Institute of Education


Digital media, culture and education: Researching dynamic literacies and third spaces

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, 18 April 2018

Children captivated reading a tablet

Event Information

Open to



UCL Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald St, London WC1N 3QS

Everyday literacy practices with images and text onscreen are part of the lived experience of children from the earliest years. This is underscored by sounds, touch and movement at home, in school and through all the spaces in between in which they move.

Key terms that are often employed in this field will be explored, including: 'dynamic literacies', as a way of framing all 'literacy'; 'third spaces', as a way of conceiving its locations and possibilities for shared meanings; and 'porous expertise', as a way to think about the changing relationships around learning throughout the life course. 

The talk reflects on how these concepts could be mobilized in research to help us address the following key questions for researchers of digital learning lives:

  • Where do we focus our attention as researchers of literacy, pedagogy and identity and which kinds of methods are appropriate for the work?
  • What kinds of analytical language do we employ and which theoretical lenses do we place over the phenomena?
  • What do we look for in attempting to account for the various phenomena in 'third spaces' and of what value is it to teachers, parents, carers, and learners? 

About the speakers

Dr John Potter is Reader in Media in Education at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), based in the UCL Knowledge Lab. His research and publications are in the fields of media education, new literacies, creative activity and learner agency; the changing nature of teaching and learning in response to the pervasive use in wider culture of media technologies in formal and informal settings.

Julian McDougall is Professor in Media and Education, Head of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He edits Media Practice and Education, runs the Professional Doctorate (EdD) in Creative and Media Education at Bournemouth University and convenes the annual International Media Education Summit.



Laura Benton

Image: Jim Bauer via Flickr (CC BY-N.D 2.0)