Mizuko (Mimi) Ito, University of California, Irvine: bridging boundaries between the applied and academic fields; youth and digital cultures; access, trust, ethics and privacy – The Human Show Podcast 28







Mizuko (Mimi) Ito is a cultural anthropologist and learning scientist studying children and youth’s new media use. She has 2 PhDs from Stanford University, one in Anthropology with the Dissertation “Engineering Play: Children’s Software and the Productions of Everyday Life” and one in Education with the Dissertation “Interactive Media for Play: Kids, Computer Games, and the Productions of Everyday Life”.

She is currently the Director of the Connected Learning Lab, and a Professor in Residence at University of California, Irvine‘s Department of Anthropology, Department of Education, Department of Informatics, and School of Education.

She is also the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning and the CEO of Connected Camps, a non-profit organization that provides online learning programs in coding and the digital arts. Her specialities include: ethnographic fieldwork, educational technology, youth Internet culture.

We talk to Mimi about her unconventional path as an anthropologist interested in technology since the late 90s and about bridging boundaries between academic and applied fields. We talk about the social and political identity of commercial companies and the relationship between metrics and social and commercial benefit. We cover the definition and time shapes of internet culture and its significance to youth audiences.

We talk about caretakers of youth and the internet; media literacy, access and trust, Google as a learning technology as well as ethics and privacy on social media platforms. Lastly, we talk about the value of using applied social scientists when studying digital cultures.

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Mentioned in podcast:

Mimi’s work:

Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life
Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media
Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children’s Software
Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design
Fandom Unbound: Otaku Culture in a Connected World
Participatory Culture in a Networked Era: A Conversation on Youth, Learning, Commerce, and Politics

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