Dr Monica Bulger
Monica Bulger leads the Enabling Connected Learning initiative at the Data & Society Research Institute. She serves on the International Advisory Board for Global Kids Online, a collaboration between UNICEF, LSE and international partners to study the risks and opportunities of children's use of the internet. She additionally serves on the advisory board of the International Child Redress Project helping child victims of sex crimes in Southeast Asia access civil justice. A 2014-2015 Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, she is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute and a fellow of Fundación Ceibal studying impacts of educational technologies on children's everyday experiences. Monica contributes policy research UNICEF, EU Kids Online, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the European Commission. She holds a PhD in Education with an emphasis in cognitive science and social dimensions of technology. Her recent work focuses on issues of equality and children's rights in digital and learning spaces.
At the Oxford Internet Institute, Dr. Bulger's work focused on three key areas and their interrelationships: digital literacy, information use, and online child safety. Within these fields, she contributed to the development of indicators for measuring media literacy across the EU for the European Commission, which has resulted in a practical, modular framework for national media literacy assessment as well as an examination of the methodological and political challenges of measuring national levels of media literacy. Dr. Bulger simultaneously, studied information use practices among scholars in the humanities and physical sciences to determine how technology was affecting their research, collaboration, and dissemination practices. In particular, she examined how the interplay between technical skills and scholarship affected practice, namely, who was increasing their use of technology, who wasn’t, and the significance of these choices for their practice.
In 2011, Dr. Bulger and Dr. Victoria Nash received a grant from the John Fell Fund to study the extent of harms children experience as a result of being online. Together with Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova, they completed a critical synthesis of documented evidence of harms, drawing from studies across disciplines and including practitioner studies and charities reports. This work is ongoing, with current research focused on an analysis of international policy related to online child protection and an evaluation of the efficacy of interventions in reducing children’s online risky behaviors.
digital literacy, online child protection, online child safety, information use, child development, learning and cognition, teens and Internet
Positions held at the OII
- Research Associate, November 2012 -
- Research Fellow, January 2011 - October 2012
January 2005 -
Work and activities by OII faculty and associates on issues surrounding online child safety and protection.
August 2013 - January 2014
The aim of this study is to identify key challenges to the realisation of benefits from big data in the UK economy, along with pathways to overcoming these challenges.
May - September 2012
"InteractiveVis" aims to support easy creation of interactive visualisations for geospatial and network data by researchers: it will survey existing solutions, build currently missing features, and smooth over incompatibilities between existing libraries.
March - December 2012
Knowledge exchange implies forging, facilitating and fostering social connections. Oxford's Knowledge Exchange Network addresses this need among university staff and external stakeholders. We assist the KE Network through interactive network mapping.
December 2011 - May 2015
EINS aims to strengthen scientific and technological excellence by developing an integrated and interdisciplinary scientific understanding of Internet networks and their co-evolution with society.
January 2011 - January 2013
ULab will work as a University Laboratory, systematically reviewing, evaluating and experimenting with current practice in research, valorization, entrepreneurship and outreach activities in each of the five partner universities.
September 2010 - July 2011
Exploring the information seeking, organizing, archiving and communicating capacities of physical sciences communities as a study case (and role model) for effective information processing regimes and behaviours in complex problem-solving tasks.
June 2010 - April 2011
This project aims to develop and validate indicators of adult media literacy levels, in response to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive requiring that the European Commission report levels of Media Literacy in all EU Member States by December 2011.
February - November 2010
Many humanities scholars are enthusiastic users of digital resources, however there is a potential mismatch between what (and how) resources are offered, and how scholars might use them. How should they be designed to ensure maximum use by scholars?
- Slavtcheva-Petkova, V., Nash, V.J., and Bulger, M. (2014) Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks: implications for policy and research. Information, Communication & Society.
- Collins, E., Bulger, M.E. and Meyer, E.T. (2012) Discipline matters: technology use in the humanities. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 11 (1-2) 76-92.
- Mayer, R.E., Stull, A., DeLeeuw, K., Almeroth, K., Bimber, B., Chun, D., Bulger, M.E., Campbell, J., Knight, A. and Zhang, H. (2009) Clickers in college classrooms: Fostering learning with questioning methods in large lecture classes. Contemporary Educational Psychology 34 (1) 51-57.
- Bulger, M.E., Mayer, R.E., Almeroth, K.C. and Blau, S.D. (2008) Measuring Learner Engagement in Computer-Equipped College Classrooms. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia 17 (2) 129-143.
- Bulger, M.E., Murphy, J.C., Schieble, J. and Lagresa, E. (2012) Interdisciplinary knowledge work: Digital textual analysis tools and their collaborative affordances. In L. McGrath (Ed.) Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies. Logan, Utah: Computers and Composition Digital Press / Utah State University Press.
- Slavtcheva-Petkova, V., Nash, V., and Bulger M.E. (2013) Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks: A critical synthesis of research. International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Meeting, 17-21 June 2013, London, UK.
- Slavtcheva-Petkova, V., Nash, V., and Bulger M.E. (2013) Does the Internet harm children's health? A critical review of the evidence. Annual Conference of the Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA), 9 January 2013, Derry/Londonderry, Ireland.
- Bulger, M.E., Mayer, R.E. and Metzger, M.J. (2010) Digital Literacy Practices in the University: Examining the Role of Cognitive Processes and Expertise in Student Information Use. 11th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Bulger, M.E. (2009) Research methods for Web Science: The study of moving targets. Web Science Curriculum Workshop, WebSci '09, 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece.
- Bulger, M.E., Murphy, J.C. and Lagresa, E. (2009) Digital textual analysis: Potential for research and practice. Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, California.
- Ventura, J., Forbes, A., Adams, B., Joshi, S., Grossner, K., Bulger, M., Hollerer, T. and Manjunath, B.S. (2009) IssueBrowser: Knowledge Acquisition via Multimedia Data. The Future of Interactive Media: Workshop on Media Arts, Science, and Technology (MAST), Santa Barbara, CA.
- Bulger, M.E. (2008) Beyond search: Online literacy practices in academic settings. Writing Research Across Borders, Santa Barbara, CA.
- Bulger, M.E. and Bradley, N.D. (2007) Technology in action: Using simulation exercises in university writing instruction. Conference on College Composition and Communication, New York, NY.
- Bulger, M.E., Almeroth, K.C., Mayer, R.E., Knight, A., Collins, H.M. and Chun, D. (2007) Effects of instructor engagement on student use of a Course Management System. Poster Presentation. Association for Psychological Science 19th Annual Convention, Washington, DC.
- Knight, A., Bulger, M.E. and Almeroth, K.C. (2007) Is learning really a phone call away? Knowledge transfer in mobile learning. MLearn Conference on Mobile Learning, Banff.
- Bulger, M.E., Mayer, R.E. and Almeroth, K.C. (2006) Engaged by design: Using simulations to promote active learning. ED-Media: Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, Orlando, FL.
- Meyer, E.T., Bulger, M.E., Kyriakidou-Zacharoudiou, A., Power, L., Williams, P., Ventners, W., Terras, M. and Wyatt, S. (2012) Collaborative Yet Independent: Information Practices in the Physical Sciences. Research Information Network (RIN) Report Series.
- Bulger, M., Dutton, W. and Eynon, R. (2012) D5.2 Outreach and Public Engagement: A pilot study. Deliverable for the ULab Project: Modelling the Technical Research University of Tomorrow.
- Bulger, M., Dutton, W. and Eynon, R. (2011) D5.1 Best Practices on Outreach. Deliverable for the ULab Project: Modelling the Technical Research University of Tomorrow.
- Bulger, M., Meyer, E.T., de la Flor, G., Terras, M., Wyatt, S., Jirotka, M., Eccles, K. and Madsen, C. (2011) Reinventing research? Information practices in the humanities. A report of the Research Information Network (RIN), April 2011.
- Bulger, M.E. (2009) Online literacy and the trouble with information. Doctoral Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara.
- Bulger, M.E. (2006) Beyond Search: A Preliminary Skill Set for Online Literacy. Transliteracies Project, University of California, Santa Barbara.
25 January 2012 Physorg.com
Eric Mayer and Monica Bulger are authors of a new report by RIN looking at information practices in the physical sciences, and highlighting the richly varied ways in which physical scientists work, collaborate and share information.
25 January 2012 Physics World
Eric Mayer and Monica Bulger are authors of a new report by RIN looking at information practices in the physical sciences. They find that physical scientists "are still fairly conservative when it comes to adopting new communications technologies".
10 January 2012 Oman Tribune
Monica Bulger suggests that technology makes us more literate in a feature article by BBC correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones about his Today programme report on whether technology is stopping us talking.
29 December 2011 BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
Guest editor, Viktor Blank asks the BBC technology correspondent to investigate whether technology helps or hinders communications. The OII's Monica Bulger suggests that emails can improve literacy and encourage more thoughtful communication.
Monica Bulger on 6 Jan 2013 14:49PM
Today I will be co-convening a session with Ray Siemens at the Modern Language Association’s annual conference on the topic of using and adapting research methods typically associated with social sciences to research in the humanities. Our panelists [...]
Monica Bulger on 3 Dec 2012 15:28PM
Today I’m giving a lecture about learning environments that promote interdisciplinary dialogue in Internet Science. After 10+ years working in an interdisciplinary space, I take for granted how much easier it has become, I forget the many times I [...]
Monica Bulger on 8 Oct 2012 12:57PM
I wonder if the technologies that will truly disrupt education are the ones most talked about (Khan Academy, online courses in their many forms), the subtle, yet game-changing shifts (digital texts) or the quiet ones we have yet to consider? While [...]
Monica Bulger on 25 Apr 2012 16:07PM
Funding bodies are increasingly requiring evidence of impact for higher education efforts in outreach and public engagement, yet measuring this impact is challenging. A review of current practice combined with interviews of public engagement experts in [...]
Monica Bulger on 25 Apr 2012 13:17PM
Vicki Nash and I were successful in our bid to the Fell Fund to examine how risk and harm are used in literature addressing children’s use of the Internet. Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova, a recent graduate of Loughborough University, joined us in December [...]
Monica Bulger on 17 Jan 2012 21:41PM
My husband and his friend trade off sending each other obscure DVDs. So for Christmas, we sent him one of our favorites, “The Road to Wellville,” a film based on T.C. Boyle’s novel and starring Anthony Hopkins, Dana Carvey, and Matthew [...]
Monica Bulger on 16 Jan 2012 08:58AM
During graduate school, I participated in an experimental seminar, “Literature+: Cross-Disciplinary Models of Literary Interpretation,” taught by Alan Liu. He asked students to form groups around topics of their choosing and perform analyses using digital [...]
Monica Bulger on 1 Sep 2011 09:37AM
This post is not going to promise dramatic learning gains from using a new technology. It’s not one of those stories where at first a teacher was skeptical, but in the end, the classroom was like a sports movie where the technology scored the [...]
Monica Bulger on 29 Jul 2011 08:59AM
Last week, the New York Times reported that in 2007, Deutsche Bank entered into an agreement with two German universities, Humboldt University and the Technical University of Berlin, to fund a mathematical laboratory. The problematic parts were the [...]
Monica Bulger on 12 Jul 2011 06:39AM
How often have you walked out of a room and barely remembered anything from a lecture or presentation? It feels that often presentations focus on information transfer rather than connection. If much of what is communicated in academic presentations could [...]
Monica Bulger on 19 May 2011 07:04AM
Yesterday, I attended Google’s Big Tent Event in Hertfordshire. As an academic, I’m used to attending conferences at universities or Hiltons, not countryside resorts with helicopter pads. The event was held in a grand tent that could easily [...]
Monica Bulger on 13 Apr 2011 07:00AM
Eleven years after Brown & Duguid (2000) released their Social Life of Information, we find that even in humanities, a field that typically conjures an image of a lone scholar toiling in dusty archives, the process of research is very much a social [...]
Monica Bulger on 11 Nov 2010 14:28PM
Today I presented to our DPhil seminar about creating and delivering compelling presentations. In our discussion, we particularly focused on audience need, presenter goals, and developing a clear, coherent story. For more information, I recommend Nancy [...]
Monica Bulger on 19 Oct 2010 18:21PM
My dissertation research will be presented at AOIR’s annual conference this week in Gothenburg, Sweden. Below is the abstract and presentation. Abstract: In university settings, students are increasingly required to conduct online research to [...]
Monica Bulger on 12 Oct 2010 02:47AM
The U.S. Postal Service is sending around a brochure titled “Do you know the warning signs of fraud?” It is brief, but surprisingly helpful. Here are some of their tips: Warning Signs Sounds too good to be true Pressures you to act [...]
Monica Bulger on 20 Jul 2010 21:04PM
Today, Jeff Bezos announced e-books are outselling hardcovers at Amazon. What does the success of e-books mean for reading? I’ve been talking to people who read their Kindles or iPads on train rides or plane flights — and this is by no means a [...]
Monica Bulger on 7 Jul 2010 07:53AM
I’ve been traveling to Oxford for the past two years and in that time, I’ve gotten familiar with the City Centre area, in particular, the city’s homeless. For the most part, the same people show up at the same posts every day, with a few [...]
Monica Bulger on 25 May 2010 17:17PM
Imagine if, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he said, this phone is going to have applications that allow you to check e-mail, find nearby restaurants, update your Facebook, tweet, and use maps, but it’s going to be rubbish as a phone. It’s awkward [...]
Monica Bulger on 17 May 2010 08:48AM
Started as a way to tutor his cousin, Sal Khan has developed an extensive library of online lessons in subjects ranging from Math to Science to History. While most online learning approaches are stuck in either the lecture format or the impersonal slide [...]
Monica Bulger on 13 May 2010 18:36PM
The desktop revolution of the 80’s empowered us to create, not just consume texts. Desktop publishing is a concept most users take for granted, but was certainly a significant change from the typewriter. As Cynthia Selfe (1996) points out, prior [...]