I am a philosopher, linguist and social scientist who aims to improve education. Being an early adopter of digital technology, I am broadly interested in the impact new media have on our everyday lives. I like to think interdisciplinary and to combine sensible theorizing with empirical research while having a keen eye for ways to reform educational practice.
My research focuses on the (informal) learning practices children and young people engage in online. During my PhD I examined the changing engagement of youth in the large variety of literacy practices they encounter out-of-school. Projects I am currently involved in concern digital technology use in families with young children, using digital media to help newcomers with language learning, developing a digital literacy programme for youth growing up in poverty, and the self-cultivation (Bildung) of youth online.
Other research topics I work on include classroom dialogue, preschoolers’ oral communicative skills, social acceptance in early childhood education, the effects of mind mapping and teachers’ use of online social networks.
I teach and lecture at the Vrije Universiteit Amsteram in the bachelor’s and master’s programme Educational Studies. I enjoy doing this as much as I love conducting research, especially lecturing to professionals working or about to work in education. Also, I give workshops and advice about the ways children and youth use new media and how such uses might or should influence current educational practice.