Saturday, April 28, 2012

This Week: Pathways to Privacy Research Symposium

©2012 Sara M. Grimes
As the semester is finally winding down, I'm heading to Ottawa this week to take part in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC)'s first Pathways to Privacy Research Symposium at the National Arts Centre (May 2, 2012). The theme is "Privacy for Everyone," and I'll be talking about some of the privacy issues/privacy policy implications I've encountered in my research on kids' online games and other digital communities. The symposium will bring together a small number of academics and key stakeholders from industry, government, advocacy groups and other NGOs, to discuss a variety of privacy issues focused on youth, addressing the needs of diverse populations, emerging technologies and practices, including those focused on identification and surveillance. This will be the first in a larger Pathways to Privacy series, which aims to fulfill a number of important objectives over the coming months, including (as reproduced from the OPC website):

  • To showcase privacy-related research funded by OPC’s Contributions Program and other funders.
  • To facilitate dialogue between the people who do the research and those who apply it.
  • To enhance the relevance of research results and enable uptake and application by relevant end-users.
  • To provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary capacity-building, partnership and networking among researchers.

I'm especially looking forward to hearing talks by Dr. Valerie Steeves (University of Ottawa), Dr. Ian Kerr (University of Ottawa), and famous privacy theorist Dr. David Lyon (Queen's University). I'm also beyond delighted to be speaking on a panel with 20 Awareness' Jane Talim (not to mention hearing more about the latest phase of their Young Canadians in a Wired World research), as well as finding out what John Lawford (legal counsel with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre) has to say about data-mining (and compiling) kids' info (at least, that what I'm guessing his talk is about based on the title).

For those of you planning to attend, I'll see you there next week!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coming Up: TIFF Nexus New Media Literacies Conference!!

This is one of the things I'll be busy with next week: The New Media Literacies Conference at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. It takes place next Friday, April 20th 1:00 pm – 7:30 pm, and there are still tickets left. The conference includes an AMAZing line-up of speakers (that I feel very lucky to be presenting alongside), a bunch of workshops and activities, spaces/installation, and a chance to meet some of the really fascinating people involved in the kids' digital media scene. Here's the conference description, cut-and-paste from the official website:
The children and youth of today – and their families, educators and content creators – exist in a drastically evolved media landscape than those of even 10 years ago. It’s clear these emerging technologies have outgrown the critical abilities that a more traditional media literacy education can offer, but exactly what are the additional new skills necessary in order to thrive in this interactive, instant-on, internet-enabled, and mobile media ecosphere? The popular TIFF Nexus series, designed to promote cross-sector connections across film, games and new media, returns to explore and engage in these themes through inspirational presentations, creative collaboration, demonstrations and hands-on learning workshops led by creators and researchers who are committed to enriching the lives of kids, youth and families.
A key selling feature of the conference is a keynote by Dr. Nicole Pinkard:
Dr. Pinkard shares insights into the inspirational work she and her collaborators are doing with platforms like the Digital Youth Network and institutions such as the Chicago Public Library (co-founding YOUmedia), to build new media literacy awareness and skills development for children and youth. Following her keynote address, Debbie Gordon, the director of the kidsmediacentre at Centennial College, will engage Dr. Pinkard in conversation.
And, in addition to some awesome-sounding sessions and lighting talks by media creators and academics, the conference includes access to various TIFF Kids-associated things, including the digiPlaySpace:
TIFF Nexus ticket-holders can let their imaginations roam free in the TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace by engaging in interactive art installations, learning-centric games, mobile apps, new digital creative tools and hands-on production activities. COME EARLY between 11am and 12:30pm, and be mindful that the doors will be closing at 12:45 to allow time to get to the conference venue.
The Industry/Educator rates are $60, Students get in for $30 and full price admission is $99: which gets you into the workshops, the digiPlaySpace, a networking cocktail and a chance to hear wonderful speakers and panelists, such as Jason Krough (zinc Roe), Carly Shuler (Joan Ganz Cooney Centre), Jacob Blackstock (Bitstrips) and Mark Rabo (Gamercamp). Hope to see (some of) you there!

Hunger Games Post Coming Soon!

End of semester madness started a bit early this year, so I've been a bit behind on my writing - including my Part 2 follow up to last month's Grim Games and Dangerous Fairy Tales post, which will address the Hunger Games "controversy" and some of my thoughts on the film. It's almost ready, but I've got a few more things to cross off on the to do list first, so stay tuned!