Educator Forums

Reimagining School: Opportunity, Safety and Privacy in the Social Lives of Networked Teens


Featuring danah boyd and Sam Dyson
Moderated by Alison Cuddy
Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater
6:30–8:00 p.m.


Social media has changed the way teenagers learn, communicate and participate in civic life. Educators are being challenged to increase connected learning opportunities for students while struggling with bandwidth, infrastructure and equipment limitations. New technology and new ways of connecting with peer and learning networks has also created new concerns about identity, privacy, safety and bullying.

In this forum we will explore these questions: How do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? How is it shaping the way kids learn and engage in their world? And how do parents and educators balance the need for a safe online environment without hindering teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful and engaged citizens through their online interactions? Join this moderated, interactive and lively discussion with two leading experts in digital media and learning for their insights on the lives of networked teens.

Presented by: The Golden Apple Foundation, National Louis University, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

danah boyddanah boyd is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She is also the founder and president of a new think/do tank called the Data & Society Research Institute. Her research examines the intersection of technology and society. Currently, she’s focused on research questions related to “big data”, privacy and publicity, and teen culture. Her 2014 book - “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” - has received widespread praise from scholars, parents, and journalists.

Twitter: @zephoria

Sam DysonSam Dyson is the director of the Hive Chicago Learning Network, a MacArthur-funded initiative operated by the Mozilla Foundation to enact connected learning among teens and educators through a community of youth-serving organizations. Sam has developed connected learning programs and resources for teens and adults including Hive Fashion in Chicago and New York City Learning Networks; STEAM Studio, a pop-up makerspace at the Chicago Cultural Center; and Maker Party events like Destination: Chicago connected with the Chicago City of Learning. His prior educational experience includes educational administration in both community-based and Chicago Public School contexts and 10 years of physics teaching experience. He is a 2007 recipient of the Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching.

Twitter: @samueledyson, @HiveChicagoBuzz

Alison CuddyAlison Cuddy, Program Director, joined the Chicago Humanities Festival staff in May 2014. Before coming to the Festival, she spent more than ten years at WBEZ 91.5 FM, the NPR affiliate in Chicago. There she helped launched Odyssey, a nationally syndicated talk show of arts and ideas, hosted the morning newsmagazine Eight Forty-Eight and reported on arts and culture. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Cuddy moved to Chicago in 1999. She holds a Masters of Arts in English from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies from Concordia University, Montreal. She is on the advisory board of the Chicago Film Archive and The Moth, and currently hosts Strange Brews, a podcast about the culture and community around craft beer. Alison has moderated the education symposia series since the program’s inception.

Twitter: @alisoncuddy

Watch for information about the 2015 series as we continue the conversation.



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