Monica Bulger is a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute. She is an educational researcher contributing policy research to multi-national groups such as UNICEF, ECPAT, and the European Commission. Her work focuses on the implications of technology use for youth with a particular focus on learning, safety, and empowerment. In this challenging, fast-changing research environment, Dr. Bulger aims to identify cognitive, developmental, and attitudinal trends that transcend popular technologies and speak to deeper purposes for everyday practice.
Dr. Bulger uses a practice-oriented approach to deeply engage with communities of users, examining the influences of family, peers, educators, media, and governments on children’s technology use. She recently completed a global scoping exercise for UNICEF examining the availability of global and regional research on children and ICTs. Viewing education as a means to raise the quality of life for parents as well as their children, Dr. Bulger studies the practical realities of e-learning and the global take-up of MOOCs. She contributes digital and media literacy expertise to national and international groups, developing a media literacy assessment tool for the European Commission.
Studies of internet use require a balanced focus on risks as well as opportunities. In addition to her research on digital literacy and learning, Dr. Bulger recently engaged in empirical work to identify incidents of actual harm occurring from youth-initiated internet use, finding that the way in which ‘harm’ is defined affects measures of prevalence and the focus of intervention efforts. She collaborates with the Decentralized Information Group at MIT to evaluate the social and technical challenges of complying with the Child Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). She additionally collaborates with the Technology and Human Trafficking Initiative at the Annenberg School at University of Southern California.
She earned her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Web Science Trust, Transliteracies Project, and U.S. National Writing Project. Reflections on current policies, news items and ongoing research can be found at the London School of Economics Media Policy Blog, Macarthur Digital Media & Learning Blog, and her personal blog.