Exploring mind amplifiers since 1964





Social Media Literacies (Based on Net Smart)

First taught at Stanford, Winter 2013. Editable Google Doc version (ask me for editing privs) and editable Google Doc high school version (ask me).

Social Media Issues

I’ve taught this course at Stanford since 2007. I also taught an earlier version of this course at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Information and Department of Sociology.

Digital Journalism

I taught this course at Stanford 2005-2010.

Introduction to Mind Amplifiers

This is the first course I offered via Rheingold U. It changes with each iteration, in response to co-learners. It has been through five iterations so far.

Introduction to Cooperation Theory

This grew out of the 2005 Stanford seminar and my work with Institute for the Future. I’ve offered it twice, so far.

Social Media Literacies

I was invited to create this proposed course for Stanford’s Winter 2013 quarter; it’s working its way through the academic bureaucracy. Here is a forked version that I’m expanding for college (and eventually high school) instructors everywhere.

Stanford University Faculty Page




With the html assistance of Joey Mornin, I developed a series of standalone mini-courses that include videos, links to resources, and a feed from my Diigo/Delicious tags for the topic.

Network Literacy

The Public Sphere in the Age of the Internet

Cooperation Theory


Crap Detection


Learning Platforms


The Social Media Classroom (2008)

I received an award from HASTAC/Macarthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning competition, which I used to pay developer Sam Rose to create a browser-based, free and open source, social media classroom with forums, blogs, wikis, social bookmarks, and mindmaps.

Social Media Lesson Plans — scaffolding for educators who teach and learn social media (2008-2010).

The Peeragogy Project (2012)

When I was invited to deliver the Regents Lecture at UC Berkeley this year, I proposed a lecture about my experiences using social media in teaching and learning, leading up to a proposed project: students would join me in two face-to-face seminars of about two hours; between face-to-face meetings we would meet online via forum, wiki, and one live session with the Blackboard Collaborate platform. We would be joined by others online who might not have attended the lecture and/or face to face seminars, with the objective of creating a living resource for self-organized groups of self learners — a peeragogy handbook that would complement existing resources such as the book in progress by Joe Corneli and Charles Danoff, including guidelines and annotated resource guides to methods, theories, tools, examples, and more. A year later, a core community of around a dozen, supported by another dozen, continues to improve the Handbook For Self-Learners.

How to Create a Learning Environment with Open-Source Tools (Part one) (August 13, 2013)

Inspired by Jim Groom’s ds106 course, I asked him to show me how to set up a hub for a course learning community, using the WordPress platform. In this one hour video, we talk about the why as well as they how, and Groom shows how to create a WordPress site, create pages, add plug-ins, feeds, and other widgets, and begin to customize the theme.

How to Create a Learning Environment with Open-Source Tools (Part two) (August 15, 2013)

In this episode, we talk about why to use wikis in learning, how to experiment with themes, and how to set up a Mediawiki within a WordPress platform.

How to Create a Learning Environment with Open-Source Tools (Part three) (August 21, 2013)

In this episode, we talk about assessment, WordPress themes, customizing menus, uploading headers.


Curated selection of more than 50 of my video interviews/blog posts about digital media and learning innovators.

Co-learning, Social Media, Peeragogy (April 22, 2014)

Video of presentation to online Learning Revolution webinar

Roundtable on Reinventing Learning (March 7, 2013)

Hour and a half video discussion with Mimi Ito, Steve Hargadon, and others.

Connected Learning Session on Peeragogy (April 10, 2012)

Together with the Connected Learning community, I presented and engaged in discussion about peeragogy.

UC Berkeley Regents’ Lecture: Toward Peeragogy (January 25, 2011)

An invited lecture in which I talked about how my use of social media and my pedagogy evolved and invited the audience to join me in the next step, creating a peeragogy handbook

Using Social Media in Learning and Co-Learning eXtension (2011)

One of the first times I presented about this subject was for an online seminar for eXtension, which recorded it — audio, video, slides, chat.

Collab Tech 2010 Keynote: Social Media, Participative Pedagogy, and Digital Literacies  (May 16, 2010)

One of the first times I talked about my use of social media in teaching university students.

Articles By Howard

Zack Baker: App Builder and Co-Learning Leader (January, 2015)

Zack Baker, a 16-year-old high school junior in Noblesville, Indiana, told me that the most important skill when learning how to code is knowing how to search Stack Overflow, the free online question and answer site where both expert programmers and novice learners solve problems together. For Zack, an accomplished app creator since age 14, learning how to program has always been networked, peer-supported, interest-powered, and participatory.

Veronica Valenzuela: Experimenting With Code to Open Up Learning Pathways (October, 2014)

“For those who doubt that “playing around” with seemingly trivial online games can lead to more robust learning, note that Veronica’s introduction to her ability to make her own web objects was her use of Neopets.com at age nine.”

Mia Zamora: Helping Educators Understand Connected Learning (September, 2014)

“We educators have this need or impulse to take an expert stance in the classroom,” says Mia Zamora, Associate Professor of English at Kean University. “I found that relinquishing some of that stance and giving students ways to be the experts can lead them to lean over each other’s shoulders, teaching each other as they teach themselves, and ultimately teaching me something I didn’t know.”

Ian Gonsher: Building the Conditions for Creativity in the Classroom (August, 2014)

“I’m interested in helping students create artifacts and experiences that have meaning, value, and utility and working with students as co-learners to help them define what those words mean to them.”

Rikke Toft Nørgård: A Connected Educator Embracing ‘Gelatinous Pedagogy’ (August, 2014)

If you want something more than students progressing according to plan against teacher-set goals, start out by thinking “How do I invite students to take matters into their own hands? How do I allow for them to become agents of change?

Danielle Filipiak: A Connected Educator Helping Students Find Meaning In Their Learning (May, 2014)

Engaging students in their learning starts with listening to what is going on in their lives outside the classroom and co-designing projects that involve their real-world interests.

Caroline Combemale: An Engaged Teen Teaching Others (May, 2014)

Today’s engaged learners are also teachers.

Improving Improvement in Education: Louis Gomez (January 30, 2014)

Applying Doug Engelbart’s ideas of networked improvement communities to education reforem

DS106: Enabling Open, Public, Participatory Learning (January 27, 2014)

A case study of a pioneering course in which teachers and students work together on interest-based, peer-to-peer, open, networked learning at the University of Mary Washington — and around the world

Attention and Other 21st Century Literacies Educause Review (2010)

A preview to my book, addressed to educators interested in technology, about essential social media literacies, starting with attention.

Attention Literacy SFGate (April, 2009)

“The point of this story isn’t to get everyone to pay attention to me or professors in general – it’s that I want my students to learn that attention is a skill that must be learned, shaped, practiced; this skill must evolve if we are to evolve.”

Mindful Infotention: Dashboards, Radars, and Filters (September, 2009)

Infotention is a word I came up with to describe the psycho-social-techno skill/tools we all need to find our way online today, a mind-machine combination of brain-powered attention skills with computer-powered information filters.”

Is Multitasking Evil, Or Are Most of Us Illiterate? Encyclopedia Britannica Blog (2009)

I was asked to comment on an article about distraction by Maggie Jackson, a technology critic whose opinions I don’t always agree with but do respect.

Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies Freesouls (2011)

Joi Ito asked a number of his friends to contribute to a book of his cc-licensed photographs of people in the digital culture and social media worlds. Joi is now director of MIT Media Lab.

Blogeando en Ciencias de la Educacion: Pedagogía Participativa para una Alfabetización de … (2008)

Spanish translation of my article, “Participatory Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies” Pedagogía Participativa para una Alfabetización de Alfabetizaciones  12/31/2008

R.I.P.: Lectures, Notes, and Tests (Scrapping the Old Ways) Encyclopædia Brittanica Blog (October 27, 2008)

“Before I got to Wesch’s notion of a ‘crisis of significance,’ I had probed my students about exactly what was going on with them, and it was clear that they had been bored for years.”

Entrepreneurial learning in the networked age Paradigmes no. 1. Talent management (December 2008)

“How new learning environments foster entrepreneurship and innovation” [PDF Document] Coauthored by Max Senges, Stanford University, and John Seely Brown, University of Southern California and member on the NPRI Internacional Advisor Panel

Using Participatory Media and Public Voice to Encourage Civic Engagement (2007)

Teaching young people how to use digital media to convey their public voices could connect youthful interest in identity exploration and social interaction with direct experiences of civic engagement. Learning to use blogs, wikis , podcasts  and digital video as media of self-expression, with an emphasis on “public voice,” should be considered a pillar—not just a component—of twenty-first-century civic curriculum.

Blog Posts for DML Central (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

I interviewed educators who use digital media innovatively, including video interviews and blog posts. Thanks to master editor Jeff Brazil for illustrations, headlines, copy-editing.

KitHub Designed to Empower Young Educators (March 2, 2015)

KitHub, “creative electronics for young innovators,” is a kit-of-the-month club for young makers, their parents, and their families. It was designed to empower kids and parents who weren’t necessarily close to a physical makerspace, by two women — Tara Tiger Brown and Luz Rivas— who are passionately devoted to maker education, not by an edu-biz conglomerate or VC-founded startup

Our Common Core” (February 16, 2015)

What if we trusted students as a default and dealt with transgressions when and if they come up? What if we gave them web-accessible devices without filters but taught them common sense and used transgressions as teachable moments? What if we even gave learners of every age a bit of agency in the shaping of their own curriculum — above and beyond recess and show-and-tell?

Assessing, Measuring, Connected Learning Outcomes (January 19, 2015)

Jaimie Hoffman gives advice on how to assess, frame and scaffold reflection on the open web, and words of encouragement for those who are contemplating jumping into connected learning.

Tinkering and Thinking with Maker Kylie Peppler (December 15, 2014)

Some enthusiasts of digital media in learning and inclusion of making/tinkering as a learning activity — including myself — believe that talking about tinkering while doing it, in person and online, can enhance social contexts for peer learning and for learning thinking skills.

Circuit Stickers, Notebook Hacking, and Learning as Debugging (November 24, 2014)

I’ve been writing for 45 years, and have always owned more physical notebooks than I need at any one time, and I’m an enthusiastic novice at electronics, so several of my antennae tingled vigorously when I first came across the term “circuit stickers” — peel-and-stick circuitry and components that are flat enough to make paper pages blink and boop.

Connecting Learners Through Hashtags, Focal Points (October 20, 2014)

Like others who have become important co-learners in my personal learning network, I met Dr. Maha Bali, associate professor of practice of the Center for Learning and Teaching at American University in Cairo, through a hashtag.

Augmenting Human Education (September 15, 2014)

Gardner Campbell not only teaches the ideas of Doug Engelbart — the visionary who invented the mouse, hypertext and many more of the digital tools so many people use every day — he understands that Engelbart’s technological attempt to “augment human intellect” also ought to be a central goal of pedagogy.

Teaching Critical Thinking in Age of Digital Credulity (August 21, 2014)

By the end of 2014, more than 3 billion people will have access to the Internet, which means that they (we) have the power to ask any question at any time and get a multitude of answers within a second. The responsibility for distinguishing between accurate, credible, true information and misinformation or disinformation, however, is no longer vested in trained and vetted experts — editors, publishers, critics, librarians, professors, subject-matter specialists.

Addressing “The War on Learning” (July 17, 2014)

I’m always interested in technology critics who are accomplished users of the tools they criticize. Elizabeth Losh, director of Academic Programs, Sixth College at UC San Diego, teaches digital rhetoric, digital journalism, and software studies, and she was one of the organizers of a MOOC, FemTechNet, so she is neither opposed to nor unfamiliar with the uses of digital media in education.

Learner Interest-Driven Curriculum (June 23, 2014)

What most educators would call “subjects” or “disciplines,” Jeff Hopkins, principal of thePacific School of Innovation and Inquiry, regards as “silos” when they restrict the scope of learning and nodes of a knowledge network when they serve as points of interconnection

Coinventing the Curriculum: Brad Ovenell-Carter (May 12, 2014)

High-school students actively making meaning and co-creating the curriculum, not just passively digesting knowledge fed to them by the teachewr

Conversation with Alan Levine, Pedagogical Technologist (April 21, 2014)

Alan Levine is a pedagogical technologist and architect of open, connected learning systems that enable students to take power over and responsibility for (and joy in!) their own learning.

Theory of Knowledge, Social Media, and Connected Learning in High School (March 25, 2014)

I interviewed Amy Burvall, a high school teacher in Hawaii who teaches a course on “theory of knowledge,” using social media and learner-centric curriculum.

Feminist Theory, Online Action, and Networked Learning (March 3, 2014)

I interviewed two graduate students who participated in FemTechNet, a multi-institution MOOC that included an action element — “wikistorming.”

Hacking the Classroom with Michelle Cordy, aka “A Teacher on an Urgent Quest” (December 29, 2013)

“Making is a Stance Toward Learning”: Sylvia Libow Martinez (December 23, 2013)

Freedom, Autonomy, and Digital Media at an Indiana High School (October 28, 2013)

When Children Say They Want to Change the World, Listen: Angela Maiers (October 7, 2013)

Arduino & Learning: High School Teacher Ariel Levi Simons (September 30, 2013)

Digital Storytelling 106: Open, Participatory, Student-centric, Social…the Future? (September 9, 2013)

Super Awesome Sylvia (August 8, 2013)

Teaching and Learning with Minecraft, Part Two: Sara Kaviar (August 5, 2013)

Teaching and Learning with Minecraft: Teacher Liam O’Donnell (July 8, 2013)

MOOCs, Hype, and the Precarious State of Higher Ed (June 10, 2013)

Learning Online in the Second Grade: Teacher Linda Yollis (May 20, 2013)

In Pursuit of In(ter)dependent Learning: Kio Stark (March 25, 2013)

In Praise of Peer to Peer Connectivity: Technosociologist Zeynep Tufekci (March 25, 2013)

DML Conference 2013: Democratic Futures (Ethan Zuckerman, Keynote) (January 29, 2013)

Community Innovation Labs: Mashing UP Youth, Activists, Technologists, Policymakersl (December 17, 2012)

Assessment: Turning a Blunt Instrument into a Powerful Learning Tool (November 26, 2012)

Elizabeth Lawley: “Just Press Play” — Adding a Game Layer to the Undergraduate Experience (October 29, 2012)

Passion, Projects & Play: Restoring Creativity in the Classroom (October 4, 2012)

The “Presence Project” and the “Be Here Now Box”: Digital Media & Family Attention (September 17, 2012)

Global Transmedia MOOCS (August 30, 2012)

Professor Alec Couros: The Connected Teacher (July 26, 2012)

Hacking the Curriculum 101 (July 9, 2012)

George Couros: Why School Administrators Should Embrace the Social Web (June 28, 2012)

DIY U: Interview with Anya Kamenetz (May 9, 2012)

Reality, the Game: A Video Interview with Jeff Watson on Fostering Peer Learning via Play (April 27, 2012)

Teaching Teachers, Honoring Learners: Interview with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (April 20, 2012)

Four-part Peeragogy Series

Toward Peeragogy (January 23, 2012)

Learning Reimagined: Participatory, Peer, Global, Online (July 22, 2011)

Pop-up University (April 28, 2011)

D.I.Y.U. : An Experiment (February 21, 2011)

Bryan Alexander: Emerging Learning Technologies (February 7, 2012)

Steve Hargadon: Reimagining Education as Networked, Participatory, Social, Global (December 19, 2011)

Democratizing Learning Innovation (October 6, 2011)

Re-imagining Media for Learning (September 29, 2011)

Seeing the Classroom as a Hub of Technology-enabled Social Change (September 20, 2011)

Mitch Resnick: The Role of Making, Tinkering, Remixing in Next-Generation Learning (September 13, 2011)

Digital Media and Learning Conference 2012: Learning Innovations in a Connected World (September 8, 2011)

How does Digital Media impact Youth Political and Civic Engagement? (May 26, 2011)

Einstein, YouTube, and New Media Literacies in the Connected Age (March 28, 2011)

Mozilla Drumbeat: Open Web Meets Open Learning (January 6, 2011)

Learning, Playing, Designing: Video Games in School (October 21, 2010)

Shelly Terrell: Global Netweaver, Curator, PLN Builder (October 15, 2010)

It’s the Learning, Not the Technology – Jessica K. Parker (June 30, 2010)

It’s an amazing time to be a learner – Will Richardson (June 1, 2010)

Librarian 2.0: Buffy J. Hamilton (May 3, 2010)

Diana Rhoten: The Science of Reimagining Learning (March 29, 2010)

The Social Media Classroom (December 29, 2009)

Meet Meredith Stewart: Teacher…Innovator…Collaborator (December 3, 2009)

Getting into College? There’s a Game for That (November 20, 2009)

Esther Wojcicki’s H.S. Journalism Learning Community (November 5, 2009)

Articles, Interviews About Howard


Cool Tools Podcast (June 9, 2014)

Not directly about learning, but this podcast is about the tools I use for electronics, gardening, and woodworking.

Digital Literacy — and Lots of It (May 22, 2014)

My conclusion, after many years of thinking about the impact of both digital and social media, is that a lot of it depends on what people know. It’s not just the tools themselves and their capabilities, it’s about having the skill to use those tools.”

How To Reclaim the Commons — And Your Attention (April 28, 2014)

Podcast interview about the commons, curation, and infotention.

Golden Nuggets: The ‘Mini Inny’ Innovation Interview with Howard Rheingold (April 6, 2014)

“With virtual communities, smart mobs, and collective intelligence, we’re seeing the beginning of what people are learning to do with our new technologies.”


Creating Students’ Survival Guide to the Web, by Ann Michaelson (February 14, 2012)

A co-learner in one of my Rheingold U courses, herself an educator, creates a quick and useful students’ survival guide to the web, using my advice.


Social Media’s Slow Slog Into the Ivory Towers of Academia The Atlantic (2011)

Underpinning a disdain for social media in higher education is the assumption that incoming students have an inherent aptitude for new technologies.”

Project Information Literacy interview with Howard re: the myth of the digital native, digital literacy  (January 3, 2011)

The first time I taught university students, “I had not expected that so many laptop-carrying, one-handed-texting millennials would not know how to self-organize via wikis or to express critical and reflective opinions on blogs.”


Interview with Howard Rheingold, eLearn magazine (February 2010)

“There is a significant change in the role of the teacher as the authority. Rather than the authoritative deliverer of knowledge, they’re the chief learners. So a lot of these are very challenging to institutions and to people who are familiar with old ways of doing things”

21st Century Literacies, Part 1 of 2, Social Media Club (August 24, 2010)

“Earlier this summer I sat down with Howard Rheingold to talk about his ideas for 21st Century Literacies. The result is a two part video.”

Beyond J-School, MediaShift (August 31 2010)

“We convened a group of journalism educators, a trainer, a student and a J-school dropout to discuss how journalism education is shifting.”

Do I have your attention? Howard Rheingold’s Balloon Experiment, F2F in the Mediated Classroom (November 10, 2010)

Of everyone I’ve been reading lately, Howard Rheingold is the most innovative thinker about attention in the f2f in networked classrooms. Check out these two tweets about a social experiment he ran in his class today:

2 show capabilities of social networks, my ingenious students placed balloons arnd campus, challenged others 2 ask friends 2 locate them

Students sent SMS, tweets, Facebook updates @ start of class. An hour later, one student had located 11 balloons through her social network


Social Media Practices and Pedagogy – Social Media Classroom (February 2009)

Claire Fontaine, a student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program wrote this paper  (PDF) about the social media classroom, social media literacies, and pedagogy.

A Tech Prophet Predicts | Edutopia (December 16, 2009)

“This article is part three in the series “The New Literacy: Scenes from the Digital Divide 2.0.”

“Instead of delivering a set of facts to students, we are engaging them in learning how to get those facts themselves.”

Embracing the Twitter Classroom Huffington Post (May 18, 2009)

“Bringing social media into classrooms is “challenging the 1000-yr-old paradigm that you have to learn from a master and the only way to do that is to go to lecture and take notes,” said Howard Rheingold, who teaches at UC Berkeley’s School of Communication and Stanford University. He has also developed the Social Media Classroom, a set of tools for professors to incorporate Internet-based collaboration into their classes.”



Internet Librarian (2008)

Jap van der Geer interviews me (video) for about four minutes at the Internet Librarian conference.

Facilitación en Comunidades o Redes sociales online: Howard Rheingold El caparazón (December 30, 2008)

Facilitación en Comunidades o Redes sociales online: Howard Rheingold [Facilitation in Online Communities or Social Networks: Howard Rheingold] — summary of talk at Open University of Catalunya, Barcelona, December 2008 (Espanol)



Can’t the Media All Get Along? SFGate (March 19, 2006)

San Francisco Examiner visits my Stanford Digital Journalism class, blogs about it.

Participatory Media and the Pedagogy of Civic Participation, MasterNewMedia (November 14, 2006)

Robin Good presents a blog post and sound files of my presentation to New Media Consortium.

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