Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media

About Digital Youth

"Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures" is a three-year collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, the digital youth project explores how kids use digital media in their everyday lives. Read more

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The work on this site is licensed under a CC-BY-NC. If you share or re-use any work found on the site, please credit the original author and the Digital Youth Project and link back to the Digital Youth Project.

Photo Credits: Ritchie Ly and Geert Allegaert.

Dan Perkel

Dan Perkel's picture

Personal Information


Dan Perkel is a PhD. candidate at UC Berkeley's School of Information. His research explores how young people use the web and other technologies as a part of their everyday media production activities. Dan's ongoing dissertation research investigates the mutual shaping of young people's creative practices and the social and technical infrastructure that support them. Prior projects include explorations into the design of a collaborative storytelling environment for fifth graders, ethnographic inquiry into a an after-school media and technology program, and investigations using diary studies to capture everyday technology use. With UC Berkeley artist Greg Niemeyer and colleague Ryan Shaw, Dan helped create an art installation called Organum that looks at collaborative game play using the human voice (which was followed up by "Good Morning Flowers"). In a past life, Dan worked as an interface designer, product manager, and implementations director for the Hive Group, whose Honeycomb software helps people make decisions through data visualization. He received his B.A. (2000) in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and his Masters in Information Management and Systems from UC Berkeley School of Information in 2005. See also Dan's website.


  • Perkel, Dan. 2008. Copy and Paste Literacy? Literacy Practices in the Production of a MySpace Profile. In Drotner, Kirsten, Hans Siggard Jensen, and Kim Schroeder (eds). Informal Learning and Digital Media: Constructions, Contexts, Consequences. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press. 203-224. Also forthcoming in: Virtual Identities: The Construction of Selves in Cyberspace. Eds. Caroline Maun and Laura Corrunker. Spokane: Eastern Washington University Press.
  • Yardi, Sarita, and Dan Perkel. Understanding Classroom Culture Through a Theory of Dialogism: What Happens When Cheating and Collaboration Collide? Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Conference. Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, USA, July 16-July 21, 2007.
  • Niemeyer, Greg, Dan Perkel, Ryan Shaw, Jane McGonigal: Organum: individual presence through collaborative play. ACM Multimedia 2005, Singapore, ACM Press, 594-597.
  • Davis, Marc, Nancy Van House, Jeff Towle, Simon King, Shane Ahern, Carrie Burgener, Dan Perkel, Megan Finn, Vijay Viswanathan, and Matthew Rothenberg. (2005). MMM2: Mobile Media Metadata for Media Sharing. In: Extended Abstracts of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2005) in Portland, Oregon, ACM Press, 1335-1338.

Conference and workshop presentations:

  • Perkel, Dan and Becky Herr-Stephenson. 2008. “Peer pedagogy in an interest-driven community: The practices and problems of online tutorials.” Presented at Media@lse Fifth Anniversary Conference. September 21-23, 2008, London, UK.
  • Perkel, Dan. Making deviant (?) art. Presentation at the Para*Site New Media Symposium hosted by the Berkeley Center for New Media. Berkeley, CA. October 26, 2007.
  • Everyday Creativity: Appropriation Before, During, and After Dissemination. Workshop presentation at the 2007 ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition. Washington, D.C. June 13-16, 2007.
  • Copy, Paste, Remix: Profile Codes on MySpace. Presentation at the 2007 Annual Conference for the International Communications Association. San Francisco, CA, May 24-28, 2007. (with danah boyd)
  • Yardi, Sarita and Dan Perkel. Digital Kids Describe Digital Lives. Chairs: Cynthia Carter Ching & Yasmin B. Kafai Other Panelists: Brigid Barron, Kevin M. Leander, X., Kylie Peppler, Christopher M Hoadley, Christine Wang. Discussant: Marina Bers. "Technobiographies: Researching Life Stories with Technology." Interactive Symposium, 2007 American Educational Research Association (AERA). Chicago, IL, April 9-13, 2007. (presented by Sarita Yardi)
  • Copy and Paste Literacy: Literacy Practices in the Production of a MySpace Profile. Presentation at the conference on Informal Learning and Digital Media: Constructions, Contexts, and Consequences hosted by the Danish research centre on education and advanced media materials. Odense, Denmark. September 21-23, 2006.
  • Learning to play together: Crossing boundaries in art and design. Workshop presentation at the 2006 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2006) in Montreal, Quebec. April 22-27, 2006. (with Ryan Shaw and Greg Niemeyer)
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