Volume 5 [Issue 2], 2013


Editorial: A commitment to remaining open access

Thomas Apperley and Christopher S Walsh

When Digital Culture & Education was conceived in 2006, as an output of the Australian Research Council Linkage project ‘Literacy in the digital world of the 21st century: Learning from computer games’, open access publishing was not receiving the attention it does today. Our motivation for publishing DCE as an open access journal was simple. We wanted to make all articles available to education practitioners—especially classroom teachers—who might not have access to an academic library, and to scholars from institutions who are unable to fund that access. Open access was, for us, a way of disrupting the hegemony of academic publishing (Walsh and Kamler, 2013) to intentionally reach a wider audience, particularly anyone who might find the work published in Digital Culture & Education useful. Since 2006, the discussions and debates around scholarly open access publishing have become considerably more politicised.

mLearning solutions for international development – rethinking the thinking

John Traxler


There are now many accounts of mLearning projects and pilots, and perhaps solutions, for International Development. This paper does not add to these but questions the ways in which researchers and policymakers talk, think and reason about them. The issues being addressed here are not research issues but are the relationships, in the field of learning for international development, of these accounts to the wider contexts in which this research takes place. Rather than assuming that evidence, sampling, evaluation and hypotheses, for example, are of internal, academic or methodological interest, this paper tries to explore their wider context, itself not methodologically straightforward. These are however important issues because learning with mobiles in international development has started to move from practitioners, activists and researchers to agencies, corporations and policymakers. This is a transformation methodologically, ethically, culturally and pedagogically as new drivers, constraints and goals come into play.

Fedora Shaming as Discursive Activism

Ben Abraham


This article examines the Tumblr site Fedoras of OK Cupid which emerged in 2012 amidst a growing trend in feminists and other activists online that used shaming as an activist strategy. Fedoras of OK Cupid displays images and excerpts from men who wear fedora hats in their OK Cupid dating profile pictures, often highlighting worrying or even downright dangerous attitudes towards women revealed by their profiles. To understand this practice this articles draws on work identifying feminist discursive activism in online communities, to examine the Tumblr site in the context of reintegrative shaming in order to evaluate the practice of deploying shame for activist ends. While shame is often seen as having stigmatising effects, the author of the Fedoras of OK Cupid Tumblr illustrates how the process of reintegrative shaming may work in the context of online activism by offering earnest commentary on negative attitudes while also offering the possibility of social reintegration.


Beyond common explanations: Incorporating digital technology and culture into classrooms in México

Judy Kalman


More and more teachers in Mexico are expected to use digital technologies in their classrooms. However, little guidance is provided for them to transition from pencil and paper practices to the screen. This paper argues that that teachers’ use of digital technology (or lack thereof) is a social construction where multiple processes—the realities of their workplace, their understanding of digital technologies and the Internet, and their longstanding beliefs about teaching and learning—coincide to shape their classroom practices. The author builds her analysis of three teachers learning to use technology in their classrooms in México City on socio cultural theory, most notably notions concerning social interaction and practice. She illustrates teachers’ heterogeneous responses to this new professional demand. She concludes that specific classroom uses of technology are the result of teachers' particular articulation of the multiple relationships and obstacles encountered in their workplace.


Review: Jussi Parikka’s What is media archaeology?

Benjamin Nicoll


As the title of Jussi Parikka’s book suggests, the primary concern of What is Media Archaeology? (2012) is with explaining the theoretical and practical applications of media archaeology as it has been employed by media researchers, film historians, cultural critics and artists who operate under the banner of this enigmatic discipline. Media archaeology, an emerging sub-field of media research, tends to be understood by scholars as a way to prise media history from the prevailing capitalist and progressivist logic of technological progress. Recent academic work on the subject has also associated media archaeology with an examination of the material technological aspects of different media (Ernst 2013). While these are often recognised as common issues in the scholarly literature, theorists of media archaeology have not reached a consensus on how to define the discipline. This can be viewed as a consequence of struggles between the various positions or methodologies available for undertaking a media archaeological approach (see: Huhtamo & Parikka 2011). What an archaeological approach to media is, what it entails, is a question that has triggered academic debates about media archaeology and how it should be used as a research method (see: Ernst 2013; Huhtamo 2013)


Game Mechanics to Promote New Understandings of Identity and Ethnic Minority Stereotypes

Joey J. Lee


The following paper discusses the design, creation, and evaluation of a new class of digital games, Identity Supportive Games, as a tool to promote new understandings of self-identity and ethnic minority stereotypes. In particular, aspects of the Asian-American experience, including the effects of Asian stereotypes like the “Model Minority” myth, were targeted. In this design-based research study, qualitative and quantitative data sources explored the impact of game mechanics within Identity Supportive Games on both Asian-American and Non-Asian participants. Items investigated include: perceptions of Asian-American stereotypes, the ability to promote reflections and thoughts on selfidentities and goals, the learning of facts regarding the Asian-American experience, and new understandings of Asian-American culture.

First Course: Formal Coursework and the New Australian PhD—An interview with Margaret Kiley

Lucy K. Van


Graduate Student Advocate Dr Lucy Van speaks with Higher Education Policy Researcher Dr Margaret Kiley about the recent introduction of coursework in Australian doctoral education.