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Department of Learning and Performance Systems

Learning, Design, and Technology

The Pennsylvania State University


I study learning that moves across space and time, with a particular focus on digital media.

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Learning and Performance Systems at The Pennsylvania State University. I work in the Learning, Technology, and Design program.

My research is mobile. It follows learners across space and time, including through physical and digital venues. With a particular emphasis on digital media, I study how to design and understand contexts, tools, and methods that support innovative teaching and learning that expands across settings. As an effort to disrupt container-like models of teaching and learning, my ongoing research responds to the development of connected learning opportunities for youth within—and beyond—settings like home, libraries, schools, and city streets. I have explored digital media and technology in the lives of youth through (micro)ethnographic case studies as well as design experiments across both formal and informal settings.

I ask questions about the dynamic processes of learning that extend across contexts, including formal and informal, local and global, embodied and digital. While sociocultural theories of learning and literacy serve as the foundation for my work, theoretical orientations from other venues—from communications to human geography—help me understand issues of space, time, mobility, and embodiment. I ask questions such as: What are the spatiotemporal dynamics of learning settings? What are the rhythms, the tempos, of learning? To what degree do teachers, and researchers, bound and frame when and where learning occurs? And how do research methodologies sustain—or break—those confines? I believe these questions to be especially pressing given the increasing complexity, connectivity, and velocity of learning opportunities for youth.




(352) 978-7757



The Pennsylvania State University

Department of Learning and Performance Systems

Learning, Design, and Technology

301 Keller Building
University Park, PA

Research Projects

M3: Mobility | Media | Movement

My current research is anchored in the action sports community. This ethnographic work explores the interest-driven learning surrounding youth skateboarding and biking, especially through their intersections with digital media. I am currently accepting students interested in this area of study. 

Image by Ty Hollett

Image by Ty Hollett

Image by Ty Hollett

Image by Ty Hollett

Image by Ty Hollett

Image by Ty Hollett

Metro: Building Blocks

In my previous research,  I piloted connected learning opportunities for youth at the Metro Public Library through a program I established called Metro: Building Blocks. Interest-powered activity surrounding the video game Minecraft lets teens plan, design, and build Metro's neighborhoods. 

The Studio @ MPL: Learning Lab Design

Prior to starting Metro: Building Blocks at the library, I worked with local youth and architects to design the new learning lab at the Metro Public Library. Integrating music, gaming, making and writing spaces, The Studio at MPL will give teens a chance to explore a variety of forms of learning and connecting through digital media. 



To explore the literacies of youth with mobile devices in school, Christian Ehret and I developed3686. Students created a variety of narratives, ranging from Flat Stanley narratives, to making their school speak through QR code-based tours. 

M3 Lab


M3 Lab

At the M3 lab, we study the intersection of learning with issues related to mobility, media, and movement. Currently, our focus is on learning within the action sports community, including skateboarding and BMX riding, with an explicit focus on the role of digital media (photography and videography) therein. Through ethnographic research, our goal is to explore underlying learning principles at work related to interest-driven pursuits within the action sports community. 



Refereed Journal Articles

Hollett, T. & Ehret, C. (2016). Civic rhythms in an informal, media-rich learning program. Learning, Media & Technology. 

Hollett, T. (2016). Interests-in-motion in an informal, media-rich learning setting. Digital Culture & Education. 

Ehret, C. & Hollett, T. (2016). Affective dimensions of participatory design research in informal learning environments: Placemaking, belonging, and correspondence. Cognition & Instruction.  

Ehret, C., Hollett, T., & Jocius, R. (2016). Movement, meshworks, and new media making: An intra-action analysis of adolescents making a digital book trailer. Journal of Literacy Research.

Hollett, T. & Ehret, C (2014). Bean’s World: (Mine)crafting affective atmospheres for gameplay, learning, and care in a children's hospital. New Media and Society. 

Ehret, C. & Hollett, T. (2014). Embodied Compositionin real virtualities. Adolescents’ literacy practices and felt experiences moving with digital, mobile devices in school. Research in the Teaching of English, 48(4), p. 428-452. 

Ehret, C. & Hollett, T. (2014) (Re)placing school: Fifth-graders’ counter-mobilities while composing with mobile devices in a digital media enrichment class. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 57(2), 110-119.

Invited Articles

Leander, KM and Hollett, T. (In review). The embodied rhythms of learning: From learning across settings to learners crossing settings. 

Leander, KM. & Hollett, T. (2014). Designing new spaces for literacy learning. Literacy Research Association Yearbook, 62, p. 29-42.

Book Chapters

Hollett, T. (2015). Nashville: Building Blocks: A Case Study. In Gordon, E. and Mihailidis, P.  (Eds). The Civic Media Reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hollett, T. & Leander, KM. (2013). Location-based environments and technologies. In Price, S., Jewitt, C., & Brown, B. (Eds.). The Sage Handbook of Digital Technology Research. London: Sage.



Spring 2016

LDT 544: Interaction Analysis

EDTEC 467 (Online): Emerging Web Technologies for Learning

Fall 2015

INSYS 549: Current Topics in Emerging Technologies

Fall 2014

New Media Field Experience

Summer 2014

Spatial Learning (EDUC 3900)

Spring 2014

Learning In and Out of School (with Rogers Hall)

Fall 2013

Human Geography (with Andrew Hostetler)


You can find my most recent CV here