Erin E. Reilly

8/26/2010 6:20:00 PM

Erin E. Reilly is co-founder and served on the board of directors at Platform Shoes Forum, a nonprofit that helps young women pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She is co-creator of PSF’s model program Zoey’s Room, a national online community for 10-14 year-old girls, encouraging their creativity in STEM subjects that won her a Leaders in Learning Award from Cable in the Classroom. Currently, Reilly is the research director for Project New Media Literacies of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Department, an initiative that supports research and innovative teaching methods to engage today’s digital kids.

T&L contributing editor Matt Bolch spoke with Reilly about her views on teaching and active learning in the multi-media age.

What's the most promising initiative from Project New Media Literacies that will aid K-12 classroom instruction?
I think the most promising initiative NML is developing to aid K-12 classroom instruction is PLAY! (Participatory Learning and You!). Teachers play a monumental role in facilitating opportunities for students to become critical thinkers, proactive citizens and creative contributors to the world. In our rapidly shifting digital and social landscape, unequal access to experiences that help build the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute in these evolving environments can prevent youth from meaningful participation in them. This “participation gap,” we believe, cannot be wholly addressed when teachers themselves are not afforded these same opportunities to grow and learn.

The new media literacies allow us to think in very different ways about the processes of learning, because they acknowledge a shift from the top-down model to one that invokes all voices and all means of thinking and creating to build new knowledge. For many educators, however, integrating participatory culture into the classroom raises issues of maintaining control, building trust and providing an open-source culture of learning that allows students to share their own expertise in the classroom. At the same time, the mindsets and skill sets of the new media literacies are changing the discipline itself. In effect, we are teaching an outdated version of literacy if we do not address the sorts of practices that new media and new technologies support.

Our goal for PLAY! is to model and encourage educators to adopt a participatory learning environment for their own context, while fostering a deeper understanding of the new media literacies in their own context. By modeling a participatory learning environment, PLAY! shifts the discussion of multimodality away from questions of implementation to those of ways of thinking about participation, facilitation and pedagogy as fluid and interdependent in and beyond the digital environs.

Explain the current focus of Platform Shoes Forum.
In April of this year, I stepped off the board of Platform Shoes Forum in order to focus on other advisory roles that I felt aligned more with my current goals. Some of them include being a board member of NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Educators) and serve on advisory boards, such as Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Vital Signs, and Everloop, a new class of social networking that brings the best in online privacy protection, content sharing, collaboration and virtual economy to tweens worldwide. I also consult with companies such as PBS Kids Go! and the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Name two non-technology activities that you do for fun.
I love to travel! My family often just jumps in the car looking for our next adventure. I also am totally immersed right now in reading the Harry Potter book series to my 7-year old son, Ocean.


comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...