Thursday, February 19, 2015

Another new book in our series, this one by Trevor Owens: "Designing Online Communities"

Trevor Owen's new book, Designing Online Communities: How Designers, Developers, Community Managers, and Software Structure Discourse and Knowledge Production on the Web, is now out and a must-read for anyone even remotely interested in working with or researching online communities.

From the back cover:
Discussion on the Web is mediated through layers of software and protocols. As scholars increasingly study communication and learning on the Internet, it is essential to consider how site administrators, programmers, and designers create interfaces and enable functionality. The managers, administrators, and designers of online communities can turn to more than 20 years of technical books for guidance on how to design online communities towards particular objectives. Through analysis of this "how to" literature, Designing Online Communities explores the discourse of design and configuration that partially structures online communities and later social networks. Tracking the history of notions of community in these books suggests the emergence of a logic of permission and control. Online community defies many conventional notions of community. Participants are increasingly treated as "users", or even as commodities themselves to be used. Through consideration of the particular tactics of these administrators, this book suggests how researchers should approach the study and analysis of the records of online communication. 
Advance praise for Designing Online Communities can be found here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New book in our series: Matt Farber's "Gamify Your Classroom"

Matthew Farber's Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning” is now out! This book is  wonderful mix of theory, practical advice for pedagogy and insightful interviews with biggies in the new media and gaming fields. From the back cover:
This book is a field guide on how to implement game-based learning and «gamification» techniques to the everyday teaching. It is a survey of best practices aggregated from interviews with experts in the field, including: James Paul Gee (Author, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy); Henry Jenkins (Provost Professor at University of Southern California); Katie Salen (Founder, Institute of Play); Bernie DeKoven (Author, A Playful Path); Richard Bartle (Bartle’s Player Type Theory); Kurt Squire (Games + Learning + Society Center); Jessica Millstone (Joan Ganz Cooney Center), Dan White (Filament Games); Erin Hoffman (GlassLab games); Jesse Schell (Schell Games/Professor at Carnegie Mellon); Tracy Fullerton (University of Southern California Game Innovation Lab); Alan Gershenfeld (E-Line Media); Noah Falstein (Chief Game Designer, Google); Valerie Shute (Professor at Florida State University); Lee Sheldon (Author, The Multiplayer Classroom); Robert J. Torres (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Asi Burak (President, Games for Change); Toby Rowland (MangaHigh); Jocelyn Leavitt (Hopscotch); Krishna Vedati (Tynker); and researchers at BrainPOP and designers from Electric Funstuff (Mission U.S. games). Each chapter concludes with practical lesson plan ideas, games to play (both digital and tabletop), and links to research further. Much of the book draws on the author’s experiences implementing games with his middle school students. Regardless of your teaching discipline or grade level, whether you are a pre-service teacher or veteran educator, this book will engage and reinvigorate the way you teach and how your students learn.
Here's Matt himself talking about his book.

This is a must-have book for any new literacies or new media scholar!

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