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Research Team

Principal Investigator

Katie Davis - Photo by Tamell Simons

Dr. Katie Davis is an Associate Professor at The University of Washington Information School, Associate Assistant Professor in the UW College of Education, and a founding member and Co-Director of the UW Digital Youth Lab. Her research explores the role of new media technologies in young people’s personal, social, and academic lives, with a particular focus on the intersection between technology and identity development during adolescence and emerging adulthood.

Katie holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in Human Development and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was named a 2015 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, an honor that recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD. She is also the recipient of a 2015 National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award to support her research investigating how networked technologies can be leveraged to develop learners’ STEM identities and connect their STEM learning across informal and formal contexts.

Prior to joining the faculty at the UW iSchool, Katie worked with Howard Gardner and colleagues as a Project Manager at Harvard Project Zero, where she was a member of the GoodPlay Projectand Developing Minds and Digital Media Project research teams. In addition to publishing and presenting her research in scholarly venues, Katie regularly shares her work with parents, teachers, business leaders, and policymakers in an effort to build connections between research and practice.

Katie is the co-author with Howard Gardner of The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World, which was published in October 2013 by Yale University Press. The book represents a synthesis of the research that Katie conducted with colleagues on the Developing Minds and Digital Media Project and the GoodPlay Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Drawing on interviews with young people, focus groups with the adults who work with them, and comparative analyses of youth’s artistic productions from 1990-2011, the book explores how today’s “digital youth” are different from the youth who grew up in a pre-digital era.

Research Assistants

Adam Bell

Adam Bell is a PhD candidate in Learning Sciences and Human Development in the College of Education, at the University of Washington, under the advisement of Professor Katie Headrick Taylor. He studies young people’s emergent learning as they move within and across formal and informal settings. Adam’s work is focused on (re)conceptualizing public education by teaching about learning as it happens out in our community spaces.

Currently, he is a graduate teaching assistant in the Education, Communities, & Organizations undergraduate program where he studies how students engage with learning concepts in and across city spaces. He is also a research assistant in the Information School for Professor Katie Davis working with teens at the Pacific Science Center in the Discovery Corps to develop a digital badge system. Previously, he instructed the technology seminar in the UW College of Education STEP program. Before beginning his doctoral studies, at UW he was a public high school English teacher in central Illinois (2007-14), and he earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois at Springfield (2013).

Caroline PittCaroline Pitt is a PhD candidate in the Information School, researching informal learning environments and exploring the connections between different design perspectives.

Research interests: 

Caroline is interested in connected learning and how informal learning experiences can help develop inquisitive and creative minds as well as encourage enthusiasm and passion for both the arts and sciences. She is particularly interested in museums and science centers and how they can be adapted to serve wider audiences. Currently, she is a research assistant for the Digital Badges project as well as a community science application project called Science Everywhere. Previously, she worked as a video editing contractor for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and was a research assistant in the Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has also worked for the American Psychological Association’s PsycTESTS and University of Maryland Libraries.


  • BS, Psychology, University of Maryland (2014)
  • BA, Anthropology, University of Maryland (2014)
  • MS, Information Science, University of Washington (2018)

Please contact Caroline with any website problems, as she is currently in charge of updates, at pittc AT

Ari HockAri Hock is a Master of Education student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development program at the University of Washington. He is especially interested in how people learn outside of school and across physical, social, and technological contexts.

Ari moved to Seattle from the District of Columbia, where he spent three years working on the digital engagement team at KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to making sure all kids have great places to play. He has also served as an AmeriCorps member, leading the Red Cross Youth Program on the Kitsap Peninsula and has taught English to students in China.

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