The Space2Cre8 project emerged out of the long-term study, KidNet, which has been studying how youth engage in digital media production and interact with online peers for 6 years. The design and functionality of the site has been developed over time, and is a product of communications between teachers, researchers, programmers, and most importantly, students. These inputs together resulted in the current iteration of the site, which features over 600 users on the Space2Cre8 International network alone. Built into the back-end of the site is a customized analytics program that tracks all user and frequency activity on the network. This data are used both quantitatively and qualitatively towards understanding how youth negotiate online environments and construct understandings of self, community, and world.

As part of the research effort to understand the pedagogical dimensions of the work and gain context for the online activity, ethnographic artifacts such as fieldnotes of students working offline and student, teacher interviews have been collected for the duration of the research. This data have provided information crucial in understanding how offline experiences and relationships influence online practices, and also how teachers reflect on their own pedagogical strategies for guiding student media production and sharing. The accumulation of these kinds of data over the course of years has yielded valuable insights into not only the direction and design of Space2cre8, but also more broadly into the affordances of new media technologies in global learning environments.

Though the broadness of the scope of the project and its various iterations provokes numerous research questions, four fundamental questions that have guided the research throughout its multiple phases are:

  • How does a multinational, collaborative network of youth come to reflect the wants, needs, concerns, and values of its members as individuals and as a group?
  • What roles do different languages, script systems, images, music, and other forms of communication play in the ongoing development of this network?
  • Which dimensions of personal identity and cultural knowledge develop and are negotiated within the online community and how?
  • In light of the radical diversity and connectivity that characterize new media communication, how is literacy to be defined and practiced?

Project Publications

  • Beach, R., Hull, G., & O'Brien, D. (in press). Transforming English language arts in a Web 2.0 world. In D. Lapp & D. Fisher (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts, 3rd Edition. IRA & NCTE.
  • Hull, G. & Nelson, M. (2009). Literacy, media, and morality: Making the case for an aesthetic turn. In M. Prinsloo & M. Baynham (Eds.), The future of literacy studies. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hull, G. & Stornaiuolo, A. (2010). Literate arts in a global world: Reframing social networking as cosmopolitan practice. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 54(2).
  • Hull, G., Stornaiuolo, A., & Sahni, U. (2010). Cultural citizenship and cosmopolitan practice: Global youth communicate online. English Education 42(4), 331-367.
  • Stornaiuolo, A., Hull, G., & Nelson, M. (2009). Mobile texts and migrant audiences: Rethinking literacy and assessment in a new media age. Language Arts, 86 (5), 382-92.
  • Stornaiuolo, A., Hull, G., & Sahni, U. (in press). Cosmopolitan imaginings of self and other: Youth and social networking in a global world. In J. Fisherkeller (Ed.), International perspectives on youth media: Cultures of production and education: Peter Lang Publishers.
  • Relevant Publications

  • Hull, G. & Stornaiuolo, A. (2014). Cosmopolitan literacies, social networks, and “proper distance”: Striving to understand in a global world. Curriculum Inquiry 44(1), 15-44.
  • Hull, G., Scott, J., & Higgs, J. (2014). The nerdy teacher: Pedagogical identities for a digital age. Phi Delta Kappan, 95 (7), 55-60.
  • Stornaiuolo, A., & Hall, M. (2014). Tracing resonance: Qualitative research in a networked world. In G. B. Gudmundsdottir & K. B. Vasbø (Eds.), Methodological challenges when exploring digital learning spaces in education(pp. 29-44). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Stornaiuolo, A., Higgs, J., & Hull, G. (2014). Social media as authorship: Methods for studying literacies and communities online. In P. Albers, Teri Holbrook, & A.S. Flint (Eds.), New methods of literacy research (pp. 224-237). New York: Routledge.
  • Hull, G.A., Stornaiuolo, A., & Sterponi, L. (2013). Imagined readers and hospitable texts: Global youth connect online. In D. Alvermann, N. Unrau, and R. Ruddell (Eds.), Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading (6th ed.) (pp. 1208-1240). International Reading Association.
  • Hull, G., & Scott, J. (2013). Curating and creating online: Identity, authorship, and viewing in a digital age. In K. Drotner and K. C. Schrøder (Eds.), Museum communication and social media: The connected museum. New York: Taylor and Francis.
  • Nelson, M., Hull, G., & Young, R. (2012). Portrait of the artist as a younger adult: Multimedia literacy and “effective surprise.” In Ola Erstad & J. Sefton-Greene (Eds.), Identity, community, and learning lives in the digital age (pp. 215-32). London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Smith, A., & Hull, G. (2012). Critical literacies and social media: Fostering ethical Engagement with global youth. In J.Z. Pandya & J. Avila (Eds.), Critical digital literacy (pp. 63-86). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Stornaiuolo, A., Higgs, J., & Hull, G.A. (2013). Social media as authorship: Methods for studying literacies and communities online. In P. Albers, T. Holbrook, A.S. Flint (Eds.), New Literacy Research Methods (pp. 224-237). New York: Routledge.
  • Stornaiuolo, A., DiZio, J. K., Hellmich, E. A., & Hull, G. A. (2013). Expanding community: Youth, social networking, and schools. Comunicar: Scientific Journal of Media Education, 40(xx), 79–87. doi:10.3916/C40-2013-02-08
  • Hull, G., Zacher, J, & Hibbert, L. (2009). Youth, risk, and equity in a global world. Review of Research in Education, 33 (1), 117-159.
  • Nelson, M. E., Hull, G., & Roche-Smith, J. (2008). Challenges of multimedia self-presentation: Taking, and mistaking, the show on the road. Written Communication, 25(4), 415-440.
  • Hull, G., & Katz, M.L. (2006). Crafting an agentive self: Case studies in digital storytelling. Research in the Teaching of English, 41(1), 43-81.
  • Hull, G., Kenney, N. L., Marple, S., & Forsman-Schneider, A. (2006). Many versions of masculine: An exploration of boys' identity formation through digital storytelling in an afterschool program. New York: The Robert Bowne Foundation.
  • Nelson, M. E. (2006). Mode, meaning, and synesthesia in multimedia L2 writing. Language Learning & Technology, 10(2), 56-76.
  • Hull, G., & Nelson, M. E. (2005). Locating the semiotic power of multimodality. Written Communication, 22(2), 224-261.
  • Hull, G. (2003). Youth culture and digital media: New literacies for new times. Research in the Teaching of English, 38(2), 229-233.
  • Hull, G., Jury, M., & Sahni, U. (in press). “Son enough”: Developing girls’ agency through feminist media practice. In B. Kirshner & E. Middaugh (Eds.), #youthaction: Becoming political in the digital age. Series on Adolescence and Education. Information Age.
  • Lizarraga, J., Hull, G., & Scott, J. (in press). Academic literacies in a social media age: Lessons learned from youth’s transnational communication online. D. Molle (Ed.), Multilingual learners and academic literacies: Sociocultural contexts of literacy development in adolescents. New York: Routledge.
  • Nelson, M., Marple, S., & Hull, G. (in press). Youth breaking new “ground”: Iconicity and meaning making in social media. In Scott Bulfin, N.F. Johnson, & C. Bigum (Eds.), Critical perspectives on education and technology. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • JOIN US!

    If you have a class of teens around the world who would be interested in joining this closed network and collaborating with us in this research project, please contact Amy Stornaiuolo at for more information.