Digital Media & Education – Symposium – Congress of the German Society of Educational Science, HU Berlin, March 12, 2014

Digital Media and Education. The role of media in the daily lives of marginalised young people in Europe, Brazil and Russia


Prof. Dr. Christoph Wulf (FU Berlin),
Dr. Nino Ferrin (FU Berlin),
Dr. Michalis Kontopodis (VU Amsterdam),
Dr. des. Martin Bittner (FU Berlin)

Summary: Research on digital media is booming. However, the methodological aspects of research projects focusing on youth and learning via digital technologies in different areas of the world are not dealt with sufficiently in the literature. Qualitative research that explores the use of digital technologies by young people from around the globe as seen from the young people ́s perspectives is limited. The Forum will discuss the interdisciplinary research project ‘DIGIT-M-ED’, a Marie Curie People’s Program research staff exchange project which concerns the social, cultural, media-analytical, and educational dimensions of digital media practices. Project groups from the participating countries (Brazil, Russia, Germany, and Greece) will present different approaches – as (post-) Vygotskian learning and developmental research, multi- modal analysis of digital technologies, and anthropological investigations with young people – for collecting, compar- ing, and contrasting data.



introduction: Digital Media 


Education by Prof. Dr. Christoph 

Wulf (FU Berlin), Dr. Nino 

Ferrin (FU Berlin), Dr. Michalis Kontopodis (VU Amsterdam)

Transnational, Multimodal, Meta-reflective, Participatory: Exploring 


Future of  

 Education with 

HyperMedia & Social Networks by Dr. 
Christos Varvantakis (Berlin/Kreta), Dr. Michalis Kontopodis (VU Amsterdam)

Using multimedia at 

school: The views of Brazilian students from underprivileged communities by Prof. Dr. 


Liberali (PUC São Paulo)

Digital Media 



Education of Children with Special Needs: A Case Study by Dr.  

Natalya Ulanova & Dr. Olga Rubtsova  

(Moscow State University of Psychology and Education)


as a 

Principle. New 
Media & Old 

Garbage -





 Education by Prof. 

Dr. Norval Baitello Junior (PUC São Paulo)

Discussant: Dr. Anja Kraus (Växjö, Sweden) 

Place & Further Information:

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New movie by pupils in Greece

An amazing short movie is made in the context of the “Hyperconnecting Schools” project by pupils in Rethymnon, Greece. It is called: Pupils’ views, from Réthymno to the world!

Enjoy the film here:

More films on our you-tube channel:

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Childhood and Youth in the Digital Age: Key Issues and Debates

More and more children and young people from all over the world come of age in virtual social worlds such as World of Warcraft or make friends in social networking sites such as www.yoursphere.comDigital technologies alter the ways how children play, learn, socialize and consume. They also enable children and young people to express themselves in public forums by combining different modes of communication. Are social media platforms, video games and smart phones dangerous for the children and youth? Or do these media open automatically ways for children and young people to be more engaged in school and community life, learn in multimodal and interactive ways as well as share information on transnational level? How to take critical distance from both “cyber-critics” and “cyber-utopians” and examine the various discourses around children and ICT? The teaching module “Childhood and Youth in the Digital Age: Key Issues and Debates” provides students with theoretical and meta-theoretical tools so that they are able to recognize and respond to core debates such as:

    • are children (as opposed to adults) “naturally adept” users of technology?
    • do computers transform children so that they participate in “adult” activities such as business or politics?
    • are children “naturally innocent” and in danger of being exposed to inappropriate violent or sexual material or do they have an “inherent inclination toward deviance” and seek out inappropriate material on the internet?
    • does access to ICT transform ordinary children into exceptionally skilled ones or do new media make youth lonelier and more depressed?
    • Will the wide introduction of ICT in education lead to economic growth in Europe and worldwide?

For more information go here:

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Report: DIGIT-M-ED Conference and Workshop in Rethymno, Crete. October 2013

Not always easy, but eventually enriching, cultural differences appeared in the DIGIT-E-MED Meeting that took place in Greece last October/2013. Even though we, the participants, are all academics, nothing better than our researches to show how different we are and how human are our emotions. Dedication and passion for academic investigation probably are the only characteristics that the whole group shares, however, what more could we ask for? Diverse voices spoke, stood their own ground, made everybody sensitive towards their work, why not say, perhaps, cause? READ MORE HERE

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Digital Media Research: Methodological Approaches – Global Perspectives – Educational Challenges: International Conference at University of Crete, Greece, October 21, 2013

The Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Crete in Rethymnon, Greece is kindly inviting all interested colleagues to participate in the DIGIT-M-ED International Conference “Digital Media Research: Methodological Approaches –  Global Perspectives – Educational Challenges” on Monday the 21st  of October, 2013. The contact persons for this are: Sofia Triliva and Manolis Dafermakis (contact email: triliva(a)

The programme is the following:

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 7.41.10 π.μ.For the detailed programme of the workshop and the book of abstracts click here: Rethymno Crete October Meeting Proceedings and Abstracts 

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Report and Photos from the International Conference & Further Activities in Brazil, 2013

A series of activities took place in June 2013 at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) in Brazil, with a focus on multiliteracy and multimodality research and the use of video-editing media for educational purposes.

Most importantly the International Symposium on 08/06/2013 “Global Perspectives on Learning and Development with Digit@l Media” explored the question how new media can lead to teaching-learning practices that provide students with a broader range of ways to collaborate in knowledge production at school than in traditional teaching. Taking the notion of “mediation” as a point of departure, international and Brazilian scholars discussed the links between cultural-historical and media theories (Vygotsky, Flusser). Furthermore, specific attention was given to multimodality theory that provides powerful tools to analyze the combination of various modes such as visual, spatial, auditory, postural, which are used to construct and share meaning in off- and online school interaction. MA and PhD students from various local research groups (media, linguistics, education) presented posters on curriculum development, intercultural understanding and multiliteracy. The symposium was open to the public and attracted a large number of secondary education teachers, school program coordinators, school directors as well as staff from the Secretary of Education of Sao Paulo municipality.

Further activities concerned research (school observation and focus-group discussions), invited talks (by J. Bezemer, M. Dafermakis and M. Kontopodis) as well as teaching, work on data analysis and ethics. A highlight here were the focus-group discussions with pupils and secondary education students (8-16 year old) from state and municipal schools who presented ideas on how new media can be used in order to make classes nicer and more interesting. During the discussion students were asked to reflect about what they think of digital media and their impact. As a further activity, pupils and students engaged in innovative new-media practices designed and organized by the international and local researchers for a whole afternoon. Photos from all these events and activities are presented below (Report by Maurício Canuto, Camila Santiago & Michalis Kontopodis)

For photos by Mauricio Canuto, Mauricio Massakazu Shimoura & Michalis Kontopodis visit:

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International Symposium – Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, 08/06/2013 (open to the public)

Title: Global Perspectives on Learning and Development with Digit@l Media

9.00-10.00: Opening Session by C. Magalhães, A. Lessa & W. Oliveira

10.00-11.00: Keynote I: Communication and learning: A multimodal perspective by Dr. Jeff Bezemer, IOE London

11.00-11.30: Coffee/ tea break

11.30-12.30: Student Poster Session I

12.30-14.00: Lunch break

14.00-15.00: Keynote II: Transnational, Intermediary, Cross-Level, Multi-disciplinary, Meta-reflective: Exploring the future of education with digital media by Dr. Michalis Kontopodis, VU Amsterdam  & M. Dafermakis, University of Crete

15.00-16.00: Student Poster Session II

16.00-16.30: Coffee/ tea break

16.30-17.30: Discussion/ Round Table with N. Baitello, C. Magalhaes, F. Liberali, PUC SP

For information on the place and further details contact: Fernanda Liberali,

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Training Day: Multimodal methods for analysing social media

The colleagues  from the London Knowledge Lab are organising a ‘Training Day’ on Multimodal methods for analysing social media. Here is the description of the workshop:

Are you interested in social networking sites, blogs and forums, but not sure how to analyse them? In this one-day seminar we introduce a multimodal approach to the study of representation and communication in digital environments. Looking at a range of platforms and genres and using qualitative methods we demonstrate how to analyse even the smallest design features of sites and pages and their social effects. We attend to a wide range of modes available and used in these environments, including image, layout, writing, colour, moving image, and speech; and to their meaning potential. The approach brings together visual, linguistic and rhetorical analysis. Looking at concrete examples, our leading questions are: Who are the social actors here? What are the multimodal resources that they have available for designing a social environment? What are the potentialities and constraints of these resources? How do the actors use these resources? What does the social environment that they construct look like?

Date and location10:00-15:30, 15th May 2013, at the London Knowledge Lab

More information

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Workshop: Observing digital media practices / Media as methods of observation

We are happy to announce a forthcoming DigitMEd  workshop in Freie Universität of Berlin, at 26th - 27th April 2013 wih the title: “Observing digital media practices /  Media as methods of observation“.

The workshop aims to introduce the global research team and those who are interested in theories and methodologies involved in the study of practices of off- and online communities of young people. The workshop also seeks to show how to adopt the use of media as a research method and how to collaborate with the field through media. Further discussions and talks will be connected to the concepts of inter- and cross-cultural investigations and the participation within media.

The workshop is part of the 2nd Work Package of DigitMEd and will be open to the public. For registration or querries, contact Mr. Martin Bittner at: martin.bittner[at]

26th April

09.30 – 10.00 Welcome & Introduction (M. Kontopodis, M. Bittner & C. Wulf)

10.00 – 11.00 Visuality and the Senses (Christoph Wulf, FU Berlin)

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee/ tea break

11.30 – 12.30 Visual Anthropology in Virtual Worlds (Urte Undine Frömming, FU Berlin)
27th April
09.30 – 11.00

You-tube, young people and the economic crisis in Greece (C. Varvantakis, FU Berlin)

Relations of Recognition in English and German Primary schools: Reflections on comparative ethnography (B. Fritzsche, dipf)

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee/ Tea Break

11.30 – 12.30

Theoretical Perspectives on intercultural comparison (I. Clemens)

Working in and with “foreing” languages – translation as a method of interpretation (M. Bittner)

Place: Freie Universität Berlin, Arbeitsbereich Anthropologie und Erziehung, Arnimallee 11, 14195 Berlin.

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Welcome to the DIGIT-M-ED webpage. This research staff exchange project concerns the social, cultural, media-analytical and educational dimensions of digital media practices with a focus on the devices that are used for capturing, editing and circulating video data. DIGIT-M-ED aims at developing an innovative methodology for the interdisciplinary and comparative/cross-cultural study of emerging digital media and technologies practices and constellations with special attention to the voices and perspectives of the young people involved in research. Solid research synergies between German and Indian traditions of anthropological and sociological youth research, British scholarship in media analysis, Greek and Brazilian educational and youth research and Russian learning theories will be constructed more fully and creatively. Existing theoretical and methodological tools from 1) post-vygotskian psychology and learning theory 2) multimodal analysis and 3) anthropological research will be tested and further developed. A small-scale ethnographic research with young people in the age of 16-21 years who live in marginalized urban milieus in Athens, New Delhi and São Paulo is planed with the aim of designing large-scale research in the near future. Further activities such as workshops, collaborative teaching and joint publications and presentations will expand and intensify existing research partnerships. DIGIT-M-ED will thus facilitate the development of a productive and sustainable international research network that will investigate how digital media and technologies transform the everyday lives and affect the development of young people in North and South Europe, Brazil, Russia and India in the years to come. Financed by the Marie Curie People’s Program.


Michalis Kontopodis – michaliskonto(a)

Sofia Triliva - triliva(a)

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