Digital Culture & Education is an international inter-disciplinary open-access peer-reviewed academic journal. Established in 2009 by Chris Walsh & Thomas Apperley the journal publishes scholarly work exploring the overlaps of digital technology, culture, and education. The journal is dedicated to making this scholarship and research available to all via open access to challenge the hegemony of publishers. All articles are accessible and available in downloadable print formats hosted on this website.


Globethics Library has vol. 1(2009) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Culture matters ❤ engaging students in redesigning coursework with digital components

    Amy Owen (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2016-04-01)
    In this study tertiary level curriculum was redesigned to include online and digital components for engaging, motivating, involving and exciting students. An innovative approach is offered that involves students creatively in flexible, adaptable curriculum using cultural and instructional student preferences. Traditional lecture style cultural geography curriculum at the University of Guam (UOG) was redesigned with digital components with assistance from students. UOG students were surveyed for their digital technology preferences. Interviews provided detailed information regarding course delivery preferences. This warranted a curricular shift from content to dynamic, adaptable processes that better fit the instructional needs and preferences of students. Student culture pattern preferences highlighted the importance of connection and quality inter-relating. Undergraduate courses were restructured into living curriculum intended to adapt, including research and inquiry focused projects with highly interactive modular, short, mixed media and mode assignments. I argue the redevelopment of tertiary curriculum along the lines of cultural preferences involves and engages adult learners.
  • Educating generation next: Screen media use, digital competencies and tertiary education

    Toija Cinque; Adam Brown (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2015-03-01)
    This article investigates the use of screen media and digital competencies of higher education students in light of the growing focus on new media and e-learning in Australian universities. The authors argue that there is a need to resist the commonplace utopian and dystopian discourses surrounding new media technological innovation, and approach the issue of its potential roles and limitations in higher education settings with due care. The article analyses survey data collected from first-year university students to consider what screen media they currently make use of, how frequently these media are interacted with, and in what settings and for what purposes they are used. The article considers what implications the digital practices and competencies of young adults have for pedagogical programs that aim to engage them in virtual environments.
  • MoViE: Experiences and attitudes—Learning with a mobile social video application

    Pauliina Tuomi; Jari Multisilta (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2010-10-01)
    Digital media is increasingly finding its way into the discussions of the classroom. Particularly interest is placed on mobile learning—the learning and teaching practices done with or via different mobile devices. Learning with the help of mobile devices is increasingly common and it is considered to be one of the 21st century skills children should adapt already in early stages in schools. The article presents both qualitative and quantitative study on mobile social video application, MoViE, as a part of teaching in biology and geography in 8th and 9th grades. The multidisciplinary data was processed to answer the following question: How did the use of mobile videos promote learning? The actual research question is however twofold: On one hand, it studies the use of mobile videos in mobile learning. On the other hand, it sets out to investigate the implementation of mobile video sharing as a part of the teaching and learning activities.
  • The language of Webkinz: Early childhood literacy in an online virtual world

    Rebecca W. Black (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2010-05-01)
    In recent years there has been an explosion of virtual worlds intended for early childhood populations; however, because the majority of research on games and such worlds has focused on adults and adolescents, we know very little about these spaces. This article attempts to address this gap by providing a qualitative content analysis of the affordances that Webkinz World an online environment that as of March 2010 had over 3 million unique site visitors per month, offers for children’s literacy and language development. Analyses suggest that the site provides unique opportunities for immersion in literacy-rich contexts and academically-oriented practices that may enhance those that are readily available in many children’s daily lives. However, looking beyond the discrete linguistic and technical aspects of learning in Webkinz World reveals a designed culture with limitations on learning and a constrained set of literacies and social messages that warrant further critical exploration.
  • Museums, games, and historical imagination: Student responses to a games-based experience at the Australian national maritime museum

    Leonie Rowan; Geraldine Townend; Catherine Beavis; Lynda Kelly; Jeffrey Fletcher (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2016-07-01)
    Digital games feature prominently in discussions concerning the ways museums might reimagine themselves—and best serve their audiences—in an increasingly digital age. Questions are increasingly asked about the opportunities various games might provide to foster historical imagination, and, in this process, contribute to the curation, construction and dissemination of knowledge: goals central to the work of modern museums. This paper reports on the experiences and perceptions of three groups of year 9 students (aged 14-15) as they engaged with one purpose built digital game—called The Voyage—at the Australian National Maritime Museum in 2015. The researchers sought students’ feedback on the strengths, weakness and possibilities associated with using games in museum contexts (rather than at home, or at school). In presenting students’ perspectives and their associated recommendations, the paper provides vital end-user input into considerations about how museums might maximize the potential of digital games, to enhance historical awareness and understanding, build links to formal curriculum, and strengthen partnerships between schools and museums.
  • Teaching and learning English through digital game projects

    Jonathan deHaan (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2011-04-01)
    Digital games are receiving increasing attention by researchers and practitioners in education; however, most of the theory and pedagogy focus on general education or language and literacy development of native speakers. There are very few investigations of game play or game culture and second language development. Language teachers and institutions must know more about games to use the media effectively. Two completed extracurricular projects, based on constructionist learning and media literacy theories and practices, are described in this paper: game design and game magazine creation. The action research projects aimed to guide students towards a better understanding of games’ formal features and technologies through their active creation of games and game-related media, and to improve their spoken and written English language skills. In general, students learned and practised a variety of language and technology skills with the design projects. The projects motivated the students, challenged the students, and provided many opportunities for authentic discussions in the foreign language. Various suggestions, based on the teacher and student experiences of these projects, are made for other language teachers interested in conducting creative game-based projects with their students.
  • Revisiting violent videogames research: Game studies perspectives on aggression, violence, immersion, interaction, and textual analysis

    Kyle Kontour (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2009-04-01)
    Thus far, the bulk of effects research on violent video games demon-strates troubling correlations between playing violent video games and increases in (or primers for) aggressive behavior, which suggests that overall, violent video games may be detrimental to society. However, there may be significant weaknesses in this body of research, concerning not only methodological issues such as study design and the ways in which ‘aggression’ or ‘violence’ are conceptualized, but also containing fundamental misunderstandings of games as text, apparatus, or cultural artifact. Because these studies may not have a sophisticated enough un-derstanding of games as objects or gaming as an activity, we must there-fore reconsider the conclusions and implications thus far arrived at in this research and look for new ways forward for assessing violence in/and video games.
  • Copyright, digital media literacies and preservice teacher education

    Michael Dezuanni; Cushla Kapitzke; Radha Iyer (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2010-10-01)
    This article considers copyright knowledge and skills as a new literacy that can be developed through the application of digital media literacy pedagogies. Digital media literacy is emerging from more established forms of media literacy that have existed in schools for several decades and have continued to change as the social and cultural practices around media technologies have changed. Changing requirements of copyright law present specific new challenges for media literacy education because the digitisation of media materials provides individuals with opportunities to appropriate and circulate culture in ways that were previously impossible. This article discusses a project in which a group of preservice media literacy educators were introduced to knowledge and skills required for the productive and informed use of different copyrights frameworks. The students’ written reflections and video production responses to a series of workshops about copyright are discussed, as are the opportunities and challenges provided by copyright education in preservice teacher education.
  • Procedural Rhetoric and Undocumented Migrants: Playing the Debate over Immigration Reform

    Osvaldo Cleger (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2015-04-01)
    The main purpose of this article is to analyze how a representative selection of computer games, set mostly in a Latin American context or at the US-Mexico border, are capable of mounting arguments about immigration policy by making good or poor uses of what Ian Bogost has conceptualized as “procedural rhetoric” (Bogost 2007). In other words, my goal in this article is to explore to what extent videogames can be effectively persuasive in the way they manage to create a computational representation of the experience of migrating, and its associated consequences, independently of the legal or illegal status of such displacements. This article revises current research on procedural representation to offer a detailed analysis of a representative selection of digital games dealing with this particular issue (Border Patrol, Tropico (I-IV), ICED!, Rescate: Alicia Croft, and Papers, Please). Finally, I will show how two commercial games produced mostly for entertainment purposes (such as Tropico and Papers, Please) can be more effective at mounting a procedural argument and, plausibly, at influencing players’ opinions on a particular issue than a “serious game” (such as ICED!). Based on this analysis, I propose to move beyond this distinction between entertaining and serious to focus on what is particular about videogames in general, that can make them into more efficient tools to disseminate ideas and provide players with more opportunities for experiential learning.
  • Digital Technologies and performative pedagogies: Repositioning the visual

    Kathryn Grushka; Debra Donnelly (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2010-05-01)
    Images are becoming a primary means of information presentation in the digitized global media and digital technologies have emancipated and democratized the image. This allows for the reproduction and manipulation of images on a scale never seen before and opens new possibilities for teachers schooled in critical visuality. This paper reports on an innovative pre-service teacher training course in which a cross-curricula cohort of secondary teachers employed visual performative competencies to produce a series of learning objects on a digital platform. The resulting intertextual narratives demonstrate that the manipulation of image and text offered by digital technologies create a powerful vehicle for investigating knowledge and understandings, evolving new meaning and awakening latent creativity in the use of images for meaning making. This research informs the New Literacies and multimodal fields of enquiry and argues that visuality is integral to any pedagogy that purports to be relevant to the contemporary learner. It argues that the visual has been significantly under-valued as a conduit for knowledge acquisition and meaning making in the digital environment and supports the claim that critical literacy, interactivity, experimentation and production are vital to attaining the tenets of transformative education (Buckingham, 2007; Walsh, 2007; Cope & Kalantzis, 2008).
  • Pre-service teacher perceptions about the use of Facebook in English language teaching

    Abdulvahit Çakir; Çağla Atmaca (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2015-07-01)
    This study aims to find out student teachers’ perceptions about the use of Facebook in English language teaching and their preferences on how to integrate Facebook into English classes. This study, which is based on a mixed method research, consisted of written and oral interviews with 221 student teachers in the English Language Teaching (ELT) program at Gazi University during the fall semester of the academic year 2012-2013. Of the 221student teachers, 38 (18%) were male and 173 (82%) were female. 146 participants (69.2%) were in favour of Facebook integration into English classes while 58 participants (27.5%) were against and finally 7 participants (3.3%) were neutral. In terms of age and level of learners, adolescents were preferred as the most appropriate age group to be taught English on Facebook; intermediate level was the mostly preferred language level to be enhanced via Facebook. Furhtermore, self -study was seen as the most important type of Facebook use. These findings show us how student teachers’ educational preferences can be changed in line with the education they receive and how they should be trained according to the current educational moves and communication tools.
  • Creative stories: Modelling the principal components of human creativity over texts in a storytelling game

    Antonis Koukourikos; Pythagoras Karampiperis; Vangelis Karkaletsis (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2016-07-01)
    The process of effectively applying techniques for fostering creativity in educational settings is – by nature – multifaceted and not straightforward, as it pertains to several fields such as cognitive theory and psychology. Furthermore, the quantification of the impact of different activities on creativity is a challenging and not yet thoroughly investigated task. In this paper, we present the process of applying the Semantic Lateral Thinking technique for fostering creativity in Creative Stories, a digital storytelling game, via the introduction of the appropriate stimuli in the game’s flow. Furthermore, we present a formalization for a person’s creativity as a derivative of his/her creations within the game, by transitioning from traditional computational creativity metrics over the produced stories to a space that adheres to the core principles of creativity as perceived by humans.
  • Playing at bullying: The postmodern ethic of Bully (Canis Canem Edit)

    Clare Bradford (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2009-05-01)
    This essay discusses Bully (Canis Canem Edit), considering the game’s antecedents (narratives involving young people in school settings) and the features which set it apart from other teen texts. It discusses the controversy surrounding the game and comes to the conclusion that the principal reason for unease on the part of parents and educational authorities is that Bully’s postmodernist ethic evades the binaries of liberal humanism and calls into question the foundations on which conventional ethical systems are based. The paper considers several episodes from the game to flesh out its arguments about how the game manifests features of postmodernist textuality in its propensity for simultaneously deploying and interrogating references to historical and contemporary cultural practices.
  • Teaching geometrical principles to design students

    Christoph Bartneck; Loe Fejis (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2009-12-01)
    We propose a new method of teaching the principles of geometry to design students. The students focus on a field of design in which geometry is the design: tessellation. We review different approaches to geometry and the field of tessellation before we discuss the setup of the course. Instead of employing 2D drawing tools, such as Adobe Illustrator, the students define their tessellation in mathematical formulas, using the Mathematica software. This procedure enables them to understand the mathematical principles on which graphical tools, such as Illustrator are built upon. But we do not stop at a digital representation of their tessellation design we continue to cut their tessellations in Perspex. It moves the abstract concepts of math into the real world, so that the students can experience them directly, which provides a tremendous reward to the students.

    Jonathan Gray; Liliana Bounegru; Richard Rogers; Tommaso Venturini; Donato Ricci; Axel Meunier; Michele Mauri; Sabine Niederer; Natalia Sánchez Querubín; Marc Tuters (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2022-07-01)
    This article examines the organisation of collaborative digital methods and data projects in the context of engaged research-led teaching in the humanities. Drawing on interviews, field notes, projects and practices from across eight research groups associated with the Public Data Lab (, it provides considerations for those interested in undertaking such projects, organised around four areas: composing (1) problems and questions; (2) collectives of inquiry; (3) learning devices and infrastructures; and (4) vernacular, boundary and experimental outputs. Informed by constructivist approaches to learning and pragmatist approaches to collective inquiry, these considerations aim to support teaching and learning through digital projects which surface and reflect on the questions, problems, formats, data, methods, materials and means through which they are produced.

    Helen Beetham; Amy Collier; Laura Czerniewicz; Brian Lamb; Yuwei Lin; Jen Ross; Anne-Marie Scott; Anna Wilson (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2022-02-01)
    This paper describes and critiques how surveillance is situated and evolving in higher education settings, with a focus on the surveillance of teaching and learning. It argues that intensifying practices of datafication and monitoring in universities echo those in broader society, and that the Covid-19 global pandemic has both exacerbated these practices and made them more visible. Surveillance brings risks to learning relationships, academic and work practices, as well as reinforcing economic models of extraction and inequalities in education and society. Responses to surveillance practices include resistance, advocacy, education, regulation and investment, and a number of these responses are examined here. Drawing on scholarship and practice, the paper provides an in-depth overview of this topic for people in university settings including those in leadership positions, learning technology roles, educators and students. The authors are part of an international network of researchers, educators and university leaders who are working together to develop new approaches to surveillance futures for higher education: Authors are based in Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, and this paper reflects those specific contexts.

    Jacob Mickelsson; A-G Nyström; C. Wendelin; J. Majors (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2023-03-01)
    This paper studies how the design of digital platforms can support students’ reflection on professional competence. The authors propose a conceptual framework for analyzing properties and functions that are relevant for digital environments for reflecting on professional competences and apply it in a study analyzing a set of existing digital platforms. The results emphasize the importance of multiple temporal vantage points in the design of the digital platforms, namely reflection-before-action (the future), in addition to the more common reflection-in-action (the present) and reflection-on-action (the past), and considers how digital environment design can support reflection from these temporal vantage points. The article offers tools to guide students in their reflection modes.

    Marijke Hecht; Christopher C. Jadallah (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2023-12-01)
    Science education that provides learners with opportunities for deep and direct engagement with water and water-related processes is critical to address the many threats facing waterways across the globe. Posthumanist, new materialist, and Indigenous perspectives on nature-culture relations offer expansive theoretical frames that can guide educational research and practice to more substantively consider water - and all of its more-than-human entanglements - as an essential actor building more just social-ecological futures. We push for a broadening of approaches to ethnographic data collection that includes accounting for the agency of more-than-human beings. To ground our discussion, we present vignettes from two informal science education programs, each of which conceptually and physically immersed learners in small streams to engage in scientific inquiry and data collection activities that informed ongoing ecological restoration of two watersheds. From these vignettes, we consider how methodological approaches guided and informed by posthumanist, new materialist, and Indigenous perspectives can and should inform research on learning and the design of L/land-based learning environments.

    Suriati Abas; G Yeon Park; Simon Pierre Munyaneza; Jae-hyun Im (Digital Culture & Education (DCE), 2022-05-01)
    In March 2020, when the pandemic hit the nation, elementary school teachers turned to bitmoji classrooms to sustain students’ learning. Multiple virtual replicas of classroom themes were instantly created and shared across social media spaces. The sudden craze prompted the four of us to investigate configurations of book shelves or, s(h)elfies (selfies of books) in bitmoji classrooms. We focused on s(h)elfies that display diverse books with a social justice theme. Using netnography, we examined bitmoji classrooms uploaded onto public Facebook groups for a year. We did critical case sampling, selecting unique cases to examine (Etikan, Musa & Alkassim, 2016). In this visual scholarly article, we provided our analysis of three s(h)elfies undergirded by socio-spatial (Comber, 2015) and multimodal theory (Kress and van Leeuwen, 2001). Our findings revealed that s(h)elfies in bitmoji classrooms is not just a trend, but also, a literacy practice.

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