Safer by Design : A call for teaching practices that empower young people to become more connected, critical and compassionate digital participants

La résilience des jeunes à l'ére numérique

It has never been more important to consider how we are centring connection in our work in Education. In this keynote talk, I offer some insights on how we might centre connection, critique and compassion in the work we do, systemically in schools to support learners. Resilience is a complex and multifaceted process — and it requires risk. But how do we help kids respond effectively to the risks they meet online? What seems to support good outcomes are strategies that Sonia Livingstone and her colleagues have described as active mediation strategies: talking to kids about what is good and not good online; talking about motivations, and the ways that the Internet works, digital practices to critique; inviting kids to create representations of digital dilemmas; talking through problems and how to solve them. 

When kids have strategies, the harms of troubling things encountered online may be reduced.  In schools, we could be doing more of this. And, we could be questioning the just-say-no approaches that include acceptable use policies and surveillance, particularly when these are not sufficiently integrated in programs of support. It isn’t enough to tell kids what not to do. They need modelling, practice, discussion and opportunities to create digital products so that they come to understand the ways that digital systems work. 

Let’s centre connection, critique and compassion. I think kids will be safer and stronger as a result.

Transcript of talk here

Slides below. 

Presentation at CSSE-SCEE 2017 (Ryerson University)

Entre les mois de décembre 2015 et avril 2016, j’ai fait une étude préliminaire sur le contexte d’intégration d’un outil technopédagogique qui s’appelle WIGUP (While I Grow Up) dans un conseil scolaire dans l’est de l’Ontario. Au cours de notre enquête, les participant.e.s ont identifié plusieurs facteurs contextuels qui ont influencé leur choix d’intégrer ou de ne pas intégrer cet outil dans leur enseignement.

Je vais présenter aujourd’hui (le 29 mai) les analyses que j’ai faites avec mon collègue et assistant de recherche, Kamal Imikirene, à la réunion de la Société canadienne des études en éducation.

Voici les diapos.

Ontario Makers, Mentors and Innovators Conference

13117914654_d7dcf8a0ec_oI’m thrilled to be presenting today at the Ontario Makers, Mentors and Innovators conference ( The focus of my talk is on Maker Mindset and how, in schools and in teacher education programs, we might provide professional learning experiences for teachers that will enable them to develop a sense of Maker Empowerment so that they can support their own students’ development as makers too. As part of the talk, I will invite participants to reflect on their own experiences in school and to give teachers advice on how to design learning that would support development of a maker mindset. We’ll do this here, in a simple Google Doc. If you have ideas to contribute, but were not at the conference, you are invited to contribute. Of course, we ask that your comments be on point and respectful, and that you consider the audience — teachers and teacher candidates — before contributing.

And, if you’re interested in viewing my slides, I’ve linked to them here. If you use these ideas in any derivative works, I ask that you not use my family photos. The presentation includes photos of my father and of his work as a maker and I reserve all rights for these photographs. All other work in this presentation however, is non-commercial CC 4.0 licensed, meaning that I ask you to share alike, and attribute appropriately.

Image credit: Leigh Graves Wolf

Créer une présence professionnelle numérique | Creating a digital professional presence

Atelier interactif portant sur la création d'une présence professionnelle numérique

Tomorrow, I’m leading an interactive workshop for graduate students in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa on the creation of a digital professional presence. Cet atelier interactif et bilingue donnera aux participants l’occasion d’aborder la création d’une présence professionnelle numérique qui communique, à leurs réseaux professionnels, leurs contributions à la recherche, à l’enseignement et qui résume les services qu’ils rendent à la profession.

Thursday, October 6, 2016 | jeudi le 6 octobre 2016
10h00 à 11h30 Pavillon Louis-Pasteur 127-129

#EduFacForum: Building Capacity for Innovation

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.52.07 PMThe Education Faculty of Education Forum in Toronto has given me an ideal opportunity to curate the set of initiatives that have started to take shape in this first year of my appointment at the University of Ottawa around the idea of “building capacity for innovation”. Around the poster, I have had several productive conversations with colleagues from around the province on the ways they are working to construct. Here’s the poster.

Credit to Dany at Reproduction & Design in Chelsea, QC for the graphic design.

Thanks to my colleagues Tracy Crowe and Paul McGuire for their collaborations.


Building Capacity for Innovation @UOttawa (download.pdf)




Literacy Research Association Conference 2015

This morning, I will be sharing part of my dissertation research at the Literacy Research Association conference in Carlsbad, California.

The symposium is entitled:
Students Constructing Meaning from Multiple Internet Texts: Processes, Pedagogies and Potential.

I’m really happy to be presenting work alongside two other scholars whose work I admire, Michael Manderino and Michael DeSchryver.

Here is what I am presenting today — paper and slideshow.

Full Text of Paper here.

My slides are here.


PowerPoint of Hagerman (2015) Presentation



Summary of Digital Literacies Research 2004-2014

WordCloud of RQs UPDATED December 5, 2014.
With my colleague, Hiller Spires from NC State University, I’ve just finished a review of digital literacies research published in a set of 10 literacies and educational research journals between 2004 and September, 2014. This study will be presented next week at the Literacy Research Association conference in Marco Island, Florida.

The work, which is a response to Gutiérrez and Penuel’s (2014) call for relevance to practice to be considered a criterion for rigor in educational research, examined only digital literacies studies conducted in K-12 school and classroom contexts. In this way, we looked at the research that was the most practice-focused to generate some understanding of the questions that have been asked in this body of work, and the methods that have been used to construct understandings. Ultimately, we settled on a corpus of 71 studies. Importantly, this analysis did not focus on findings—findings will be the focus of a follow-up study.

We focused on the research questions that drove these studies and found that they were largely focused on two themes—teachers’ navigation of change as they considered new dimensions of practice and the integration of digital tools in their classroom, and students’ learning processes as they engaged with digital literacies activities. Fourteen other themes of focus were identified in the corpus of studies too.

We also reviewed the methods that were used to investigate these questions. Case Study and Action Research were most frequently used. Together, these findings suggest that digital literacies researchers have asked questions and used methods that would align with Guttierez and Penuel’s call for work that focuses on the dynamic complexities of students’ and teachers’ interactions. That said, we also identified several opportunities for future research. In particular, we recommend that the digital literacies community use a broader set of methods, for instance, formative and design experiments, ethnography, virtual ethnography, and even longitudinal designs that do not compromise the focus on practice, but would strengthen the foundation of digital literacies research.

Presentation Slides

Link to .pdf version of slides:

Hagerman & Spires (2014)

Link to Updated .pdf of Paper: 

Hagerman & Spires (2014)


Gutiérrez, K. & Penuel, W. (2014). Relevance to practice as a criterion for rigor. Educational Researcher, 43(1), 19-23.

#AISLsi14 At the Center of IT All: Scaffolding Advanced Information Literacies for K-12 Students in School Libraries

I’m thrilled to be presenting at the Association of Independent School Librarians’ Summer Institute at John Burroughs School in St. Louis, MO. Already, this evening, I had such terrific conversations with colleagues over tapas and sangria about the importance of information literacies at every level of curriculum and in every discipline. I think it’s going to be a great day tomorrow, full of engaged learning and professional collaboration.

Slides in .pdf format here.


AISL Summer Institute 2014-References

Infographic: How do Theoretical Frames in Literacies Fit Together?

Multiple Theoretical FramesThis week, I’m presenting at a two-day workshop for the Association of Independent School Librarians. The title of the PD session is “At the Center of IT All: Scaffolding Advanced Information Literacies for K-12 Students in School Libraries”. One of the questions that the AISL wanted to explore through this PD session is one that many literacies scholars grapple with daily — how do theoretical frames such as transliteracies, New Literacies, multiliteracies, media literacy, and information literacy fit together? And to follow up on that question — how are these theoretical frames both similar and different?

In preparation for this talk, I’ve developed an infographic that will accompany more thorough exploration of these theoretical frameworks. I’ll share the full presentation once it’s finished, but for now, here’s a multimodal conception of the relationships between theoretical perspectives on literacies in a globally networked world. Notice that lines separating perspectives are permeable. Icons have been selected to represent elements of each theory that can be used to differentiate them from one another. Importantly, all of these perspectives include social, cultural and critical perspectives as fundamental literacies. Certainly, some theoretical frameworks have been left out and others may view the relationships among these perspectives differently. I’d love to hear your thoughts.