Cultural Anthropologist Mimi Ito on Connected Learning, Children, and Digital Media in a Networked Age

Mimi Ito is a cultural anthropologist and expert in the field of digital media and learning, focusing on children and youth’s changing relationships to media and communications. She recently completed the Digital Youth Project, a landmark study supported by the MacArthur Foundation of the ways youth use new media. In September 2010, she was appointed as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at UC Irvine.

Ito emphasizes the need to put aside prejudices against new media in order to harness their potential as learning tools: “I think there’s a more general perception in the culture around new media that it is inherently a space that is hostile to learning. And that’s a perception that I think we really need to work against.” “We know that the learning outside of school matters tremendously for the learning in school. The question is: how can we be more active about linking those two together?” she adds.

Mimi Ito is a Professor in Residence at the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and serves as Research Director of the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub in the system-wide University of California Humanities Research Institute.

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