For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop



Cassandra Scharber

Associate Professor
LT Media Lab
210 Learning and Environmental Sciences Building
1954 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Ph.D., University of Minnesota
learning technologies
literacy education

Office hours:
by appointment

Areas of Expertise

Literacy, power, and technology and the possibilities technology offers in aiding the transformation of teaching and learning.

Research Summary

As a former middle and high school teacher, my professional life is centered on education and the possibilities it holds for a brighter future. My research and teaching explore literacy within educational contexts and the opportunities technology offers in aiding the transformation of teaching and learning.

I am deeply troubled by the 1) narrow conceptions of literacy that proliferate in schools and community learning settings and 2) educational inequalities that are indicative of differences in youth's race, income, gender, and culture. My research interests speak to these concerns and span both fields of learning technologies and literacy: technology integration in K12 classrooms; digital literacies; issues of digital equity; and the potential role of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) in preservice and inservice teacher preparation.

In the Handbook of Learning Sciences, Palinscar and Ladewinski (2006) argue that the fields of learning sciences and literacy are ripe for “border-crossing.” By nature, both fields are border-crossing topics as technology and literacy are integrated into all facets of life and across content areas in schools. I strive to be a border-crosser whose work helps forge a stronger, reciprocal relationship between these two fields.

Currently, I am one of three Co-Directors of the new Learning Technologies Media Lab (LTML) at the University of Minnesota. I just finished my tenure as co-editor of the Digital Literacies column for the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (2008-2012). I am also active in professional and community organizations, including past officer leadership within the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). In tandem with my colleague, Cynthia Lewis, we provide local service and leadership in the area of urban youth learning using digital media within school, community and library settings.


CEHD Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle Rising Star Faculty Award

Recognition of a pre-tenure female faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota who has demonstrated leadership and creativity in an academic area as shown by research, teaching, and service.

Classes taught

  • CI 5323—Online Learning Communities
  • CI 5330—1-to-1 Initiatives in K12 Educational Contexts
  • CI 5351—Technology Tools for Educators
  • CI 5361—Teaching and Learning with the Internet
  • CI 5410—Teaching Writing Through Digital Storytelling
  • CI 5475—Teaching Digital Writing
  • CI 8350—Readings and Research in Learning Technologies
  • CI 8391—Learning Technologies Seminar
  • EDHD 5007—Technology for Teaching and Learning

Selected Publications

  1. Lewis, C., Doerr-Stevens, C., Dockter Tierney, J., & Scharber, C. (2012). Negotiating identities in the market economy: An analysis of critical literacy and media production. In J. Avilia & J. Zacher Pandya (Eds.), Critical digital literacies as social praxis: Intersections and challenges. (pp. 179-196). New York: Peter Lang.

  2. Thomas, R., Whybrow, K., & Scharber, C. (2012). A conceptual exploration of participation (Sections I, II, and III). Educational Philosophy and Theory.

  3. O’Brien, D. G. & Scharber, C. (2010, April). Teaching old dogs new tricks: The luxury of digital abundance. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 53(7), 600-603.

  4. The Learning Technologies Collaborative. (2010). Using emerging technologies in distance education. Emerging technologies in distance education. Anthabasca University Press.

  5. Doering, A., Scharber, C., Miller, C., & Veletsianos, G. (2009). GeoThentic: Designing and assessing with Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 9(3).

  6. Scharber, C., Melrose, A., & Wurl, J. (2009). Online bookclubs for teens. Library Review [special issue], 58(3), 176-195

  7. Scharber, C. (2009). Online book clubs: Bridges between old and new literacies practices. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 52(5), 433-437.

  8. OBrien, D. G. & Scharber, C. (2008). Digital literacies go to school: Potholes and possibilities. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 52(1), 66-68.

  9. Veletsianos, G., Scharber, C., & Doering, A. (2008). When sex, drugs, and violence enter the classroom: Conversations between adolescent social studies students and a female pedagogical agent. Interacting with Computers, 20(3), 292-301.

  10. Hughes, J. E., & Scharber, C. (2008). Leveraging the development of English-technology pedagogical content knowledge within the deictic nature of literacy. In AACTE's Committee on Innovation and Technology (Eds.), Handbook of technological pedagogical content knowledge for educators (pp. 87-106). Mahwah, NJ: Routledge.