingstone@lse.ac.uk

Monday, July 07, 2014

CFP Alert: Meaningful Play Conference

Cut & Paste from the email announcement for this year's Meaningful Play Conference, with a warning that the deadline for submissions is next week! Also, please note the publication opportunity with Games and Culture journal. Very cool.

Meaningful Play 2014October 16 - 18, 2014East Lansing, MI, USAhttp://meaningfulplay.msu.edu
Call for Submissions (Deadline July 14, 2014) 
Whether designed to entertain or to achieve more "serious" purposes, games have the potential to impact players' beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, emotions, cognitive abilities, physical and mental health, and behavior.  

Meaningful Play 2014 is a conference about theory, research, and game design innovations, principles and practices.   Meaningful Play brings scholars and industry professionals together to understand and improve upon games to entertain, inform, educate, and persuade in meaningful ways.  

Paper, Panel, Poster, Roundtable, Workshop, and Game submissions are sought from both researchers and practitioners in academia and industry. Graduate and advanced undergraduate students are also encouraged to submit either jointly with an academic/member of industry or alone. 

The conference includes thought-provoking keynotes from leaders in academia and industry, peer-reviewed paper presentations, panel sessions (including academic and industry discussions), innovative workshops, roundtable discussions, and exhibitions of games and prototypes. 
Meaningful Play 2014 and the Journal of Games and Culture have partnered to bring a Games and Culture special issue containing top papers from the Meaningful Play 2014 conference. The Journal of Games and Culture Culture is a peer-reviewed, international journal that promotes innovative theoretical and empirical research about games and culture within interactive media. 
Details on the conference, including the call for submissions, is available at:http://meaningfulplay.msu.edu

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Summer Hiatus? Not Quite...

Just a quick update to note that while I haven't had much time to update Gamine Expedition this summer, it's not from a lack of research activity or dearth of interesting kids' digital media-related things going on. My research team and I have actually been hard at work getting as much data collected and as many findings written up as possible before Fall 2014 (when I go on hiatus for real for several months on maternity leave). No need to wait for updates on all of that activity here, however. You can already find news about our research and related stories on my project-specific research blogs, regularly updated courtesy of my diligent and hard-working research assistants.

For news on (and relating to) the Kids DIY Media Partnership, click here!

For news on (and relating to) the Playing at Making project, click here!

For news on my Adaptive Gaming & Inclusive Play project, click here!

 I'll do my best to start updating Gamine Expedition again soon - but with all the projects, data collection and writing assignments I've got going on right now, it's been extra tough to juggle and give adequate attention to all three of my beloved sites.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

New Resource Alert: "Tweening the Girl" - new book by Natalie Coulter

Peter Lang's (publishing house) "Mediating Youth" series is filled with valuable gems, including a number of books that focus specifically on girls, media, technology and culture. Today I found out about a new addition to the series that I'm really looking forward to reading - Tweening the Girl:  The Crystallization of the Tween Market, written by Canadian children's studies guru Natalie Coulter. Here's the official description:

Tweening the Girl, challenges the accepted argument that the tween market began in the mid-1990s.  It was actually during the 1980s that young girls were given the label, “tweens” and were heralded by marketers, and subsequently the news media, as one of “capitalism’s most valuable customers”.  Tweening the Girl, expertly traces the emergence of tween during this era as she slowly became known to the consumer marketplace as a lucrative customer, market and audience. It clearly illustrates how ‘tweenhood’ which is often assumed to be a natural category of childhood is actually a product of the industries of the youth media marketplace that began to position the preteen girl as a separate market niche that is notched out of the transitory spaces between childhood and adolescence. Relying predominantly upon a textual analysis of trade publications in the 1980s and early 1990s the book eloquently maps out the synergistic processes of the marketing, advertising, merchandising and media industries as they slowly began to take interest in the girl and began to define her as a tween; an empowered female consumer who is no longer a child but not quite a teen.

Natalie Coulter is an assistant professor of communication studies at York University.  She is a founding member of ARCYP (Association for Research on the Cultures of Young People) and has published in a number of journals including the Canadian Journal of Communication and Juenesse.
Big congrats to Dr. Coulter!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Job Opportunity Alert - Work-Study Position in Web Content Management for the Kids DIY Media Project

Work-study position: Content Management Assistant

Professor Sara Grimes, Faculty of Information (that's me!!), has one work-study position available for a qualified University of Toronto student. If you are an undergraduate taking at least 1.0 credit (40% of a full course load) continuously from May and August (e.g. one 0.5 F course between May-June and one 0.5 S course between July-August, or 1 Y course from May to August), or a graduate student registered in at least 40% of a full course load from May to August, then you are eligible to apply.

Content Management Assistant

This research assistant (RA) will assist the Kids’ DIY Media and Playing at Making research projects in maintaining their websites and generating data visualizations for reports and project publicity. The ideal candidate possesses strong web and multimedia design skills, excellent written communication skills, and is able to work independently as well as in a team.

General responsibilities may include:
  • Track performance of our current website
  • Continue to enhance website content
  • Generate data visualizations for web and project reports
  • Actively engage and build relationships with the project’s social media community
  • Assist in promoting project events
  • Some literature review
  • Some data analysis
Other or more specific tasks can be prioritized for the applicant’s interest and strengths.
To apply, email a CV and cover letter to Dr. Sara Grimes at sara.grimes@utoronto.ca by [Note: Deadline has been EXTENDED!!!] 4pm, Friday 2 May, 2014.

Interviews will be scheduled sometime during the week of 5-9 May, 2014. Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Coming up: TIFF Kids Industry Conference (at the TIFF Kids Film Festival)

As part of the Kids DIY Media project's partnership with TIFF Kids, we're participating in several exciting events this month, as part of this year's TIFF Kids Film Festival.

For starters, we're exhibiting a table at this year's digiPlaySpace, within the Mini Maker Space. Very exciting stuff. We had the opportunity to go and visit digiPlaySpace last week, and were uber impressed with this year's collection of interactive, multi-media displays and activities. The paint with water wall, was a particular favourite. Our area is called "Creative Play Online" and features computers running some of the most popular kids' DIY media sites, including Scratch and Minecraft. Here's the official description from the website and program:
Create your own worlds in Minecraft, make your own games with SCRATCH, and learn how easy it can be to remix the web with Mozilla's Hackasaurus. These computer stations are presented in partnership with the University of Toronto and Utah State University's research project Kids Do-It-Yourself Media: working towards best practices around children's increased participation in creative cultural production online.
"Today, children's DIY media creation increasingly takes place online, using digital tools that allow them to not only produce and share their ideas with the world, but also develop many of the skills they'll need to be participants, innovators and leaders in the digital economy" (Kids Do-It-Yourself Media).

The exhibit can be found on the first floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and runs from March 8–April 21, 2014.

The next major event for the Kids DIY Media project will take place at the TIFF Kids Industry Conference, which runs from April 14 to 17, in conjunction with the TIFF Kids Film Festival. During the conference, we'll be participating on a panel titled "Kids' DIY Media Project: Opportunities and Challenges of Supporting Kids' Making and Sharing Media Online," featuring talks by yours truly, Deborah Fields (Utah State University),  Jason Krogh (one of our industry partners, and CEO of Sago Sago), Brian Alspach (E-Line Media), and moderated by David Kleeman (PlayCollective).

We'll also be running a workshop on the 17th, on "Kids' DIY Media: Best Practices for Creating Online Sharing Environments for Children." Should be a jam-packed and fun-filled 4 days!!

Here the blurb from the press release with links for registration, etc.:

[T]his year's TIFF Kids Industry Conference will feature a diverse group of guest speakers from around the world, ranging from filmmakers, writers and animators to researchers, interactive producers and funders. The programme consists of one day of keynote sessions and panel discussions on April 15, and three days of roundtable sessions and workshops. 
This year’s line-up of over 60 guest speakers includes Graham Annable, co-director of the upcoming 3D movie The Boxtrolls by renowned animation studio LAIKA (Coraline, ParaNorman); legendary puppeteer and actor Caroll Spinney, who has been the heart and soul of Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969; leading transmedia producer Caitlin Burns who has worked on multi-platform marketing campaigns for blockbuster franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar and Transformers; Brian Lovell, founder and CEO of digital marketing agency RED Interactive and developer of the Hunger Games Explorer, the massively popular online hub for fans of The Hunger Games; and the groundbreaking Kids' DIY Media Project lead by researchers Sara Grimes of University of Toronto and Deborah Fields of Utah State University. 
The full line-up and schedule of industry programming can be found here. Accreditation pricing starts at $150 for professionals and $50 for students. For more information on accreditation options and how to register, click here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Job Opportunity Alert! Postdoc position with DML Research Hub

This announcement just came through on the dmlhub mailing list, and they've already started accepting applications! Cut and paste directly from the original - direct any questions to them, not me!

Postdoc opportunity at DML Hub's Connected Learning Research Network 
Here's the recruitment page: https://recruit.ap.uci.edu/apply/JPF02242
Please distribute the opening to your networks! If you are interested or know anyone who might be, please do send them our way.

More information:
Open Mar 11, 2014 through Apr 11, 2014
One postdoctoral position is available in the Digital Media & Learning Research Hub, at the UC Humanities Research Institute, based on the Irvine campus. The postdoctoral scholar will collaborate in a MacArthur Foundation-funded research network on Connected Learning, investigating how new digital and networked media can support interest-driven and socially connected forms of learning. The postdoctoral scholar will be responsible for conducting ethnographic research on interest-driven learning with digital media, with a focus on parental involvement, analyzing research findings and working collaboratively with principle investigators and others involved in the research network. 
Requirements – Candidates should have a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline and research experience with contemporary developments concerning youth, digital media and learning. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in ethnographic and online research with families and youth and expertise in learning theory, Internet research, game studies, and design research. Evidence of collaborative and mixed methods research will also be valued. Travel may be required in this position to perform research and meet with collaborators. 
Position is dependent on extramural funding. Initial appointment is for one year and renewal is based on performance and is contingent on receipt of project funding. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue through application deadline of April 11, 2014.
The appointment may begin as early as August 1, 2014 and would continue until July 31, 2015, renewable pending review and available funding.
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Gamine Expedition by Sara Grimes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.