Mimi Ito is an international expert on how people use mobile technologies and new digital media in their everyday lives. A cultural anthropologist of technology use, she also is a leading authority on how social network technologies are shaping society.
Dr. Ito has been named the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning. Created in 2009 from an endowment fund originally established by the MacArthur Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley, the digital media and learning initiative aims to determine how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.
Mimi co-led the Digital Youth Project, a landmark study of the ways youth use new media funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The study explores how kids engage with and play with new media in their everyday lives and how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.
Her newest book is Participatory Culture in a Networked Era: A Conversation on Youth, Learning, Commerce, and Politics (coauthors danah boyd and Henry Jenkins). In this book the authors examine the ways in which our personal and professional lives are shaped by experiences interacting with and around emerging media. She co-authored the book based on the study, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media.
Mimi is an expert on the content of children’s educational games and software, their production, distribution, and marketing, and how children use them in play. She has researched a wide range of other digitally-augmented social practices, including online gaming and social communities.
She also specializes in amateur culture production, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) media cultures, and peer-to-peer learning. She is one of the organizers of 24/7: A DIY Video Summit, that showcases current developments in digital video production, focusing on amateur production, remix, and Internet distribution. The Summit was a project of the University of Southern California's Institute for Multimedia Literacy, School of Cinematic Arts.
Mimi co-edited a book on Otaku culture titled Fandom Unbound: Otaku Culture in a Connected World. She also wrote Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children’s Software and co-edited Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life and the book series Technologies of the Imagination: New Media In Everyday Life.
Mizuko Ito is a Professor in Residence, Department of Anthropology and Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She has two doctorates from Stanford University, in education and anthropology. Mimi is a cultural anthropologist.
She has worked at the Institute for Research and Learning, Xerox PARC, Tokyo University, the National Institute for Educational Research in Japan, and Apple Computer.
In addition to the MacArthur Foundation, Mimi Ito has received research grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Vodafone Group Foundation, NTT DoCoMo, the Abe Fellowship, Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, and the Reischauer Institute.
- Professor in Residence, Department of Anthropology and Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine
- MacArthur foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning, 2010
- Research director of the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at the system-wide University of California Humanities Research Institute
- Director, Champon.org
- Co-editor, Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life
- Co-editor, Technologies of the Imagination: New Media In Everyday Life
- Ph.D.s from Stanford University in education and anthropology
Mimi tailors each presentation to the needs of her audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest her range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
Today's social and mobile media offer new opportunities for meaningful, demand-driven, and socially connected learning, but only the most activated digital learners are taking advantage of this potential. In our research, we found that young people are going online for informal and interest-driven learning, but with few connections back to school and academic subjects. As educators, parents, and learners, we are struggling to adapt to the new realities of a world of social media and free-flowing information. How can we best guide, mentor, teach and coach young people in an era of abundant information and social connection? What kinds of platforms, policies, and technologies can best connect between in-school and out-of-school learning and between adult and young people's social worlds?
Peer-Based Learning in a Networked Age
When you want to learn something new, where do you go for help? You might find
a book or search online, but if you have a knowledgeable colleague or friend, chances are you’ll go to them first. Learning from our peers is efficient, enjoyable, and responsive to our learning needs. Whether it is gaming, sports, or fan fiction, youth connect to peers who share their interests and fuel their learning. In our research, we found that social media can be a powerful driver of interest-driven, peer-based learning, but very few kids or educators were taking full advantage of this potential, particularly for academic learning. This talk will describe the key dynamics of peer-based learning that are supported by today’s online environments, and how they can be applied to diverse learning goals.