Katie Davis is an Assistant Professor at The University of Washington Information School, where she studies the role of digital media technologies in adolescents' academic, social, and moral lives. She also serves as an Advisory Board Member for MTV's digital abuse campaign, A Thin Line. Prior to joining the faculty at the UW iSchool, Katie worked with Howard Gardner and colleagues as a Project Manager at Harvard Project Zero, where she was a member of the GoodPlay Project and Developing Minds and Digital Media Project research teams. In addition to publishing and presenting her research in scholarly venues, Katie regularly shares her work with parents, teachers, and school administrators in an effort to build connections between educational research and practice.
Katie is the co-author (with Howard Gardner) of The App Generation: How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World, which will be published in October 2013 by Yale University Press. The book represents a synthesis of the research that Katie conducted with colleagues on the Developing Minds and Digital Media Project and the GoodPlay Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Drawing on interviews with young people, focus groups with the adults who work with them, and comparative analyses of youth's artistic productions from 1990-2011, the book explores how today's "digital youth" are different from the youth who grew up in a pre-digital era.
Katie is the Principal Investigator of a forthcoming research project (summer 2013) investigating the general effectiveness of digital badges and badging systems to motivate, recognize, and assess learning in K-12 education.
With iSchool PhD student Sean Fullerton, Katie will examine how students and educators engage with and experience badges, looking in particular at motivation levels, learning pathways, the availability of novice to expert trajectories, and any implementation challenges faced. They will also consider how badging systems fit into the broader public school framework, with specific attention given to how the Common Core standards are integrated and assessed.
The grant is from the HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Competition, with funding to support the award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
For her dissertation research, Katie conducted a mixed-methods study involving over 80% of all students in Bermuda's secondary schools (2,079 students total). The project explored adolescents' sense of identity and the role that parents, friends, and digital media technologies play in the construction of the self. The report she prepared for Bermuda's Ministry of Education and school principals can be found here.